Filipino baby names: Luzviminda, Jejomar, Joker, Twit-twit

There are many unusual baby names to be found in the Philippines. Here are some examples:

  • The name Luzvimin­da comes from the place names Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao (the three main island-groups of the Philippines) according to BBC reporter Sarah Toms.
  • The sister-in-law of Manila Times writer Alito L. Malinao “heard the chirping of a bird” while she was in labor. Inspired by the sound, she named her daughter Twit-twit.
  • The name of Makati City mayor Jejomar Binay is derived from the names of Jesus, Joseph and Mary. (Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion in the Philippines.)
  • The first name of Senator Joker Arroyo (b. 1927) “derives from his father’s fondness for card playing,” according to Time Magazine writer Howard G. Chua-Eoan. (Joker also has a brother named Jack.)

A number of Latin American countries are also known for unique baby names.

Source: Malinao, Alito L. “Names.” Manila Times 23 Oct. 2007: A5.

5 thoughts on “Filipino baby names: Luzviminda, Jejomar, Joker, Twit-twit

  1. Actually out of curiosity I was searching for the meaning of Jejomar. A University of the Philippines professor (social science) who was his classmate during the time Boots Anson Roa was in UP told us his real name and it did not sound nice at all. I almost fell off my seat laughing! My professor was giving us this very vivid description of the time Mr. Binay was courting Ms. Roa, who really looked good when she was young (she was very tall for a Filipina and had fairer skin than most, and was real intelligent).

    I’ve forgotten what name he told me since it was years ago. I am just curious if you have an accurate source or you just thought it stood for Jesus Joseph and Mary. I am still searching the internet for the answer to my question, since I don’t think that the sound of his name is derived from a combination of the three names listed here.
    Thank you :).

  2. Hi Valerie,

    I learned the source of Jejomar in a news article originally, but it’s also mentioned at the Mayor’s Blog (last line of the 10th paragraph):

    We have one from Forbes, one from Bel Air, and we have the barangay officials (from these areas),” the mayor – whose curious name comes from the first syllables of Jesus, Joseph and Mary – discloses.

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