“Bahala Na Ang Dios”: The Church’s Role in the Socialization of Filipinos in the Greater Toronto Area
thesisposted on 08.06.2021, 09:59 by Mary Grace T. Betsayda
This paper investigates the role that the Roman Catholic church has played in the socialization of Filipinos in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The research is based on scholarly acknowledgment of the important place of social institutions—such as churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and other places for religious and faith-based gatherings—in the settlement and integration experiences of immigrants. The paper argues that Roman Catholicism, first introduced into the Philippines via Spanish colonization, has become an important marker of identity for many Filipinos and has functioned—aided by their facility in the English language (a result of American colonization of the Philippines)—as a means of easing the barriers to Filipinos’ integration into Canada. To better analyze the role the Roman Catholic church has played in Filipino-Canadian immigrant life, the study provides an overview of the history of migration to Canada and discusses the place of the church as seen from the perspective of representatives of diasporic, transnational and second generation communities of Filipinos in Canada. As such, the main data for the study is drawn primary material comprising interviews with Filipino-Canadians from each of these community groups.