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 will organize lectures, conferences, film showings, food festival, roundtable, book launch, and cultural activities to celebrate its 64th anniversary, with the theme, Asia 4.0: Changes and Challenges. The events are free and open to the public.


  • About the Theme

    What does the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” mean for societies in Asia? Rapid globalization alongside unprecedented integration of the digital, physical, and biological spheres—hallmarks of the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (Industry 4.0)—are projected to cause massive shifts in economies and societies across the world (Schwab, 2016). While “Industry 4.0” promises greater productivity and connectivities, it also threatens to disrupt conventional production patterns through automation and digitization. What do these technological disruptions mean for Asia’s more than four billion inhabitants many of whom still rely on traditional modes of production? What roles do state and non-state actors play in “Industry 4.0”? What risks and opportunities become available as big data, blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, smartphones, and robotics are increasingly used and integrated in various industries including finance, health, and military among others? How are social identities (re)configured as countries and communities converge in various and novel ways, including and most notably, through the internet and the virtual world?

    The Asian Center, University of the Philippines focuses on these issues as it celebrates its 64th anniversary. It plans to organize events that not only deal on the changes and challenges brought by “Industry 4.0”, but also provide Asian and Filipino perspectives to these issues.

  • Southeast Asia and Industry 4.0 | A Roundtable

    Time and Venue

    9:00 am–11:00 am, ASEAN Hall, UP Asian Center, QC

    Resource Speaker 1: H.E. Gerard Ho Wei Hong

    Mr. Gerard Ho is Ambassador of Singapore to the Philippines. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in May 1997. He was Director-General of the ASEAN Directorate from January 2015 to February 2019. Mr Ho served as Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of Singapore in Jakarta from February 2010 to December 2014. He was First Secretary in the High Commission of Singapore in Kuala Lumpur from January 2004 to July 2007, and First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of Singapore to the United Nations in New York from April 2000 to August 2003. Mr Ho will take up post as Singapore’s Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines on 18 March 2019. Mr Ho obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History from the National University of Singapore in 1997. He obtained a Master of Arts Degree from Columbia University, New York, in 2009. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore)

    Resource Speaker 2: Prof. Glen A. Imbang

    Prof. Imbang teaches at the Technology Management Center, University of the Philippines Diliman

    Resource Speaker 3: To be confirmed


  • Opening | Photo Exhibit on Asia 4.0: Changes and Challenges

    Time and Venue

    9:00 am, UP Asian Center

    Exhibit Duration

    The exhibit will run on weekdays, 11 November to 23 November, 8 am to 5 pm.



  • Tumandok: Western Visayan Culture Through Films | Free Screenings

    Time and Venue

    12 November, 8:30 am–12 noon, ASEAN Hall, UP Asian Center, QC.


    Hutik Sang Paminsaron (Whisper of the Mind)
             Edgar John Zaragoza
             Summary: Placed in a dark room unraveling her own thoughts
             5 mins, Finalist, Student + Youth, CineKasimanwa 6
    Joseph, Joseph 
             Gio Enzo Lebourg
             5 mins, Finalist, Student + Youth, CineKasimanwa 6
    Amiel, Modern Albularyo (Amiel, Modern Quack Doctor/Herbalist)
             Jayson Cineta
             Finalist, Student + Youth, CineKasimanwa 6
    Hagas sa Katalagman (Weakened by Peril)
             Rovic Lopez
             Summary: Man chased by his fears
             6.07 mins, Best Short Film Winner, Student + Youth, CineKasimanwa 6
    Katungdanan (Obligation)
             Richard Salvadico and Kat Sumagaysay
             Summary: Father and son through the daily struggles of life
             13.20 mins, Jury Prize, Student + Youth, CineKasimanwa 6


