When you choose to marry someone from other country and decided to have a child afterward, are you aware that giving a name to your child makes you confused and surprised to the naming format? Let’s say, for example, American man marry a Filipina woman then they got a child or they got a child before marriage, how will you give a name to your child and in what format? Will you follow the American naming format tradition or Filipino naming format tradition? In this topic, we will discuss the difference of child name format in the Philippines and in America. Let’s get started.
What Is The Traditional Naming Format In The Philippines?
In the Philippines, it’s so easy to determine who your cousin is because of the same middle name or the same last name. If you are living in the same area with your relatives or studying in the same school even if you have different last name but same middle name for sure your teacher can still easily determine if your clan is kinda rascal in school or doing a great job in that school. I have a huge family clan in the Philippines and all of us either has the same middle name or same last name. Let me elaborate it to you why. Because in the Philippines all Filipino carry their mother maiden surname as middle name and father surname as the last name or also known as family name. Let’s say for example your name is Lhea and your middle name is Saga and your last name is Romina (Lhea Saga Romina) and the name of your husband is Alfred and his middle name is Garcia and his last name is De Luna (Alfred Garcia De Luna). And then they got a newborn baby and they want to name him Zanjoe Underson and of course, his last name will absolutely same from Alfred which is De Luna. But what is Baby Zanjoe Underson middle name going to be? His middle name will be coming from his mother maiden surname which is Romina. So their baby name will gonna be Zanjoe Underson Romina De Luna. And if Zanjoe Underson has other siblings the middle name of his siblings are the same to him which is Romina. In the Philippines, Filipino automatically use their mother’s maiden surname as a middle name unless the said person is a single mother. If you are a single mother and don’t want your baby to carry the last name of baby’s father, let’s say for example, Lhea Saga Romina, her baby name will gonna be Zanjoe Underson _ Romina it means Zanjoe Underson has no middle name, just leave it blank since the father identity is unknown. Lhea cannot put her middle name/initial Saga to Zanjoe Underson because it will probably cause issues to her son’s documents in the near future. In the Philippines, we can’t even give any middle name we want to the baby because we need to follow the naming format tradition to our birth certificate. If the Baby has 2 or more name it still serves as first name, and mother’s maiden surname will still be the baby’s middle name no matter what followed by father’s last name.
What Is The Traditional American Naming Format?
In the USA, I don’t think you can easily determine if a bunch of people are cousin especially if they have different last name unless they look alike or they told to you that they are cousin. In the US the naming format is very different to naming format in the Philippines. Because in the US the middle name serves as second name which means the parents can give any middle name what they want. Let’s say for example the mother is Jenny Anne Jones and the father is Mike Luis Smith they have a baby and they want to name the baby as John and the middle name given by his parents is Lee and the last name is Smith which is from the father last name (John Lee Smith). As you can see they automatically dropped the maiden surname of Jenny, and if baby John has siblings it means they have different middle name but still has same last name. And most American’s don’t give a long name to their child. Because the middle name already means their second name but middle name to them is not really important, they are just known as John Smith even in school or at work.
American and Filipina Couple Baby Born In the Philippines – Naming Format
What if the US Citizen and the Filipina wife got a child? Well, there is 2 naming format you can follow but it depends where your child was born. Let’s start to discuss if the baby was born in the Philippines. If your child was born in the Philippines it doesn’t matter if the father/mother is US citizen because you cannot insist to your Filipina partner to name your child in American naming format tradition. If the baby was born in the Philippines you need to follow the Filipino naming format tradition if you don’t want your child having a problem to his documents in the future. If you insist to give a middle name to your child whatever name you want it will conflict to all your child legal documents such as a Philippine passport. So if you want to give 2 names to your child it’s always gonna be the first name no matter how many names you want to give because middle name of your child must definitely come from the maiden surname of your Filipina partner and then the last name is from yours. It’s Philippine tradition to carry the mother maiden surname as a middle name, it is also showing honor and equal value to your mother and father. But as i told earlier there is also exceptions apply in the case of children with single parents, children out of wedlock can have no middle name if the other parent identity is unknown. Philippine naming format is also a good way to easily recognized you if you are applying various legal documents that define the first name as the Christian name, the middle name as the mother’s maiden surname, and the surname as the father’s surname. In the Philippines, people always carry the middle name in any documents; they always need to fill the middle name or middle initial to any circumstances. If we start schooling we need to write our whole name including middle initial in a paper.
American and Filipina Couple Baby Born In the USA – Naming Format
Now what if the US Citizen and the Filipina wife baby was born in the US, well obviously you can follow the American format which is you can give any middle name you want. But of course most Filipino are very sentimental and really value the family name, some follow the American format but some still follow the Filipino format. As I mentioned earlier you can give whatever middle name you want to your child who born in the US, therefore, it doesn’t matter if you give your maiden surname to your baby as a middle name or not in the US. That is not a big deal or even can a cause any trouble to the documents of your child in the US, because you are free to follow the naming format what you want as long as the last name of your baby is coming from a father.
Nickname and other strange names
In the Philippines, it’s very common to give a nickname to a kid since birth. You will wonder why they call that kid in that name why that name is so funny or very strange. Most of the time parents give a name to their kid but afterward, they will give a nickname that very far to the real name like for example the name of their son is Michael John but they will call him Buboy or Toto, Utoy or sometimes ike. It’s very far to the name, isn’t it? Filipino also love to give a combo name from both parents like for example the parent’s name is Maribel and the father is Vinson their name will gonna be Marvin or Marson or they make the name just first letter like Peter Joseph becomes PJ. Filipino also love to give a nickname that came from the real name but they make it short and repeated it like for example the name is Ryan they gonna call the kid yanyan if the name is Kristine they gonna call the kid as TinTin, The John becomes JanJan, Bong becomes BongBong and many more, in the year of 19th century most parents get the kids name to calendar and Tagalog bible that’s why most names that years has meaning but as time goes by parents has changed and becomes fanatic of television so most kids nowadays have multiple names and most names are from the celebrity or name from movie that they watched and some are from Japanese cartoons characters names. So do not wonder if most kids in the Philippines have multiple first names and very strange and unique name.
What Do You Prefer
It’s kinda confusing for both of you to have a different naming format but that’s normal because you two been from a different country with lots of differences. If you prefer American naming format tradition just go ahead do it but that is only if your baby is in the US. If you prefer Philippine naming format go ahead do it no matter if you are in the US or in the Philippines, just respect each other decision as a couple when it comes to giving a name to your child. But as a US citizen please be reminded that you should not use the American naming format in the Philippines, if you want a unique middle name just add that unique name to the first name of your baby who was born in the PH to avoid conflict to all your child documents. It’s very common to the Philippines to have 2 first names so don’t worry if your child will be having a hard time writing her name in the paper when she goes to school because she will get used to it, just like many Filipino kids who have 2 or more first name plus middle name and last name. And if you and your Filipino partner and Fil/Am kids has a plan to settle in the Philippines someday, I suggest following the Filipino naming format tradition is better for your Fil/Am child to avoid any trouble in his/her documents in the Philippines or even the school there having a confusion to the middle initial of your child but it’s only a suggestion you can follow whatever you want. My daughter born in the Philippines so her naming format is Filipino and as a Filipino mother, I want her to carry my maiden surname as an honor to our Filipino family and we also have a plan to settle in the Philippines someday so i guess she will benefit to it too and avoiding any confusion to her legal documents in my country.
In my next post, we will discuss the middle name confusion of a married woman in the US and in the Philippines.
Thanks a lot for reading my post, if you have any question or any experience want to share about this topic, don’t hesitate to comment down below.