HomeMST Reviewvol. 21 no. 2 (2019)

A Popular-Theological Anthropology of Bayani: Liminal Unity of Overseas Filipino Workers in their Expression of Love as Sacrifice

Lawrence S. Pedregosa



The article conceptualizes a popular-theological anthropology of bayani (hero/patriot) in the context of Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFWs) sacrifices and difficulties abroad. It shows the parallelism between Filipino popular religiosity (e.g. Hesus Nazareno and Santo Entierro) based on the pasyon narrative and the Filipino labor migrant experiences of their vulnerabilities brought by practical paradoxes to give love to their left-behind families in the Philippines. Their expressions of love and sacrifice is akin to a bayani who also performs sacrifices and honorable deeds to promote the welfare of the community, both in the local and national sense. It also shows how the Messianic tradition which Jesus of Nazareth embodied is culturally expressed in the Filipino bayani tradition. In other words, OFWs, who are recognized as mga bagong bayani (new or modern-day heroes/patriots) through their love as sacrifice through various painfull paradoxes, express the Messianic tradition embodied by Jesus of Nazareth.