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All or Nothing

Time 0:02:31


My mom is from the Philippines, and my dad is from Poland. They were pen pals, fell in love and moved to Canada to start fresh. It’s as simple as that. It’s pretty cute story actually, in many ways very romantic. But as I grew up I began to doubt if true love really does last forever.

When my brother and I were young we were all attached at the hip. Whenever the polish festivals came into town we’d all go together. I can still remember the bright colors, the singing and the music (polish music, polka). My dad would tell us stories about his childhood, and we’d eat polish foods. And that goes the same for the many Filipino parties we were invited too. My mom was very involved with the Filipino community, so my dad would take us to support the events and participate in the dances that she organized. We’d spend the night mingling with others and playing games, just being a family.

As the years go by I slowly began to see the distance between my parents grow, it soon led to sleeping separately, being in opposites sides of the house and little conversations. I began to wonder, what changed? maybe the past was finally catching up with them?… maybe they jumped into a relationship they knew nothing about? How can couples fall out of love? Could it be because they were so culturally different?

I still remember the trips to Poland my dad would take my brother and I on every 5 years to visit his side of the family. Knowing that my brother and I didn’t know polish, there was difficulty speaking to my relatives but we still had fun swinging from trees and playing with the animals. My mom never went with us to Poland. She says that because she doesn’t know any polish, she had no reason to be there and that she didn’t fit in. At the time I thought nothing of it.

Now, being older and being able to see the world through my own eyes, things seem much different. I began to notice the constant excuses of why neither of them would go to places together. There were no more polish festivals, no Filipino parties, no dancing, no games…we stopped going to anything as a family.

I am afraid that if I show too much interest in one culture, I will lose the other. So what I do, is try not to lean on either side, and instead just do typical Canadian things. Because, it wouldn’t be only losing the culture, it would be losing the parent as well.

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