The study involves the reading and interpretation of narratives of Filipino diasporic who may be Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) or contract workers, returnee OFWs, migrant Filipino workers who converted to permanent residency and/or on to citizenship of the receiving countries. The narratives come mostly from the Philippine radio program "Serbisyong OFW" which is aired every Monday and Friday on Philippine radio station 702 DZAS. The rest of the narratives come from off-radio stories shared with this researcher. The study is part of a growing discourse on OFWs who now come close to 11 million strong workforce found in countries in the Middle East, in Southeast and Fareast Asia, in Europe, in the United States of America, in New Zealand and in Australia. The study focuses on the chronotopic function in aforesaid narratives of "ibayong dagat" or the land beyond the seas, that is, the receiving countries of Filipino workers. Specifically, the study evokes the image of "ibayong dagat", at once real and imaginary space whose temporal reality has grown dense with stories that have accumulated through time, thus inviting some organizing principle or, at least, a collective nomenclature. It focuses on the recurrent themes unique to the narrators' space-time realities - themes of fragmentation, struggle, adaptation, accomplishment, including negotiated tension and sadness that resonate in the narrative lacuna. Informed of culture-specific nuances, the study has polysemic potentials for further research.
Susan Refalda-Mercaida, University of Santo Tomas, The Philippines
Stream: Cultural Studies
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