My husband is very lucky to have snatched a Filipino wife. (He says so himself!) Though I am Brooklyn born and Wisconsin fed, my parents both hail from the land of over 7000 islands. I wonder if F realized that by marrying into a Pinoy family, he and his children would be immersed in cultural traditions that are both important and, at times, amusing.
One such tradition involves the naming of the ships…I mean, kids. Though F and I named C and P without the input of our families, I knew that to honor my family’s Filipino heritage, the kiddos would also be given Filipino nicknames.
Cultural Sidenote: In the Philippines, it is customary to give your children “normal” Filipino names, such as Francisco, Rosalia, Cecilia or Lorenzo, but then also give them short, often repetitive nicknames. The nickname is the name that will be used by family and friends throughout a Pinoy’s entire life. Nicknames for boys include Jojo, Ronron, Bobo, Pokpok, Toti, Tikboy, Kokoy, Kiko. Nicknames for girls include Wawa, Micmic, Lingling, Kringkring, Puti, Nene, Teetit, Kaykay. According to my expert Filipino sources, the funnier the name, the better.
I guess I forgot to explain this tradition to F, because he was a bit surprised when my mother texted me with something like, “hv nknam 4 C. wil col hr Ayay.” (Ayay is pronounced eye-eye.) Three years later, F was prepared when I received the text, “P wil b Tingting.”
Based on my own experience, I know there will come a time in their lives when Ayay and Tingting will try to reject their Pinoy nicknames. In my head, I can hear them singing, “That’s not my name. That’s not my name. That’s not my name. That’s not my name.” However, I also know that that time will pass and that the girls will be proud of their Flip side. Their names will forever remind them of their Nana J and Lolo’s Filipino roots.
So there you have it: Ayay and Tingting. The coolest hybrids on the block.