Tag Archive: North America

Filipino Diaspora Philanthropy

By Ezra Mayled

The sense of family is an important part of many cultures; the Filipino culture is no exception. From a culture that is often identified as being “hospitable”, the practice of philanthropy is also present. Over recent years there has been an increase of immigrants coming from the Philippines, with Filipinos being the highest number of permanent residents by top source countries from 2010 to 2012 (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2013). A similar situation can be found in the United States.

Also birthed from the migration of Filipinos to the Western World is what Garchitorena (2007) calls “Filipino Diaspora Philanthropy.” Diaspora meaning, “the movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland (Collins English Dictionary, 2012). When Filipinos move overseas they tend to “give back” (Garchitorena, 2007) to their homeland country.

Reasons as to why they give back vary from situation to situation; those who have done well abroad seek ways to share their “wealth or talent with their home country” (Garchitorena, 2007). As I took a second to reflect at how this is true in my own (family) life I see that the Diaspora Philanthropy is evident so who better to discuss the topic than my own Filipino family. Upon asking my father, his reply was “the reason for giving back is gratitude, because we are thankful for what our families have done for us, and we want to share the blessings we have received here in Canada” (P. Mayled, personal communication, September 19, 2014). Another reason for the desire to give back to the homeland is “self gratification in knowing that I have helped someone who is more in need” (N. Pantig, personal communication, September 19, 2014). “After giving back and sending Balikbayan boxes or money, I feel comfortable knowing that people who will be receiving the gift will be a little more comfortable in life themselves” (M. Mayled, personal communication, September 19, 2014).

Methods of giving back which have been briefly mentioned include Balikbayan boxes which are boxes filled with non-perishable food, clothing, health-related items. These Balikbayan boxes are sent directly to families usually on trips to the the Philippines where “there is great personal satisfaction when one can actually meet the person who will benefit from a donation” (Garchitorena, 2007) or by shipping it and the recipient(s) receiving it in approximately 4-5 weeks. Another common method is through money transfer. My family every so often sends money over to their families back in the Philippines, especially to help cover ever-so-expensive health costs for a family member. One other method my family gives back is by donating money through our local church especially to help victims of natural disasters such as typhoons, and landslides.

I believe one of Garchitorena’s (2007) reasoning encompasses why I would personally give back in the near future which is the “compassion for the poor and underprivileged”. I was born and raised in Canada, and have only seen a glimpse of living in the Philippines. With just that slight glimpse I know the way of living in Canada is a hundredfold different (and one could say better) than in the Philippines. I can see them as two completely different worlds. To see how my relatives in the Philippines live and how I live here in Canada makes me count my blessings, and even share them whenever I can out of the compassion of my heart.

Works Cited

Garchitorena, V. P., (2007). Diaspora Philanthropy: The Philippine Experience. Convention on Biological Diversity.

diaspora. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved September 23, 2014, from Dictionary.com website:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/diaspora

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Potlatch

sduncan post on February 5th, 2013
Posted in North America Tags: ,

By Natalie Maxwell

The Potlatch idea came from the sharing of one’s wealth with others. Whoever led the potlatch was to “give away most, if not all, of their wealth and material goods in order to show goodwill to the rest of the tribal members and maintain their social status” (Kwakiutl Indian Band). During a Potlatch the family of the person hosting it would assist them in gathering food to feed everyone, gifts were brought together and items were carved with crests (Kwakiutl Indian Band). Read the rest of this entry >>

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Ojibway Giving Traditions

sduncan post on January 28th, 2013
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By Gavin Trevelyan

Ojibway giving traditions are based on a cyclical view of reciprocity. Goods are given freely between members of the community, with the expectation that those goods will continue to be given from one individual to the next. In this way, individuals with goods to give can rely on receiving them back in some form or another when they themselves are in need. In this broad view, reciprocity is ensured.

Nomadism in Ojibway culture, in pre-colonial North America inclined this group towards an aversion to acquiring bulky goods. Read the rest of this entry >>

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Giving in the First Nations Culture

sduncan post on January 28th, 2013
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By Alyssa Pember

The First Nations viewed giving as an honor and a way of life (Wells 1998). Whether the giving was in the form of words, prayers, energy, or love it was the matter of interconnectedness among the people of the communities (Wells 1998). If a material gift was given, the value of the physical object wasn’t the importance behind the giving, but rather the essence and the spirit of the gift. Read the rest of this entry >>

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The Potlatch: A tradition of the North Western Indigenous People

sduncan post on January 28th, 2013
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By Jackie Mersereau

Philanthropy is not solely a creation of the Western world and can be seen in several traditions, cultures and religions around the world. Anthropological research has shown us that there has not been a culture or a time where giving and sharing was not perceived as a noble action yet most of the published material is on Philanthropy in the Western tradition. Read the rest of this entry >>

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Traditions of the Mi’kmaq

sduncan post on January 28th, 2013
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by Crystal Leverman

The First Nations people of Nova Scotia are the Mi’kmaq (info, The Mi’kmaq. 2008). With 13 Native communities in the province (Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey. 2010), the Mi’kmaq have a history of generosity (Mi’lmaw Welcome.2003). As discussed in an interview with Native artist and storyteller Gerald Gloade (personal communication September 28, 2010) two customs that demonstrate the generosity of the Mi’kmaq people are particularly relevant; first, when a community member dies, and second, Read the rest of this entry >>

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Midewiwin

sduncan post on January 28th, 2013
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By Dedre Medeiros

Midewiwin means Grand Medicine Society and it is concerned with the harmony of life on Mother Earth and the respect and love for all things that live (Rice, N.D.). The Midewiwin is an organization that was created among the Ojibway communities to protect tribal traditions, spread these traditions to other tribes and to share and protect medicinal knowledge between different tribes (Gudzune, 2008). To live as a Midewiwin is to be a “Mide”, or it is also known as being a part of the “the Lodge.” Initiation ceremonies, fasts, sweat lodges, Read the rest of this entry >>

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First Nations: The Potlatch Tradition

sduncan post on January 28th, 2013
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By Jesse Kalyshov

The First Nations people of Canada have a beautiful culture marked with a deep history of generosity and philanthropy. Their beliefs are rooted in the idea that the universe alone owns everything. Gift giving is prominent in their society and is illustrated greatly through the ceremony of The Potlatch.

A Potlatch was an elaborate feast where family and neighbours of the host would assemble for a wedding, the naming of a child, the start of the berry or salmon season or the building of a new plank house. Read the rest of this entry >>

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Potlach

sduncan post on January 28th, 2013
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By Alexa Kack

I recently found out that I am 1/8th Native Canadian, so I thought it would be interesting to explore an Aboriginal form of philanthropy, I chose the potlatch ceremony. The potlatch ceremony is about community giving and overall mutual support. The word potlatch is a Chinook term deriving from North American West coast Tribal groups. There seems to be varying interpretations and ideas surrounding the potlatch.

Mr. Franz Boas in an 1895 interview with a North West Coast Native brought forth the idea that the potlatch was almost a replacement for tribal warfare. Read the rest of this entry >>

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The Great Deed of Giving: Potlatch

sduncan post on January 28th, 2013
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By Barb Duncan

Philanthropy, the altruistic concern for the welfare of others, is embedded in the past and continues to be a way of life among many of the First Nation tribes. This type of generosity was demonstrated through the giving of time, word, prayers, gifts, energy or love and was used to build a sense of connectedness to one another (Bowden, u.d). One deeply rooted tradition within this culture is known as the Potlatch which means “to give”. Read the rest of this entry >>

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