HomeGood InspirationA bright future for Philippine Studies at York University

A bright future for Philippine Studies at York University

Philippine Studies York University
York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton with Orontes V. Castro, Philippine consul general. Featured image by Alex Felipe.

York University received a historic donation of 5 million pesos from the Philippine government on November 2022. The first of its kind in Canada where a Canadian institution received funding directly from the Philippine government.

Studies of the Philippines and the Filipino diaspora in Canada are well known at York University. The Philippine Studies Group at York University, a division of the York Centre for Asian Research, will sponsor several projects throughout the course of the following year with complete academic autonomy and discretion over the activities’ objectives and outcomes.

Researchers and community organizations from Canada will participate in these, and academics, artists, activists, and journalists from the Philippines will engage in visits. Additionally, the funding will promote academic ties between Canada and the Philippines, expand the collection of research materials on the Philippines in the York libraries, and support faculty and student research in the country.

The Philippines’ direct financing commitment to York University is the first and only Canadian university to receive it for educational cooperation activities exclusively for Philippine initiatives programming. The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London and New York University in New York City are two other esteemed institutions it joins in this agreement from the Philippine government.

York University Director of Global Engagement Programs & Partnerships at York is a proud Filipino! Renchilina Supan and Qjiel Mariano with Ms. Helen Balderama.

Helen Balderama, director, of global engagement programs & partnerships at York International, recently visited the Philippines as part of her business trip to Thailand for YorkU. “The Philippines is one of York University’s most important confidants as there is a thriving community of Filipinos in York University.” she shared during our simple get-together at Makati.

To ensure that the Philippines and its diaspora are fully represented in the university’s academic programming at York, the Philippine Studies Group is working toward a full range of undergraduate and graduate courses, language instruction, field trips, summer institutes, community collaborations, and cultural and artistic productions.

Some initiatives recently enacted are language studies subsidies and graduate student stipends which offer 4,500 CAD and 8000 CAD respectively to Canadian students engaging in Filipino research. An ongoing call for excellence in Philippine Studies/Filipinx Diaspora studies which offers numerous prizes is available until the end of May 2023.

York University community with the Philippine government representatives. This image by Alex Felipe

The Philippine Studies program at York University bases its research on the idea of Pakikipagkapwa, which emphasizes respect for others and uses participatory methods for organizing, creating, and doing research. One of Canada’s largest centers for Filipino studies, the organization pledges to work on anti-racism, decolonization, social justice, and deeply diverse, and equitable programming. You may email philippinestudiesgroup@yorku.ca for any inquiries.

READ MORE from Qjiel Mariano here:

Qjiel Mariano is the newest Good News Pilipinas columnist. The York University Global Health student was selected to join the Clinton Global Initiative Class, awarded the George H.W. Bush Inspiration Honors, and named Education Hero by Youth Service America.

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Qjiel Mariano
Qjiel Mariano
Qjiel Mariano is a Youth Council Member of the Joint SDG Fund and a Global Public Health advocate from the Philippines. He is passionate about amplifying the voices of young people and bridging opportunities for them to contribute to the greater good. Like every other youth, he enjoys anime, pop culture, food, and sitcoms. His favorite quote is by sir Allen Saraza “Sa bawat padayon, huwag kalimutan mag-pahuway” which translates to "Whenever you keep going, do not forget to rest.”

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