(Be)Coming Home, Be(com)ing Bayani: Nostalgia, Emplacement, Everyday Ambivalence, and the Generation of the Third Space in the User-generated Vernacular Videos of Overseas Filipino Workers

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Ramos, S.E.S. (2019). (Be)Coming Home, Be(com)ing Bayani: Nostalgia, Emplacement, Everyday Ambivalence, and the Generation of the Third Space in the User-generated Vernacular Video of Overseas Filipino Workers. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines Diliman College of Mass Communication.

This study is fundamentally focused on understanding the everyday experience of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), as reflected in their user-generated vernacular videos on Youtube. Specifically, I explore how the collision of elements of nostalgia (memories from and of the Philippines) and emplacement (placemaking tactics in their host countries) generates the third space in their everyday narratives. Bhabha (1994) describes the third space as the site of ambivalence resulting from the collision of two clashing cultures or conditions. Because of this ambivalence, the third space becomes the site for a new culture or understanding to emerge, possibly becoming the site of resistance, empowerment, or even emancipation. I employ these characterizations of the third space in my textual analysis of vernacular videos by 10 OFWs.

Anchored upon the apparent tug-of-war among the emergent themes embedded in the video narratives, I situate the OFWs in the third space and in a still-becoming state. For one, the collision of themes involving their national cultural identification point that while they consistently long for the Philippines, they also constantly try to find belonging in their new host countries. This tug-of-war allows us to question the dominant discourse surrounding OFWs. If these vernacular videos point to them as still becoming, what do they have to say about the illusion of an already-definite identity of heroism sponsored by the state and perpetuated by traditional media? In the end, the vernacular videos of OFWs serve a vehicle for OFWs to share their everyday mundane stories that would not have been given attention elsewhere. These vernacular videos carry narratives that could provide a different view on the concepts of home, heroism, provision, suffering, and sacrifice for OFWs.

Keywords: Overseas Filipino Workers, Filipino diaspora, third space, nostalgia, ambivalence, vernacular video.