Friday, February 23, 2007


Another Wednesday
It was a nice and adventurous journey last Wednesday for us with Kai. He was so energetic the whole day. He caught a ladybug and was so excited about it. At the park he shared the bug with his other "Grandpa Stu and Grandma Joyce." It was the first thing that he showed me when they arrived home. "Umpha I need a glass to put my ladybug! Ever since he started picking bugs, spiders etc., we always provide him with a jar.
The day went fast...
I prepared some potato fries to go with julienne cut Polish Sausage. He as at the table when I remember that the other day I had bought some small anchovies that I intended to deep fry them crispy for him. I showed him the "small fish" and he got excited. "Let's cook it..I like small crispy fish!" Since the oil was still hot there was no problem. Except that he wants to help cook it. "Let me help you." "I am a big boy now." After I had seasoned and floured the anchovies, he wants to sit on the high chair and to help me drop the fish into the hot oil. I usually drop the whole thing into the oil all at once. Since he was helping me...he was dropping one fish at the time, I have to watch him carefully so he won't get burned. He was very careful! He knows that the oil is hot and it will ouch him. He did not bother with the crab I am eating but concentrated with the "crispy small fish." "look Umpha. I ate the head...I like is crispy." He ate the sausages and fries too with a chocolate bon-bon with nuts inside...he thought it was macadamia nut. I said to Umma..."his Mom will have an attack of hemorrhoid if she saw what her son is eating... crispy anchovies."
While we were in the living room, I noticed that he was holding his crotch all the time. I asked him it he wants to go pee..."not yet" that was the answer. About fifteen minutes passed by when he announced that he is going to pee. He dashed to the toilet, lowered his pants and pee. When he was done, I said pull your pants up. "You do it my hands is dirty." "I have to wash my hands" A rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" was in the air once more until he was done washing.
He played with Nallie for a while. He gathered all of Nallie's toys and would throw them..."fetch Nallie." Nallie got tired after a while and wouldn't fetch anymore. So what's next...? I went to the living room thinking that he would follow me...No way Jose! The first I heard was a very loud and long "UMPHAAAAAA! When I came to see him, he had a red paint container in his hands. "It's time to paint!" "I need some papers" I love red paint, it my favorite color." I pulled out one of the Masonite board and we did some painting. He started to like to mix paints. This was where I have to control him...telling him that mixing all colors will become black and since we already have black paint in the container we don't need to do that. He is still very fussy having paint on his hands. I wonder when he goes to kindergarten and they have finger painting...will he do it. His teacher, whoever it might be will have to be told about it...or else the teacher will hear "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" the whole day. So we painted until his Mom came.
We did not have any trouble when it was time to go home. He first went to the dinning room, picked up the box of FERRERO ROCHER, opened and it took one and told his Mommie that he will take it home with him. By the way, he opened that box all by himself. When I gave him the box, he looked at it and tried to open it. He knows that the gold band had to be removed first..."wait I will get a scissor." I finally persuaded him that I will show him how to open it without a scissor. I showed him the open end of the band and I started to pull it. "give it, I will do it! I am a big boy now!" So he opened it all by himself, helped himself to one of the bon-bon, opened the wrapper and started eating it. He was sort of surprised when he saw the nut, actually a filbert and not a macadamia as he thought.
That was our Wednesday with him.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Today is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The year 4705, the year of the pig, Feb. 18, 2007.
Yes, it is a Piggy Year...legend has it that in ancient times Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the person born in each year's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in pig years tend to have excellent manners, make and keep friends, work hard, and appreciate luxury. They are very loving and make loyal partners.
Fireworks and Family Feast.
Although we have Chinese genes from my mother side, we only share the celebration at times with my gingered-shaped footed Lola Ayo. This would be the time for me to get "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legends can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago in the Philippines, the Chinese community will lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.
Lola Ayo would have all or as many relatives as she can gather to celebrate the New Year with her. Food would be plenty; roast pig, Peking Ducks, pickled duck eggs, and sea foods, all kinds of noodles and of course my favorite "moon cakes" and "tikoy" (glutinous rice flour cake cooked under a slow fire, stirring the concoction continuously until the desired consistency). At night there will be firecrackers. I remember that she would be in a red Chinese gown as the custom calls. Most of the women and little girls guest wore red too.
Umma and I usually go downtown during this time to watch the Dragon parade...but we just went shopping instead. We are still looking for some unusual sea creature, knick-knacks, for Kai-Kai's room. We found a nice clock with dolphins to go on his desk.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Like an uninvited guest..with the hot towel compress, it was gone ! The stye did not stay long for another day. I am glad that I don't have to resort to the other remedies I had listed the other day.


