Perhaps the next difficult task lined up for new parents after welcoming a child into this world is selecting the perfect name for the new member of the family. I haven't been a parent yet but I imagine that task would be fun.
Though most of the time confused and can't make up my mind, I always have fun deciding what name to give my pets. (When I finally had a dog which I named Andy - yes, that's him on the picture - I realized that having a pet is a form of parenting, so I was thinking I could insert this here. You adopt a pet, but actually, it's the pet that adopts you. Humans are made to believe that we are parenting the animal but it is actually the animal who's parenting us. Bottom line: Having a pet is a form of parenting, and it is up to you to decide who gets the role of parent and the role of child.)
When I was younger, I had cats named Kitty, Sir Oliver and Pringles, and for me I couldn't be proud enough then for baptizing them myself. Those names somehow gave them a sense of individuality apart from being named the usual Miming/Ming-Ming/Mingkay, names that my late grandmother would love to call all of them. Once Miming/Ming-Ming/Mingkay dies and a new cat comes along, then we have a new Miming/Ming-Ming/Mingkay. The generic name usually comes in handy specially when they are fed. Just call out Miming/Ming-Ming/Mingkay, and the whole feline family in the house - Papa Cat, Mama Cat, and the kittens - would come to you. Their names would however become different when my grandmother would catch them trying to snatch a portion of the food served on our dining table. Instantly they would be baptized, Limbarok(!), my grandmother's signature expression, one that she used when she is annoyed or mad. The name or expression just slides out of her mouth as easily as a knee jerk. I never got to ask her what it meant or where the word originated but I knew that the cats, after hearing that, would probably prefer a generic name of Miming/Ming-Ming/Mingkay running along their families for generations. That would certainly sound sweeter than Limbarok(!), never mind that it is recycled.
Just last week, I read about unusual baby names. If you would think that Alka Seltzer was hilarious enough, how about having Circuncisión (Circumcision) for a name? Last January, a father was separated from his baby, because he decided to name him Adolf Hitler. Other unusual names include Perfecta Heroína (Perfect Heroine), Usmail (as in USA Mail), Usnavy (as in USA Navy). Winter Breeze, Metallica, and 4Real would also be included in the list. Then there's Abacus, Anemone, Burr, Cadence, Canyon (whoa!), Quantico, Schwantika, Ursa, and Tamarind.
Now the Filipinos won't be left behind. I have a lot of friends with interesting names like Majal Tagumpay who has a brother named Ibon Bayani. Majal is a musician by heart and by profession so she named her daughter Nasa Huni, which in English means in tune. I have a childhood friend name Youreallylove. Yes, really! I also had schoolmates whose surnames are their first names at the same time, they were all lovely girls named Jamora Maria Jamora I, II, II and so forth. My aunt's got a nephew too who has his mother's maiden name as his first name. I thought that was really cute but I could not do that to my own son, if I had one, or else he'll be nicknamed 'nes, aside from being always the last one to finish in writing class. Now who would not forget the juniors who are (un)lucky enough to take the names of their fathers. Their names could indeed make a mark in this era where Paquito (that's my father's name), Vicente (sorry Prams!), Vicencio, Tranquilina, Candelaria, etc. are almost never an afterthought amidst an overwhelming number of choices with Adam, Joshua, Jaden, Zachary, Ava, Alexa, Isabella, on the top of the list with a lot more.
But there is this one habit of Filipino parents in giving names to their children that is unprecedented in any part of the globe. No, I am not referring to the "h" that most Pinoys love to insert in their names, wherein Jun becomes Jhun, Tata (a favorite Visayan nickname, probably because it's unisex) becomes Thata. It's the habit that somehow Filipino fathers got addicted to and that is to "feminize" their masculine name so that they could somehow achieve immortality through the names of their daughters. So you would know that Rudylin's father is Rudy, Junylyn's or Jhunilyn's father Jun or Jhun. But the rule does not apply though to Jennylyn, right? Okey, her mother is Jenny.
This attempt at achieving mortality though did not turn out that very good for a 20-year old teacher in Toril, Davao City, who was abducted last Wednesday, March 4, by unknown armed men. Her dead body was then fished out in an irrigation ditch a few days later in Carmen, Davao del Norte. She was tortured, raped, and stabbed to death. The victim's name is Rebelyn. Yes she is a rebel's daughter. She is the daughter of Leoncio Pitao a.k.a Commander Parago of the New People's Army.