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

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Who We Are

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 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 the Network of ASEAN-China Academic Institutes (NACAI).

Mission and Vision

“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.


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"