I never thought I’d be able to visit Singapore, much less have my work featured in a workshop at the Multinational Migrations: Onward Migration Patterns and … – (ARI) at the National University of Singapore! In these first few days in SG, I’ve done a great deal of exploring–thanks to my cousin, Jamie and her husband, Jeric, Filipino migrants who have been living in Singapore for 8 years.
I’ve been to the local spots in neighborhoods like Little India, Arab Street, Geylang Serai. It’s been an eye-opening experience because of the diversity of Singapore and at the same time the efficiency of public infrastructure here: the public transportation system, car traffic, urban planning, greening of urban spaces. And although, I’m sure there are ways that the capital here in Singapore has displaced different communities (I mean, what global city hasn’t?), its quite a different experience of Asia.
In the next few days, I’ll be presenting my work on Filipino transnational families and care work to the top experts and scholars of migration and transnational worldwide. I’m deeply humbled to participate in this workshop but also a little nervous.
Luckily, I have grounding reminders of why I did and do this work. Above is a picture of Megs, a friend for almost a decade, we were introduced by her mother, who I lovingly call Nanay Emy. Both women have been instrumental in my personal growth but also at the center of my book. Last night we ate together at a hawker center over looking the Bay, Merlion and the Gardens by the Bay. We laughed, called each other sister and i instantly remembered the many families that people my book, my research, my wish to change the very systems that drive them apart.
So, here’s to Singapore, all that I’ve learned so far and all that I will learn before I leave!