Author: Arjan Aguirre

Globalization is a multifaceted phenomenon that continues to shape and influence the lives, aspirations, and futures of people from various parts of the world. As a societal reality, it connotes the endless and formless transformation of relations and interactions of peoples—encountering, altering, and enriching cultures, practices, norms, among others. This comes from the ever-changing and improving means of transportation and communication that facilitate and accelerate various forms of embodied, ideational, informational, etc. movements of people. As an economic reality, it tells us of continuous expansion of markets, finance, business, dealings, etc. that shape people’s lives—with job opportunities and productivity, among others. Economic globalization is driven by the incessant flow of goods, money, and items, among other things, through trade, transactions, agreements, etc. that make up the overall architecture and movement economies, markets, etc. As a political reality, it speaks of the overall changes with the way politics is being done by states, markets, civil society actors, and other stakeholders at the global level. This happens when political actors work together and engage in issues that defy boundaries and territories. 

What do you think about our modules?
Please let us know by answering this short survey!

Rate this module

In this day and age, globalization is coupled with the persistent movement of peoples whose motivation ranges from work, education, new beginnings, etc. Migration has become a modern-day phenomenon for people who look for jobs, education, and new lives, among other opportunities, in countries that offer them to foreigners. These opportunities in turn create tremendous changes in terms of one’s economic standing, social status, relations, etc. that eventually have an impact on communities, cultures, individuals, and nations. For decades, this has been the reality among some of the modern-day Filipinos whose source of income, learning, and development come from their migration to foreign countries. Whether working as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), studying as foreign/exchange students, or fully integrating themselves into their new country, thousands of Filipinos have found a way to change their plight  

In this module, both facilitator and students are encouraged to understand how globalization is transforming our Filipino culture, and vice-versa, through migration, with its decades-old embodied movements of Filipinos and the ideational exchange, economic transformation, and new politicization that come from it. Here, we will get to know how the phenomenon of migration in the globalizing world continues to shape our nation, families, economies, and politics. 

The topics that will be covered in this module presents a comprehensive discussion of globalization and how it led to the phenomenon of Filipino migration. The discussions here focus on the factors that facilitated Filipino migration. They seek to provide basic understanding of how and why migration is happening; and how migration affects our society, economy and politics. This module will focus on not just educating students about the phenomenon, but also aim, most importantly, to raise awareness and appreciation  of the role of Filipino migrants in our society today—making the students realize that our society has a long history of traveling around the world. Filipinos are known for this trait, and our society is forged by this centuries-old tradition of interactions with other people from various continents. 

Most Essential Learning Competencies 

  • Explain government programs and initiatives in addressing social inequalities e.g. local, national, global. 

Content Standards

By the end of this module, learners are expected to demonstrate an understanding of:

  • The agents/institutions, processes, and outcomes of cultural, political, and social changeConcepts and definitions that can help us make sense of globalization, migration and Philippine culture;
  • Causes and drivers of globalization, migration and changes in Filipino culture; and
  • Roles of stakeholders on globalization, migration and changes in Filipino culture.

Performance Standards

By the end of this module, learners are expected to:

  • Identify one’s role in social groups and institutions;
  • Evaluates factors causing social, political, and cultural change
  • Understand the importance of globalization, migration and culture in the Philippine context; and
  • Demonstrate one’s role in globalization and changes in Philippine culture.

Lesson 1: What is Globalization?

What is globalization? How does it happen? When did it start to happen? Why does it affect us? Answering these questions is a good way to begin our discussion of the module. Globalization has become a very interesting phenomenon today involving the recent changes in our society. Understanding what it is, what it does, and why it is here can give us a solid grounding especially as we continue examining migration and the Filipino culture. 

Lesson Objectives

At the end of the lesson, the student is expected to be able to:

  • Determine the definition, history, and outcomes of globalization; and 
  • Recognize various ways by which globalization is understood nowadays.

Key Concepts

  • Globalization – multidimensional phenomenon wherein societies separated by geographical boundaries become connected.
  • Anti-globalists – people who believe that technological changes are mere exaggerations and should not be acknowledged as breakthroughs in progress.
  • Hyperglobalists – people who believe that changes brought about by globalization are profound and that these are becoming permanent.
  • Transformationalists – the middle-ground between anti-globalists and hyperglobalists. 
  • Three-world system – designation of countries based on development: first world, second world and third world countries.
  • Three waves of globalization – indicate three major periods in history that led to a single global phenomenon.
  • Patterns of globalization – indicate major areas of change brought about by globalization: economic, military, legal, ecological, and cultural.

