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

As part of the UP Asian Center’s 67th Founding Anniversary, the UP Asian Center recently hosted The Asia Concert with the theme, Samar: Tinig, Galaw, Salita on 27 November 2022, Sunday at the GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center Auditorium. The event was the first of its size after almost three years of online concerts and activities.
Sponsored by the Office of Initiatives for Culture and the Arts and in partnership with DZUP and Agimat, the activity sought to strengthen the role of the Asian Center in bridging Philippine and Asian culture and identity and creating a community aware and appreciative of its Asian and Filipino heritage through the showcase of talents of its stakeholders.
UP Kontemporaryong Gamelan Pilipino (Kontra-GaPi) along with UP Asian Center Dean Henelito A. Sevilla, Jr., Jibreel F. Mambuay, Arlene Espinola, Mary Faith Rayel, Alessandra Guimba, and Frankie Bogoc kicked off the event with a cultural performance from Southern Philippines. Afterwards, Dr. Matthew M. Santamaria, project proponent and director, formally opened the show by sharing an inspiring message to the audience.

Featured performers, internationally acclaimed and multi-awarded choir Novo Concertante Manila with its founder, Choirmaster Dr. Arwin Tan, Assistant Professor at the UP College of Music. Novo Concertante Manila graced the audience with eleven brilliantly renditioned songs including Agnus Dei, Kalesa, Chitchiritchit, and Saro, Duwa, Tolo, among others. During the performance, Dr. Matthew Santamaria, UP Artist and Asian center Assistant to the Dean for Cultural Affairs gracefully danced to Eres Tu. a popular Spanish song. Novo Concertante ended with a Christmas carol Kampana ng Simbahan as its finale song.
The Asian Center community also showcased their talents. Eli Jacinto’s TEAM Dance Studio featured Ms. Joelle Jacinto, a Ph.D. Tri-College student at the center as they danced Galawgaw and Gising Na. AC Professor Tina S. Clemente was accompanied by Ricardo Juanito Balledos as they performed Moon Represents My Heart, a Chinese song that was translated to Filipino by UP Asian Center Lecturer and now Philippine Ambassador to China, Jaime FlorCruz. Guest performer HallyUP, a student organization for K-Pop enthusiasts in UP Diliman danced to various K-Pop songs throughout the years. AC Associate Professor and College Secretary Maria Dulce F. Natividad also showcased her singing and Korean language skills as she sang Life Goes On by the K-Pop group BTS.
UP Asian Center alumni also joined the party as recent graduate Jose Marie Flores sent the important message of mental health awareness through his contemporary dance interpretation to Christina Perri’s Human. Veteran journalist Kara David, also an alumna, provided the audience with a spoken poetry number with Ricardo Juanito Balledos. Finally, the Asia Madrigal Singers, composed of the UP Asian Center administrative staff, REPS, librarians, guards, and custodial workers unveiled their singing talents through Juskodai Kudasai, a special song arranged by Dr. Matthew Santamaria.
The UP Diliman community graced the concert with the presence of Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo along with other UP Diliman administrators attended the event. Representatives from the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines and the Indian Embassy of Manila also celebrated with the entire UP community at the venue.
The successful event would not be possible without the support of OICA and the UP Asian Center staff, its friends and family.


    For inquiries, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 8 981 8500 local 3580.
    The Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The UP Asian Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. It also offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. As an area studies institution, the Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website.