Filipino Migrant Woman

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Migration

When the Light of Home is Abroad: Unskilled Female Migration and the Filipino Family

* The article focuses on the Filipino female population migrating to Singapore and the difficulties they face while in their host country. Through interviews and extensive research the authors explore the relationships between Filipino migrant women and their families. The authors state, “Specifically, we explore how migrant women and their family members define and negotiate family ideals, gender identities and family relationships, given the family’s transnational configuration. In other words, with women – regarded as the “light of the home” (ilaw ng tahanan) – away from the family, how is family constituted and family life crafted by its constituent members both at home and abroad?” (Asis, Huang, Yeoh 199).

* The idea of transnational family, having a bond while living in a host country, is interrelated with labour migrants. The authors defines transnational family as, “one where core members are distributed in two or more nation states but continue to share strong bonds of collective welfare and unity – is a strategic response to the changing social, economic and political conditions of a globalizing world” (Asis, Huang, Yeoh 199).

* Female migrants are constantly negotiating their identity and their role in their host countries which leads them to maintain ties through engaging actively or disengaging themselves from their families. Long distance calls from the migrant to the families is an example of active pursuit. The authors describe this constant negotiation of a migrant’s identity as “relativising” (Asis, Huang, Yeoh 200). The concept of “relativising” could also be formed through cultural differences from host countries.

* Philippines, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka are three countries in Southeast Asia which encompass the largest amount of female migration. The authors states, “The Philippines is one of three countries in...
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