Continued from

Go GREEN. Read from


Oriental Masks

Oriental Masks
Photo by Jefferson Solayao, 2016

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

More on atchays and language:

Years ago, I called up VA to ask about something in connection with the 75th Year of the Liberation of the Philippines, a program series I was organizing at the time. Since I was at the Embassy, I spoke to the VA employee in English. Thinking that I was trying to sound like an American, she suddenly blurted out passages in Tagalog, perhaps hoping to embarrass me. She didn't know, of course, that I was a creative writer. I responded to her in my deepest and most archaic Tagalog. She couldn't understand a thing.

We switched back to English.