I don't believe in sampling some Tibetan music just to make it sound groovy, but you do your homework, you understand what you're doing with it.
My identity is linked to my grandmother, who's pure Filipino, as pure as you can probably get. And that shaped my imagination. So that's how I identify.
I'm part Spanish. My paternal grandfather came from Spain via Singapore to Manila. On my mother's side it's more mixture, with a Filipino mother and a father who was Scotch Irish-French; you know, white American hybrid. And I also have on my father's side a great-great-grandmother who was Chinese. So, I'm a hybrid.
We didn't have television until I was about eight years old, so it was either the movies or radio. A lot of radio drama. That was our television, you know. We had to use our imagination. So it was really those two things, and the comics, that I immersed myself in as a child.
I have been definitely influenced more by Latin American writers than by any other type of writer. They are very close in terms of voice - their humor, their fatalism, their... well, that over-used term 'magical realism.' It's a wonderful term that's just been used so much, we don't know what it means anymore.
Hybridity keeps me from being rigid about most things. It has taught me to appreciate the contradictions in the world and in my life. I scavenge from the best.
I don't know what issues concerning identity have helped contemporary fiction evolve to what it is now. All I know is that the range of voices that are being heard and published is a lot more diverse than when I was coming up.
But I think there's a genuine joy, too, a sense that no matter what, even if my stomach's growling, I'm going to dance. That's what I want to leave people with at the end of the play. After all this, people still know how to live.
There were also horror shows on the radio. Very terrifying and thrilling to me as a kid. They had all these creepy sound effects. They would come on at ten o'clock at night, and I just would scare myself to death.