Theoretical Analysis of Narrative of Migration - example of a Philippine immigrant to the UK.

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Theoretical Analysis of Narrative of Migration

Hannah is a migrant from Philippines who came to UK in 1985. This analysis will review the original narrative of migration and determine the topics that will be examined in depth. In addition, the analysis will explore the historical and socio-cultural aspects of Philippine migration and the formation of Filipino diaspora in the UK. The concept of identity and the idea of homeland and hostland will be analysed in the context of diaspora community. Furthermore, this analysis will reflect on the issues related to cross-cultural transmission of values and identify the influence of diaspora communities in contemporary British society.

Hannah migrated to UK together with her mother and three brothers as dependents of the father who came few years earlier for employment in London. According to available data of Philippine Embassy in London (PEL), there are approximately 250,000 Filipino migrants in the UK (PEL, 2011a). However, the original narrative lacks detailed description of the Filipino diaspora in the UK to support a conclusive definition of this community. This analysis will review all available information from the narrative and other data gathered about the history of Philippine migration to UK.

The first wave of Filipino labour migration took place from 1900 to early 1940s with USA as main destination (Gonzales 1998, p.26). The second wave was from 1940s to early 1970s. After World War II, Filipino war veterans and their families, business people and specialists such as medical personnel or engineers left their devastated country and migrated to Canada, West Europe or the USA (Gonzales 1998, p.30). Political and economic instability in the Philippines at the end of the 1960s, caused by corruption as well as declaration of martial law in 1972 by President Ferdinand Marcos, influenced more decisions to migrate. It was chiefly the urban middle class who migrated primarily to the USA but European countries during the 1960s and 1970s also became destinations to Philippine migration (Gonzales 1998, p.31). The third wave of mainly temporary migrant followed the energy crisis of 1973-74. The Philippines was hard-hit by the crisis and thousands lost their jobs in the economic turmoil (Gonzales 1998, p.33). With high demand for workers by oil-exporting countries in the Gulf, the Philippine government saw an opportunity to solve the problem of unemployment (Gonzales 1996, p.301). The temporary labour migration was encouraged by the government and viewed as source of foreign exchange that would relieve the balance of payments deficits of the Philippines (Carino 1992, p.6). In 1975-1983, about 90 percent of Filipino contract workers were in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates. This changed again in the 1980s with the rise of fast-developing Asian countries such as HongKong, Taiwan and Singapore (Opiniano 2004, p.5). Instead of construction workers, there was an increased demand for domestic servants during this period with jobs mostly filled by women.

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This third wave carried the Philippine migration to Europe, especially in households and hotel business (Gonzales 1998, p.35). Hannah’s father came to the UK in the early 1980s as part of this wave. With the historical and demographic description of the Filipino diaspora in the UK, it is easy to conclude that Filipinos came and settled in UK primarily for economic reasons and therefore considered as labour diaspora (Cohen 2008, p.7, 18).

Domestic and hotel work were the most common jobs for Filipinos who came in late 70s and early 80s.  However, the identity of Filipino diaspora in ...

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