Self-evaluation Form (Part 1)

Answer the following questions.

1. What do you already know about the lesson?


2. What do you want to know more about the lesson?


Discussion on Globalization

Globalization can be defined as a “process of increasing interconnectedness between societies such that events in one part of the world more and more have effects on peoples and societies far away” (Smith, Owen, & Baylis 2014, p. 9). From this definition, we can highlight the four factors that led to globalization (McGrew 2014):

– Expansion of social, political and economic activities that affect more and more people across the world;
– Intensification of relations between and among peoples;
– Acceleration of the pace of interaction between and among peoples, institutions, and other groups; and
– Escalation of the dynamism and interdependence between global and local actors.

Three attitudes toward Globalization (Giddens 2006; Held 1999). The anti-globalists, or skeptics, claim that the changes that we are seeing nowadays are nothing new. They are in fact just part of a process that began centuries ago and that the globalization of the present age is more of a hype or an exaggerated representation of economic, political, and social changes. This can be explained by the relatively intense movement and flow of information brought by new technologies and new imperatives to roam around the globe, but this by no means entails any substantial transformation or changes in our society. Despite the changes at the international level, anti-globalists still believe in the power of nation-states in handling real-world problems that affect different peoples across the globe.

This view is contradicted by the more optimistic and positive looking hyperglobalists who sincerely believe that globalization is happening and here to stay. It has changed and is still changing our society today, causing the development of new ways of life, culture, practices, and beliefs that reflect the contemporary and modern character of peoples across the globe. For them, because of the ever-increasing reach of global actors and stakeholders, modern states and political actors are slowly losing their power over issues that affect people. New entities, such as global market actors and non-state actors are taking over the role of helping the people create a new sense of order based on mutual understanding and trust with one another.

In between the two are the transformationalists. They are people who believe that globalization is real but that there are things that remain constant in the midst of rapid changes and shifts—like the states and its power as found in the government. States are here to stay because of their central role in politics; they have to adapt and make themselves relevant all the time. To transformationalists, instead of merely seeing the world as a half-full or half-empty glass of water, they would rather focus on the messy, interactive, and dynamic transformations going on around us. They are interested in pinpointing the dual effects of globalization and parochialization, or localization, and they shape our societies these days.

Contemporary social scientists and experts have devised ways to make sense of globalization.

The three waves of globalization tell us of the three main periods whereby societies have transformed toward a single global phenomenon (McGrew, 2014). The First Wave (1450-1850) saw territorial and political expansion through conquest of known European countries. The Second Wave (1850-1945) witnessed the spread of imperial control of European empires across the globe and the advent of the industrial revolution. The Third Wave (1960s onwards) shows us the ongoing transformations brought by the information age and digital interaction.

The three-world system is a system of classifying countries used in the twentieth century based on the level of development (Giddens, 2006). Here, first world is understood as countries that have free-market and capitalist economic systems; they are industrialized as shown in their high level of income, specialization of skills, and mass production and manufacturing of goods.; second world is the classification used to include countries that have centralized and nationalized economic systems; they are usually found in the former communist societies with strong state intervention in the economy; third world is used to classify societies that have weak and developing economies. This is found among former colonies who gained independence and rely heavily on their agriculture and have low or middle levels of income. However, these nations still have neocolonial ties with their former colonies, and therefore socio-economic conditions in third world countries are subject to the influence of their previous colonizers (Crook, 1992). It should also be noted that using “third world” to define nations is considered derogatory.

Patterns of Globalization speak of the major areas of globalization since its emergence up to the present time. First, economics is probably one of the main areas of modern-day globalization due to the tremendous effects of the changes in the economic institutions, practices, dynamics, processes and outcomes. This can be seen in the emergence of the global markets, transnational corporations and entities, and eventually, ‘global informational capitalism’ (McGrew, 2014). Second, the military area involves the growth and expansion of the operations of the security sector as a response to the growing concerns over weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and renegade states(McGrew, 2014). Third is the legal area. This speaks of the growing importance of having international law to govern transactions, trade, and interactions from institutions and actors (McGrew 2014). Fourth, the ecological area tells us of the imperative to protect ecosystems against the widespread and appalling environment abuse from industries and governments (McGrew, 2014). Issues such as climate change, overfishing, and forest depletion, among others, necessitated a rapid and collective response from states to mitigate the effects of natural calamities, disasters, environmental disasters, etc. Fifth is the cultural area. This area is concerned with the changes in lifestyle, practices, ways of life, beliefs, etc. brought by the incessant movement of ideas from media and movement of people themselves (McGrew, 2014). Lastly, the social area, or the embodied movement, refers to the phenomenon of migration of peoples for work, education, and new settlements (McGrew, 2014).

