Andrea & Pascual

This year, my family’s Christmas Eve celebration was a little different.  It is because my pretty pregnant niece decided to hold the Gender Reveal Party also on the day before Christmas.  Everyone was so excited my mom’s house was colorfully decorated with pink and blue balloons and buntings for the event.

khris mae… my preggy niece

Games were played prior to the exciting gender revelation.  My family is so big that my nephew Den Den, the program host, decided to divide us into 4 groups.  In one of the games, called “Nominate A Name Game”, Den Den directed each group to think of a girl’s and a boy’s name whom we suggest be best given to our would-be newest member of the family.  The best recommended names will win the game.  Khris Mae, my would-soon-be-a-mom niece was, of course, the judge.

i was rooting for a baby boy while my elder sister wants a girl

There were so many suggestions, my group decided that I should be the one to think and provide our group’s nominated names.  I actually got an advantage because I have personally talked to Khris Mae during my birthday dinner buffet at Sofitel on what names does she plan to give her child. 

I however could not recall a single name that Khris Mae showed me as listed on her mobile phone during that Sofitel dinner.  During the game, I instead limit the names to names that starts with the letter A.  Besides, all of my grandniece and grandnephews names starts with the letter A – Arziolo, Alvia and Alexander II so I guess it would be perfect to name this baby with a name that starts with this letter.

When it was my turn to nominate a name, some gentle spirit seems to have whispered to me and made me utter the name Andrea.  A Greek-originated name that means “strong, brave and powerful”.  The very characteristics that I would want my brother’s would-be grandchild to possess.  A very appropriate name for a baby in this age and era of our planet.

For the boy’s name, the first name that entered by mind was Andrew, the male variant of the name Andrea.  But when I was asked what boy’s name I nominate, I suddenly uttered Pascual. That’s when I remembered suggesting to Khris Mae during my birthday dinner in Sofitel that I like the name Pascual.  I told her that it is to pay tribute and homage to my loving grandfather (Nengkoy’s dad) whose name was Pascual.

it’s pink confetti!

it’s a girl!

Later in the party, Khris Mae finally revealed that she will have a baby girl.  And guess what? My group won the “Nominate A Name Game”.

Farewell To You “Tukayo”

neil armstrong

It is believed that in 500 years, people of this planet will forget about wars, calamities and even its world leaders but will never fail to disregard the time when a man first stepped on the moon.  Actually, people have difficulty recalling the names of the men who stepped on the moon but definitely not Neil Armstrong, the first man who did it.  I’m pretty sure planet Earth until it blows itself into smithereens will forever remember him.

I do not have any relation or association with Neil Armstrong except for my name.  He is my tukayo (a friendly Filipino way of calling a person having the same first name as one’s self).  Nengkoy and Joe named me after this iconic hero.  Being the root and basis of my appellation I have always felt a close connection with this man.  His name is forever on my birth certificate, my signature and of course will be on my gravestone hopefully in a very distant future.

That is why I am saddened to know that my tukayo has passed away.  It felt like the beautiful birthmark on my skin that I have been so proud of has suddenly disappeared.  I feel like I lost the chieftain of the tribe whom I belong.

He may now be gone but the gigantic scientific achievement he has contributed represents one of the peaks of humanity’s progress.  He is definitely one great ambassador of the human species.  And I’m damn proud that I was named after him!

Paalam tukayo…