Asian Studies and Philosophy seniors celebrated the 27th Confucian Night held last Sept. 28 at the Oasis Hotel Manila, San Juan City, seeking to redefine the Confucian gentleman in the modern era.
Department of Interdisciplinary Studies chair Assoc. Prof Lino Baron said Confucius saw himself as a transmitter of tradition, “which is the reason why we have been celebrating Confucian Night for the last 27 years to remember with reverence the teachings left as a legacy by Master Kong.”
Baron also related some of Confucius’ teachings to the qualities of a gentleman which are not present in today’s leaders. “In the Philippines, we have a funny way of putting this: gawa, hindi ngawa. A gentleman would rather work silently and achieve something significant rather than issue press releases to impress or to put it in street language, hindi ma-epal.”
The alumni of the University of Santo Tomas’ Philosophy served as the speakers in the event organized by the Asian Studies Society (ASSOC) and Concilium Philosophiae.
Prof. Mark Kevin Cabural from the National University tackled the Dao in the Analects, classifying it as supreme value and highlighting its importance in education.
Meanwhile, Philosophy instructor Kelly Agra from the University of the Philippines-Baguio discussed the epistemology in Confucianism and said the “real challenge regardless of era” is how a Confucian society would be possible.
Ricardo Gutierrez of UST’s Department of Philosophy focused on the importance of names and critical thinking, whereas Christine Tan also from the National University differentiated ren or the qualitative transformation and the li or the moral right in her paper titled “The Cultured Man as the Noble Man.”
Department of Philosophy Chair Dr. Paolo Bolaños expressed his gratitude to Dr. Alfredo Co, founding chair of the department, who also introduced the annual Confucian Night.
“More than just an event, the Confucian Night is an exercise in dialogue, cooperation and patience,” Bolaños said in his closing remarks.
Concilium Philosophiae President Theresiana Llenos said the event gave them a deeper understanding of the Chinese philosophy. “It’s significant sa amin not just academically but also as an individual.”
ASSOC President Ian Bonsato, on the other hand, said Asian Studies majors attended the event because they are engrossed by the Chinese philosophy which they consider as their roots. F CHRISTIAN DE LANO M. DEIPARINE