Toward Sambayanihan in Europe: A Filipino Ecclesiology of Migration

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The year 2020 was one that will not be forgotten, as the COVID-19 pandemic brought the entire world to its knees with its economic shockwaves and unprecedented impact on mobility. The nightmare that the pandemic brought for the millions of Filipinos in diaspora is evident not only in the deaths and infections among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) but also in its impact on job markets worldwide. Drawing mainly from my personal ongoing immersion in Filipino Catholic communities in some parts of Europe, particularly with the Filipino chaplaincy in Brussels, this chapter reflects on sambayanihan as a possible Filipino ecclesiology in the context of migration. It posits that becoming sambayanihan communities helps Filipino Catholics in Europe not only to embody a basic ecclesial community (BEC) that is profoundly Filipino but also to, potentially, “migrate” from simply being an economic workforce to becoming Christian ambassadors in a continent where the “eclipse of God” is profoundly felt.