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 is the University of the Philippines' only unit with a regional area of specialization and one of the colleges in the university's Diliman campus.

Established in 1955 as the Institute of Asian Studies, the Asian Center offers graduate-level multidisciplinary academic programs on Asian Studies and on Philippine Studies.

Its mandate—the study of Asia—is underpinned by law, Republic Act 5334, which took effect in June 1968. The Asian Center is based at the GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center.  

It is a member of the Consortium for Southeast Asian Studies in Asia; the Kyoto International Consortium for Asian Studies (KICAS); and Network of ASEAN-China Academic Institutes (NACAI).


In 1955, the University of the Philippines established the Institute of Asian Studies, and mandated it to conduct research for the promotion and advancement of studies on Asia. In 1968, this Institute was formally reorganized through Republic Act (R.A.) 5334 to become the Asian Center. From 1973 to 1979, the Center was absorbed by the Philippine Center for Advanced Studies (PCAS), but reverted to its original status through a Board of Regents decision at its 919th meeting. R.A. 5334 enabled the Center to become a degree-granting institution while continuing to perform research functions. Among its purposes were to develop closer and broader contact with Asian peoples in the field of learning and scholarship, and to attain knowledge of Filipino national identity in relation to other nations through studies on various aspects of Asia. Training country and area specialists through its graduate degree programs in Asian Studies and in Philippine Studies, the Asian Center promotes initiatives to understand the Philippines in its broader Asian context, and to understand Asia from the Philippine vantage point. READ MORE: "UP Asian Center: A Brief History"


“To develop a closer and broader contact with our Asian neighbors in the field of learning and scholarship to attain knowledge of our national identity in relation to other Asian nations through profound studies on Asian cultures, histories, social forces and aspirations,” Republic Act 5334.


To serve as a research hub for Asian Studies and Philippine Studies in the Philippines and help create a society aware of and appreciative of its Asian and Filipino heritage in ways that promote Filipino identity and its relations with its Asian neighbors.


The Asian Center has twelve (12) full-time faculty and several lecturers whose expertise dovetails with the Asian Center's interdisciplinary thrust. Our teaching staff come from, research on, and specialize on various disciplines—gender, political science, sociology, history, political economy, international relations, economics, development, agrarian studies, regionalism, ASEAN, foreign policy, migration, cultural studies, and Philippine art and dance.

Visit the faculty profiles here or view a list of our lecturers


The Asian Center offers MA programs in Asian Studies and in Philippine Studies, as well as a Ph.D. in Philippine Studies, which is jointly administered with the College of Arts and Letters and College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. The Asian Center does not offer undergraduate programs. 

Asian Studies students specialize on any of four regions--Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, or West Asia, while Philippine Studies students major in sociocultural studies, foreign relations, or development studies.

Get an overview -- from application requirements to program of study -- of the Asian Center's graduate programs.


Like the other colleges of the University of the Philippines Diliman, the UP Asian Center is headed by a dean. Even though the Asian Center offers degree programs on four areas in Asian Studies, and three fields in Philippine Studies, it has no departments corresponding to these fields or areas of specializations.  

Below is a list of offices in the UP Asian Center. 

  • Office of the Dean
  • Office of the College Secretary
  • Administration and Public Affairs
  • Information Office
  • Research Office
  • Publications Office (including editorial office of Asian Studies Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia)
  • Library

View list and contact information of Asian Center's administration • administrative staff • research personnel. Jump to complete office directory.


In addition to individual research by its faculty, the UP Asian Center also conducts institutional research. View most recent projects


The Asian Center has published several monographs and books over the years. It publishes a peer-reviewed, open-access journal, Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia.  The journal is one of the first of its kind in Asia, and has been published since 1963.

View our list of publications.


The Asian Center hosts and/or organizes various lectures and conferences. View the list of recent events and the latest news. Invitations to these events may be received by signing up for our mailing list


The GT-Toyota Asian Center Auditorium can accommodate 500 people and can be rented for various events, including academic conferences. Many such conferences—organized by the Asian Center or otherwise—have been held at the auditorium. Inquire about rates. Four exhibit halls are also available for rent. 


Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., but individual offices may be contacted directly through our directory. Join our mailing list to receive news and updates on the activities and programs of the Asian Center.

You may also Like our Facebook page;  follow our Twitter account; or follow our Instagram profile to receive news as well. Please refer to the bottom of the page to view our mailing address.