Migration is not a new phenomenon, people have always been mobile. It has always been present in different aspects of society, may it be religious, political, social and others. As this multifaceted occurrence continues to envelop the Philippine society, there has been a transformation in one of the biggest contributor to the development of the country, culture. According to Bhugra and Becker (2005), migration has contributed to the richness in diversity of cultures, ethnicities, and races in developed countries. Bhugra (2004) notes that racial, cultural and ethnic identities form part of one’s identity, and identity will change with development at a personal as well as at a social level along with migration and acculturation. The aforementioned statements connote that migration plays a major role in the construction of cultural identity.
As stated above, migration can be perceived as a complex phenomenon as it is not just simply about the displacement of space, it is a change in social condition wherein different aspects of the society as well as the overall state of its inhabitants. With this being said, the complexity migration brings, exceeds the level of just defining the term, it incurs analysis of main causes, interpretation of its process in a multi-layered degree, and integration of its implications to other social phenomena.
One of the byproducts of migration is the transformation of ethnicity into a heterogeneous form in a particular society, in this case, Philippines. Ethnicity, in simple terms can be defined as a state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition. As previously indicated, it clearly shows that ethnicity is culturally and dynamically constructed whereas the identity of a particular community is being evidently formed. In the case of the Philippines, having multiple ethnic groups have resulted to many alterations in culture as a social institution.
Multi-ethnicity is a complex condition since it is a multidimensional state of the formation of identity which is established in a society. It has been caused by different factors such as cultural bereavement, migratory processes, biological, psychological aspect and a lot more. Its dimensions go beyond the belongingness to a social group sharing a common tradition, it determines what particular way of living is practiced and how it contributes to how the Filipino identity is shaped in the path of modernization. For ethnicity is main source of social identity.
The occurrence of migration has resulted to multi-ethnicity and in all breath, cultural identity is affected. Belonging to a multi-ethnic society provides the entire country with diversities of ideas and perspectives that are helpful in the progress of the Philippines. However, it also causes formation of repercussions that blocks Filipino identity construction. The incident of migration causes acculturation in which both the host and immigrant countries may change culturally. Such phenomenon will surely erode traditional values and behaviors that constitutes the Filipino identity. The complexity of cultural identity crisis involves various facets in which it does not only tackle culture in general, it also includes economic, political and social aspects wherein these are interrelatedly significant in the quest of Filipino identity. This crisis deeply affects all-inclusive progression of the country in the realm of modernization.
Generally, this paper introduces the interrelation of migration, multi-ethnicity and cultural identity in the domain of the Philippine society. Complexities are presented above in which makes the resolution of the crisis obscure and difficult. However, the proponents aim to significantly trace how multiple ethnicity rooted from migration greatly affects the Filipino cultural identity in the modern era of the country. With further study, a greater quality of understanding the concepts presented above may lead to the clarification of resolving the crisis regarding cultural identity.