Migrant Returns: Manila, Development, and Transnational Connectivity
The Balikbayan Hotel: Touristic Performance in Manila and the Anxiety of Return
This chapter examines the production of subjectivities through which returning Filipinos uneasily straddle the interstitial space between their new and former lives as they make the choice to repatriate into Philippine society. The construction of nostalgic space within various tourism and retirement projects reflects techniques that seek to attenuate the paranoia often exhibited by returning Filipinos, who are overwhelmed by fears of crime and insecurity in the Philippines. Through an ethnographic exploration of the Mabuhay Manor, a hotel specifically catering to balikbayans, this chapter illustrates how this complexly felt and ambivalently experienced anxiety represents a major hurdle that the Department of Tourism, and its partners, is actively confronting while developing strategies to entice Filipinos to return and ultimately repatriate back to their homeland.