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“Names can define our identity,” quipped Prof. Maria Ana Diaz.
We identify ourselves by our names; nicknames, first name, middle name, and surname. But, digging deeper, have you ever wondered how one person subconsciously pick up something about our names whenever they read or hear it? Is our impression to them positive or the other way? These questions keep puzzling my mind. I want to ask everyone, “What are you thinking whenever you hear my name, Peter?”
Names have been part of everyone’s life. From the moment when our parents were still thinking what name would they give us during our mom’s pregnancy to the very moment when they registered our birth certificates, our names gave us the prime identity and individuality that one must have.
Last August 9, 2018, our class had an activity that fosters the art of knowing each other through sharing in our respective groups the things about our names; origin, reasons why we have that name, story behind it, personal or cultural meaning, and the like. With me in our group are Shaira, Danielle, and Airica. Listening to their individual stories, I was able to know something about them. Something beyond who I think they are based on their names.
Shai, as fondly called by many, said that her name suits her a lot. At first, she’s a bit shy when we were talking but as our conversation continues she managed to tone down her shyness and be able to catch up with the group’s fun. Shai is way more than what I expected her to be. She’s undeniable shy but more than that, she’s bubbly and funny.
Danielle said that she wanted to be called Danielle instead of Eunice because she finds the latter very girly which is opposed to her personality; something tough. Preferring Danielle as the name to be called for her suits her personality; strong and independent.
Airica fondly called as Ikay is a girl with an ardent personality. She always manages to smile back at us. She said that she didn’t want the name Airica because for her it’s just the slanged version of Erika which she finds very unnecessary sort of thing. With her personality, I think that her nickname Ikay really embody her; something fun, and easy to be with.
As for me, my name signifies the triple “power” of my origin. My name came from the three men of our family. Peter from my grandfather named Pedro, Den in my father’s name which is Dennis, and Marck from my other grandfather’s name which is Marcos; Peter Denmarck. I am strong, persevered, and humble at the same time. Coincidentally, as mentioned above, though I was named after my grandfather Pedro, Peter is a biblical name which means “the rock”, and is also the name of the first pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, St. Peter. With this, I guess that my parents wanted me to grow righteously and live up to the ideals of St. Peter.
There is a great reason why we have our names like this. We may like it or not but we cannot deny that these names really gave us the identity that we have today. Somehow our names seem to twin the personality, beliefs, qualities and identity as a whole that we have, right? Examine it then you’ll see what I’m talking about.
These are all manifestations that our names are not just some meaningless codes that we have but these are the spirit of our individuality. We embrace and embody it. We are twinned with it. These serve as the marker of our identity as it reveals what is essential to the naked eye other than what other people see us to be. This remark may not be always true, but to some extent it gives the partiality that sways us that what I’m telling is right. That our names reveal something about ourselves.
People may always have their first impression on us whenever they hear or read our names. They may be correct or not. We may agree to them or not. Let us not forget that we are more than what they expected us to be. Our names identify us, let’s do good, and let our pleasant personality radiate so that people associate good things on our names whenever they read or hear it.
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