Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The experience of migration hybridizes the Filipino identity because the necessary adjustments migrants have to undergo allow them to be accustomed to the ways of their adoptive country. This acculturation is somewhat inevitable, since migratory people including Filipinos cannot isolate themselves and consummately preserve their country of origin’s culture. Should they stubbornly insist in doing so, they will be branded as outcasts, as others of the native citizens. While some migrants seem to have succeeded in creating cultural enclaves like Chinatowns for the Chinese and Koreatowns for the Koreans, the success is not necessarily complete, for in some aspects it is contaminated (i.e. the fact that these towns are outer colonies cannot be erased). Because identities cannot possibly remain pure as one migrates, the Filipino identity becomes adulterated and, therefore, less and less (even lost) Filipino.
As a result of the hybridizing effect of the Filipino Diaspora, the Filipinos unintentionally decrease their loyalty to the Filipino nation. They may claim that being away from the country made it only closer to their hearts, but this is just wistfulness for a home that they have left. The in-between-ness of their situation cannot render them fully loyal to the departed country nor to the adoptive one.