Since childhood, I never stayed in one place for too long. At the age of five, I left my hometown in the Philippines to live in a new but similar culture in the Middle East. At the age of 13, I left for the United States and, unlike my prior experience, encountered a completely distinct culture. During these travels, I felt an increasing necessity to gain a proficiency in writing and speaking in certain languages, particularly English. As a result, I learned English and its vocabulary and grammatical rules. Unfortunately, a tradeoff occurs when you learn new concepts. At times, one forgets a part of knowledge to make room for new knowledge. The author, Barbara Mellix, can attest to this claim with her own experience in learning standardized English and, eventually, forgetting her traditional English written in “From Outside, In.” Similar to her experience, to learn English, I neglected my native tongue and, by extension, my culture.
Prior to my travels, I lived in a small town that spoke only one language, Tagalog. Naturally, I learned how to speak the language by listening to my family talk and the language came naturally to me. Due to the prevalence of the language, I learned how to speak and write Tagalog and no other language. After all, learning another language was most likely useless in a homogenous community of Tagalog speakers. This mindset prevailed until after my fifth birthday when I found out that my family was moving to a Middle Eastern country called the