SALIN NG PAG-UUSAP:
Agnes and Delia are talking about literature that they have just read. Delia just arrived from the Philippines. Delia is a new permanent resident in the U.S.
DELIA: Have you read “America is in the Heart?”
AGNES: Not yet. But they always mention that in the Filipino American Experience class.
DELIA: Here’s my gift to you from the Philippines, “Nasa Puso ang Amerika.”
AGNES: Wow, there is (a translation of the book) in Filipino? The only thing is, I might have a difficult time reading it. You know I don’t read Filipino well.
DELIA: Precisely so that your Filipino will improve.
AGNES: I might be consulting the dictionary every now and then!
DELIA: Nah. Besides, I’m here. We didn’t get to read that in high school nor in college. They had us read those written by English and American authors.
AGNES: Why was that?
DELIA: Maybe because the book seemed pro-American because of the title. Also I think, they can’t seem to make up their mind. Although we have a nationalist education in the Philippines, there is still a higher regard for the English language in schools and in government. Their reasoning is, if we were to read English literature, we might as well read those written by the native speakers themselves.
AGNES: They say the story is all about the plight of the manong. How come literature is all about sadness?
DELIA: You’re right. Have you ever heard of a novel that is a comedy that won a Nobel Prize for Literature?
AGNES: That is right. Why is“great literature” sad? Why can’t a comedy be one, when it’s precisely what people need—to laugh because life is already full of hardship. Is it because if something is comedic, it is not “dignified”?
DELIA: I don’t know. I’m sorry I don’t have the answers to your question. Why don’t we search the internet to see if there really isn’t a Nobel Prize in Comedy.