Friday, October 13, 2006


my youngest niece just turned five a couple of weeks ago and i am such a bad uncle, i forgot about her birthday. sigh. the birthdays of her two older sisters are forever etched in my mind because it's my birth month as well. my mom & dad celebrate their birthdays on the 28th of april & march. my brother's on november 8th and my sis-in-law december 5. for the life of me, i forgot jianne's birthday on september 23.

for the past few weeks, my niece has been very sickly. she's been having fever and flu that seem to come and go. in the province, they do 'something' in order to undo this malaise, or to be more certain, stop it altogether. they perform a 'ritual' of sort where close friends and relatives gather around and take turns in making an egg stand. before doing that, he or she, who hopes to make the egg stand, announces the name he or she wants for the one being prayed over, in this case, my niece jianne.

a number of people participated in this gathering and all of them attempted to make the egg stand. not one succeeded, until after about six rounds later. ironically, it was my brother who was able to make the egg stand. he started with the letter 'a' during the first round, and they were on their sixth attempt at looking for a name for my niece when the freaking egg decided to stand. call it miracle, call it stupid, call it whatever you want. the freaking egg 'stood'. after my brother announced a name. floserfida. i almost died laughing when my mom told me the story a couple of minutes ago. my niece is doomed. floserfida. what the f*ck was my brother on? floserfida.

he could have said fe. or faye. or flerida. or flor. or flordeluna. but floserfida? seriously, i asked my mom. was my brother drinking? was he drunk? and why did the egg stand at floserfida? ahhhhh. i can't explain.

when the egg stands, the one prayed over should assume that name immediately. this means that the spirit (if i get the explanation right) agrees to the name and they will no longer 'play' with the kid, and will make all the sickness stop. like clockwork, my niece stopped having fever and flu and she went back to her healthy status. (apparently, she (or someone from the household) well, how do i explain this -- 'bothered' the spirits and in order to appease them, an offering must be made (prayers/padasal) followed by the 'ritual.'

so for now, it's goodbye jianne and hello floserfida. (my brother's second daughter, the middle child, was named joana liana from the names of my brother's father and my sister-in-law's father. when she was younger, she was sickly as well, and they did the same ritual. the egg 'stood' after a cousin of ours announed the name 'emma'. for years, we would call her emma but when she reached high school, it was decided that she'd revert to joana. just a little history).

my precocious little niece sure didn't want the name floserfida but i guess they were able to explain it to her that this was just temporary. one day, my mom said, my niece came to her and and my dad and asked if they are ever going to 'return' her name back to jianne. that night, she had high fever. she has never asked again since.

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