By Thor Cuatro
What’s in a name? The Shakespearean poser would have merited a more emphatic answer—Plentiful.
And that is how my favorite foodie-partner would surely have answered after doing the rounds of restaurants, resto-bars and cafes dotting some parts of Cavite – also home of noble heroes who fought for freedom during the nearly 400-year Spanish era.
Pandemic or not, the saying remains the same.
If by any other name a rose would smell just as sweet, and that names make news, then it should follow that a brand would bring in customers particularly with a name that is catchy, attention-getting and has a nice ring to it.
Filipinos in general, and Cavitenos in particular, have a special fondness for double-meaning words or phrases. Double entendre.
In Tagaytay City for instance, there’s a place along the Taal ridge that is frequented by local and foreign tourists in search of gastronomic pleasures.
The resto is called “Brewed Awakening” and the reference is quite obvious: coffee in varied variants – Amadeo, barako etc. It’s served hot or cold to perk you up. Its menu of epicurean offerings includes hot bulalo soup and deep-fried tawilis, which is endemic to Taal Lake.
In Dasmarinas City, along the road leading to an exclusive golf course, lies a bake shop that proudly calls itself “Breadwinner” (in big, bold, all caps letters.
The pun (or pun de sal) isn’t lost. But the clincher comes from an apparent Clint Eastwood fan who has modified an expression from an Eastwood movie to suit his purpose. The resto goes by the business name,” Bake My Day.” Take that, punk!
The brand of Caviteno wit and humor is quite infectious.
But long before the Cavitenos and the rest of our countrymen were made to bite the bullet in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, Quezon City had stamped its signature brand names.
Along Tomas Morato, for instance, a tattoo artist boasts original ink and calls its shop, “Tanging Henna.”
And who could ever forget the urban legend about a resto called “Cooking Ng Ina Mo” which drew a rival in “Cooking Ng Ina Mo Rin.” Along this line, I still have to see a place called “Kain-deria.” (Editor’s Note: There is one such in Santa Mesa, Manila called “Babalik Carinderia”).
Old hat or novel, the whole point of this creative, mental calisthenics is that Filipinos love to play with words, a practice that makes one to lighten a situation or spice up a conversation in front of a local or a foreign traveler.
This practice speaks of Filipino tenacity even in the face of adversity and makes life less miserable.
It is an endearing, enduring trait. It can be a game-changer.
(The author is a freelance writer.)