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

Photo: Grabbed from the Chemical Youth website

A symposium, “Chemical Youth,” will be held on 13 February 2018, 3:30 pm, ASEAN and Japan Halls, UP Asian Center, Quezon City.  The symposium is free and open to the public, but visitors are encouraged to sign up online.


  • The Meanings and Materialities of Height in the Philippines

The projects "draws on ethnographic fieldwork in Puerto Princesa...and explores the social, cultural and political meanings of height in the Filipino colonial and postcolonial experience."

  • Beauty, Body Utility and Sexuality in the Philippines

The research examines "the practices of chemical use among young women in Cagayan de Oro City, [which are treated] as a window on the frictions of modernity, on their experiences of the body, and on how they imagine, negotiate and reappropriate identity."

  • Whitening as a Key Chemical Practice in the Philippines

"Across several field sites—Batangas, Puerto Princesa, a few others—whitening emerged as a key chemical practice."



The symposium is being held as part of a Kat(h)awan, a three-month Festival of Culture and Arts at the University of the Philippines Diliman. The Chemical Youth Project is "based at the University of Amsterdam and is funded by the European Research Council." The Philippine component of Chemical Youth was done in partnership with the Department of Anthropology, University of the Philippines Diliman. The project descriptions above are lifted directly from the website. 

The UP Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The 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. The Center 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. Get an overview of these programs. The Asian Center also houses a peer-reviewed, open-access journal, Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia. It has published several books and monographs, and hosts or organizes various lectures and conferences