Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ideas for Filipino Baby Names

What are the popular Filipino Baby Names?

Names are a big deal in the Philippines. It often reflects the kind of parents you have.

A unique, obscure or differently spelled name can mean a curse for the kid growing up. Imagine, the horror of being picked on by the teacher every roll call on the first day of school, throughout the span of grade school to college. So choose wisely. Give your baby a name he/she would be proud of.

If you want to get in touch with your Filipino roots and give the baby a very folk sounding name, you may try patriotic Filipino Baby Names names like:
• Amihan (northeast monsoon)
• Araw (Sun)
• Alaala (A Memory)
• Diwa (Consciousness)
• Diwata (Fairy)
• Datu (tribal leader)
• Diosa (Goddess)
• Filipinas
• Habagat (Monsoon)
• Hiyas (Jewel)
• Kisapmata (Blink of an Eye)
• Lantaw (Visaya term means to View)
• Likha (To create)
• Luntian (Green/Lush)
• Luningning (Shimmer/Luster)
• Maningning (sparkly)
• Matimtiman (devoted/devotion)
• Makisig (Strong)
• Masigasig (Persistent/Hardworking/Diligent)
• Marikit (Lovely)
• Perla (Pearl)
• Sinagtala (Shining Star)
• Sikat (Sun Rays)

These beloved pinoy names which are all lovely and culturally significant are rarely used because most parents prefer western names or whatever is popular on Philippine TV. Filipinos in the homeland are fond of mixing Western names. It also serves as an alternative name, so when the kid grows up, he may have an option to choose which name to use.

The modern trend now is to put two Western names together. Some common examples would be:

Paul Ryan, John Kyle, Keith Michael, Alisha Madison, Sabina Marie, Janis Ian.

But some of these western hybrid names end up with funny pinoy nicknames: Julia Dianne (Juday), Nicholas (Niknok), Josephine (Jopay), Kevin Jefferson (Jekjek), Paul Taylor (Putoytoy)

For a time, because of the telenovelas, the Spanish names came back in fashion:
Marimar, Esperanza Cristina, Rosalinda, Maria Katrina Angela, Bettina Cassandra, Lucretia, Madrigal, Julio, Genoveva, Crisostomo, Jacobo

The classic, masa or mainstream way of mixing the parents names which often results in a strange, loving hybrid are still popular:
Maricar (parents are Mario and Caridad), Edcel (parents are Eduardo and Celeste), Jejomar (Jesus, Joseph & Mary)

Or the traditional "Junior" name so the kid ends up as Junjun or Boy (yes, Boy is a popular name too, so is Girlie and Baby).

There's also the misspelled on purpose names with an affinity for the letter Hs and Es placed everywhere.
- Vhong, Mharvin, Mae, Kandace, Jennipher, Eevy, Marnee, Jhonas, Kharen, Eileene, Jehzhelei, Jerweh, Enghel, Nhitz

On a side note, the Chinese in the Philippines (Tsinoys) have an odd affinity for thinkers or historic icons or Chinese symbols of wealth. Its common to encounter names like: Einstein So, Columbus Chan, Edgar Allan Pe, Armstrong Chan, Kennedy Que, Goldrich Co, Imperial Jade Sy.

The strangest Filipino names I've encountered: JoRiz (a shorthand for Jose Rizal), Homobono, Lovelita, Silverboy, Reagan Kennedy, Trovador, Joker, Bon Jovi and Jollibee.

But a medal should be given to Manny Pacquiao for naming his daughter - Queen Elizabeth :)


  1. Thanks! Babynaming in the Philippines can be this crazy :)

  2. this is cool list. i've been looking for pinoy names for a story. i think the trend is western names.