Making a Middle Path
The Philippine state is a key mediator in the global labor market for voice. Colonization by Spain and the United States generated what the scholar Walden Bello calls an “anti-development state.” Catholic ideology limits women’s’ reproductive choices, while a migrant labor policy sends the country’s best and brightest abroad to work and remit money back home. For ordinary Filipinos who finish college, the result is a bifurcated choice: leave the country to find prosperity or stay at home and live in poverty. The megacity of Manila is where so many Filipinos find themselves negotiating this difficult fork in the road.
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