In his preface to the 1988 edition o f Contracting C olonialism , Vincente Rafael notes the semantic propinquity of the Spanish words conquista (con­ quest), conversion (conversion), and traduccion (translation). Conquest is not only the forcible occupation of territory but the act of winning another’s voluntary submission, even love. Conversion, literally the act of turning a thing into something else, or more specifically of effecting a change in re­ ligious practice, also implies a restructuring of desires. To be converted in this sense is to give in by giving up what one wants, in favor of the desires of someone else. Finally, conversion can mean something like translation, to express in one language what has been previously expressed in another (1988, xvii). Rafael goes further to suggest that the relationship between this trio of terms in the context o f Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines also suggests the way in which translation and conversion simultaneously institute and subvert colonial rule (1988, xv).