Harnessing Altruism Towards Social Development: The Filipino-Australian Women Experience

Jabal, Gregorio Jr.
Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Manila, Philippines

ABSTRACT

Today’s phenomenon of marriage migration is one of the issues among women, particularly in the developing nations. The Filipino women are among them who struggled for empowerment to transpire their inseparable role in the social development processes. The journey to life of the Filipino-Australian women in Australia created an atmosphere of social security which they congruently share for the well-being of less-fortunate fellow Filipinos.

Phenomenology, as a research approach, was used to conduct the study. Ten Filipino-Australian women married to Australian nationals were the subject-objects of the research (co-researchers). The narratives of their lived-experiences were the main source of data. Individual interviews, focus group discussion (FGD), direct observations through immersion activities, reflections (analyses) and identifying common themes were the processes done to cull out eidetic insights from which the implications (opportunities), conclusions (recommendations) were grounded and established. This natural attitude explicates phenomenology as a human approach of finding facts and meanings based on the actual experiences of people involved in the research.

The profound concern for social development by these Filipino women in the Diaspora marks a significant contribution to the understanding and perceptions of marriage migration. Factors encompassing such developmental processes evolve from but not limited to spirituality, empathy and poverty experiences. Helping, as a vein of human and social development, is an attitude, a character, and a calling. It stretches empowerment and capability-building that transforms lives of both the helper and the recipients.

The Philippine government through its Posts abroad, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) must further advance and intensify their partnership with the Overseas Filipinos and act as reliable cohorts in their commitment to social development in their homeland.

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