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Migration Revolution

Philippine Nationhood and Class Relations in a Globalized Age

Filomeno V. Aguilar, Jr.

Publication Year: 2014

Since the 1960s, overseas migration has become a major factor in the economy of the Philippines. It has also profoundly influenced the sense of nationhood of both migrants and nonmigrants. Migrant workers learned to view their home country as part of a plural world of nations, and they shaped a new sort of Filipino identity while appropriating the modernity of the outside world, where at least for a while they operated as insiders. The global nomadism of Filipino workers brought about some fundamental reorientations. It revolutionized Philippine society, reignited a sense of nationhood, imposed new demands on the state, reconfigured the class structure, and transnationalized class and other social relations, even as it deterritorialized the state and impacted the destinations of migrant workers. Philippine foreign policy now takes surprising turns in consideration of migrant workers and Filipinos living abroad. Many tertiary education institutions aim deliberately at the overseas employability of local graduates. And the “Fil-foreign” offspring of unions with partners from other nationalities add a new inflection to Filipino identity.

Published by: NUS Press Pte Ltd

Half Title, Full Title, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

For the precious opportunity to finally sit down and work on this collection of papers, I am most grateful to the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University, which awarded me a visiting research fellowship that I enjoyed from 1 August 2010 to 31 January 2011, and the Ateneo de Manila University, which granted me a sabbatical leave...

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pp. 1-23

Overseas migration has revolutionized the Philippines. As argued in this book, migration has transformed the country in fundamental ways. It has had a profound impact on the sense of nationhood of both migrants and nonmigrants in the Philippines as an origin country, as well as in the destinations of migrants. In a country that, until the 1960s, had ...

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Chapter 1: Manilamen and Seafaring: Engaging the Maritime World beyond the Spanish Realm

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pp. 24-52

Seafarers from the Philippines, who number over 340,000, constitute one of the largest national groups in global merchant seafaring today, employed mostly on various types of tankers, passenger cruise liners, bulk carriers, and container ships. About 24 per cent of them hold officer positions, 37 per cent are ratings, while 39 per cent are classified as...

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Chapter 2: Old Forms of Labor and New Transnational Class Relations in Globalization

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pp. 53-82

Globalization is old, but as the grand narrative of our time it is new. More than at any other historical period, the interconnectedness of other- wise distant and disparate parts and places in the world is widely recog- nized. Social relations, networks, institutions, and other social formations are at present consciously structured and nurtured with the spherical...

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Chapter 3: The Dialectics of Transnational Shame and National Identity

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pp. 83-126

Better opportunities in a new place, separation from family and community, marital dissolution and remarriage, emotional attachment between server and served: these themes could well be those of today’s overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)—or, as they were known until the 1990s, overseas contract workers (OCWs)—and the statements cited...

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Chapter 4: Ritual Passage and the Making of Labor Migrant Subjectivities

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pp. 127-169

The immigration card used by the Philippines is probably unique in containing a section where Filipino migrant workers are asked to indi- cate their Overseas Contract Worker Number as issued to them by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. Although many labor migrants are devoid of proper documentation and so do not possess a serial number, overseas employment as an activity has been subsumed...

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Chapter 5: Is There a Transnation? Migrancy and the Homeland among Overseas Filipinos

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pp. 170-200

Since the 1990s, the political-symbolic relationship of immigrants to their homelands has been rearticulated in the direction aptly described by Khachig Tölölyan (1996: 19) as “the proliferation and valorization of diasporas.” This trend has been occurring in the context of accelerated mass migrations, the sensation of time-space compression generated by global telecommunications technologies, and the questioning of the...

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Chapter 6: The Triumph of Instrumental Citizenship? Migrations, Identities, and the Nation-State in Southeast Asia

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pp. 201-230

Signaled by its present-day interchangeability with “nationality,” the concept of “citizenship” in the modern nation-state is not without ambi- guities, tensions, and contradictions. Since the 1980s its meaning in Western political systems has been debated even as it has acquired re- newed prominence on the political agenda in Europe due to the partial...

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Chapter 7: Amending the National Narrative: Political Transnationalism and the State’s Reincorporation of Overseas Filipinos

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pp. 231-244

No one would have anticipated that the Philippines would allow dual citizenship when the legitimacy-seeking martial law regime of President Ferdinand E. Marcos established the Balikbayan Program in 1973 and, a short time later, launched a labor-export policy with the adoption of a new labor code in 1974 as a stopgap measure to deal with unemployment. In hindsight, these were the beginnings of the Philippine state’s...


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pp. 245-280


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pp. 281-294

Kyoto Series

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p. 295-295

E-ISBN-13: 9789971698027
Print-ISBN-13: 9789971697815

Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2014

Edition: New