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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The mission of Alon is to provide an on-line forum for publishing original and refereed essays, artwork, reviews, and moderated reflections that productively and critically engage with Filipinx American and Filipinx Diasporic Studies. Through Alon, we aim to generate and showcase works that positively engage with and critically analyze key questions in the production of knowledges regarding Filipinx Americans and Filipinx diasporic subjects: how are Filipinx bodies represented across multiple forms of media and in what ways do Filipinx people cultivate and create identities and subjectivities to counter these representations? What are the experiences of Filipinx migrants and what about these experiences shed light on the nature of global racial capitalism? How do they imagine and organize toward non-extractive, sustainable futures? How do Filipinx people construct an alternative global archipelago of being and belonging? How are these fields’ particular theoretical and methodological approaches rooted in scholarly production and activism? How are these projects linked with attempts to trace interracial solidarites, as fraught as they may be, to disrupt racial capitalism’s impulse to both homogenize and propagate “multicultural” difference? These and other related questions drive the work behind and in front of Alon.

Alon seeks submissions from those who are engaged in fields that include, but not limited to: Filipinx Studies, Philippine Studies, Filipinx American Studies, Asian American Studies, Asian Studies, Ethnic Studies, Diaspora/Transnationalism Studies, Gender Studies, Sexuality Studies, Cultural Studies, Literature, and the Visual and Performing Arts.

ALON Volume I Issue I

Issue cover


The Politics of Visibility and the Politics of Appearances: Filipina Migrant Consumer Power and Its Limits

This article examines the way Sundays at Lucky Plaza Singapore are an anomaly where conceptual hierarchies are temporarily turned upside down, albeit only one day a week. It is divided into two themes—the politics of visibility and the politics of appearances—illustrating how Filipina domestic workers have been able to demonstrate consumer power and reject society’s attempts to fashion them into invisible minorities and unattractive women. Deriving theoretical inspiration from historians writing about Early Modern Europe, this study reveals how carnival and misrule can unsettle social hierarchies temporarily as well as initiate social change despite the limits of consumer power.

The “Ideal” Female Migrant as Grateful and Uncomplaining: Gendered Colonial Ideologies, Pre-Departure Orientation Sessions, and the #ungrateful Filipina

Filipinos have internalized colonial mindsets that equate the maintenance of “Filipino values” with adhering to gendered colonial ideologies. By using the examples of mandatory pre-departure orientation sessions (PDOS) and posts within transnational diasporic Filipino social networking sites, I show how discourses emerging from both the Philippine state and the diasporic Filipino community extol the virtues of the “grateful” and “uncomplaining” Filipina labour migrant. Ultimately, I argue that before the Filipino transnational migrant community can begin the process of decolonization, it is important to recognize how colonial ideologies themselves are deeply gendered.

Filipino Formal Caregivers to the Elderly and Normalized Exploitation in the Workplace

The goal of this exploratory study was examine formal Filipino/a caregivers' sociocultural contexts in working as caregivers for the elderly and its impacts on their health. As the demand for care workers for the aging Baby Boomer generation grows in the United States, Filipinos/as migrant workers are among the ethnic migrants who answer this call. In a mixed-methods study, we find that Filipino/a formal caregivers normalize exploitation in their work with elderly patients because of sociocultural contexts that include transnational financial obligations to their families in the Philippines. Caregivers’ health outcomes relies on their ability to mediate various social contexts.

“Anti-Marcos Filipinos” and Other Anti-Imperialist Diasporas: The Solidarity Politics of the Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes’s (CJDV)

This article examines the solidarity politics of the Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes (CJDV), a legal defense committee organized in the wake of the June 1, 1981 political assassinations of two Filipinx-American trade unionists and solidarity activists, Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes. Specifically, I examine the ways CJDV activists consistently linked the tragic deaths Domingo and Viernes to a pattern of political repression faced by not only “anti-Marcos Filipinos,” but also Latin American, Haitian, and Palestinian solidarity activists in the U.S. In order to theorized this broader community of struggle, I develop the concept of “anti-imperialist diasporas.”