Tag Archives: philippines

Marines carry an injured Filipino woman on a stretcher for medical attention, assisted by a Philippine Air Force airman at Vilamore Air Base, Manila, Republic of the Philippines Nov. 11, 2013. Super Typhoon Haiyan has impacted more than 4.2 million people across 36 provinces in the Philippines, according to the Philippine government's national disaster risk reduction and management council. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Caleb Hoover)

Help the Philippines from Here

Help the Philippines from Here

University President, the Reverend Stephen A. Privett, S.J., emailed the USF community on Monday in response to requests asking how to help victims of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Authorities estimate that over 10,000 people have been killed by the storm, which struck the Philippines last Friday.

USF’s University Ministry, Yuchengco Philippine Studies, and the St. Ignatius Institute are accepting monetary donations that will be forwarded directly to the Ateneo de Manila, a Jesuit university in the Philippines, to support its relief work with those affected by the tragedy, wrote Father Privett.

Any checks should be made out to: Ateneo de Manila Jesuit Relief Organization.

In addition, students can make Flexi donations through USF’s Filipino-American Student Organization, Kasamahan. Kasamahan will be tabling on UC 1st floor to raise funds for the victims next Tuesday November 19th, 11:45-1:30.

Outside of USF, Students can also donate through the mGive Foundation, a mobile giving organization, by texting AID to 80108 to give a $10 donation to the organization’s Philippines Typhoon Disaster Relief Fund. Charges will appear on the user’s wireless bill or will be deducted from a prepaid balance. Text STOP to 80108 to stop or HELP for assistance.

“Let us keep our Philippine brothers and sisters who have suffered the loss of loved ones, homes and livelihood in our thoughts and prayers,” Father Privett said.

Professor’s Research Highlights Nurturing of Families through Facebook and Skype

Over four thousand Filipino migrant workers leave the Philippines every day, of which 60% are women, according to the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns. Yet popular social networking services, primarily Skype and Facebook, have bridged relationships between Filipina migrants and their families left behind in the Philippines.

These unique dynamics have driven sociology professor Valerie Francisco’s research on Filipino transnational families. “The Philippine state actually encourages, manages, and regulates migration from its shores. It ensures that there is this historic and institutionalized way the people are leaving the country,” she said.
Last Tuesday Francisco presented her dissertation, “Skype Mothers and Facebook Daughters: How Technology is Transforming Care Work in Transnational Families,” which examined how family roles are renegotiated with new technology as a result of globalization.

While transnational families create bonds through Skype and Facebook, globalization releases rapid advancements in technology while producing massive, international migration, Francisco said.

In the past, migrant workers would only communicate with their families through phone calls, but Skype allows families to be visually present with one another. Skype also serves as a surveillance tool that enables mothers to supervise the household.

Vicki, a migrant worker Francisco interviewed in New York, used Skype to teach her husband, Maurice, who lives in the Philippines, how to get their kids ready for school and how to do chores.

“He could choose not to turn on Skype,” Francisco said, “but he turns it on because it gives Vicki an enormous amount of relief to be able to communicate with him in that way.”

While video chatting may ease the distance, junior student Jade Batstone said, “It’s not [Filipino women] becoming the patriarch. As a mother, they also have to provide money but they have to do all the traditional roles like nurturing and care.”
Although Filipina migrants are mothers, sisters and daughters who often work as caregivers for other families, Francisco discovered that buying a web camera is a popular purchase made by many of these women’s first paychecks.

The sociology professor’s research shows Facebook provides opportunities to build on friendships and intimacy with migrants and their children. Francisco referred to 16 year-old Maya from the Philippines, who taught her mother residing in Brooklyn how to play Facebook games. “The teaching becomes a form of care work that Maya internalizes, that she’s doing for her mom,” Francisco said.

Mothers can also use Facebook as surveillance on their families. Althea, the daughter of a migrant, told Francisco that she enables privacy settings with her posts to avoid her mom’s comments. While Facebook may provide a form of building relationships across distances, the popular social networking site can also create invisible boundaries between mothers and daughters.

