My work requires me to talk to English speakers, and write for English readers. While I use Filipino in everyday conversation, most of the media I consume are in English. The only times I read and write in Filipino is when it’s required for a local client, or when chatting online and texting with people.
When I opened the link for this New York Times article, I was surprised to see it in Filipino. Though there is a link for the English version, I decided to challenge myself and read it in the local language.
It’s a completely different experience.
I feel like if I read it in English, it’s much easier to feel detached — it’s happening to them; it doesn’t concern me. Reading it in Filipino really drives home the gravity of the situation.
This year, I’ve so far spent 8 months out of the country, and I have to admit to the feeling of detachment from all of these atrocities. In less than a month, I’ll be back in the Philippines, and reading the article made me realize the reality of what I am coming home to.