The Asian Center Blog

The Asian Center Blog, provisionally titled such, features the following content, including but not limited to: excerpts of reviews of books, essays, films, and other Asia-related media from third-party websites; reviews of such content from Asian Center staff or faculty; announcements of Asian Studies conferences, etc. 

Please note that by posting third-party content, the UP Asian Center does not necessarily entail an endorsement of, or agreement with (or otherwise) said content and/or its creators, organizers, publishers, and the like. Neither are the views expressed in such content necessarily a representation of the views of the UP Asian Center or its faculty or staff. They are featured here as Asian Studies-related material and are posted solely for information-dissemination purposes. 


What Can We Learn From Chinese Philosophy about the Good Life?

Written by UP Asian Center on . Posted in The Asian Center Blog

Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh discuss what Chinese philosophy has to teach us about the art of daily living. Below is the opening paragraph of their essay published in the Guardian on 9 April 2016.  

People are often surprised to learn that Confucius, Mencius, Laozi and other classical Chinese philosophers weren’t rigid traditionalists who taught that our highest good comes from confining ourselves to social roles. Nor were they placid wise men preaching harmonious coexistence with the natural world. Rather, they were exciting and radical thinkers who exploded the conventions of their society. They sought to make the world a better place by expanding the scope of human possibility. The mid-first millennium BC was a similarly turbulent age to our own, giving rise to debates about how to live, how to be ethical and how to build a good society. Unlike the philosophers we are more familiar with in the west, these Chinese thinkers didn’t ask big questions. Theirs was an eminently pragmatic philosophy, based on deceptively small questions such as: “How are you living your daily life?” These thinkers emphasised that great change only happens when we begin with the mundane and doable. Their teachings reveal that many of our most fundamental assumptions about how we ought to live have actually led us astray. So what are the ideas we hold dear, and what alternatives do Chinese philosophers offer in their place?


UP Political Science Department, Etc. To Hold Forum on Electoral Contests Resolution

Written by UP Asian Center on . Posted in The Asian Center Blog

The Embassy of Indonesia in the Philippines, the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies, the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies, and the UP Department of Political Science invite you to attend a forum on electoral contests resolution in Indonesia and the Philippines. It will be held on 13 April 2016, 8:30 a.m. at the ASEAN Hall of the UP Asian Center. For further inquiries, you may call the Department of Political Science at (63.2) 920.7246; via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit their Facebook page


Why Do We Need to Study Asia | A Commentary

Written by Janus Isaac V. Nolasco on . Posted in The Asian Center Blog

The following essay was written by Mr. Janus Isaac V. Nolasco, University Researcher at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines. It was published on 24 June in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. 

It is probably no great leap to say that many Filipinos lack knowledge of and appreciation for Asian societies, save perhaps their own. More knowledgeable about and oriented toward the United States and Europe, they arguably find the French Revolution more familiar than, say, the Meiji Restoration. Filipinos probably feel more at home with Zeus, Hera and the other occupants of Mount Olympus than with Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Lectures @ UP Asian Center (SS)