“Labor of Care” tells the stories of overseas Filipino migrants, separated from their families to provide for them

SAN FRANCISCO — After Dr. Valerie Francisco-Menchavez spent five years with a group of working Filipino migrant mothers, she compiled her experience in a new book called “The Labor of Care: Filipina Migrants and Transnational Families in the Digital Age.”

Through interviews and interactions with them — Francisco-Menchavez explored the physical and emotional tolls due to family separation.

Despite the pain and sacrifices, Francisco-Menchavez says these women built their own communities of care.

“This is an important story that lots of Filipinos can relate to, and it’s really important for us to start to acknowledge that not just migrants are struggling but also families but that they are also coming together in creative ways to sustain their love and their families.”

As a member of international organizations that advocate for Filipinos, such as GABRIELA and Migrante, Francisco-Menchavez says she is informed of how the policies and economy of the Philippines is responsible for the increased number of migrant workers.

“What we don’t think about is that it pushes people out of the country, it pushes people to go elsewhere, and that’s why we have transnational families. And I think it’s really important for Filipinos in the US to take a part in stopping those kinds of violences in the Philippines, so that our families don’t have to be separated in the first place.”

 

Francisco-Menchavez hopes people will understand that her book is a testament of how far Filipinas will go to support their families.

“I would love for them to take away that migrants in the United States are so creative, and we are organizing and we are in community, and that’s how we’re thriving and how we’re staying a strong community.”

Dr. Francisco-Menchavez is currently in Colorado on the first stop of her book tour.

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