A new website has been launched for Kritika Kultura at https://ajol.ateneo.edu/kk . This site will be archived on 31 May 2022.

Out and About: Migrant Bakla, Perverse Intimacies, and the Musical of Migration in Liza Magtoto's Care Divas

Oscar Tantoco Serquiña, Jr.


The essay analyzes the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA)’s stage musical, Care Divas, for its figuration of the Filipino migrant worker as bakla and for its consequent queering of labor out-migration from the Philippines. It problematizes the notion of “perverse intimacy,” particularly through the play’s employment of gay language and performance as agentive practices of survival in the diaspora. Finally, it interrogates the play’s aestheticization of kabaklaan and migrant work through a musical drama-comedy format, which deploys song and dance, as well as laughter and sentimentality, in order to make a spectacle out of the foibles of migrant bakla, to render visible the agency of these gendered Filipino laborers abroad, and finally, to underscore the Filipino migrant workers’ charged cosmopolitan ethic of oneness with or belongingness to the world.


Filipino labor diaspora; PETA; Philippine theater; plays

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2016.02711