Earlier on February 4, 1945, General MacArthur had announced the imminent recapture of Manila while his staff planned a victory parade. A stiffening resistance of the Japanese army was reported to further advance to the city.
The Manila massacre was just a piece of news for me then. I have not seen the actual event. We were in Pasig with my grandparents and other relatives. It was a blessing in disguise that my father was with the guerrilla forces. He came back just in time for us to evacuate. Manila was not declared by the Japanese General Yamashita as what MacArthur did on the onset of War. If the family was in Manila during that time, I wouldn't be writing here now. There would be no Umpha for my Kai-Kai. The Manila massacre, February 1945 was the atrocities conducted against Filipino civilians in Manila. The death toll was at least 100,000 people.
Subjected to incessant pounding - and facing certain death the beleaguered Japanese troops took out their anger and frustration on the civilians caught in cross fire, committing multiple acts of severe brutality, which later would be known as the Manila Massacre. Violent mutilations, rapes, and massacres on the populace accompanied the battle for control of the city, which now lay practically in ruins.
The massacre was at its worst in the Battle of Manila. The Manila massacre is one of the several major war crimes committed by the Imperial Japanese Army from the annexation of Manchuria in 1931 to the end of World War II in 1945. It was a major event in Japanese war crimes, where over 15 million Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Indonesian, Burmese, Indochinese civilians, Pacific Islanders and Allied POW's were killed.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I had been putting off writing about the time of my youth during the war...this will be a bit long as I am sure that there will be a lot of events that evolved during that time. As a starter, I am going to relate here some facts;
Almost 9 years old and was third grade in the primary school. When Japan launched a surprise attack on the Philippines on December 8, 1941, just ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Aerial bombardment was followed by landing of ground troops on Luzon. The defending Philippine and United States troops were under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. Under the pressure of superior numbers, the defending forces withdrew to Bataan and to the Island of Corregidor at the entrance to Manila Bay. Manila, declared an open city to prevent its destruction was occupied by the Japanese on January 2, 1942. The Philippine defense continued until the final surrender of the United States-Philippine forces on Bataan Peninsula in April 1942 and Corregidor in May. Most of the 80,000 prisoners of war captured by the Japanese at Bataan were forced to undertake the infamous Bataan Death March to a prison camp 105 kilometers to the north. It is estimated tat about 10,000 Filipinos and 1,2oo Americans died before reaching the destination. The president of the Philippine was Manuel L. Quezon (the first president of the Commonwealth) (During the commonwealth years, the Philippines sent one elected Resident Commissioner to the United States House of Representative - Pedro Guevara, cousin of my maternal grandmother). Quezon and Osmena (vice president) had accompanied the troops to Corregidor and later left for the United States, where they set up a government in exile. MacArthur was ordered to Australia, where he started to plan for a return to the Philippines.
The Japanese military authorities immediately began organizing a new government structure in the Philippines and established the Philippine Executive Commission. They initially organized a Council of States which they directed civil affairs until October 1943, when they declared the Philippines an independent republic. The Japanese sponsored republic headed by President Jose P. Laurel proved to be unpopular.
Japanese occupation of the Philippines was opposed by large scale underground and guerrilla activity. The Philippine Army continued to fight the Japanese in a guerrilla war and was considered an auxiliary unit of the United States Army. Their effectiveness was such that by the end of the war, Japan controlled only twelve of the fifty-eight provinces. The major element in the resistance in Central Luzon area was furnished by the HUKBALAHAP ("People's Army Against the Japanese"), which armed some 30,000 people and extended their controlled over much of Luzon.
MacArthur's Allied forces landed on Leyte on October 20, 1944. Landing in other parts of the country followed, and the Allies pushed toward Manila. Fighting continued until Japan's surrender on September 2, 1945. The Philippine suffered great loss of life and tremendous physical destruction by the time the war was over. An estimated 1 million Filipinos had been killed and Manila was extremely damaged as the Japanese did not declare it an open city as the Americans had done in 1942.
The above scenario was to give you an insight of how the war was in the Philippines during my youth. I can think facetiously now all the events of those years. At the onset of the war, people "evacuated"...moving from one place to another, mostly in the country side. When Manila was declared an open city they all returned to the capital thinking that it was the safest place.
We stayed put in Manila, the dress shop was closed and became a "grocery and eatery" for a while. Relatives from the suburb stayed in our house...but eventually moved back to the country side.
I did go to school for a while...I can't seem to remember why suddenly I was not there anymore. My days were spent mostly gallivanting, playing or helping my mother in the house or in the store. My father was usually not home, he was with the guerrilla forces somewhere in Laguna province. When he came home he brought us staples that were hard to get in those day and a bag ("bayong," a large native woven shopping bag) full of money. The Philippine pesos was not in circulation anymore. We used Japanese-issued money for all our daily transactions. I can't remember what was the rate of exchange then but I remember that you needed a lot of money to buy anything those days. As far as I can remember we were not very hard up for food. We still ate regularly...breakfast, merienda (snack), lunch, another merienda and dinner. Some people during the war had to resort of eating just sweet potatoes, cassava roots or if they have rice to cook, it was always with an additives of either sweet potatoes or corn, even grated coconuts. The food on our table was always sumptuous because my mother still could buy big fish, chicken, pork and beef... cooked them with gusto! There were a lot of improvisations of our cuisine those days. I always tagged along with my mother whenever she went to the market. She was always on the lookout for something that she could use to feed us. This was true with spices that were hard to come by. Some of the vegetables came from my garden. Even as young as I was I tended a garden in our backyard. I think we bought cabbages, snow peas, green beans and other vegetables that grew in Baguio (low temperature mountain province) from the wet market in Paco. Although everything was scarce, we didn't resort of to eating fresh cows hide (cooked until soft), Or "sisid rice", (word "sisid" literally meant to dive under water). This rice was salvaged from a sunken Japanese cargo ship that carried tons of rice. It was discovered by Filipino sea divers, who brought the sacks of rice afloat and experimented cooking was sold to the public and became staples for some. I just couldn't imagine how it tasted! That rice was discovered after the ship has been in the sea water for a while.
The war did not affect me until the liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese. I saw the devastation of Manila first hand when my mother and I went to our house. The streets were like those that you can see in war movies...the bombing left dead Japanese soldiers scattered, some of them charred or sort of mummified , I guess from the heat of the burning city. I don't remember seeing any Filipinos among the dead.
My brother Renato was born September 16, 1941. He was the one who was affected during the war. There was a shortage of milk or no milk at all. I used to feed him "um" (rice soup scooped from the cooking rice before it dries up...we usually put more water to the rice so we can have extra "soup." We feed him hard boiled egg yolks too. He suffered malnutrition...but he survived the ordeal. He is living in Texas right now.
Teodolfo was born May 7, 1943. There are four boys and a girl in our family. When my mother announced that she was pregnant...I vividly remember what I said. "AGAIN!" This was because there will be an addition to my ward. In spite of having a maid in the house, it was my duty to take care of my three brothers...Wilfrido, Renato, and now Teodolfo. I think after Teodolfo arrived, Renato was more or less had been taken care of "Inday," our live-in maid. Most of my personal activities had been once more curtailed short again. The dress shop was opened again and my mother was always busy with her business. My father was not always home, maybe, and I am sure that his business with the guerrillas also included his womanizing in the country side.
After the liberation from the Japanese, we established our residence in Mandaluyong. My mother still did her dress making business but with a different perspective. There were a lot of materials floating around like parachute nylons.
She bought them and they were made into blouses and children's dresses. It had been quite an enterprise because she sold them to the Aguinaldo Department Store in Escolta, Manila. So our house was sort of a factory and at the same time my father opened his clinic there too.
It was time for me to go back to school. Since records can not be verified because they were all burned, my father enrolled me as a six grader. Remember...I haven't been to school for quite a while. Every night my mother had to tutor me in my spelling and reading. I was able to hack it and was ready for high school when I graduated...not with flying colors but I graduated. By the way schooling in the Philippines is from grade six you go four years high school...a mere ten years of prep for college. English is still the medium of studies. It used to be that the Philippines was the third country in the world that speaks English...I haven't checked it out lately. With the nationalization movement going on for a while now in the country, and from what I have seen from the younger generation there, the rung might have been lowered. But still when you are in the Philippines today, you can be understood if you speak English. With the migrations and the work forces in different countries, one can encounter who speak, even haltingly some other languages. You will always find a Filipino in every corner of the world.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


