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 conference, “Sabang: Early Southeast Asian-European Intercultural Encounters,” — to be held via Zoom from 18 to 20 March 2021— will look at early modern Philippine history in its global and Southeast Asian context. Below are the keynote lectures and paper presentations on this topic, but please visit the conference website to check out all 28 papers.


  • Shifting the Entrepôt Paradigm: Local Agents and Indigenous Voices in the Making of Manila’s Global Connections, ca. 16th-18th Century
  • Southeast Asia and the Quincentennial Commemoration of the First Circumnavigation of the World


The headers below are not panels in the conference, just labels to categorize the different papers, which have their respective panels. Please visit the conference page to view the ten panels, speaker profiles, and read abstracts.

The Philippines in World History

    • The Royal Artillery Foundry of Manila: Technical Labor and Global Circulation (1580–1676)
    • Spanish Manila’s Media Anata: Groundwork for Quantitative Global Histories from Below, 1654–1687
    • Danes in the Manila Trade, XVII-XIX Centuries
    • Re-reading 'Sucesos:' Revisiting Morga in Some Books, Texts, and Places
    • The Mingling of Asian and European Art Traditions in the Boxer Codex Illustrations
    • Búyo in the Narratives of Early Spanish-Austronesian Intercultural Encounters
    • Colonizing Blood Covenants: Ritualized Friendship and Contractual Colonialism in Early Filipino-Spanish Encounters

The Philippines in Southeast Asia: Contexts and Comparisons

    • Traditional Medicine in the Philippines and Early Southeast Asian-European Encounters
    • The Hilot of the Philippines and the Dukun Bayi of Indonesia Compared
    • From Remembrance to Recreation: Memory of European Houses in Urban Landscape Manila (Philippines) and Saigon (Vietnam) during the Colonial Period
    • Lantak: Ingenious Fire Making Device of Southeast Asia

Intercultural Encounters in Language and Culture

    • Zamboanga Chavacano from "Hawker Spanish" to "Slightly Spanish": The Trajectory of a Creole's Social Prestige
    • In the (re/un)ma(r)king: Batuk (Philippine Traditional Tattoos) in the Diaspora
To view abstracts, speaker profiles, and registration details, please visit the conference page.
The conference is organized by the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and the Office for Initiatives of Culture and the Arts, UP Diliman.

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