Self-evaluation Form (Part 2)

Answer the following questions.

1. What have you learned from the lesson?

2. How will you apply the knowledge you have learned in this lesson in improving Philippine society?

List of Activities

Synchronous Activities (In-class) 

Activity: Debate
Instructions. The teacher should ask the students to divide the class into three.

Step 1. One group is for the hyperglobalists, one is for the anti-globalists, and one is for transformationalists. The debate should discuss the following points:
Globalization can solve the problem of Covid-19;
The Philippines can have a role in the global community and collaborate with existing responses to the pandemic.
Step 2. At the end of the debate, the teacher should be able to articulate the points about ‘globalization’ and the attitudes that surround it.
Step 3. In preparation for the next topic, the teacher should also get input from the students about what they have noticed about the pros and cons of globalization. In particular, how it affects the movements of peoples—migration.

Asynchronous Activities

Activity: Jam-board activity

Step 1. Post any concept that you think of that is related to globalization.
Step 2. Are you in favor of this concept or not? Explain.

Rubrics for Discussions and Debates

Lesson 2: Migration and Changes in Filipino Culture

Migration of Filipinos is a centuries-old phenomenon that  from the pre-colonial era up to the present time. As an island nation, early Filipinos have learned to travel the seas and explore places for new opportunities for their communities. This led to a series of migration for work and eventual growth of remittances for the economy to be kept afloat. Through the years, this phenomenon has had an effect not just on our economy but also on our Filipino culture as a whole—our sense of family, relationships, practices, and beliefs. 

Learning Objectives:

In this lesson, the student should be able to:

  • To understand what ‘migration’ means in the context of the Philippine society;
  • To know the different waves of migration; and
  • To examine how the phenomenon of migration affects Filipino culture.

Key Concepts: 

  • Migration – the movement of people from one geographical location to another. 
  • Pull factor – pertains to what motivates people to migrate, basically negative experiences and hardships in their current residence.
  • Push factor – pertains to what motivates people to migrate, basically positive and beneficial experiences in the host location or country.
  • Internal migration – refers to movement of people within a territory or specific place.
  • External migration – refers to movement of people out of a certain territory and to a different country or continent. 
  • Emigrant – a person that leaves a country or continent to reside in another.
  • Immigrant – a person that moves into a different territory. 
  • Refugee – a person that resorts to leaving their country due to crisis, such as war.
  • Permanent Filipino migrants – encompass legal migrants and naturalized citizens of their respective host countries. 
  • Temporary Filipino migrants – persons who stay in a different territory for a period of time, and include Overseas Filipino Workers who migrate due to work arrangements. 
  • Irregular Filipino migrants – encompass people who are staying in a different territory illegally.

Discussion on Migration

Migration first and foremost should be understood as an embodied movement of peoples. For millennia, people have traveled or migrated from one place to another in search of new places to settle, new communities to build or integrate into, and new resources to utilize.

Types of migration (National Geographic Society, n.d.). There are two types of migration based on place: Internal migration is the movement of people within a specific place or territory like a state, country, or continent; External migration is the movement of people to a different territory or place such as to a different country or continent. There are three types of people who migrate: an emigrant is a person who leaves one country to go to another; an immigrant is a person who moves into a new state or country; a refugee is a person who is forced to leave their country because of a crisis in their home country.

Motivations for migration (National Geographic Society, n.d.). There are two main reasons why people migrate. Push factors tell us of the motivations people have when they migrate due to lack of food, armed conflict, disasters, and impending crisis, among others things. These factors are prone to societies that have famine, civil wars, are prone to natural disasters, or major political or economic crises. Pull factors, on the other hand, include motivations that are connected to better conditions, opportunities, resources, etc. in the host country. People are motivated to migrate because of the good climate, job opportunities, and more health benefits in the host country.

