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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

On Love and Unique Family Names

I just read an interesting conversation in my mailbox that inspired me to post this entry. The email was from Toto, a friend I knew back in college. Back then there was nothing extraordinary about him. He was intelligent. Argumentative. Pilosopo. the typical UP student. But the one thing about him that really stands out -- what people remember him for -- is his surname.

I admit, I snickered when I heard his surname. It was uhmmm... unique. I even remember those days when he was still a post-graduate student in France -- I was chatting with him online when my dad entered the room, looked at the computer screen and said: "sino yang ka-chat mo, bakit ganyan ng pangalan??"

Then there was a time when he was back in the country on vacation, we got together and he was ranting why he was still single while he can be considered a good catch. He has the looks, he has the brains and he has the things women would want in a man. But how come no girl has ever fallen for him yet? Our advice: "Kuya Toto (yes, we called him kuya back then) palitan mo na kasi apelyido mo para may magpakasal na sayo!"

He didn't. He took pride in the fact that his surname was unique -- even exotic -- to the French people.

After earning his doctorate degree, he came home. Here, a friend introduced him to a pretty lady doctor at St. Lukes. They fell in love and got married.

Recently, I was checking the messages in our yahoogroups when I read that particular email when he was kidding that he wanted a baby girl so when she grows up and gets married, she would not have to live with the surname of Bacolcol forever. Then someone dared to ask the question: "Toto, are you serious that you want a baby girl to eliminate 'Bacolcol.' Wifey doesn't use Dra. Bacolcol? Curious lang."

His response: "My wife uses my family name of course. But before we got married, I told her she may use her family name if she wants to. Pero ayaw ng asawa ko. Siyempre love covers all, unique family names included :-)"

That made me smile. Lucky guy. He found true love.