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Critical Essay

The Settler Settles In: Locating a Space for the Settler in Rogelio Braga?s Colon

What if one flees the enemy?or better, pursues him?only to find that the enemy is one?s self?  Such is the fate of the post-colonial subject, whether identified with the colonizer or the colonized.  Indeed, one could argue that the lines between colonizer and colonized, such as they were drawn, have long bled into each other.  

Rogelio Braga?s novel ?Colon? takes to task the narratives of nationalism in the Philippines.  It attempts to dismantle, or at least interrogate the meanings attached to the scholar and the savage, the capital and the provinces, re-presenting each one in what Braga hopes is a fresh light.  It is possible to discern an effort to present a three-dimensional view of Philippine society, where the picturesque personalities of Manilenyo call center agent, Moro merchant, or university professor, are never quite what the reader thinks they will be.