06 April 2007

On names and nicknames

YESTERDAY afternoon, as has been our custom whenever the situation allows, we sent off my mother-in-law Corazon to her younger sister Pura and husband Miguel in their hometown in Tobog, Oas, Albay. We can afford to as the long holiday allows us to look after our kids ourselves for the whole day, freeing Mama from the formidable job of (grand)parenting them when we are at work.

The trip to Oas, our first after Reming, also marked the first time we brought Emilia Mikaela -- now more than three months old -- to our relatives, who I fondly call "the Tobognons." Only the five girls joined us, as their two elder brothers opted to stay in "Salaglada," which is how Budi called my hometown, Sagrada, Pili, when he was just learning to speak. The name stuck ever since.

Which highlights our family's penchant -- me, in particular -- to append unusual names to everyone in the family, some out of affection and the others for teasing, that would in time stick.

Mikaela, for instance, is variously called "Uling" (courtesy of her Lola Oas, who thought she was a tad darker than her siblings), "Buding" (mine, owing to her chubbiness and the round face that reminded me of Nanette Inventor's Doña Buding), and "Budina" (her mom's, who thinks she is our "babaeng Budi".)

Budi, of course, is Jack Ryan, called as such -- by me, I think -- after Lynn began calling Ezekiel "EK," which I quickly converted into Boke. If his older brother had a nickname, Jack too must have his own, and thus Budi was born.

I think Jack has grown to like his Indonesian-sounding nickname, so much so his Grandview friends and classmates call him as such. And it has brought forth a number of variants, depending on one's mood: Jack responds to such names as Budz when I am playful; Budino when I am angry; Budjack when his younger sisters are mad; or Adobo when he gets his mom's goat.

And it's not only our children. My brother Nelson, for instance, is more popularly known as Macky in Sagrada; our youngest Dennis is Patty. I can go on and on, but I won't; suffice it to say that behind every unusual or amusing nickname is a story worth telling to one's children and grandchildren when the time comes.

Our "Buding," three months and a week later.


dave (",) said...

Has Budi read Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels?

From my answer to your earlier meme, you know I hate my childhood nickname.