I was named after the Jasmine flower. When my mother was young there was a Jasmine bush in their garden. If she was feeling sad, she would look at the flowers and she would feel happy again. Like the flower, she says I make her happy.
My mom told me to add this: “I wanted a name that would look good as a signature when you signed your name on documents,” she said.
She told me that she wanted a name that sounded respectable in case I become a judge. No wonder I wanted to be a judge when I was a kid (See related post “That Isn’t Success“)
This is part of my baptismal name, but it is not written in my birth certificate. My mom filed for my birth certificate before I was baptized. The priest refused to baptize me because I did not have a Christian name. My mom added the name “Agnes” because I was born at a hospital called St. Agnes.
Because Jasmine is too long.
I don’t introduce myself as Jaja. I often introduce myself as Jasmine or Ja. I like it when people I meet start with calling me Jasmine, then progress to Ja, then finally Jaja. It’s like a friendship indicator. Those people who call me Jaja are people who know me for a long time.
All my relatives call me Jaja. I have never heard any of my relatives call me Jasmine. It is rare that they call me Ja. I once heard one of my younger cousins say “Sino si Jasmine?”
5.) Jajita, Jingjing, Jajing
My kiddie names.
My father’s nickname is Dodong. When I was an infant, they said I looked like my father, so they called me Dongita. When I grew up, I looked more like my mother. Thank God! (No offense, dad.)
7.) Jajing Matsing
When I was a kid, my cousins called me this. I told my friend Alyza about this and she started calling me “Matsing” or even “Matchi” for short. Sadly, I respond to this nickname.
I tried to call Alyza “Satanas” but the nickname didn’t stick.
When I was at JASMS (Jose Abad Santos Memorial School), I wanted to be cool, so for some time I made people call me J.C., but I got confused with a guy who was also named J.C., so I switched back to Jasmine.
Annika, Erika, and I went to Splash Island. I was wearing a swimsuit that was a tube top with thin strings holding it up. The strings weren’t doing a good job, so I had to constantly lift my swimsuit up lest my boobs get exposed. Annika started calling me Boobsalinda, even going so far as to sing “Boobsalinda ay amor, ay amor!”
10.) Pikony Peperoni
My cousins called me this because they said I was pikon. I thought I wasn’t. Enraged, I fired back at my cousin Annika and called her Petrang Kabayo, then I realized pikon nga ako.
11.) Lantang gulay
When we go to Batangas, I always sleep in the car. My lola got irritated and said I was a lantang-gulay, and my cousins were like “Hahaha! Lantang-gulay! Lantang-gulay!“
Actually I also call my mom toochie. We are both toochie.
13.) Poochie, Poochie-woochie
The other names my mom calls me when she’s being cute.
14.) Baby Gay
My mom used to call me this when I was a baby because she said I was a happy baby. So gay means happy not homosexual. I have nothing against homosexuals. I love Adam Lambert!
15.) Babes (pronounced “Bebs”)
I actually refer to myself as babes when I talk to my mom, like “Babes wants some food” or “Babes wants Toochie (refering to my mom) to go home.”
16.) Rejected Name
I was born before St. Patrick’s day, so my mom thought about naming me Patricia. I already had a cousin named Patricia, so my mom decided against giving me this name.
17.) Boy Name
When my mom was pregnant, she did not want to know the sex of her child. She wanted it to be a surprise. She prepared a name for a girl and a boy. I asked her what her planned boy name was, and she said “Sumakwel.” Apparently Sumakwel is a very courageous Filipino datu. But come on, Sumakwel? Really? Thank God I’m a girl! Ano ung nickname ko dun Suma? Or God forbid Susu. But let’s go back to Suma. Hmmm…puwede rin para short for “summa cum laude.” Haha. Then again, cum laude lang ako. ;-p
18.) Twin Name
I was obsessed with Sweet Valley high, and I so wanted to have a twin. I asked my mom, “If ever I had a twin what would be her name?” and she said Claudine. I asked her why. She said, “Cause it rhymes with Jasmine.” Err…okay ma.
19.) Rejected Nickname
My mom said my Ninang Nina wanted to call me Jazz, but my mom didn’t like it.
20.) Unintended Nicknames
When I was in grade school, I signed up for my first email account. I didn’t understand why people used their names for their email because that was clearly super boring. I came up with jazzieheart, and I thought it was the coolest email ever. I never intended for it to be a nickname; I just thought it was a cool email.
I was so into the whole jazzie thing that the write up that I made for my gradeschool yearbook went something like Jazzie Jazz Jazz whatever I forgot, and I wish I could erase that stupid write-up. I got stuck with that email until college, and some people thought that jazzie was my nickname, or they simply wanted to tease me about it so they called me jazzie or jazzieheart.
21.) Mall Rats
My mom and I love going to the mall, so we call each other mall rats. When we enter a mall, I say to her Hi Mall Rat and she says Hello Mall Rat.
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Age of the Diary by Jasmine T. Cruz. If you like this post, please subscribe to this blog. Follow Ja on Twitter: ageofthediary. Email Ja at: email@example.com.