Behind the Name

by - 1:03 PM

Like the rest of my social media handles, I wanted to keep my blog name self-titled.
"But your name isn't 'Bear City!' "

That's correct, dear reader. I wasn't doubting your reading comprehension there. I know you got a perfect 800 in that section of your SATs. Still, even the best of us have to re-read, highlight, and break apart a phrase to better understand it sometimes.

The 'City' part of my blog title is obvious. I've always been curious about where my last name came from. Unlike me, it is obviously not of Pilipino origin.  For years, I was sold this story that my ancestors hid out in caves and changed their name to sound less Pilipino (I'm assuming this was to remain hidden.) Growing up, I always imagined the scene at the cave to go like this:


A Pilipino officer walks up to a cave, pokes his head inside, then raps his knuckle on the cave's opening.

*clears throat* "Erm, hello?  I'm looking for Luis Santa Anna?" the officer echoes into the ominous gloom of the dark cave.

A Man in a barong appears and eyes the officer suspiciously.

"Nope, no Luis Santa Anna. There's a Luis London here though," the man barks gruffly.

"Ahhhh, my mistake. That is not the man we were looking for.  Carry on!"

The officer skips away while Luis London (PLOT TWIST: the man in the barong!!1!) wipes some sweat off his brow.


I could easily pay for a trial on to discover my actual family tree and history. But then you would have missed out on this amazing, amateur adventure in script-writing that I just took you on!

"Ok ok ok, so the word city is an obvious derivation of London, but your first name still isn't 'bear' "

INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH- one of my names is derived from the word 'Bear.' I have a first name, a middle name, and a confirmation name. FYI: a confirmation name is a saint's name you adopt when you're admitted as a full member of the Catholic church. A lot of people just pick their own name, but I was never one to be redundant.  Bernadette was an OG. She literally ate dirt to stand up for what she believed in. Her name translates to 'brave as a bear' in English and it's entirely fitting.

Even though I got the name through a religion I currently have a complicated relationship with, it still holds some meaning to me. Both 'Bear' and 'City' are reflective of the deep respect I hold for my parents.  We sit on opposite ends of the spectrum for everything (religion, politics, snack options) but the love and support is still there to help me pursue my wildest dreams.  I've always said I wanted to get more into styling or writing but I always abandon my outlets for them.  Creating and sharing content here will become my release, my pride, and my tiny act of bravery.

P.S My boyfriend is also extremely supportive and has been using the bear emoji for me since we started dating, so the name is an homage to him as well :)

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