Today’s Simbang Gabi features the Gospel of St. Luke on the Birth of St. John the Baptist.
The Gospel shows us how important our names are. It is one way by which we identify ourselves. According to our Parish Priest, our names show two things: 1) who is the most influential or powerful in the family; and 2) who is important to that influential person in the family. Say your name is Vicente III and you were named by your father. It means that your father is the most influential in the family and that your grandfather, Vicente Sr., is the most important person to your father. Applying this to
The importance of names cannot be more obvious with our law on intellectual property. Trade marks and trade names are acquired by having them registered with the Intellectual Property Office. However, names of living people are not registrable. Imagine if names can be registered, the registrant of the name “John” will be flocked by millions of parents who would want to name their children “John”. And we know that it is not the aim of intellectual property to concentrate ownership of intellectual property to one person, but for society to benefit from its use. And if the name “John” should be owned, it most rightly should be God, and no amount of registration will trump proof of His “vested right”.
The non-registrability of names should not however hamper our creativity. We should continue thinking of novel names, and stop naming children on whim. Children named Jumong – a 19th century BC Korean name – during the 21st century AD just shows that television is the most important or influential thing in our society today. We should take hint on how important names are that it even prompted an angel of God to visit a human just to ask him to give his son a particular name.
On this light, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!