    Pagkadamuhal (Being Rude) 
             Aldrich Rosano
             Finalist, Main Competition, CineKasimanwa 6
    Hila(u)was (Lust) 
             Dennis Hubag
             Summary: Sins of the born
             9.05 mins, Jury Prize Winner, Main Competition, CineKasimanwa 6
    Pamati-i Bala Ang Akon mga Ihutik Nga Binalaybay (Listen to the Poems that I'll Whisper) 
             Elvert Bañares
             Summary: Interpretation of "Ang Ilongga nga Nagsasakay sa Habal-habal" (The Ilongga Who Rode a Motorcycle Taxi) by Filipino poet Karla Quisumbing
             4.16 mins, Nominee, Gawad Urian 2019
    Ribuk (Revolt)
             Carlo Navarrete
             Finalist, Main Competition, CineKasimanwa 6
    Ang Babayi sa Bahura (The Woman in the Reef)
             Kyle Fermindoza
             Summary: A father who keeps on seeing memories of his daughter
             11.32 mins, Best Short Film Winner, Main Competition, CineKasimanwa 6
             Kurt Soberano
             Jury Prize Winner, Main Competition, CineKasimanwa 6


  • Power and Knowledge in Southeast Asia: State and Scholars in Indonesia and the Philippines |A Roundtable and Book Launch

    Time and Venue

    12 November, 1–3 pm, Japan Hall, UP Asian Center, QC

    About the Book

    Power and Knowledge in Southeast Asia: State and Scholars in Indonesia and the Philippines comparatively analyzes the dynamics of the state-scholar relations during the Marcos and Suharto years in the Philippines and Indonesia as evident in two official history-writing projects: Marcos's Tadhana and Suharto's Sejarah Nasional Indonesia (SNI). Instead of taking such projects as aberration, which is in line with the popular liberalist critique of “intellectual prostitution” or “treason of intellectuals”, this book argues that the participation of scholars in these projects merely formalizes and renders explicit the transactional encounters happening on daily basis between knowledge of any ideological disposition, type or level of accuracy, on the one hand, and their respective consumers, on the other.

    The widely held liberal assumption that good, rigorous scholarship is corrective or antithetical to the political needs to be re-thought as it unwittingly undermines the very progressive vision upon which much of critical and well-meaning scholarship is built. As I show in this book, (1) it is more the context of the actual knowledge use, rather than the content or authorial intention, that ultimately decides the political; and (2) the strength of politics precisely lies in at least the appearance of accuracy or objectivity of knowledge. The solution seems to lie not mainly in more rigor or accuracy of critical scholarship, for accurate or not, it is how knowledge is actually understood, used and misused on the ground (and in digital world) that determines the material impact on the people.


    The author, Dr. Rommel Curaming will discuss his book, after which a roundtable will be held. Details of roundtable participants to follow.

    The Author

    Rommel Curaming is an Assistant Professor at the University of Brunei Darussalam. He is the Program Leader of the History and International Studies Program and the Coordinator of the Southeast Asian Studies Program.  He obtained his PhD from the Australian National University. His research interests include history and memory political violence, popular culture, heritage-making, postcolonial theory and decolonization. 


  • Free Screenings of Asian Films

    Date and Time

    12 November 2019, 3 pm–7 pm, ASEAN Hall, UP Asian Center

    Films to be Shown

             Directed by Jacob Goldwasser
             Running time: 98 mins
    Gadi is a child-adult with mild retardation. He has a unique sense of humor, an infectious laugh and endless optimism. His mother’s    sudden death forces Gadi to move temporarily to the house of his biological father, from whom he’s been estranged most of his life. Reuven, Gadi’s father, absorbed in his own problems, has always been put off by interactions with his unusual son.

    But the hidden love between father and son grows steadily stronger as they get to know each other again. Gadi’s endless optimism will console them all when the two of them have to cope with the tribulations that await them.
    Two Hearts as One
              Directed by Hasan Kiraç
              Running time: 126 mins
    A look inside the story of two newlyweds who are parted from each other and spend the next half-century of their lives trying to  reunite. (IMDb)



  • Ikebana as Sustainable Art: A Lecture and Demonstration on Japanese Traditional Flower Arrangement

    Time and Venue

    13 November 2019, 1:00 pm–2:30 pm, ASEAN Hall, UP Asian Center, QC


    Asako Tsunoda is a certified Ikebana instructor from Misho ryu Nakayama bunpo-kai, a school which originated from Osaka more than 200 years ago during the Edo period. She is also a founder of Manila bunpo-kai and has been teaching Ikebana in Tokyo, Sydney and Manila for 14 years.


