Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


International Affairs

First Advisor

Eileen Lagman

Second Advisor

Emmanuel David

Third Advisor

Doug Snyder

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


In my thesis, I explore the effects of Filipino U.S. Air Force membership on the family by analyzing the experiences of Filipino enlisted parents and their children. Through the lens of Filipino psychology terms utang na loob (“debt of gratitude”) and kapwa (interconnectedness, sharing an identity) and studies on “demilitarized domesticity” (Suarez, 2015) and “emotional transnationalism” (Wolf, 1997), I discuss the dissonant perspectives of Filipino parents and children regarding military membership. While Filipino parents willingly embraced the Air Force because it “took care” of them and their families, their children experienced more negative side effects, including parental absence and increased responsibility. My research presents a situation in which Filipino parents perceived the Air Force as the best option now and for their children in the future despite the real and significant cost on the family and children’s attempts to demilitarize their lives as young adults.