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‘Cedulario de Manila’

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People who patiently read through the long list of titles of the recently departed Duchess of Alba in my column last Wednesday have an idea of the long-winded system of multiple surnames and double surnames that survived in the Philippines from the Spanish period. This still leads to some confusion, as in people with surnames like Ponce Enrile or Ponce de Leon. When we alphabetize, do we use Ponce or Enrile? When we shorten and only use one surname, do we use Ponce or De Leon?

Posted: December 5th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Names and their times

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The other day, ABS-CBN.com carried an amusing report about unusual names that were spotted among the list of successful examinees in the recent UP College Admissions Test. People at first thought the names Sincerely Yours ’98 Pascual, Cyber 1A22 Cruz, and Cressida B3 Reyes were computer errors.

Posted: December 25th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Delete’ button waffling

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Like it or not, many of us do a periodic painful drill. We sift through names, from “A” to “Z,” in address books or computer directories. Some have died, such reviews invariably show. “Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die/Passing through nature to eternity,” Hamlet says. Others are ill and edge toward that transition.

Posted: June 21st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Mrs. Schemer, I presume?

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“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” but, Sir William, had you heard of “Bubuy,” “Rek Rek,” or “Weng Weng,” would you still of that same opinion be?

Posted: June 9th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Kinder names

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Talk about life in surreal Philippines. The other week there was a news article about a man who had committed suicide after his girlfriend broke up with him. Her name was Hopeless.   As a university administrator I have to sign countless documents with all kinds of names. Reading about Hopeless reminded me of a […]

Posted: January 17th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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