photo credits to KMJS
Pinoys are generally creative especially in naming everything, genius. No business establishment is deemed too sacred to be spared from creative name-calling, from water purifying stations to bottled water, salons, restaurants, even the smallest business roaming around the Philippines streets. Look around you.
A nickname is the hardest stone that the devil can throw at a man. - William Hazlitt.
Brilliantly said, and one way to explain why in new world countries, John remains John and Mary will ever be called Mary. But here in the Philippines, though, a nicknamed child is a loved child. And heaven help the child who’s been given a particularly “inspired” nickname.
Pinoy parents seem to have a field day when it comes to naming their offsprings. Children have been named after pies (Apple Pie, Cherry Pie), vehicles (Chevy, Mercedes, Porsche, Volks), beverages (Brandy, Whisky, Cali, Champagne, Punch), and science (Atom, Quark, Nova,Nuclear Bomb). Repeated names sound particularly endearing, and so we have Au-Au, Ai Ai, Bokbok, Bekbek, Janjan, Jenjen and Junjun. And let’s all answer to the doorbell names Bingbing, Bongbong, Bingbong, and Tingting.
And then there’s the "H" factor. Tess can’t just be Tess. She’s gotta be Thess, a friend of Mhae, who is also a cousin of Dhong.
In a typical Pinoy merchandising, being original seems to be, well, the most original, claim. As in the “original sukang pinakurat” (extra-spicy vinegar) of Iligan City. Thumbing their noses at Webster, vinegar tycoons unabashedly tout their products as original. There is Elvie’s Original Buko Pie right alongside Mitzi’s Original Specialties which competes against Areane’s Original Sweets.
Being original however best defines the Filipino’s gift for making up puns from established names while commenting on the Pinoy’s various grooves at the same time. So there’s the karaoke bar Sinto Nado for all the Frank Sinatra wannabes singing to make their way. Or would you rather roar your heart out at the Blue Marilyn, a sing-along ihaw-ihaw joint in Sucat? Movie titles? Guess what: there’s Hair Force One, Con Hair or Dolphy's Tataynic. Or would you lash someone with your tongue with salty swear words such as Cooking ng Ina Mo, a food place just a couple of hip-sways away from Cooking ng Ina Mo Rin?
Showbiz is also a ripe fruit for this kind of trend. There’s the dress shop called Elizabeth Tailoring, the hair salon Felix d’Cut, the water purifying station Harry Water, a moneychanger shop called Starbucks and a street food cart Facebool. With apologies to Yves St. Laurent, would you weep if you found out that your YSL jacket was actually Yari Sa Laguna?
Even when the scythe of death is licking through their necks, Pinoys still find reason to laugh. Would you like to book a seat for the Last Trip Funeral Parlor? Or claim your second chance to live at Funeraria Mabuhay? Or, if you can’t take it with you, would you rather leave your earthly stuff to your family and make do with the Factory Price Funeral?
From the time we get our nicknames to that last ride to the cemetery, we are forever coining labels for all that surround us. It makes the trip so much better. I guess this is another reason why it's more fun in the Philippines. Or better yet, "It's more 'pun' in the Philippines."