Ene 10, 2002

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TWO TONGUES

About my decision to make this a bilingual page, I still don't know if it's a good one. Most people don't like the idea. I don't know. My mind and tongue are both split between idioms. I don't just want to exoticize the other by using it too sparingly. Maybe for no better reason than, it's not me. I am not a Filipino politician's speech, starting out with a Tagalog quote just to get attention then relapsing into flowing English for the upper class taste. I'm also not that same trapo's tongue when he impresses his captive audience with flowing Tagalog with well-placed smatterings of English words. All to emphasize the point that he is against his own class. Flinging out against oppressors as if he were not one of them! When in truth, his derogation springs from his own experience. I do not deny my social being. They call me petit-bourgeois. Too bourgeois and too petty at the same time.

I'm not a subtitled Filipino film either. I'm not selling to a greater audience by employing as many languages as I can! Nope. In fact, I think I am effectively limiting my readers. Pretty soon maybe, there'll be just me! I can't do anything about it though. I'm a small man with very small time. If I do something here which is not true to I am, I am not true to myself! I am no subtitle. My tongues do not translate each other and pretend to be one and the same. They hate each other. They are engaged in a dialectic that defines me. Mirror images. Anti-theses. I dish out different tastes and substances from my two stoves. I try my best not to contradict myself. But when I do, I like to imagine that the process, well, made me stronger.

***
Afgahnistan, why do I hound you? You are, effectively, anti-Avalon. Why do I care for you? Why do I dream to see your scarred face as if my country's own were not enough? There was a time when I wanted to see Cuba, see a system that Hollywood does not promote. But it was a shelved thought, something I could always come back to when some indefinite age is upon me. But Afghanistan? Such a death wish. With you, I want immediate gratification. I actually regretted not having entertained the idea of entering the airline industry at an early age! And I'm not one to regret easily. Even deep wounds and great humiliation I dare not strike off my record! This is not escapism, I know. Something else. My spirit trembles. I must know.