Life is a puzzle; we are the clues, and God is the answer.
Creativity and originality are among the traits parents must have when naming their kids. Especially so if you live here in the Philippines. [I gathered that these two traits are not required in other countries, so that explains why they have common, “boring” names! (Peace, peace! Just jesting. This is not supposed to be a racist post. Please just read on and enjoy it for what it really is.)]
Just now, I finished re-reading an article by a British guy named Matthew Sutherland, A Rhose by Any Other Name, a piece about names in our country. I think it is very funny and so true. (I suggest you read his article first before reading the rest of this post. I’ll wait.)
Oh, so you’re done. Funny, huh? But the rest of my post is funnier, I assure you. (Well, I hope, so. 🙂 ) So read on!
What I’m going to discuss is what Mr. Sutherland calls composite names. He gave examples of composite names taken from names of places, but he failed to mention composite names from the child’s parents, which is a very common practice in the Philippines. In fact, my name, which I’ve been told sounds like an Indian, has come from my parents’ names: Sher is from mom’s (Sherly) and Ma is from dad’s (Manuel).
Good thing Sherma turned out sounding fine! In fact, I think it’s beautiful. (Love your creativity, Mom and Dad!) However, it sometimes annoys me that I need to spell it out so other people could understand it. S-H-E-R-M-A. .
Yes, it’s Sherma. Not Sharmaine nor Sherna nor Cherma as people often mistake it to be. Neither is it Shermalyn (as my ex-officemates at PPHI insist on calling me just to annoy me) or Shermalou as my other ex-officemates (over at FAME) love to call me. Just Sherma, thank you very much! Argh!
But here’s a freaky thought. Imagine if my parents decided to use their nicknames instead [Yes, they have nicknames! Leth (mom’s) and Manny (dad’s)], as they initially planned. I could have been named Manileth! Yikes! Good thing someone put some sense into them (thanks, Grandma!). Good thing, too, that I don’t have a sister; I’m sure she would have gotten it. Harhar!
But I do have three brothers, and one of them is not so lucky, while another is extremely lucky. The lucky one is lucky, because, well, his name is Lucky Ryan. 🙂 But no, my not-so-lucky brother’s name is not Unlucky Ryan. Neither is it Manileto (eeeeewwwww!). His name, for 21 years, had been Sherman! No, it’s not a typo. It’s really as i wrote it. Mom and Dad (unimaginative folks that they are) had been inspired by a couple in our neighborhood who named their twins Norma and Norman! Duh!
I think Mom and Dad regretted not being very creative when naming this brother of mine. Sherman and I used to fight over small things, and all because of our names. Sherman enjoyed annoying me by putting an n to my things on which I’d written my name, (Sherma becomes Sherman) so they became his! That easy! Good thing he eventually found out, when he was about to take his board exam, that there had been a mistake with his name. The civil registrar put Sherwin instead of Sherman. Because there was no more time to file all the documents necessary to correct the error before the exam, my brother adopted Sherwin as his official name (so he’s actually a living mistake, hehehe), and so now we fight no more. Ahahaha!
People who know me well can tell you I am not a vengeful person. But you know what? I’m thinking of using my creativity and originality when naming my would-be kids, too. You see, my boyfriend’s surname is Pascua (meaning Christmas), so I have this EXTREMELY GREAT idea of having christmasey names for my kids. I’m thinking of naming my girl Poinsettia (yes, the December flower) and my boy, Rudolph. Or how about Claus?
Please let me know what you think. You might just help me and my boyfriend settle our “argument” over baby names. He doesn’t think my idea is great 😦 , but I don’t believe him 🙂 . I’m sure he’s just jealous, because he had not thought of it first (considering it’s his surname!). Besides, what does he know about creativity? He has lived in Europe for 20++ years and counting! He must have lost his Filipino creativity! (Hey Buddy! Peace 🙂 )
Let me know what you think, ok? Or how about if we’ll have a little game. Simply answer any or all of the following questions: (1) What do you think of my BRILLIANT idea about my kids’ names? (2) Could you suggest another Christmasey name for me to consider? (3) What do you think your name would be had your parents decided to use a composite name based from their names?
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, this is my “shameless” way of pimping my blog stat. Hehehehe. Or how about my way of adding some humor into my blog? I realized I’ve been a bit too serious, so maybe I decided to loosen up a bit. Hm, you decide.)