For the first time in my life I caught a "stye" on the corner of my eye. I was preparing preparing lunch when I felt something itchy on the corner of my eye. I thought I had an attack of my allergy...I took one Claritin right away. When Umma and Kai came back from the park, I told Umma about it and she immediately said it is a "stye" or what we call "koliti" in the Philippines. Told me to put a hot compress right away. I had been doing that and it seems to help abate the itching. This caught me in surprise because I never had this before. In the Philippines...old wives tales tell you that you get "koliti" if you peeked on someone laviciously...LOL Very funny indeed. According to the website, it is a common infection of the hair follicle of an eyelash. It appears due to the debilitated condition of the system.
Home Remedies For Treatment of Eye Stye:
Rub a clove spice in water and apply it over the stye to relief pain.
Use a grated potato as poultice to reduce swelling in inflamed eyes.
Slit an aloe leaf lengthwise and place the pulpy side on the sore eye.
Boil 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds with a cupful of water like an herbal
tea preparation to wash eyes 3-4 time a day.
Boil 1 teaspoon of turmeric in 2 cups of water until it reduces in half.
Cool and strain 4-5 times through a fine muslin. Apply as eye drops
3-4 times a day.
Take one cup of water. Dissolve 2-3 granules of alum in it,
use as eyewash.
Guava leaves, warmed and place on a damp cloth, and then use
as compress on the eyelids.
Boil a handful of acacia leaves into two cups of water to make a
decoction and apply it as compress on the eyelid.
Eye Stye Tips
As preventive measure, never put your hand in your infected eye because your hands are full of germs, and allow the eyes stye to rupture on its own. Never ever "pop" a stye like a pimple because it might cause an infection to spread or transfer from one eye to another. Many eye infections are contagious and an eye stye does require a high standard of hygiene.
As usual on Wednesday, I lit up the fire place for Kai. It is not to cold, about 56 degrees outside but I know he will expect me to have the fire ready when he opened the door. I have some twisted papers for him to throw into the fire. "it is a big "fi-e'er." That's what he calls them when the paper get burned into flame. He enjoys doing that. I think he thinks that he is helping Umpha build a fire.
We had some deep fried Tilapia with black bean and tofu sauce for lunch. I bought four fish at the market today, fried them all but used only one with the sauce. I prepared some smoked beef polish sausage, cut in strips, pickled sugar beets and frozen persimmons...these were eaten later because he preferred to eat the fried fish instead. "its crispy...I like crispy fish!"
After lunch, he wanted to watch TV with Umpha. "Umpha come and sit with me. let's watch Tom and Jerry." It seems that this will be a regular routine for us. I have to share in his exuberance; the giggles and laughs of the antics of the two characters we are watching. An hour later Umma and him went next door to give his Valentine presents to the two little girls across the street.
He wanted to paint he got his colors and pulled some papers and started to pour paint on the paper. I let him finished three pieces, mostly reds and a touch of blues and purples. I think he has changed his color preference. "red is my favorite color." That was what he had been muttering repeatedly
while pouring the red paint. So..."pop-pul" is out!
He gave me 2 KITKATS, 2 HERSHEY'S, 2 REESE'S and 6 KISSES for Valentine.
I think he should have his own computer when he moves to his new room. He saw the game I was playing..."LUXOR" and asked to sit on my lap so he can play it. With my help with the mouse, he was was enjoying the game. He does not like to go to the dining room for lunch. He was begging "not yet please...please Umpha." "let's play the bug." I was really caught off guard when he used the word "please." Of course I was able to pacify him, explaining that we are going to be back after we eat..."we will eat first and then we will beat the bugs." "we will eat first so you can be very strong." That did it!
He will get a regular bed which will be our birthady gift for him. He likes to have a sea creatures for decoration. We are in the market for some sea creatures that he will like. I found some ceramic mobiles of fish and seahorse. He imediately fell in love with it and showed his delights.
I have to think of some ploy, something to tell him when it is time for him to go home. Today was not so bad...even though there was a resistance, he was distracted with the "treasures" he got today. The "Treasure Monster" was a big help to cool him and I was able to carry him to the car without too much of a fuss. I think when I told him that he can come back again also did it. He needed that reassurance. I can see in the future...he will be showing up at the door whenever he feels to do so and I will be very grateful about that. We will see about that...who knows?

