Lobingay, Lobiana or Bebe was my 2nd to the eldest sister Ate Aida’s favourites and caring nicknames for me. The first came from our family Spanish friend, the Manjon’s, head of the ULTRAMAR Company at our hometown. When I was a child my father “papay” worked for them when he was not busy with job orders, being the only one at our hometown who restored or fixed and painted wooden religious relics.
Lobi-lobi is a green leafy vegetable that is delicious if cooked with coconut cream, we called ringkoranay, a specie of coconut that doesn’t grows tall. The children would teased me by combining the vegetable and the coconut with musical intonation. But just the same I love my 2nd name Lobbie. The last time I was made to recalled this jest was only last July 29, my birthday this year, coming from my cousin Minerva Narvadez, who is also celebrating her birthday TODAY Aug. 17 together with our nephew Bert, a namesake of my youngest brother Bert.
Enrolled solely as Maria throughout my primary and elementary days, when from the secondary, to the university and up to the present time, Lobbie had became officially attached to my name Maria. The person who had made it possible was Recto, (his name is Spanish of the English word righteous) the nephew of my auntie were my eldest sister and me had lived for a while in Manila. It was enrollment time and I was sick, so he enrolled me at a nearby school, the Arellano University who had a special secondary course, only for those living at the vicinity, far from their school dedicated to secondary students, the Juan Sumulong High School. For those who lived nearby, we were known as students of Arellano University Juan Sumulong High School. The secondary school had introduced me to NEWSPAPER WORKS as I became a member of our School Newspaper and had published my very first POEM for my mother in Filipino language.
But the most beautiful nickname that I had received, comes from my university professor of the PHILOSOPHY subject. He was studying priesthood when he decided to quit because of his allergy to wine. He admires so much my name and he loves to write the word LOVE instead of LOBBIE whenever he had to handed me our examination booklet in blank, as exempted and for me to went home. Sometimes, we were a number of students being exempted to take the final exams, but when you’re alone, you became the envy of the rest of the students. That during the preliminary exams, if any student got a perfect score then he/she became exempted to the final exams. I was usually exempted in subjects likes: Philosophy, the subject about Rizal’s Life and Works, the Spanish Language subject, and the Arts and Humanities subject.
Until now, here in Europe there are still persons who called me LOVE instead of Lobbie. Just by listening to my 2nd name, they thought that it is spelled as LOVI, or LOVE. The Spaniards has a way of pronouncing words like the Filipinos with their own language. Both of them pronounces the words as is, they way they were written. With just some few rules in Spanish, like the silent ‘H’ or changing to letter “n” when the word last letter is “m”. Mostly for reasons of regional accent. Unlike in Catalonian language, we are similar with the English language in terms of pronouncing written words. Besides, the official language of the Philippines is English, so they’re at the advantage side compared with the Spaniards. Although nowadays, with Social Media dominating our lives, in my opinion it is beneficial to learn the English language, not only known as the Universal Language but also as the ‘language of progress.’
Lobbie is related to an English or American language, but unlike my name, Lobbies or Lobby are both known as “political pressure” with the letter ‘s’ for a group of persons, or an organization lobbying a particular issues, working for the passing of LAWS related to such issues that they’re interested to get passed. Lobby with just the letter ‘y’ is singular or a one-person-job in pressuring politically what he/she thinks is justified to get passed as a law. This LONE job usually comes from political leaders themselves until he can finally convinced persons to joined him in creating a group of lobbyist headed by him/her for a more forceful political pressure. Lobby is also another word for a hall or the groundfloor of any kind of building.
My name LOBBIE is neither plural or singular and besides, it is only accompanying another name, Maria. Just one month before I was born, the very first programmable computer machine called “baby” was born here in London. After three months of my birth, another “baby” was drafted (October) and finally approved as THE UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW in December of 1948, signed by all the countries of the world except the Russian and the Saudi Arabia. With these important realities of the three babies at the start of the Baby Boomer’s Era…the COMPUTER, a PERSON and most of all a UNIVERSAL LAW, I had stopped wondering why I have LOBBIE for a name…