We all want to come up with unique and creative names for our baby girls. Our grandparents' generation was drawn to Spanish and English names. We tried to mix it up by spelling familiar names differently, but they are pronounced the same. Others have even turned to their favorite things. Rock musician Raimund Marasigan named his child after a popular Japanese gaming console, Atari.
All these names are lovely, of course. But as we commemorate Philippine Independence Day, we thought the beauty of the Filipino language had a lot to offer And we’re not talking about Spanish names, either. We’re referring to pre-colonial Filipino words. We’ve listed some beautiful, very Filipino names you may want to name your baby girl. Tell us, which ones do you love the most?
1.Awit Perfect for parents who love music. Give her the gift of song by naming her after the beauty of the common hymn.
2.Bituin Nothing quite as dazzling as being named after the stars. Singer and theater actress Bituin Escalante is one of the few who carry this stellar name.
3. Dalisay With a child’s innocence, this name makes a perfect candidate. It has a host of meanings — truth, purity, honesty, among others. It can also connote clarity and cleanliness.
4. Diwata Gentle, wise, and beautiful. To name your child after a fairy is as if to bestow upon her these qualities.
5.Himig Another name to express a love for music and singing. It literally translates to “tone” or “tune”.
6.Hiraya It expresses a sense of wishful thinking or to empower your child to turn his or her dreams into reality.
If you grew up in the 90s, then you most probably recall the children’s fantasy programme, Hiraya Manawari aired over ABS-CBN. Bombi Plata, assistant director of the defunct show, chose the name Hiraya for his daughter, now 15 years old. "I love its meaning. It's an ancient Tagalog word for 'may your dreams come true.' Hiraya as a root word may also mean imagination, dream, or hopes, and Hiraya my daughter is a fulfillment of our dreams," he explains.
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7. Hiyas We name our kids after beautiful things, so why not name your daughter after the Filipino counterpart of “gem,” “stone,” or “jewel”? It also conveys that our child is so precious and valuable, and we want to protect her for as long as we live.
8.Mayumi “Mayumi” means refined, proper, gentle and kind. Your child will be as soft and exquisite as a flower.
Some moms come up with their child’s name from their experiences during pregnancy. “We wanted her name to reflect her personality that we saw in her ultrasounds,” shares Michelle Dacumos-Alingarog, mom to 4 ½-year old daughter, Mayumi. “Mayumi means demure, tender and honest. Her pinky was always up and her other hand was always wrapped around her chin and face. We chose Mayumi because we have a very Filipino-sounding last name and we wanted her first name to have a Filipino tone.”
9.Mutya Just like “hiyas,” “mutya” refers to a beloved amulet, jewel, pearl or talisman. Perfect for naming your first daughter.
10.Sinta A term of endearment, “sinta” refers to “love.” It could be used to express love in the romantic sense or love for country. One of Senator Risa Hontiveros's daughters is named Sinta.
11.Tala Name your child after the beautiful lights in the sky. This name connotes a sense of inextinguishable hope, joy and inspiration.
Gigi Singson named her four daughters Tala, Marikit (“beautiful”), Amihan and Hiyas. “Meanings for us were a factor. Hiyas in English is ‘gem’. For the twins, ‘Tala’ and ‘Marikit.’ It was like ‘bituing marikit.’ I named one of them ‘Tala’ because she was bigger than her twin,” Gigi adds with a laugh.
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“We were wondering why in other countries, they name their children using native names,” she shares. “Why not give Filipino names for our children, something truly our own?”