Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman will be holding—via Zoom—the international conference, “Sabang: Early Southeast Asian-European Intercultural Encounters” from 18– 20 March 2021. The event is free and open to the public, but interested participants are required to register using an authenticated Zoom account. 
This three-day conference features ten panels, 29 papers, two roundtables, and three keynote lectures.


  • The ‘Portuguese’ Encounter with the Malay-Indonesian World of the 16th Century
    Professor Leonard Andaya
  • Shifting the Entrepot Paradigm: Local Agents and Indigenous Voices in the Making of Manila's Global Connections, ca. 16th to 18th Century
    Dr. Birgit Tremml-Werner
  • Dr. Rene R. Escalante, Chair, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, will also deliver a keynote lecture.


  • History, Theories, and Prospects of Philippine Studies as a Discipline
  • Locating Early Modern Southeast Asia


  • Indigenous and Colonial Medicine
  • Trade and Diplomacy
  • Colonial Knowledge and Intermediaries
  • Race and Religion
  • Language and Communication
  • Colonial Identities
  • Colonial Images and Narratives
  • Rituals and Performance
  • Place and Memory
  • Warfare and Military History
To view abstracts, speaker profiles, and registration details, please visit the conference page.
The conference is organized by the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and the Office for Initiatives of Culture and the Arts, UP Diliman.

The UP Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D.  program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. The Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website. For other news and upcoming events at the Asian Center, click here