Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geography
For much of the twentieth century the American naval base at Subic Bay, Philippines served as a key overseas US military installation. Today, some twenty-five years after the base’s closure, thousands of American military retirees have returned to Subic. Suggesting that quotidian and intimate social relations offer a dynamic place to ground political and cultural geographic analysis, I explore transnational Filipino-American relationships and marriages in contemporary Subic. Deploying ethnographic research of Subic’s military retiree bars and conducting semi-structured interviews with American retirees, Filipina military wives, and bartenders and waitresses, I explore transnational belonging, ageing masculinities and American-Filipina marriages. Drawing on literature in cultural and feminist geography and interdisciplinary studies on gender and militarism, I turn to the highly specific social world of the American retiree bar to understand contemporary Subic as a crossroads of individual desire situated within wider networks of militarism, colonialism, globalization and gendered and racialized social relations.