August 31, 2012
3:00-4:15 p.m., SocSci Rooms 1 & 2
Leong Hall Auditorium

Ateneo de Manila University

“Crossing Borderlands in Ilocano-Hawaiian Short Fiction”

The transnational flow of global market and global circuiting of goods and products have engendered radical consequences on the people’s way of life, one of which is “hypermobility” or the speed and intensity of exchange of information, goods, and services in unimaginable ways. People have been uprooted from their old countries and familiar grounds, causing “schizoid” or split subjectivities. This globalized turn of the contemporary condition has brought a great number of Filipinos, particularly Ilocanos, to Hawaii. Though the Ilocano immigrants (the bulk of the Filipino immigrants are Ilocanos) rank third in the number of immigrant population in Hawaii, the number does not add up to visibility. According to Oscar Campomanes, this “pall of invisibility” is anchored on historical postulates, a grave consequence of colonial and neo-colonial relationship with the US, rendering them susceptible to the vagaries of (neo)colonial US-Philippine relationship.

The task that I am confronted with as a translator of selected diasporic short fiction of community-based Ilocano-Hawaiian writers (Gunglo Dagit Mannuratiti Ilocano ti Hawaii) is not merely a translation of the text; it is more crucially concerned with transposing the demands and pressures of Ilocano-Hawaiian diasporic culture and new “home” in which the writers, particularly the GUMIL Hawaii writers, move in. As a postcolonial translator of ethnic, minority writing, the task involves the refunctioning of English as a target language – now an “invented” connecting language that recuperates the nostalgic and exilic condition of Ilocano-Hawaiian writing. More importantly, this reterritorialized translation site attempts to recuperate “difference” and the liminality of Ilocano-Hawaiian ethnicity and writing circumscribed by US-hegemonic literary norms and intelligibility, rendering in turn a liminal space for the untranslatable idiosyncracies of the Ilocano-Hawaiian diasporic writing.

Ma. Socorro Q. Perez is Assistant Professor at the English Department of Ateneo de Manila University. She has recently defended her dissertation on Ilocano-Hawaiian Diasporic Writing for her PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of the Philippines. She was awarded a Fulbright Research Grant in 2008 to conduct research with the American Studies Department of University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and was given a six-month visiting scholar affiliation with Asia/Pacific/American Studies at New York University. Her essays have appeared in the journals Kritika Kultura, Asian Perspectives in the Arts and Humanities, Journal of the American Studies Association of the Philippines, and in the anthology Philippine Studies: Have We
Gone Beyond St. Louis? (U of the Philippines P, 2009).


Ateneo de Manila University


Hailing from Flora, Apayao, Louie Jon A. Sanchez grew up in Caloocan City. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing, with high distinction, from De La Salle University, and an AB in Journalism from the University of Santo Tomas. He is the author of a book of poems in Filipino, At Sa Tahanan ng Alabok (UST, 2010). He holds the distinction of being honored “Makata ng Taon” thrice (2006, 2009, 2011) at the Talaang Ginto Poetry Contest of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino. In 2010, he won first prize in the Lumina Pandit Poetry Contest of the UST Miguel de Benavidez Library and the Museum of the Arts and Sciences, in anticipation of the university’s quadricentennial. He has also won a Catholic Mass Media Award from the Archdiocese of Manila for the short story. He currently teaches composition and literature at the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University, and serves as assistant director of the Annual Poetry Clinic (popularly known as the Rio Alma Poetry Clinic) of the Linangan at Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA). He is a member of the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas.

His currently translates into Filipino the poems of National Artist for Literature Edith L. Tiempo.


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