It’s Monday morning and I’m drinking coffee in the comfort of my apartment. Hunched over my computer, I’m planning the rest of my stay in Paris. French news in the background; coverage of the Philippine presidential election continues to play on repeat.
Duterte, the bombastic and obscene Filipino equivalent of Donald Trump, promises bloody death to petty criminals – very much to the glee of an amnesiac and uneducated electorate. I find the sound of the French translation over the Tagalog to be quite jarring. Even though the two languages are more than familiar to my ears – Filipino, the overheard language of my childhood home; and French, the language of my collegiate studies.
Combined they form a sort of dissonant melody. Two cultures that I know fairly well by now, and yet I can’t help but feel like an outside observer on both fronts.