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I've discovered quite recently just how many beautiful Filipino names there are! I love how beautiful the meanings are, with some of my favorites being Dalisay (Pure), Marikit (Beautiful, Pretty), Diwata (Goddess), and, of course, today's name, Bituin!
Bituin means "star" in Tagalog. The Tagalog people make up a quarter of the Filipino population, and a standardized version of the Tagalog, simply called Filipino or Pilipino, is the national language. Before colonization, from places such as Spain, Japan, Britain, and not shockingly, America, the study of stars by the native people were integral to life. For example, when the constellation Orion, called Balatik by certain peoples, for it's resemblance to a hunting trap they used, appeared in the December sky, they knew it was time to start preparing the land for farming. Stars helped with so many things, like knowing the best time to fish, or set out to sea.
For a modern namesake, there is award-winning singer and actress Bituin Escalante, who has played the character Becky in the Filipino version of the musical "Waitress", and Effie White in the Filipino "Dreamgirls".
As an aside, I'd like to talk a little about what the "Beauty of Names" means to me. I think one of the things that has always drawn me to names is how much one can learn about a culture, just by the people or the elements that they name their children after. It's a glimpse into what's important, and oftentimes, is a gateway to understanding the differences, and the similarities, between us all. It is a lesson we could all stand to learn, sometimes, and my greatest hope with this blog is that I might bring people together in that way.
I hope you liked my Asian and Pacific Islander name posts this month, and I hope that you learned something with me!