<…> if these two talks of Dalisay are any indication <…> what our texts have and what ails our texts by default given colonial history <is that> we are out of the Commonwealth loop <…> and while American colonization gave us the English that we use for our writing, we all seem to have forgotten that, and we’re like the bastard children that appear at the family Christmas dinner. There are no favors to be had from our colonial fathers here, and it can only be difficult to deal with expectations.
Such as what Dalisay sees to be the “mournful wail of oppression” as the one thing expected of work from the Philippines, the main thing a writer must be able to work against. But towards what? Again another bottomline: the problem is that even we don’t know what we’re about, so how do we even begin projecting ourselves to the world?
Maybe we begin with what is inescapable. As far as Dalisay is concerned, there’s no escaping class, not for any writer, not for any kind of writing. There’s no avoiding the divide between rich and poor, and in that sense it could be a trope, the one thing that we cannot ignore in the task of writing, especially in English, especially given that this means having very few readers where we come from. And it is a trope that encompasses even that which Dalisay considers to be the most important story for Filipinos of our time: the diaspora.