Charlson Ong and the Chinese Filipino diaspora: Articulating hybridity and forging identities as a way of remapping the novel genre

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Language and Literature Major in Literature


College of Liberal Arts


Literature, Department of

Thesis Adviser

Shirley Lua

Defense Panel Chair

David Jonathan Bayot

Defense Panel Member

Jose Wendell Capili
Jeremy De Chavez


In recent years, diaspora studies have gained momentum. In the Philippine context, it is appropriate to explore and examine the lived experiences of the Chinese Filipinos as diasporic subjects in various contexts. This study examines the novels of Charlson Ong, namely: An Embarrassment of Riches (2000), Banyaga: A Song of War (2006), and Blue Angel: White Shadow (2010). These three novels put forward narratives of the Chinese diaspora, notably, in the Southeast Asian region. Considering the novels vis-a -vis diaspora, Lisa Lowes theory of heterogeneity, hybridity, and multiplicity has been deployed to determine how the Chinese Filipinos function as a diverse bloc in their societies. Stuart Hall opines that cultural identity is a matter of becoming as well as of being and it is not an essence but a positioning (Lowe 136, 151). Hence, it is fitting to discuss the identities of the selected characters in the novel through Stuart Halls framework of two simultaneous operative axes: the vector of similarity and continuity and the vector of difference and rupture (237). Diaspora is an excellent opportunity to think through some of these vexed questions [of] solidarity and criticism, belonging and distance, insider spaces and outsider spaces, identity as an invention and identity as natural, location-subject positionality and the politics of representation, rootedness, and rootlessness (Radakrishnan 129). Diaspora remains, above all, a human phenomenon lived and experienced (Braziel and Mannur 8). Aside from exploring the intricacies of the Chinese Filipino diaspora, the study also delves into the writing practice of Charlson Ong vis-a -vis each novels generic parameters and its destabilization.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

leaves ; 4 3/4 in.

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