Dear Mama & Papa,
First, I would like to say how great parents you are.
As a Filipino family, we don’t adhere much to traditions like the “mano po,” or using “po” & “opo” when Khea and I talk to you.
People who hear us converse think of us as rude and disrespectful and make comments like “Ay? Parang barkada lang ah? Sino mas Matanda sa inyo? [Oh? It’s like you’re just buddies, eh? Which one of you is older?]” (Yes, I’m looking at you, “Manang.” )
I kind of hate it when they comment. They don’t even know what they’re talking about. There were dozens of times where we thought of trying to develop that habit again, like when we were kids.
It kind feels weird though. I mean, not coz we don’t want to, it’s just… you and Mama raised us differently, taught us manners differently. It may not be as per the traditional Filipino Family, but you raised us as best as you could. I’d say we turned out pretty well.
We may not use the “po” and “opo” quite as much… or make “mano po” but everything we say to you is out of honesty, respect, & a surprisingly deep friendship that most children can only dream of having with their parents.
I know there are others out there who display politeness in their words but don’t really mean it. I’d like to think we’re just being practical and frank. We say what we mean and mean what we say. I really love that you are not just our parents, but our best friends as well.
But, I do know that sometimes… we tend to get a little overboard with our closeness. Sometimes, I forget that you are our parents first, and friends second. I’m sorry if sometimes I get so cranky with my tone of voice or actions.
Also, I’m sorry if sometimes I seem to be pushing you away and demand so much space using my “need for independence” as an excuse. Sometimes I forget that while I’m growing up, that you and Mama are growing old.
You didn’t adhere to typical Filipino norms on how to raise your kids. For our family to live abroad, it’s kind of a factor. But… like I said… you raised us well.
We never went hungry.
We always had clothes.
We had great education.
You treated us not only as children who should always do as you told us, but as equal human beings who should give and receive respect, regardless of age, gender, race, or status in life.
Please know that, you are the coolest & most amazing parents a child could hope for.
Sometimes, I forget to tell you that.
I guess, it’s high time we remind you.