  • Encounters with Silence | A Screening and Forum on the "Lonely Death" in Japan

    Time and Venue

    13 November 2019, 2:30 pm–4 pm, ASEAN Hall, UP Asian Center, QC


    In a country with a large population of elderly and middle-aged people living in isolation in small apartments without friends or family to rely on, many die alone and unnoticed. Their bodies are discovered by neighbors several weeks, or even months, after. The lonely death, or kodokushi, has become hauntingly common in Japan. Still it remains a sensitive subject and is rarely discussed. Filmmaker Janus Victoria confronts the silence on the subject through encounters with a man who cleans the apartments of those who die alone, a photographer who documents the aftermath of kodokushi, an elderly woman fiercely protective of her independence even in old age, and an artist who sings to pierce the stillness around her. By examining the quiet and lonely death, Encounters with Silence becomes a meditation on life itself. Encounters with Silence premiered in competition under the Asian Perspective category of the 2017 DMZ International Documentary Film Festival in South Korea. 

    About the Discussion

    The context of film topic and the production process of the documentary will be discussed by the filmmaker after the screening. Q&A will follow afterwards.

    About the Filmmaker

    Janus Victoria is a filmmaker of narrative features and documentaries. She produced Encounters with Silence during her fellowship at the Asia Center of The Japan Foundation. She is currently taking MA Asian Studies, major in Japan Studies at the UP Asian Center.



  • How Do Elite University Students in ASEAN Countries Look at Asian Neighbors? | A Public Lecture

    Time and Venue

    13 November, 3–5 pm, Room 206, UP Asian Center, QC


    The presentation presents an analysis of the Asian Student Survey (2008-2018) to show indications of the “ASEAN-centrality mentality” among the elite university students in six ASEAN countries — Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Through the use of opinion polls, it emphasizes social psychology to locate interconnected among people of ASEAN countries. It explores the perceptions and attitudes of students towards member countries as compared to non-ASEAN states, the social connectivity among students of ASEAN states, their desire to study in member countries and their shared views on the rise of China.  

    The Speaker

    Shigeto Sonoda is a professor of sociology and Asian Studies at the Institute of Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), University of Tokyo. He is also the director of the Beijing Center for Japanese Studies in China. Among his research interests are social stratification and globalization of cultures in Asia, and localization process of Japanese company in Asian countries. His latest publications are China Impact: Threat Perception in Asia-Pacific (2018) and How to cope with “China Risk”: The Challenges of Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese Firms (2016).


  • South Sulawesi, Indonesia as a Field of Historical Study | A Public Lecture

    Time and Venue

    13 November 2019, 5–7 pm, Japan Hall, UP Asian Center, QC


    After Java, South Sulawesi is the largest rice growing and exporting region of Indonesia. Its capital, Makassar, dates back to the fifteenth century and is one of the country's busiest ports. Despite the region's economic importance, it does not feature strongly in the national narrative, or in English-language histories of Indonesia.
    The lecture will present the sources used to write South Sulawesi's history. It will contrast local interpretations of the past with the picture obtained by historians and archaeologists. How can these differing interpretations be resolved and incorporated into Indonesia's history? Evidence of early trading and cultural relations between Sulawesi and the Philippines will also be discussed.

    The Speaker

    Dr. Ian Caldwell is a retired associate professor of Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Leeds, UK.


  • Regional Integration and Cooperation in Asia: A Roundtable

    Time and Venue

    14 November, 3:00 pm–5:00 pm, UP Asian Center

    Confirmed Speaker (s)

    Bernard Ng Thiam Hee, Principal Economist, Asian Development Bank


  • Rhetoric of Creative Partnership: Conversations on Cross-cultural Artistic Exchanges | An International Conference

    Artists. Cultures. Conversations. This November 14-15, 2019, join us as we listen to the conversations of practitioners, scholars, and teachers of the performing arts about their narratives on cross-cultural artistic collaborations. We invite all artists, scholars, students, teachers interested in the performing arts. 

    To be held at the GT-Toyota Asian Center Auditorium, this conference is co-organized and spearheaded by the Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts, College of Arts, University of the Philippines Diliman.

    View dedicated conference page for paper presentations, performances, and keynote addresses.

