In Memoriam: Former UP Asian Center Dean Aileen SP Baviera

| Written by Celeste Ann Castillo Llaneta

Photo from Dr. Baviera’s Facebook page


Dr. Aileen San Pablo-Baviera, UP political science professor, former Dean of the UP Asian Center, and one of the country’s foremost experts in international relations and Asian and China studies, passed away at 3:55 a.m. on March 21, 2020, at San Lazaro Hospital. She was 60 years old.

The cause of her death was severe pneumonia caused by COVID-19, which she contracted during a recent trip to France, according to an announcement made by her daughter, Mayi Baviera, on Facebook.

Dr. Aileen SP Baviera was a well-known resource person and media consultant specializing in contemporary China studies, China-Southeast Asia relations, Asia-Pacific security, territorial and maritime disputes, and regional integration. She was also among the country’s experts on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea who were convened to discuss how to defend the West Philippine Sea against the incursions of China.

Aside from teaching and serving as Dean of the UP Asian Center from 2003 to 2009, she was editor-in-chief of the international journal Asian Politics & Policy. She was also a lecturer at the Foreign Service Institute, National Defense College of the Philippines; President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation, Inc.; member of the Board of Trustees of Economic, Social, Cultural Rights-Asia; Director of the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies; and former convenor of the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies’ Asia Pacific program.

She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service, her master’s degree in Asian Studies (China), and her doctorate degree in political science all from UP.

In UP, she taught courses on the politics, governance, and social and economic development of China; international relations of Southeast Asia; security issues in Asia; regionalism and community building in East Asia; and Philippine foreign relations. She was editor of the book Regional Security in East Asia: Challenges to Cooperation and Community Building (2008), published by the UP Asian Center, and has contributed numerous articles and chapters in books.

She has lectured and held visiting fellowships at various academic and research institutions in Australia, China, Japan, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States.

Dr. Baviera is survived by her children and relatives.