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

Thanks to a stunning design “inspired by the Buddhist deity of diseases and epidemics,” the UP Asian Center brought home 3rd place at the University of the Philippines Diliman’s annual Lantern Parade held on 21 December 2021.
Titled “Hilom” (Healing), the winning lantern was presented through a video, which was accompanied by a voice-over that explains its medium and meaning.
Composed of various layers, the medium of the piece signifying depth and diversity in Asia, also represents the depth and diversity in the UP Diliman community, which, when working together, forms a picture. Out of these layers, the image of a deity, a goddess emerges. Dressed in leaves which is said to symbolize her connection with nature and healing, the goddess is inspired by the Buddhist deity of diseases and epidemics, Parnashavari, known to heal injuries, wounds, and various kinds of sicknesses.
From her chest, bursting with light, grows five leaves which symbolizes the five beloved members of the Asian Center that passed during the pandemic. According to Asian cultures, death is part of nature, however it also symbolizes metamorphosis and transformation, from the heavy and ugly reality, the soul is unleashed to the beauty and delight of paradise in the spiritual world embodied by the butterflies that radiates from the piece.

Hilom SL03
Hilom SL02

Conceptualized by Miccah Frayna (Office of the Dean) and executed by the Asian Center staff, the Hilom lantern was made using recycled Sintra board, used illustration boards, newspapers, old colored papers, twines, LED lights, glue and recycled wood. Danae Pantano of the Research Office penned the accompanying write-up, and the video used the track, A Sudden Gust of Wind, by Siddharta Corsus, which was obtained via freemusicarchive.com. Below is the Hilom team.
 Miccah Frayna
Danae Pantano
Frankie Bogoc
Katrina Yap
 Justin de Jesus
 Christian Lleno
JR Sanchez
Arlene Espinola
 Alessandra Guimba
Jonjon Katigbak
Mark Manliclic

The Lantern Parade is held annually at and by the University of the Philippines Diliman. Featuring various lanterns from different offices and colleges, this year’s parade has a theme, "Ugnayan and Pagpupugay," and had a hybrid format, with live hosting at the university grounds and the lanterns shown as video presentations. The program was streamed live on Facebook. You may catch the recording here (Facebook video); scroll to the one hour mark to view the Asian Center's lantern or watch it at our YouTube Channel.

The UP Asian Center offers several area studies programs, including M.A. in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia; and an M.A. program in Philippine Studies, which allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. As a leading area studies institution in the Philippines, the UP Asian Center 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. 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.