  • Blue Tea in Southeast Asia: A Lecture and Tea Tasting

    Time and Venue

    19 November, 3:00 pm

    About the Lecture

    Folkloric and scientific studies on the 'Clitoria Ternatea' ("pukingan") show the need for more research on its historical, political , as well as its artistic and environmental functions and significance on planetary health. In this lecture, Dr. Odal-Devoria will discuss the plant ternatea and its other popular names; its various names in the different regions of the Philippines; its scientific nomenclature and plant system; and products and goods based on the plant. She will also discuss the health benefits—folkloric and scientific—and present a case study of a blue tea plantation in San Pablo, Laguna, Philippines, as well as an example of how to conduct an indigenous method of inquiry. The lecture is part of her ongoing research on the plant, which among other things examines whether the plant is endemic to Southeast Asia.


    Dr. Grace Odal-Devora is Professor at the Department of Arts and Communication of the College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines Manila, where she started teaching in 1979. Dr. Grace Odal -Devora graduated from UP Diliman with a BA in English, with Concentration on Comparative Literature. She finished he MA degree in Asian Studies, focusing on Southeast Asia, with Indonesia as Core Country. In 2012, she graduated from the PhD Philippine Studies Program of the UP Diliman's Tri-College Program. She was also recipient of the Outstanding Artist Award of UP Manila in 1999 and again in 2009, as well as Outstanding Faculty in Research Award of UP Manila, for Creative Research in 2002.

  • The 2019 Graduate Students' Conference @ UP Asian Center

    Time and Venue

    8 am – 4 pm, GT-Toyota Asian Center Auditorium, UP Asian Center, QC


    Virtual Homes Away from Home: A Self-Reflexive Case Study on the Use of Online Communication applications by Overseas Filipino Workers
              Jacelle Bonus, MA Media Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman

    Surge of Indians for Medical Education in the Philippines and Mediation of Identities in Post-Colonial Manila as Diasporic Ethnic Group: An Ethnographic Study
            Santosh Digal, PhD Media Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman

    Global South to Global South Trend in migration: The Case of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Cambodia
           Jerome Inoc, MA Political Science, University of the Philippines Diliman

    Filipinos in Western Video Games: Race and Capitalism in the Advent of Glocalization
           Thea Pamela Pauline A. Javier, PhD Communication, University of the Philippines Diliman

    POLITICS, CULTURE and LABOR (9:00 AM – 10:00 AM)

     Cognitive Map of 20th-Century Workers’ Imagination  in the Philippines From 1900s–1930s
              Christian Lemuel Magaling, MA Asian Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman 

     Vaporwave, or The Vaporization of Philippine Cultures: Prospects On Living Through The Age of Extremes
              Allen Casey Gumiran, MA Philippine Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman 

     The Sidewalk Vendor: It's Socio-Economic Cohesion in the Formal Economy as Part of the 4th Industrial Revolution
              Manolo Labor, MA Philosophy, University of the Philippines Diliman

     Collaborative Economy in Developing Countries: Perspectives from the Philippines
              Ivy Jessen Galvan, Master Asian Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman    

    URBANIZATION and DEVELOPMENT (10:20 AM – 11:20 AM)

    Trashing Disposable Development: Consolidation of Urbanization of City of San Jose del Monte
               Sharmaine Lizada, Master Philippine Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman 

    Assessment of Flood Hazard Mapping in San Juan River Basin
               Marilyn Medina, PhD Urban and Regional Planning, University of the Philippines Diliman

    The Implications of Political Patronage to Disaster Assistance in Palanan and other Selected City/Municipalities in Isabela Province
               Michael Jamillon, MA Political Science, University of Santo Tomas

    HEALTH, AGEING, and EDUCATION (11:20 AM – 12:20 PM)

    Emerging Global Security Health Threat in the 21st Century: The Rise of Vaccine Hesitancy and Refusal in Selected Asian States
               Jan Miguel Santos, MS Geography, University of the Philippines Diliman 

    Level of Improvement among Healthcare Facilities in Manila Basis for an Action Plan
               Mefia Nelson, Master in Public Health, Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation

     Responsive and Inclusive Education via Adaptive Curricula in New Normal of Education 4.0
               Rosella Torrecampo, Doctorate in Education Leadership, Development Academy of the Philipines

     Determinants of Life Satisfaction among Older Filipino People at the Beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
              Genny Bandoles, PhD Sociology, University of the Philippines Diliman 