Francisco conducted her research between Queens, New York and the Philippines from 2008 to 2011 as a doctoral candidate at City University of New York. She gained deep insight to the experiences from migrants and non-migrants, many of which required using pseudonyms to disguise the families she researched.
The professor clarified she was not promoting the commercialization of either social networking site through her study.

“This isn’t an advertisement for Facebook or Skype. These are impressive and innovative strategies that these families are creating, but they have to be apart to do them,” Francisco said.

Freshman student Angie Miramontes paralleled the case of Filipino transnational families with Mexican mothers she knows from her hometown of Riverside, California. Similarly, mothers leave Mexico to work in the United States and send money back to their families.

“The whole technology part of it is a point all of us need to start thinking about. It was really interesting to see how transnational families, people who are so far away from each other, can still maintain a relationship and still feel that intimacy without even being there,” said Miramontes.

This event was co-sponsored by the Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program, Asian American Studies, and the International Studies department.

New Study Abroad Option in the Philippines: Casa Bayanihan

Courtesy of Evelyn Obamos

Courtesy of Evelyn Obamos

Nothing falls short for a student to take learning to another level at USF. Why not take a leap into the unknown and come back with a new perspective next semester.

USF, in collaboration with The Casa Educational Network, is offering a semester abroad called Casa Bayanihan, which translates to house cooperative endeavor.

Casa Bayanihan invites participants to a unique life zest, some may not be familiar with, but may be curious to discover without reading from a book. The quest requires a trip across the pacific to the Jesuit Ateneo de Manila University.

Through the program, USF students will be immersed into a supportive living-learning community founded on pillars of accompaniment, spirituality, and academics in the Philippines.

Currently there is one USF student officially registered for the program. Three other USF students await application approval from the two Co-Directors, Grace Carlson and Heidi Kallen. Four other students, from different Jesuit universities in the United States, will also be attending, totaling eight for the semester if all students are accepted.

Sharon Li, director of the Center for Global Education said, “The new deadline is set for December, 2nd due to the exciting scholarship notice that came out recently.”

An anonymous donation will provide a scholarship that covers 12 to 18 units of tuition, plus room and board.
“Students need to be in the Philippines before January 23rd for the first day of class and return May 23rd .”

Regarding what makes this study abroad program unique, Li said, “The program really does foster transformation… It’s a different type of challenge because students are participating in communal living, group activities, and students have to be willing to participate.”

Elaborating on the types of group activities, Li said students can expect to take part in cooking, cleaning, team building, and group reflections quite frequently.

Li also emphasized the wellness of students, discussing what students have gained from the experience. One anecdote a student shared with Li was spending the weekend traveling to the outskirts where students communed with indigenous people.
“Students have expressed a deeper sense of humility and compassion, but also a sense of serving the community even more after returning home,” Li said.

Having the chance to study under nontraditional circumstances offers many opportunities. Students can dive into a rich culture—have a chance to be a part of a community, work through challenges, and come back to serve in their own communities.
Senior Evelyn Obamos attended a shorter eight week Philippines summer program in 2010. She said one of the reasons that motivated her was her desire to explore her Filipino roots.

Quoting Filipino reform advocate, Jose Rizal, Obamos said, “S/He who does not know how to look back at where he or she came from will never get to her/his destination.”

Obamos added, “I wanted to dig deep into my Filipino roots. As a second-generation Filipino there were some gaps between my culture and identity that I was trying to bridge…the opportunity presented itself perfectly and I was able to get financial support for it.”

On her identification as Filipino-American, Obamos said she finds her story similar to other ethnic backgrounds.
“There are several layers to cultural identity. We have our individual culture that’s in our blood, and there is the culture around us that’s nurtured through assimilation.

Being able to bridge the two is still something I’m learning how to do…Everybody shares a common struggle of discovering who they are,” Obamos said.

Casa Bayanihan is a method to accompany students on that journey.

For more detailed information on the course syllabus and application process for Casa Bayanihan visit http://www.scu.edu/casa/bayanihan/.