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 UP Asian Center, together with its partner organizations, will be hosting a forum, "The Role of Morality in Nation Building," on 1 June 2022, 9 AM to 12 NN, Philippine Standard Time at the GG Hall, The Church of the Risen Lord, UP Diliman. This on-site forum is free and open to the public. Seating is first-come, first-served, but registration is encouraged. Walk-ins are welcome.


All religions consider morality as the most important principle of individual and social life. It is an indispensable foundation in building an equal, peaceful, and just society.
When he started his revolution, Imam Khomeini, a great religious leader, said he wanted to uphold the dignity of the Iranian people, and introduced his movement as a cultural revolution. In his view, if governments and the people are bound by moral principles, human life will evolve and societies will prosper. He considered the main duty of governments to serve and not to rule over the people. The late leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran recognizes the lack of morality at various levels as the biggest problem of contemporary human society. This has led to the spread of oppression and injustice in societies. Although he was a great leader for the Iranian nation, Imam Khomeini established himself as a servant of the people. He taught other leaders to always be of service to the people, especially the weak strata of society.
In commemoration of the 33rd anniversary of Imam Khomeini’s demise, the UP Asian Center, the Cultural Section of the Embassy of Iran-Manila, Manila Church People Ecumenical Fellowship, and the Diocese of Greater Manila, Iglesia Filipina Independiente jointly organize this forum. This activity seeks to study the significance of morality in various traditions and historical experiences and explore areas of collaboration for future common action.


His Excellency Alireza Totonchian
     Ambassador, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran-Manila
Prof. Fidel R. Nemenzo, DSc
     Chancellor of the University of the Philippines
Hon. Arsenio Lizaso
     Chairman, National Commission of Culture and the Arts
Rev. Ptr. Alvaro Senturias, Jr.
     Administrative Pastor, Cosmopolitan Church, United Church of Christ in the Philippines
Rev. Fr. Carlos Reyes
     Minister, Ministry of Interreligious and Ecumenical Affairs, Archdiocese of Manila
Ven. Miao Jing Shi
     Head Abess, Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple


Asian Diplomacy and Nation-Building
     Henelito A. Sevilla, Jr., Dean, UP Asian Center
Prof. Vaadi
     Institute of Islamic Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman
Zeinab Javior
     Secretary, Friendship Women Association of Iran and the Philippines
Atty. Naser Abinal
     Imamate Association of the Philippines


This event is jointly organized by the UP Asian Center, Cultural Section of the Embassy of Iran-Manila, Manila Church People Ecumenical Fellowship, and Diocese of Greater Manila, Iglesia Filipina Independiente.

The Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The UP Asian 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. It also 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. As an area studies institution, 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.