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 UP Asian Center presented “Flares of Hope, Vanguards of Unity,” its Virtual Lantern Presentation during the “Diwa ng Diliman” ceremonies, which were held on 18 December 2020 in lieu of UP’s traditional Lantern Parade.
Here is a description of the video:
The pandemic has become a serious challenge to the countries of Asia, prompting mobility restrictions and impacting what were once robust economies. But far more disconcerting is the number of lives lost, including those of health practitioners who died in harness. We have made great strides in medical science, but humanity can still find itself helpless and gripped by uncertainty and confusion in the midst of a global health emergency.
There are countries in Asia, however, among them Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam, that epitomize the importance of using the tools of science coupled with political will and strong sense of community to overcome an unseen enemy. The video is designed to celebrate the triumph of these countries over the pandemic, underscoring that, if collective well-being takes precedence over political divisions, if science is prioritized over paranoia and bigotry, if health protocols are strictly implemented without necessarily brushing aside the need to satisfy basic necessities, then the war against the pandemic can be won.
Inspired by the Thang Long Water Puppets of Vietnam, the video shows open hands that symbolize the willingness and readiness to extend assistance. Calmly sitting on the huge hands are figures representing the three countries, each wearing traditional attire and a face mask resembling the country’s national flag. The images are set against a dark sky symbolizing the challenge posed by the pandemic, but a full moon looms large as an emblem of inextinguishable hope and inspiration.
You may watch a recording of the Diwa ng Diliman celebrations via UP Diliman's Facebook page.

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. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. 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. For other news and upcoming events at the Asian Center, click here.