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 Museum

    The Asian Center Museum started as a museum laboratory of the then Philippine Center for Advanced Studies (PCAS). Inaugurated in 1973 under the purview of renowned Filipino anthropologist F. Landa Jocano, it was envisioned to provide instruction to students of Philippine Studies in the fields of ethnography and archaeology. The laboratory was located in a prefabricated structure behind Romulo Hall and contained photography equipment and a darkroom, which played a key role in the documentation and reproduction of ethnological surveys supervised by Jocano in the 1970s. During this period up to the late 1980s, a substantial amount of ethnographic objects notably from Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras was acquired. This collection was put on a public display organized by the staff of the Asian Center with assistance from the National Museum. 
    Through the Memorandum of Agreement signed between the University of the Philippines and the Toyota Motors Philippines (TMP) Corporation in 2009, the Asian Center Museum is now housed at the GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center (GTTACC). Composed of four galleries (Philippines Hall, China Hall, Japan Hall, and ASEAN Hall), a Collections Storage Room, Curator’s Office, and a proposed Conservation Room, the Museum continues to thrive as a repository of artifacts and images for visual education and as a center of culture and the arts. Its collection consists of a wide range of objects representing the various societies and cultures of the Philippines, from pottery, basketry, weaponry, farming and hunting implements, to clothing, textile, jewelry, body ornaments, and musical instruments. As a cultural center, the Museum hosts exhibitions of the traditional and contemporary art not only of the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region, but of the larger world as well. These exhibitions complement diverse events held within the premises of the Museum such as performances, recitals, and book launches that fulfill the cultural program of the Asian Center.  
  • Ongoing Exhibit: 'Collecting Histories: Gems from the Asian Center Art Collection'

    The UP Asian Center is currently hosting an exhibit, “Collecting Histories: Gems from the Asian Center Art Collection” starting 22 November 2021. Available online and onsite, this exhibit showcases works that originate from, or were inspired by the arts of, Southeast Asia, India, Iran, East Asia, and the Philippines. All exemplify different styles and techniques: from Indonesian leaf art, Mughal-style painting and “temple rubbing” to Chinese ink painting, Okinawan rice-resist dyeing, palette-knife, and Persian calligraphy, nasta’liq style. 
    The collection includes two works by Leonilo Doloricon (“Mangingisda” and “Continuing Revolution”), a modernist Indian expressionist painting by M. Sivanesan; an oil painting, The Liberation of Manila (February 1945), by Vars Rosal; and a Chinese ink painting by Zeng Houxi. 
    Many of these works have not been seen for decades; others are unknown, and the Asian Center takes pride in showcasing them anew to the public. Held as part of the Asian Center’s 66th anniversary, the exhibit is a celebration of AC’s history, and represents the first effort to revive the Asian Center Museum.

    Schedules and On-Site Viewing Hours

    The exhibit will open later for onsite visits from Mondays to Fridays during office hours. Protocols and health guideines for which will be announced in due course. Please fill out this appointment form to schedule your tour. Kindly wait for confirmation. 
    Guided on-site tours courtesy of the Junior Museum Specialist—Ms. Katrina Yap—can be scheduled on certain days of the week. In the interim, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The exhibit will be available online until February 2022.


    The Asian Center: A History and Overview

    The Asian Center, since its establishment in 1955 as the Institute of Asian Studies, is known as the Philippines’ premiere culture and research center on Asia. Back then, with its name as evidence of its colorful history after having been changed so many times (from IAS, to AC, to PCAS, and back to AC), it was the home of legendary and pioneering scholars and academicians such as F. Landa Jocano, Cesar Adib Majul, and Josefa Saniel. 
    With the wide-ranging expertise of the center, AC (as PCAS) also became the brains of Philippine Foreign Policy. True to its mandate, the Asian Center became the primary venue for the Philippines’ broadening and growing relationship with its Asian neighbors. It became known as UP’s “embassy,” its representative in international and Asian affairs and a symbol of the Philippines’ flourishing relations with Asia through academic and cultural exchange. 

    The Asian Center Museum

    A testament to these strengthened relations is the Asian Center’s collection of art works, cultural artifacts, and materials. These were mostly given as gifts and donated by the institution’s friends from other Asian countries, as well as renowned colleagues in the academe. These were housed in the Asian Center Museum in the institution’s old building, the Romulo Hall. 
    However, the deterioration of Romulo Hall and the increasing number of students brought about the discontinuation of the AC Museum and later led to the transfer and storage of its collection to the GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center, a facility donated by Toyota Motor Philippines Foundation in support of the Asian Center’s mandate. The launch of the exhibit represents an initial effort to revive the Museum, and includes a tribute to former deans of the UP Asian Center.

    Inquiries and Anniversary Activities

    For inquiries, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    The launch of the online exhibit is one of several activities for the Asian Center's 66th anniversary. The theme for this year's celeration—Continuity and Change: The Asian Center at 66. View full list of activities.
  • Rentals

    Rental of exhibition halls are suspended until further notice. For more information on rates, etc.,  please visit our facilities page.
  • Other Exhibits in UP Diliman

    To view other exhibits at the University of the Philippines Diliman, visit the Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center. The UP Office for Initiatives for Culture and the Arts (OICA) also has a list of cultural events that are held in the university. 
  • Contact Us

    For further inquiries, please contact Ms. Katrina Yap at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.