About the Conference

The proto historic polities of what is now the Philippines share a history of trade and friendly relations with China dating back more than a thousand years [first tribute mission is 1003]. One of the most enduring examples of this relationship is the historic journey of the Sultan of Sulu, Paduka Batara, to pay tribute to Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty in 1417. In this episode, Paduka Batara and Emperor Yongle strengthened the ties of their kingdoms and their subjects. On the journey home, Paduka Batara fell ill and died in Dezhou. The Emperor honored him with a royal title and tomb, where it still stands today.

This conference commemorates the 600th anniversary of this historical voyage, and seeks to promote research and discussion of Philippines and China relations.

Conference Organizers

Confucius Institute at the Ateneo de Manila
University Philippines Association for Chinese Studies
Kaisa Heritage Center
Ateneo de Manila University Department of History
Dezhou University
University of the Philippines Institute of Islamic Studies

Conference Topics

All related topics are welcome. In general, however, possible topics are organized within four major themes: Contexts, Connections, Continuities., and Bond of the History and Reality.

  1. Contexts 
    • Prehispanic history of relations between Sulu/Southern Philippines and China
    • Story of the Sultan, his voyage, and death
    • Zheng He’s voyage and Chinese navigation 15th and 16th century beyond Chinese empires: impact on the Philippines and on Sulu in particular
    • Material culture and heritage (e.g. tombs and museums) – legacy of the Sulu Sultan’s voyage to China.
  2. Connections
    • Barter system and Trading networks – Sulu and China in pre-hispanic times
    •  Tributary systemand Alliance building – Sulu Sultanateand China          
    • Sulu in ancient Chinese maps, records and literature
    • Muslims in China
  3. Continuities
    • Relations between Sulu and China after the Sultan’s death
    • Descendants in China and in the Philippines: culture, religion, and identity
    • Official visit of Chinese descendants to the Philippines in 2005 and official return visit of Philippine descendants to China in 2006
    • Sino-Sulu Trade and Relations in the Qing Dynasty and beyond
    • Potential role of China in improving maritime security in Sulu Sea
  4. Bond of the history and reality: Phil-Chin community with a common future
  5. Other related topics

Proposal Requirement

This conference welcomes papers from scholars from all over the world who are doing research on Chinese and Philippine histories related to this voyage and beyond. Suggested topics are listed above. The conference language will be English (Chinese translation can be provided, if any).

Paper proposals should include a 300-word abstract, a 150-word personal bio and a Curriculum Vitae (CV) of no more than two pages with your email address and phone number included. Abstracts, personal bios and CVs should be sent in a single MS Word document using the following format: Times New Roman, 12pt, line spacing 1 and margins top & bottom: 2, left & right: 2.5. References, tables and figures are acceptable in the papers. Please send your papers to conference@ateneoconfucius.com.

If any more questions, please send an email to conference@ateneoconfucius.com or contact
Mr. Cris Garcia at +6328944513 for further enquiry.

Dates to Remember

  • Deadline of submissions: July 15, 2017
  • Acceptance notification: August 5, 2017
  • Deadline to confirm your participation: September 5, 2017
  • Deadline for final paper: November 5, 2017
  • Conference dates: November 24-25, 2017