Many Filipino Americans feel obligated to give charitably to their families, their communities, or social development projects and organizations back home. Their contributions provide relief to poor or vulnerable Filipinos, and address the forces that maintain poverty, vulnerability, and exploitative relationships in the Philippines. This philanthropy is a result of both economic globalization and the migration of Filipino professionals to the United States. But it is also central to the moral economies of Filipino migration, immigration, and diasporic return. Giving-related practices and concerns—and the bonds maintained through giving—infuse what it means to be Filipino in America.
Giving Back shows how integral this system is for understanding Filipino diaspora formation. Joyce Mariano “follows the money” to investigate the cultural, social, economic, and political conditions of diaspora giving. She takes an interdisciplinary approach to reveal how power operates through this charity and the ways the global economic and cultural dimensions of this practice reinforce racial subordination and neocolonialism. Giving Back explores how this charity can stabilize overlapping systems of inequality as well as the contradictions of corporate social responsibility programs in diaspora.