Defamiliarized family: The “Anak ng OFWs’” emergent narratives on mediated communication and parent-child relationships

The Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) phenomenon has creatively deformed the traditional concept of the Filipino family. The Anak ng OFWs’ narratives on parent-child relationships in a mediated setting show the transformative elements that usher the need to defamiliarize its traditional concept and reconfigure the Filipino family. Using the frameworks of Defamiliarization, Deconstruction and the idea of situated difference, the study illustrates how a defamiliarized perspective provides a negotiated fresh perspective of the Filipino family. Focus group discussions and interviews reveal findings that the “Anak ng OFWs” point to superficial, if not routine, conversations in online platforms, mediated relationships that are performed, and characterized by nakasanayan na [getting used to] perspective and the yearning for magkakasamang pamilya [a family that is together]. The study concludes that in a defamiliarized perspective, the situated difference is where OFW parents remain as the haligi [head of the family] and ilaw ng tahanan [pillar of the home] and where the essence of “family-ness” persists despite the cracks and fractures of the OFW family.