Dear members of the UP community:
With heavy hearts, we bid farewell to a stalwart member of our community, UP political science professor and former dean of the UP Asian Center, Dr. Aileen SP Baviera. We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to her bereaved family, friends and colleagues.
Early in the morning of March 21, Dr. Baviera succumbed to severe pneumonia related to COVID-19, which she contracted during a recent trip to France. Upon her arrival in Manila on March 12, Dr. Baviera went straight to San Lazaro Hospital where she was immediately confined and where she remained under quarantine until her passing.
As far as we know, Dr. Baviera is the first UP casualty of COVID-19.
As one of our foremost experts in Philippine foreign policy, international relations, and Asian and China studies, Dr. Baviera was a well-known figure in national and international academic circles and in the Philippine media. She conducted policy research and worked with other experts in the country on the issues of Southeast Asian relations, Philippine relations with China, and national security matters. Her legacy lies not just in the many lessons and writings she has left behind, but in our citizenry’s awareness of our responsibility to seek to understand cultures beyond ours, to build cooperative ties with our fellow Asian countries, and above all, to continue upholding Philippine sovereignty.
To quote from a 2019 essay by Dr. Baviera, which Rappler has recently reprinted: “If one has to take a side, one must take the side of the Filipino people. The Philippines will have only us Filipinos to defend our interests and to promote our welfare.”
Paalam at salamat po, Dr. Aileen. Rest assured, we in UP will continue your work.
Danilo L. Concepcion
University of the Philippines