28 June 2011

The 10 Most Imaginative LSFC Nicknames Ever

This is the third and final repost from the LSFC web site. This post epitomizes the sort of fun and humour that one can only find in the locker room, where all the teasing eventually translates into experiences the boys will remember till they are old and grey as well as into the sort of bonding and camaraderie that will last the boys a lifetime.

As with the first two posts, this list was first published in 2004, updated here and there:

The habit of giving players nicknames was something I brought over to Lipa from my NCAA-playing days at DLSU-Manila. The funny thing is that, sometimes – after all these years – when I have forgotten somebody’s real name, I most definitely remember his LSFC nick.

There were times when I did not have to think of a nickname at all. Either a boy arrived with one from the classrooms or his team-mates soon thought up something for me.

So what makes an imaginative nick? It certainly does not have to be unusual; and it is most definitely seldom flattering. I guess the best criteria for selection would be how well it suited the person and how quickly people adopted it and continued to use it way past graduation from LSFC.  In fact, whenever the lads get together for the club reunion in what is now known as the LSFC Cup every December, they just naturally slip into the old habit of calling each other by their nicknames.

1. Ignatius Tee Jr. (1984) a.k.a. “Penga” I did not even give this one player the nickname “Penga” which – I understood from the LSFC Class of 1984 – was actually the name of one of Penga’s Chinese neighbours. When I first arrived in 1982, everyone – in fact – already called him Penga. It was, for me, a simple matter of doing exactly as everyone was already doing.

No matter how dignified "Ignatius" may sound like, it definitely carries no ooomppphh factor compared to Penga – which team-mates and classmates still use to this very day.

2. Emmanuel Catalan (1991) a.k.a. “Taxi” In the beginning, team-mates referred to the diminutive Emmanuel as “Takalan,” – a corrupted version of his surname. I felt “Takalan” was so pedestrian and cooked up the nickname “Taksi.” It had a more pleasing sound to it; and later Emmanuel himself changed the spelling to “Taxi.” The best anecdote about the nick was this time when the boy was already in college and a batch-mate saw him walking along the corridors of UP. The classmate promptly and unthinkingly shouted, “Taxi!” Now, what would a taxi be doing along the corridors of a university?

3. Hilson Cantos (1994) a.k.a. “PB” The meaning of the initials is most certainly unprintable; and not at all very flattering. The nickname was given because of Hilson’s capability – as a High School kid – to natter on and on and on without periods or commas or any punctuations in either the English or Tagalog language. In the STRAA in Lucena City in 1994, Hilson himself printed the initials PB with a pentel pen at the bottom of a bottle of alcohol to signify ownership. Not of the alcohol. Of the name.

4. Carlo Olmos (1988) a.k.a. “Casmot” A nick given by former Batangas City Mayor Dondon Dimacuha, himself a former LSFC player. I do not believe Dondon ever really explained the choice of the nick to satisfaction, something which was – when I come to think about it – so typical of Dondon then. There used to be a comic actor named Casmot; but I do not believe he had anything to do with Dondon’s calling Carlo by that nick. More like, in Dondon’s deranged adolescent mind, Casmot seemed appropriate for no apparent reason at all.

6. Emerson Dagpa (1989) a.k.a. “Togê” The other half of the Casmot and Togê tandem, both given by Dondon Dimacuha, and both having no real satisfactory explanation. Togê, according to Dondon, just “sort of” went with Casmot; whatever logic you can deduce from that.

6. Sharlone Africa (1994) a.k.a. “Likey” No relation to the Facebook “Like” button; because there was no Facebook yet in the nineties when Sharlone was in high school. This nick epitomized irony of the highest order. Sharlone’s eyebrows were so thin one would immediately nominate him to be the recipient of a gift certificate from one of the cosmetic companies for a year’s supply of eyebrow pencils. I do not particularly recall having given the boy the nickname; in most likelihood one of his team-mates did.

7. Bryant Valdez (1993) a.k.a. “Timbâ” I know it must sound so utterly shallow; but Bryant, whose name brings to recall the gallantry of Medieval England, was nicknamed as such because of his surname. Pronounced the Tagalog way, i.e. Baldes, it sounded like the plural of the Tagalog for “pail.” Only his team-mate Runilo Dimaculangan – God bless his kind nature – would call Bryant by his real name. To everyone else, it was Timbâ.

8. Jonas Tolentino (1996) a.k.a. “Tibi” Jonas played only a year or so for LSFC; and to be honest I had forgotten that he did. One day, though, Reyan Quinto mentioned something about him but could not recall Jonas’ name. All Reyan could remember, he told me, was that this feller used to be called “Tibi.” That brought almost instant recall; and I then remembered having given the boy the nick because of the way he ran. It was as though he suffered from a severe case of constipation.

9. Deney Reyes (1999) a.k.a. “Pato” Deney was called Pato from High School to College; and many never even bothered to find out why he was called as such in the first place. As a tiny high school sophomore, his low pitched voice – somewhat hoarse - seemed so unfit for the tiny frame. It also sounded so much like the raspy voice the voice artist used to give personality to the cartoon character Donald Duck.

10. Richard Brillantes (2000) a.k.a. “Hanger” It took me a couple of moments to remember that his real name is – in fact – Richard Brillantes. It is just that – like everyone else – I had become so familiar with the nickname “Hanger.” I do not know of any living being, in fact, who calls him “Richard.” Thin to the point of emaciation when he was in high school, “Hanger” was most appropriate because clothes seemed to simply hang on him.

[Postscript: Funny I did not think of “Batelec” back when I wrote this in 2004, the nick we all called Ramir Cardona of 1996. When the boy was in high school, he was tall and skinny and looked pretty much like an electric pole. Or, what about the nickname “Bright,” which was actually given to two players: Don Ilagan (R.I.P., 1991) and Alvin Malabuyoc, 1997. The nick was given because of eyes that shone brightly night and day.]

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