Marketing Dreams, Manufacturing Heroes: The Transnational Labor Brokering of Filipino Workers

By Anna Romina Guevarra | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Delivering “Our Contribution
to the World”

Our government seems overly focused in happily
punishing the recruitment agencies. I can’t blame them.
There are those who abuse [their privileges and the
law] and this has created a bad reputation for the
overseas employment providers. What happens is that
when we provide good employment opportunities for
a thousand, there will be one casualty—a sad story or
one unfortunate incident that happens. But as a result,
the benefit of the one thousand is overshadowed by
this one incident.

—Victor Fernandez Jr., president of the
Philippine Association of Service Exporters Inc.

ON JANUARY 17, 2002, the usual hustle and bustle of Malate, one of Manila’s busiest districts, was interrupted by a crowd of men and women who marched through its streets. Beginning at Malate Church and ending in the historic Intramuros, the marchers forged through the unruliness of the everyday traffic, hopeful that their umbrellas and bandanas would protect them from the oppressive sun of a typical humid Manila afternoon.1 They were certainly much braver than I, whose participant observation of this event was interrupted by momentary escapes to a nearby air-conditioned coffee shop, where I waited for the main event to unfold. Tightly huddled together, the marchers advanced quietly but in solidarity, determined to reach their final destination, the Philippine Department of Labor Employment (DOLE) office. Mostly dressed in black, the marchers presented a mysterious image to the increasingly curious public that they passed, who compared their gathering to a funeral procession. Even some of the DOLE guards jokingly asked among themselves, “Did anyone die?” The two

-87-

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Marketing Dreams, Manufacturing Heroes: The Transnational Labor Brokering of Filipino Workers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Abbreviations xvii
  • Chapter 1 - Home of the Great Filipino Worker 1
  • Chapter 2 - Cultivating a Filipino Ethos of Labor Migration 21
  • Chapter 3 - Governing and (Dis)Empowering Filipino Migrants 50
  • Chapter 4 - Delivering "Our Contribution to the World" 87
  • Chapter 5 - Selling Filipinas’ Added Export Value 123
  • Chapter 6 - Living the Dream 155
  • Chapter 7 - Securing Their Added Export Value 178
  • Chapter 8 - Conclusion 204
  • Notes 211
  • References 225
  • Index 235
  • About the Author 253
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