Ramiele Malubay Idolizes Her Last Name
American Idol is a guilty pleasure for sure.
There are much better things to talk about of the KPC blog other than an ultra-popular mainstream singing show, and Filipino contestants on the show are a dime-a-dozen, but hear me out: This season’s Filipina entry, Ramiele Malubay, has something that no other Filipino contestant has before her: A TOTALLY PINOY LAST NAME.
Why is it significant? Because she says it the way it was MEANT to be said — ma-LOO-bye — not MAL-loo-BAY. In the first episode, Seacrest did say it that way, and was corrected right then and there by the pint-size vocal powerhouse.
Why do we Filipinos have such name-shame? When our names are mispronounced, we let it pass without correcting the offender. Even further, I know lots of Filipinos who have taken on Spanish or even Caucasian sounding names because their real original name sounded “too native”.
No doubt, this is due to colonial mentality and also just our way of trying to fit into the diaspora. Unfortunately it means that names like “Manalaysay”, “Batumbacal” “Tumangday” or “Dimayuga” are becoming more and more rare.
What most of us aren’t aware of, is that some of our last names were Spanish ones ‘bestowed upon us’ in the Claveria Decree by Spain during colonial times. For example, there’s NO WAY my own last name, Cervantes, is native Filipino. For Filipino Chinese folks, a lot of their names are changed or inverted versions of their chinese names made to sound more Spanish (ie – “ONGPIN” was something like “PIN ONG”, or even the name Cojuanco is totally a hispanicized spelling of a Chinese name).
And what about those Filipinos who change their last name totally or even drop it altogether? Then they use their middle name as their last name so no one know that their last name is actually “Cayabyab” and not “Mae”. Seems like people in the public eye do this more often, like singers, reporters or TV personalities. It’s like when Ricardo Valenzuela became Richie Valens – only its not the 1950s.
I’ve heard the excuse “it’s just too hard for (white) people to pronounce”, but for me — if that’s what my damn name is – then make like Destiny’s Child and SAY MY NAME SAY MY NAME!!!
The point I’m trying to make is that throughout history, there have been so many instances where our last names were erased or changed, so if you’re lucky enough to still have a truly native Filipino-sounding surname…
..don’t let Ryan Seacrest fuck it up on TV.
oh and one more thing, Ramiele may be good, but this dude is still the best.