This paper is an ethnographic study of inhabitants who have been forcibly evicted from their homes and dispersed to resettlement areas as the result of gentrification initiatives that have occurred
with some frequency in recent years in the central areas of Metro Manila.
Sitio San Roque is an informal settlers’ neighborhood located in Quezon City.
However, in January 2014, to prepare for the commercial development of the Quezon City’s Central Business District, inhabitants living in 250 households located in this neighborhood were forcibly evicted.
Residents affected by the evictions were sent to relocation sites several kilometers away from San Roque.
This paper constitutes a sociological account of the forced evictions and subsequent events based on participant observation conducted in San Roque and the relocation sites in January and September 2014.
In particular, this paper argues that the forced evictions and subsequent move to relocation sites resulted in residents’ transplantation from a familiar neighborhood into a markedly different world and explains residents’ suffering from “the habitus without habitat.” While referencing the works of Pierre Bourdieu, the study theorizes the fact that forced evictions not only deprive residents of their houses but also bring about the forced restructuring of habitus as well as the emergence of class polarization among the residents of informal settler neighborhoods.