Comedy relief: Upward mobility

[ This true story was related by a cousin at a Valdes [ Pampanga ] clan Reunion 2012 planning lunch last Saturday at Serge and Salie Naguiat’s chic La Vista home and it got everybody laughing, so I want to share it with you, my friends…  ]

A chichi cousin and her expensive D.I. [ dance instructor ] attended the usual weekday ballroom dancing night at the Makati Sports Club.  Seated among her ballroom dancing friends at their table was an equally chichi friend with an unfamiliar, but goodlooking and well-groomed, D.I. …

“I want you to meet my new D.I., Aga…”  equally chichi friend introduced her new D.I..

Chichi cousin watched her equally chichi friend with the new D.I. as they whirled around the dance floor…  Chichi cousin’s curiosity was piqued because the new D.I. seemed strangely familiar, but she could not remember when or where she met him…

“You know…  I know you… We’ve met before…  But I don’t remember when or where… !!!”  she told the new D.I., trying to establish a connection.

The new D.I. replied politely and sweetly:  “Opo naman, Ma’am, natatandaan ko kayo…  Ako po si Agapito, naging driver niyo po ako noong 2009.  Hindi na po ako nakabalik sa inyo kasi namatay po ang tatay ko sa probinsya…”

Chichi cousin rolled her eyes.  From ‘Agapito’ to ‘Aga,’ from driver to D.I.!!!

Bwahahahahah!!!   😛   😛   😛



  1. Myles Garcia said,

    August 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Presy, yes, I looked it up after I posted. (Yeah, I often shoot first and then ask questions later. 😉 ) Didn’t realize that there was an actual word ‘fulgency’ altho I had heard of ‘effulgence’ before. I’m surprised Louis XIV, the Sun King, didn’t have himself renamed Efulgence — because he comes to mind with that word!!

    Two other old-fashioned Filipina names (left out on the earlier list — it’s maddening to have no “Edit” feature on these WordPress pages), I love are Flordeliza and Amorfina. Which brings me to the case of the Agrifina Circle in the T.M. Kalaw section of Manila. Which came first: the name Agrifina (based on the old Roman name, Agrippina) for the AgriFina Circle or that the old Agriculture and Finance Dept. bldgs ended up in the rotunda by design — to conform to the “Agrifina” nickname? Of course, it could’ve also been named the FinAgra Circle.

  2. Presy Guevara said,

    August 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Myles, I looked up fulgency and came up with the following meaning: Brightness; splendor; glitter; effulgence. The female names you listed were usually preceded by Maria in honor of the Virgin Mary, and so they were usually uttered with reverence and respect – except at times when they were scolded and all imaginable cuss words preceded the proper name. The worst case was if the child was named Jesus. My grandmother had a brother named Tranquilino, nicknamed Tangke, with the caret on e. There was a generation in the predominantly Catholic Philippines when parents referred to a farmer’s almanac when naming their children. The almanac (I believe it was named “Calendario Lopez”) contained a calender listing names of saints on their feast days, and so regardless of phonetics or word meaning, the child has no option but be named after the saint whose feast day is the child’s birthday. I suppose that practice wore off in the 50s.

  3. Myles Garcia said,

    August 9, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Presy, on the other hand, you had really beautiful feminine names like Natividad, Felicidad, Salvacion, Adoracion, Resureccion, etc., I knew of one Luzviminda. My great-grandmother (dad’s side) was a Tranquilina. I don’t know if she was such in real life, God rest her soul. I have a 2nd cousin named Lancero. Was always jealous of that name. 😉

    (I also love the French versions of some names: Apollinaire, Aristede, Casimir, Hillaire, Hercule, Herve, Guillaume, Delphine, Angele, Celemine, Solange, Honorine, Victorine, etc., etc.)

    Now, Procopio, Torquato and Teclo — I don’t know how parents could’ve given those names to their sons with a straight face. (Was talking with a friend the other day, and the name “Fulgencio” (Batista) came up. I mean what does “Fulgency” actually mean?) And I guess names like Tiffany, Brittany, D’Jhoanna, Jamil, etc., would’ve sounded really odd in the late 19th – early 20th centuries.

    Had two neighbors (not related) here name their newly-born boys (independently) “Rexavian” (too O.A. and overly wrought I think) and “Justice.” The latter does not seem to match the kid’s looks in my estimation, and I hope it does not turn out to be ironic in later life.

  4. larry leviste said,

    August 8, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    AGA Mulach did a movie as a Dancing Attorney and he was GOOD.

  5. Presy Guevara said,

    August 8, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    It is interesting to note that along with Agapito, some first names are fading from the modern birth registry in the Philippines. Among these are Procopio, Eustaquio, Restituto. Rustico, Tranquilino, Anastacio, Torquato, Serapio, and a few others. Also running extinct are their female versions ending in a. Include Tecla, which does not seem to have the masculine form. Even the nicknames have been replaced. I suppose ” a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” does not hold true anymore. I wonder when the double syllable names will become unpopular. And now the proloferation of h in many names run me out of breath. Gorio is now Ghregg, Selo is Mhar, etc.Try Jhun, Jhosephine, Krhistyl, Rhose, Jhoy — Filipino creativity seems endless.

  6. Myles Garcia said,

    August 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Or is a contraction of ‘hanggang pito; (up to numeral 7)?

    PNoy’s uncle, Butch, is an Agapito.

  7. Presy Guevara said,

    August 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Punster on Agapito:

    In the Southern Tagalog Region, at dinner, the host offers dessert and says: “Agap ito, hindi, awat”, meaning he is trying not to have gaps in service, not to hint to the guest to stop eating.

    “Aga, pito?” (This early a whistle?). Surely, no one wants to be awakened by a whistle.

    To Spanish speaking folks, don’t over use the pito.

  8. August 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm


    You’re too funny!!!


    Toto Gonzalez

  9. Presy Guevara said,

    August 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I wonder how Aga Muhlach would react if called Agapito.

  10. Alicia Perez said,

    August 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm


    There have been similar episodes since the ballroom dancing craze swept Manila during the 1990s…

    But it’s funny nonetheless, specially since I actually know the nutty personalities involved.

    Alicia Perez

  11. Myles Garcia said,

    August 3, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    well….better D.I. than D.U.I.* or D.O.A**.!

    * – Driving Under the Influence (if that’s just a U.S. term?)
    ** – Dead On Arrival.

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