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OFW remittances at an all-time high: social remittances as new currency from Global Pinoys

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Remittances from Filipinos working overseas are at an all-time high. And no, it’s not just because they’re sending back US dollars, Saudi Riyals, Euros or Japanese Yen; but because our modern-day heroes are sending back what’s known as social remittances.

Social remittances refer to ideas, practices, identities and social capital that flow from receiving to sending country communities. It was coined by sociologist Peggy Levitt in her book “The Transnational Villagers and she describes social remittances being transferred by migrants and refugees that are exchanged by letters or other forms of communication that includes phone, fax, the internet or video. She suggested that social remittance affects family relations, gender roles, class and race identity, as well as have a substantial impact on political, economic and religious participation.

This concept isn’t something new for the Philippines. In the 1800s, this was already seen through the newspaper La Solidaridad and the novels …