It’s beyond codeswitch—it’s an acceptance.
I decode a full Cebuano phrase, as though
it’s a tourist I have been encountering since
last year who never gives his number.
In American English, Niel and I would bicker
about Philippine politics, its idiocrasies,
the double standards, our accents swaying
between mother tongue and the academic.
Never do I stop reasoning that my mouth
becomes more slender and amiable when
speaking in Tagalog. What kind of Tagalog?
Manila Tagalog or Davao Tagalog? Oh, there’s
a category? Then mine’s the GenSan kind.
I rendezvous people in the crossroad of my
languages, and I oftentimes show up late or
not show up at all. Will there be an objective
understanding for apologies or forgiveness?
I tell the driver lugar lang, also reminding
of my fare’s change and where I came from.
Tell without translating how lost I already am.
Marc Jeff Lañada studies BA Communication Arts in UP Mindanao.