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What’s in a name

Should there be a question mark after this title? I decided not…because a name holds so many facts. There’s the “Society” part, which this page is all about. But, since names have been the narrative lately, especially on social media, I decided to give it a thought.

Elections will soon take center stage in the Philippines and names are cropping up in tandem, under an umbrella group, a coalition or mere speculation. President Duterte will run for Vice President? That’s a bit of a let-down. Why settle for Vice when you’re already President? There are currently more than five presidential candidates? Que fun.

Name could stand for reputation. My father Dr. Eduardo J. Garcia’s name was widely respected all over the country. Not only was he known for his healing skills as a physician, surgeon, urologist and general practitioner (which the world is in dire need of, nowadays) but also famous when he appeared in the internationally-acclaimed Reader’s Digest describing how he was able to make a nurse on board a ship perform an appendicitis operation through Morse Code.

Birthday boy Doc Patiño and ELG at the colorful roof deck of his seaside home; right, Doc Rudy Patiño playing favs on his baby grand*
“Blue Boy” oil on canvas; middle, my fav oil on canvas by Doc Rudy; right, Artie Lacson, Doc Rudy, and Lala*

Papá had a brilliant mind, graduating as the first Summa Cum Laude in Ateneo de Manila’s PreMed program. He continued further studies and a residency in New York City where my mother took up Radiology to complement him in his Bacolod Clinica Garcia.

There was no sign on his first clinic at Lacson Street. Our original house served as his office and he had a small operating table next to it. The balcony served as his waiting room and the rest was our home. Yet, he would receive patients as early as 9 a.m., take a lunch break and a quick nap, go back to his office at 2:30 in the afternoon and close around 6. Mamá served as his receptionist-operating assistant-resident radiologist, aided by my brother Philip’s Yaya Nieves, for wound dressing and injections. Life was simple and happy!

Dr. Rudy Patiño spent practicing medicine in Chicago, Illinois, USA, and after many years, decided to come back home to his native Talisay. That’s where Locsin relatives and a couple of friends planned a surprise birthday party in his own home. Oblivious to this plot, I arrived early and noticed the bare dining table and lack of preparations. Saving the day was his new rooftop verandah which turned out to be a good excuse to look at the sunset view. I sighed as a couple of cars arrived and then it was apparent to both of us that it was a surprise party! Locsin cousins brought the drinks and delicious buffet. It was a nice and cozy affair with Dockie, as we fondly call him, entertaining the group with popular classics on the piano, all learned from YouTube! I was so amazed that if I closed my eyes, I’d think it was Roger Williams playing.

Bubut Locsin, Raymond Gellekanano, and Archie Locsin (l-r) listen to the birthday boy play*
Francis Sotomie, Marsha Locsin, and Isabelle Soriano (l-r); right, Vince and Ana Palermo admire a Patiño oil on canvas*

Making a name for himself in his practice during his Windy City sojourn, Dr. Rudy is now retired and enjoying the good life amongst his precious Louis XVI furniture, Tiffany lamps, and DIY oil paintings that line his walls at home in Taliwood. I love looking at the backyard river flowing happily into the sea. His house is worth the visit with touches of Vegas chic and Palm Springs facade. What’s in a name? A lot, dahlinks and here’s hoping you get a lot of good karma with it.

My prayer: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5;17, NIV*

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