Transnational Suburbia: Spatialities of Gated Suburbs and Filipino Diaspora in Manila's Periurban Fringe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This article contributes to efforts in theorizing suburbanization as a global phenomenon by proffering the term transnational suburbia, suburbs produced through melded and contradictory spatialities of suburbanization, transnational migration, and diasporic capital. Using a framework interrelating the suburban, national, and transnational, I demonstrate its rise as gated suburban villages in Manila's periurban fringe, which serve as the idealized fruit of “successful” Filipino overseas labor. First, I trace the spatiotemporalities of Filipino diaspora, suburban expansion, and the real estate boom. Second, I discuss the idealization of “world-class” Anglo-American suburban developments as homes of “hard-working” and “deserving” overseas Filipinos. Third, I detail everyday suburbanisms inside these developments where transnational mobilities are negotiated in the lives of suburban residents. These accounts illustrate the contingencies and contradictions of transnationality and suburbanization. Whereas transnational mobility of overseas Filipinos fuels suburban expansion and sustains suburban living through remittance monies, it also prevents the attainment of the suburbs' utopic promises of idealized family life and community relations. The rise of these suburbs speaks to developments in the Global South, where economies rely heavily on remittance monies sent by their overseas citizens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-124
Number of pages19
JournalAnnals of the American Association of Geographers
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Philippines
  • diaspora
  • suburbanization
  • transnationalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Transnational Suburbia: Spatialities of Gated Suburbs and Filipino Diaspora in Manila's Periurban Fringe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this