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The introduction challenges previous attempts to analyze the relationship between the Philippines and the United States by arguing that the contemporary configuration of this relationship is complicated by the competition with growing economies throughout East Asia, specifically China. As the Philippines struggles to compete alongside these growing economies, balikbayans, or Filipinos visiting and returning to their homeland specifically from the United States, provide a key component linking together a larger economy of decades of remittance sending and contemporary property development. This chapter articulates a framework for conceptualizing the productive economies sustained by the “repeated turning” of Filipinos in the diaspora who seek to maintain their relationship with their homeland in ways that materialize in “returns.”

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