Metro Manila · How I got my Philippine Nickname
'While someone in England 'gave' me my nickname, Starbucks Manila forced me to use it and the Philippines made me embrace it!'
It's not like I don't like my first name, entirely the opposite, but at some point having to spell it over and over again is just too tiring. So I just decided to join the popular culture of having a nickname, also if I partly had to give it to myself.
Neither me nor my name are derived from an Anglo-American country, so I always had difficulties explaining how to write - basically spelling it over and over - my name. It started why before I went to the Megacity Manila, when I was spending some time near the Megacity London in the United Kingdom. Unlike in the Philippines, nicknames are not common in the United Kingdom, therefore I had to be careful that my name is always written correctly. Most of the times, people just said 'it's Steve, right?', no it was not. In the end of my stay, when meeting new people, I always introduced myself as Steve because I was just too tired to spell my real name.
It was not until I arrived in Manila however, that I decided to use this name deliberately. Being in another Anglo-American country (basically), I knew what was coming. It didn't take long before I booked reservations, answered the phone and introduced myself as Steve - for the above mentioned reasons. This sparked confusion sometimes, when people who knew me by my real name heard my introducing myself as 'Steve'. Not being a Filipino, they might have wondered why I am not using my own name. Soon, they understood and acknowledged my further transition to being a Filipino with a smile.
But I have to reveal the real culprit behind me adapting a nickname. It was not the occasional call of a new client or dinner reservation which made be decide on it, but my daily craving for caffeine. If you know the Starbucks drill of having to tell the baristas your name so that they can write it on the cup and give it to you 2 minutes later, you will understand my daily horror. While someone in England 'gave' me my nickname, Starbucks Manila forced me to use it and the Philippines made me embrace it!