What's In A Name?

By Mommy Donna and Kib - May 11, 2016

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

--Juliet, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare)

I super love this line from the play by Shakespeare because it explains how a name can or cannot affect a person.  This line implies that even if you change the name of a person, the behavior and attitude will still be the same.  

However, there are some instances especially in the modern times that the name of the person has bearing on his or her overall character.  The reasons for changing the name might also have legal repercussions as well.  Changing the name is a tedious process and it can also be costly.  My father had a problem on his surname before and almost cost his official trip to Italy and Switzerland when I was in high school.  He just executed an affidavit so he will be issued a passport.  When he went back to the country he did the necessary procedure to correct his surname.  He had undergone a court procedure for this and his petition was even published on a local newspaper.

In the Philippines, we can also file for a petition to change our names.  Before 2011, it was very difficult to file for a petition to change the name.  An amendment was made in Philippine Civil Code by Republic Act 9048 that a typographical error can be easily rectified without a need for a court order.  However in cases of change of surname, gender, nationality, and status, a court proceeding is needed.   

Now that the change of name is much more lenient in our country, it doesn't mean we can abuse the amendments made.  R.A. 9048 says that change of name can only be granted for certain reasons.  The reasons are:

  • The first name or nickname sounds ridiculous, tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce;
  • The new first name or nickname has been habitually and continuously used by the person and he/she has been publicly known by that name in the community
  • If the change will avoid further confusion
Now, why am I writing this blog?  What does it have anything to do with me?

As you may know, I am currently undergoing absolute nullity of marriage.  When my petition will be granted by the court, I will change all my documents and IDs to my maiden name (although some of the IDs that I acquired when I was still single I am still using my maiden name like my passport, PRC license and bank and credit card accounts).  I know it is tedious process because before I have all my IDs changed, I still need to get back to the local civil registry and NSO to put annotation on my marriage contract to make it 'official'.  From what I heard, this procedure itself takes 2-3 months to finish, waaah!

All throughout these years, I have also been thinking of reverting my son's name to my maiden name.  Once, my brothers played a joke to my son that he doesn't belong to our family since he has a different surname.  My son got hurt big time from that joke and I also got angry at my brothers for saying that.  But apart from that, I have reasons for thinking of changing my son's surname.  However, whenever I think of this line from Romeo and Juliet, I will immediately forget about it.  Anlabo ko lang noh?! hihihi.  Of course, I also have to consider the psychological impact on my son why I wanted to change his surname.  I also have to consider the legal aspect too (I will also have to change all of his documents).  I will also have to save funds for the procedure should I finally decided to undergo this process (take note, legal proceedings are VERY, VERY costly, waaah!).  

My son is duly acknowledged by his father (can't be denied because they really look alike, hehe).  I just wanted to protect my son from future abuse from his father because he carries his surname (seriously I am a bit paranoid about this).  This is one of the reasons why I wanted to change his surname to my maiden name.  On the other hand, using his daddy's surname also gives him rights to whatever assets his father may have. 

If I change my son's surname to my maiden name, I sever him of his rights to his father.  My son will no longer have a middle name (to which the lawyer said might have more impact on my son in the future).  

On one of my usual conversations with my son, I asked him if he wants my maiden name or his father's surname.  He said, "I like both, because I have two families."  I was deeply struck on my son's response because at a young age, he can understand our family situation.  Truly, my son is a gift from God.

So, my plans of changing my son's surname is no longer an issue.  I was also assured that even if I will revert to my maiden name, there will be no legal problems between me and my son since my name still appears on his birth certificate that I am his mom.

I just can't wait for the time that I will be legally free from the bondage of marriage.  Holding on to God's promise that He will grant my prayers this year.  Will keep you updated guys :)

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