The Filipino Migration Experience: Global Agents of Change

Mina Roces

2022 Winner

The Filipino Migration Experience: Global Agents of Change

Judges' comments 

In The Filipino Migration Experience, Mina Roces enticingly conjures up the life worlds of the immense transnational Filipino diaspora, artfully drawing together oral testimony, archival sources, memoirs and her personal experience. Roces combines historical narrative with sociological insight, showing how Filipinos ventured into the wider world and adapted to their new, often trying, situations — sometimes languishing, sometimes thriving. This is multi-sited, comparative history at its best, where social history meets human geography.   

Spanning half a century, and the culmination of decades of reflection on human displacement and dislocation, The Filipino Migration Experience immerses us in the lives and struggles of dispersed communities, families, workers and activists, taking us from the Philippines to the United States, Europe, East Asia and Australasia. Roces dispels the assumption that Filipinos abroad are simply disenfranchised labourers. Instead, she opens a vista of community-building, identity re-formation and advocacy for change.

A work that superbly balances shrewdness, empathy and generosity, The Filipino Migration Experience is a history of our present, in that it helps us see current patterns of social life in a new light, illuminating their full complexity. In composing this model of transnational history, Roces gives voice to multiple migrant communities, thereby transforming our understanding of how we move about and resettle—indeed, of how we globalise, and how we might do better.

Updated on 23 February 2024