Pietros Val. Not once in my life have I met a fellow earthling who bore the exact same name as me. Yet it still surprises me how I always get a similarity hit every time I apply for an NBI clearance. This name that always generates many awkward reactions from people every time I meet individuals for the first time is the name my parents gave me to stand out from everyone else. Pietros is actually a corruption of the Greek and Italian equivalents for Peter, Petros for Greek and Pietro for Italian. Moreover, the Greek equivalent also means “stone” or “rock”.
But the meaning of my name goes beyond that. When digging up the details behind this name, one would find out that it has a lot to do with my identity. First, my parents insist that it is also a combination of their own names, Pierre and Rutas. Secondly, I was born in Athens, Greece; hence, the Mediterranean-sounding name. Thirdly, they did not want anyone to bear the same name as their firstborn. And lastly, they added Val to signify that I was born on Valentine’s Day.
I recall having bad memories because of my name when people called me “Piattos!” or “Puwetros!” back in primary school. It is a name that is neither western nor native to this country, neither is it typically Spanish nor Anglo-Saxon. As I grew older, people would often ask about its meaning and why I was given such a name in the first place. Others would throw compliments saying it sounds similar to Pistachio or some rare Italian dish. When overseas, many would even mistake me for being Latin American or Central Asian but never Filipino basing on that name alone. Nevertheless, it is the greatest gift my parents ever gave me.