My husband and I have already picked out a baby boy’s name, but are still in the dark if she turns out to be a girl. It’s tougher to think of a name than I thought. Sometimes when I tell other people of my ideas, I’d get reactions like, “Nako! Wag yan, may kaklase akong bwisit dati na ganyan yung pangalan.” Or “Parang pang bold star yung dating!” (Thank you, original Machete, for forming such an association to our last name, haha).
I hope we can have that ultrasound for gender soon. Meanwhile, a growing list of the many ways Filipinos choose names for their children, is in my head. I will now attempt to make a list of how we label our little ones:
1. Colonial Names
It seems inherent in us to be attracted to Spanish and American names. No duh. They did make a huge impact on our history.
2. Bible / Christian Names
Our population is largely Catholic. Many names therefore, come from either the Bible or a favorite saint. My siblings and I all have second names derived from either saints or the Bible. My husband’s name was also inspired by a saint, and he insists that our baby’s name will also fall under this category.
3. Names with meanings
Largely popular these days is the method of actually checking for the meanings of your intended baby names (Google ‘Baby Name Meaning’ websites and you’ll find tons.) This a good thing, really. In fact I think all parents should check. My parents gave me 2 names which, when put together, turns out to mean “Strange Lady.” (Don’t get me wrong, I think my name’s agreeable …still, it would probably have turned out differently if they checked for the meaning.)
4. Family combos
> Combo 1: Honorable names
To honor grandparents or departed loved ones, their names are sometimes reflected on the baby’s birth certificate as a second name.
> Combo 2: Dynastic Names
Junior, Senior, the Third, the Tenth? Some names have such power over families that they are passed from generation to generation. In my family, I know of at least three Manuel’s – My grandfather, my uncle, and my cousin.
> Combo 3: Marriage Medley
Take the first letter or a syllable from the names of the husband and the wife to come up with a unique nomenclature: Joselito and Marianella = Jomar.
5. Nationalistic Names
Amihan. Luzviminda. Bayani. Dalisay. With the recent celebration of Jose Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary, I heard on TV that some Filipinos are actually named after him, last name included. (For more Filipino names, visit http://www.aboutnames.ch/phil.htm or http://www.philippinebabynames.com/a-babynames.html)
6. Names inspired by nature, adjectives, and other objects
Rain, Charm, Lovely, Rocky. My cousin named her little girl, Narra, and is thinking of naming their soon to be born boy, Bamboo/ Kawayan. I also know of a friend who adds nature words as second names to her children – Sky, Star, Sun. Then there are weird ones…A priest told me once that someone came up to him and said that he wanted his son to be baptized as David Litku…as in Kulit!
7. International names
To be more unique, some take inspiration from other countries. Mishka, Aiko, Gustavo, Aaliyah, Johannes--I used to have a student named Ananda.
8. Celebrity and Character Names
Michael Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe (ay Pe pala), Venus, Adonis…Yes, I know of a baby who was named after Thalia (From the Mexican telanovela, Rosalinda).
9. Baliktarang- Pangalan
I recently received a pinoy joke about naming babies in my inbox that left me laughing hard:
NOEL: Ipapangalan ko sa aking anak, "LEON," baliktad ng Noel.
Nino: Sa akin "ONIN," baliktad ng Nino.
TOTO: Wag niyo akong maisali-sali dyan sa usapan ninyo!
10. Letter Fixations
To do this, choose your favorite letter from the Alphabet, and pick only names that start with that letter. It really does narrow down your otherwise overwhelming number of choices. Hey! My husband and I can form a “B” family! Not.