    KEYNOTE | 1:30 – 3:30 PM

     Trade and Development with Human Capital: A Century's Narrative in Korea
               Hak Kyo Pil, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Economics, Seoul National University 

    AWARDING | 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM

     Details to follow. For questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Alas ng Bayan: Women, Heroism, and Memory: An Exhibit and Lecture

    A lecture-exhibit, “Alas ng Bayan: Women, Heroism and Memory” will open on 25 November, 10:00 am, and will run until 27 November 2019, at the UP Asian Center, QC. The exhibit features several lectures on, and five paintings of, women who struggled against injustice throughout Philippine history, from the 1896 Philippine Revolution to the Marcos dictatorship. The event is free and open to the public. Seating is first-come, first served. Walk-ins are welcome, but participants are encouraged to sign up.

    Lectures (10:00 am–10:50 am, 25 Nov)

    Towards a Usable History: The Story Behind the Alas ng Bayan Paintings
               Constantino Foundation

    Kumander Liwayway: A Feminine Warrior
              Ana Maria Nemenzo

    Lorena: Buhay at Pakikibaka
              Pauline Mari Hernando, PhD

    Message from the Artist
              John Erhard P. Guarin

    The Paintings

    The Alas ng Bayan are paintings of five remarkable Filipinas who fought oppression, injustice, and false gender normatives throughout Philippine history. Painted in the style of Tarot cards or sakla, the works mirror a similar mysticism while provoking its viewers to engage, if not decode, subtle symbolisms throughout the images.

    Gregoria "Oriang" de Jesus (09 May 1875 – 15 March 1943), also known as Lakambini who, together with her husband, Andres Bonifacio, helped organize, grow, and mobilize the revolutionary Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan.

    Apolonia Catra (unknown – 5 March 1905) is the only named female officer in Macario Sakay's armed forces under the command of Lt. Col. Lucio de Vega. Branded a bandit by US authorities, she "dressed in men's clothing and was well-known for her cruelty and reckless courage."

    Remedios Gomez-Paraiso (12 July 1918 – 15 May 2014) was a guerilla who fought the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II under the alias Kumander Liwayway. A fearless officer of the Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon, she rode headlong into battle astride a horse, pistol in hand and wearing makeup.

    Maria Lorena Barros (18 March 1948 – 24 March 1976) was the founding chair of Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan ( MAKIBAKA). Laurie graduated from UP in 1970 with a degree in anthropology, and went underground to fight the Marcos dictatorship.

    Gloria Capitan (28 March 1959 – 01 July 2016) was an anticoal activist and human rights defender affiliated with the Coal-Free Bataan Movement. On 1 July 2016, Gloria was assassinated in her own videoke cantina by two unidentified gunmen.

    The Artist and the Speakers

    John Erhard P. Guarin is a Filipino painter, poet, and hip-hop recording artist from Tondo, Manila. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in Visual Communication at Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Intitute of Science and Technology. As a professional painter, he crafts his works using mainly oil on canvas.

    Dr. Pauline Mari Hernando is Assistant Professor at the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature, UP College of Arts and Letters. Her research interests are literary theory, Philippine literary movements, and gender and sexuality in literature.

    A feminist and socio-political activist, Ana Maria R. Nemenzo is a pioneer advocate for women’s reproductive rights in the Philippines. She is a founder and National Coordinator of WomanHealth Philippines, established in 1987, which promotes women’s rights to health, reproductive self-determination, and gender equality. Currently she serves as the Lead Convenor of the Philippine campaign network that vigorously calls for “Life of Dignity for All!” through transformative social protection in regard to employment, health, housing, food and public services.

    About the Lecture-Exhibit

    Alas ng Bayan raises awareness about the intersections between women, history, memory, climate change, and citizenship. It seeks to inject history and feminism as fundamental elements in the way the youth respond to the worsening state of national forgetting and the climate crisis. The exhibit intends to mobilize sectors not normally active in the climate debate by offering new notions of citizenship and nationalism responsive to the multiple emergencies we face today. It is organized by Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities; Constantino Foundation; 350.org Pilipinas; UP Asian Center.

    For queries, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. View vicinity map.


  • Sitano Langon: Mga Kwento ng Marawi | A Lecture-Exhibit

    Time and Venue

    6 December, 1–5 pm, Philippines Hall, UP Asian Center, QC