Filomeno V Aguilar is Professor in the Department of History and Chief Editor of Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints. He was on a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, in 2001 and 2010.He has served as Chair of the CHED Technical Panel on General Education (since 2015), Board Member of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (2015–2016), President of the Philippine Sociological Society (2011–2013), President of the International Association of Historians of Asia (2005–2006), and Chair of the Philippine Social Science Council (2006–2008). His research interests have been broadly interdisciplinary, such as: ilustrado nationalism and its intersections with race, ethnicity, and climate; the history and dynamics of Philippine global migrations, especially its connections to family and national identity; the history of citizenship regimes in the Philippines; elections and popular political culture; and the social histories of sugar and rice production.

Project Summary

Skilled Migration, Citizenship, and Regional Belonging in Southeast Asia

One of the crucial issues in Southeast Asia’s regional integration is transnational migration within the region, which in theory fosters a sense of collective identity but which may actually strengthen the individual nationalisms within the region. My study, which investigates the circumstances, concomitants, and consequences of migrants from another Southeast Asian country acquiring Singaporean citizenship, probes the implications of a change in citizenship for nationhood and for a sense of belonging in Southeast Asia. The study hopes to bring to light the strategic intersections as well as tensions between transnational migration (which deterritorializes the origin state) and naturalization or acquisition of citizenship in another Southeast Asian state (which emphasizes sedimentation or settlement in a territorial state). My study addresses a very salient issue within Singapore, but it also transcends these local concerns because of the perspective on regional integration (which is not addressed by extant studies) as well as the dynamics of citizenship in the midst of transnationalism (which has made Singapore’s exclusive citizenship difficult to sustain in a transnational context, potentially at odds with Philippine citizenship).