Figure 1. International Migrants from 1970 to  2015.
Source: International Organization for Migration, 2018

Waves of migration in the Philippines tell us of the different periods of migration in the Philippines. The First Wave happened during the pre-colonial and Spanish colonial eras. The earliest recorded Filipino migration was in 1417 when a mission to travel to China was sanctioned by Sultan Paduka Batara (Center for Migrant Advocacy, n.d.). This expedition of royalties from Sulu, it was said, was meant to improve the trade and diplomatic relations with China. This was followed by the migration of Filipinos working as seafarers to Mexico during the Spanish colonial era. During that time, too, Filipinos settled in the United States to work in California as fruit pickers (Center for Migrant Advocacy, n.d.). In the nineteenth century, Filipino migrants started to appear in Europe for education, work, and new residences (Center for Migrant Advocacy, n.d.).

The Second Wave of migration took place during the time of the American colonial era, which saw the intensification of the embodied movement of Filipinos to work in the US (Center for Migrant Advocacy, n.d.). This happened in 1906 in sugar plantations in Hawaii (where 100,000 Filipinos were sent from 1906 to 1934 to work as fruit pickers) and later on in Alaska for their growing fish cannery industry.

The Third Wave of migration happened after the Second World War, with the growth of Filipino service men working in the US Navy and migration of Filipino workers and professionals to Asian societies in the 1950s (Center for Migrant Advocacy n.d.). During this time, many Filipinos traveled to Sabah and Sarawak for their logging industry. Some Filipinos went to Vietnam, Thailand and Guam and worked in the US military bases during the war in Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos).

Figure 2. Total of Filipino Migrants (2018)
Source: Commission on Filipino Overseas, 2019

Types of Filipino Migrants. Filipinos who migrate are categorized based on their status in their host country. The first type are the permanent migrants. This category includes Filipino immigrants, legal permanent residents and naturalized citizens of the host country. The second type are the temporary migrants. Migrants who are under this category stay in their host country for a certain period of time. They are referred to nowadays as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The third type are the irregular migrants. People who belong to this category have lost their legal status to work and are usually without valid residence or work permits. They are also known as overstaying workers/tourists in their host country. According to the recent government data, there are two types of Filipino migrants scattered across the globe: Employed and Unemployed (Commission on Filipino Overseas 2019).

– Professional, Technical, and related workers
– Managerial, Executive, and Administrative workers
– Clerical workers
– Sales workers
– Service workers
– Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Forestry workers, and Fisherfolks
– Production process, transport equipment operators, and laborers
– Members of the Armed Forces

– Housewives
– Retirees
– Students
– Minors
– Out-of-school youth
– Refugees

In the past five years, there are more Filipino female migrants who migrated abroad than their male counterparts (see data below). This goes to show that more and more women are inclined to move to other countries for better opportunities (either temporarily or permanently).

Table 1. Number of Registered Filipino Migrants according to Sex from 2015 to 2018
Source: Commission on Overseas Filipinos, 2019

Migration and Filipino society. Upon closer look, migration in the Philippines is a labor-oriented phenomenon. This tells us that work is a major motivation for migration. Filipinos still look for work abroad for more opportunities, and better pay, especially since the rates of unemployment and underemployment are not decreasing. This is due to the recent growth of emigrant workers from other countries who are mostly in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in the country. For instance, the recent influx of emigrants who are working in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) and some government infrastructure projects has created an additional employment deficit for Filipino workers these days (Robles, 2018). Since the third wave of migration began, families of the temporary migrants such as seafarers and OFWs have been torn and separated for decades (Center for Migrant Advocacy n.d.-b). Also, Filipinos abroad do not receive enough protection from their host countries in terms of labor standards, work conditions and benefits (Center for Migrant Advocacy n.d.-b). In the latest data from a 2019 survey of OFWs, there are 2.2 million OFWs deployed in various parts of the globe (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2020). The total remittance from April to September of 2019 was Php 211.9 billion, Php 157.9 billion of which was sent home, Php 46.7 billion was personally brought home, and Php 7.3 billion was distributed as in-kind donations (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2020).

Figure 3. Distribution of OFWs by Place of Work (2019)

Also, migration is a gendered phenomenon. This means that women are more inclined to work as OFWs due to the lack of opportunities available to them, the skills and training that they can access, and the roles and responsibilities in the household designated to them. Majority of our women OFWs are working in the service sector as domestic helpers and other low-skilled workers. Most of the time, they end up in deregulated working environments, adding to the possibility of being exposed and becoming more vulnerable not just to poor working conditions, but also inhumane conditions, exploitation, and sexual abuse (Center of Migrant Advocacy n.d.-b). In 2019, the total proportion of female migrants (56%) was higher than male (44%). Unfortunately, women are more exposed to violence and unjust practices abroad compared to their male counterparts. In the past several decades, many OFWs were victimized by their employers—human trafficking, rape, domestic abuse, and deprivation of work compensation.

