“Representing our culinary heritage opened global opportunities” (Singapore)

Business, Gene Gutierrez tells me, is done with the heart. “Even before the golden age of Corporate Social Responsibility, my grandfather taught me well that one’s business would not exist without the people who benefit from it,” says Gutierrez. “There must always be a balance between the existence of your business and your presence in the community.” A former overseas Filipino worker, Gutierrez had already … Continue reading “Representing our culinary heritage opened global opportunities” (Singapore)

Five books for your OFW family

 There’s nothing like the gift of a good book. Few presents are as intimate and heartfelt than a recommended novel or memoir, especially when it comes from those dearest to you. Particularly, when a story is resonant and powerful, it will take no more than a couple hundred pages to change a person’s life.     For overseas Filipinos workers (OFW), what will inevitably resonate … Continue reading Five books for your OFW family

Jessica Zafra on Fil-Am republicans, malling in Italy, and the great diaspora

The overseas Filipino experience is unlike any other, and Jessica Zafra knows it.   “We’re all over the place” the author tells Overseas Filipino, who had launched late October a memoir entitled Twisted Travels: Rambles Central Europe. “The Philippine diaspora is different because, you take somebody who is Indian—they have a strong cultural background that they travel with. So everywhere they go, they’re Indian. For … Continue reading Jessica Zafra on Fil-Am republicans, malling in Italy, and the great diaspora

Films that Capture Alienation Overseas

When you uproot life for opportunity abroad, struggle will be inevitable. You are the farthest you have ever been from home. People’s faces, the highways and avenues—they are all alien to your senses. The barriers to communication are legion. To boot, the threat of racism, exploitation, and hate crimes fester in the back of your mind. As if the toil of earning a buck wasn’t … Continue reading Films that Capture Alienation Overseas

Does Kelsey Merritt represent the Filipina?

For too long, Asian women have clamored for representation in the media. Pretty much everywhere else, too—in literature, arts, and, with the case of one Kelsey Merritt, even in international lingerie catwalks. In recent years, there has been progress. Hollywood blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians featured strong women, and even had Kris Aquino as Cambodian royalty. With this November’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion show, many rejoiced when … Continue reading Does Kelsey Merritt represent the Filipina?

For this filmmaker, cataloguing Pinoy mythology enriches his Fil-Can daughter

When Jordan Clark began studying Philippine folklore, there was, he says, a dearth in information. Clark, a Canadian filmmaker, laments that the literature then—this was 2004—were “recycled” from Maximo Ramos, an author renowned for his books on Philippine mythology. Galvanized, Clark began production of a documentary that sought to answer an age-old Filipino question: what is an aswang? His The Aswang Phenomenon had a short … Continue reading For this filmmaker, cataloguing Pinoy mythology enriches his Fil-Can daughter

A nation among nations

There are more than 10 million Filipinos living around the world. That’s more than the populations of Kuwait, Qatar, and the whole United Arab Emirates. That’s more than Denmark’s, Sweden’s, Finland’s, Norway’s, and the slew of other Nordic and Slavic nations. That’s more than the counts of our neighbors Singapore, Hongkong, and Brunei. Think about that for a moment. The number of us out there … Continue reading A nation among nations