Migration is also a cultural phenomenon. Migration has exposed Filipinos to new ways of life, beliefs, practices, norms, etc., that have shaped our culture. Filipino migrants have welcomed new ideas and practices that have enriched and augmented their identity and personality. For instance, Filipinos who marry foreigners create a family that has mixed beliefs, practices, and norms. While other societies in various parts of the globe are attaining multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, tolerance, and general relativism, Filipinos have also influenced societies abroad to have a renewed interest toward religion, sense of close family ties, and other unique cultural practices. In some western societies, Filipinos have been noted for being frequent church-goers and active in the activities of their parishes. This has led to the integrating Filipino community faith-based practices (like ‘Simbang Gabi’) to their host countries’ practices (singing community ‘Christmas Carols’) (Mendiola, 2018).

Migration has also motivated or induced migrant workers and their families to undergo changes based on the social environment, or perhaps bring them to a shift in cultural aspects. For example, exposure to the language in a foreign country helps the Filipino migrant worker in acquiring an additional knowledge and immersion to the host country’s culture and society (Meniado, 2019). Adhering to the culture of the host country is driven by the survival of the migrant worker in a foreign setting. Absorption of certain behavior or other elements of culture may also extend to their families, with whom the migrant workers may share anecdotes, advice or practices concerning their host country during communications or visits.

On the other hand, migration, including globalization and industrialization, have disrupted traditional Filipino family relations (Alampay & Jocson, 2011; McKay, 2012, cited by Lam & Yeoh, 2019). Migrant women are subject to critique as they have “disregarded their child-caring duties” at home, and at the same time to commendation as they provide substantial income to their families. The dichotomy of gender in terms of parenting is very pronounced in the Philippines, hence care work is still greatly delegated to the mothers, despite the multiple burdens that they are carrying. Due to the absence of the mother, children may go through unconventional processes of socialization.

Self-evaluation Form (Part 2)

Answer the following questions.

1. What have you learned from the lesson?

2. How will you apply the knowledge you have learned in this lesson in improving Philippine society?

List of Activities

Synchronous Activities (In-class) 

Activity: Discussion
Instructions. The teacher should divide the class into 5..
Step 1. Ask each group to talk about the various types and motivations for migrating that they can observe in the Philippine society these days; and
Step 2. The teacher should be able to articulate the attributes of these types and motivations, and relate them to the current wave of migration of Filipino workers.

Asynchronous Activities

Activity: Problem Tree
Instructions. Identify the root cause(s) of migration in the Philippines.

Step 1. Discuss the stem that makes them possible and manifest; and
Step 2. Determine the effects of migration in our society.

Rubrics for Discussions and Debates

Center for Migrant Advocacy (n.d.-a) History of Philippine Migration. Retrieved from

Center for Migrant Advocacy (n.d.-b) Philippine Migration. Retrieved from

Commission on Filipino Overseas (2019) Stock Estimate of Filipino Overseas. Retrieved from

Crook, C. (1992). Third World Economic Development. Retrieved from

Giddens, A. (2006) Sociology. 5th ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.

International Organization for Migration (2018). World Migration Report 2018. Retrieved from

Lam, T., & Yeoh, B. (2019). Parental migration and disruptions in everyday life: reactions of left-behind children in Southeast Asia. Journal of ethnic and migration studies, 45(16), 3085–3104.

Mendiola, R. (2018). ‘Simbang Gabi’ Gaining Popularity In Other Countries. Retrieved from

Meniado, J. C. (2019). Second Language Acquisition: The Case of Filipino Migrant Workers. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 10(1), 47-57.

Smith, S., Owens, P. & Baylis, J. (2014). Introduction. In Baylis, J., Smith, S. & Owens, P. (eds.) The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations. 6th Edition. (pp. 1-14). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McGrew, A. (2014). Globalization and Global Politics. In Baylis, J., Smith, S. & Owens, P. (eds.). The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations. 6th Edition. (pp. 16-31). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

National Geographic Society (n.d.). Introduction to Human Migration. Retrieved from

Philippine Statistics Authority (2020) 2019 Survey on Overseas Filipinos. Retrieved from

Learning Materials

Globalization I – The upside: Crash Course World History #41. YouTube.

Measuring globalization: OECD Economic Globalization Indicators. Retrieved from

2019 Survey on Overseas Filipinos. YouTube.

Undocumented Filipinos in the US. YouTube.