Friday, February 09, 2007



There are times that he really amazes me! Occasionally he will blurt-out some phrases that I don't expect coming from him. I know that he is very retentive, but remembering them even a week passed or so, is something.

I have jotted down some of them and will share them with you;

1.) "I am happy in Umpha house"

This came around when he was ready to go home. There are times that he just does not want to go with Tisha when she comes to pick him up. This is not new...this has been a problem for quite a while. He just likes to prolong his stay in Umpha's house. Thinking about it...I too did not want to go home when I was with my grandparents. What can I say ..."like Umpha, like grandson."

2.) "I am back"

Three Wednesdays ago, this was the phrase that came from him. I guess this means that after a week of his absence, he is back to his Umpha's house.

3.) "I like that. It is delicious"

Anything that you let him try for the first time...when he likes, that will be what he will be saying and he will ask for more.

4.) "I live in San Diego, Africa"

Ask him where he lives and that will be the answer. I guess he got the idea that Africa must be a nice place because of all the animals that live there. Lately we are trying to correct him to include their house numbers and omit the Africa and say California instead.

5.) "Ay Caramba"

This must had came from "Diego Go Diego" toon that he likes to watch. They interchange the dialogues in Spanish and English.

6.) "Ay Diyos Ko"

He learned this from me. It means "Oh My God" in Tagalog. This is one of the first Tagalog he has learned before he was three years old.

7.) "Takaw and Kalawakaw and OA (overacting)"

There are times that he will sing and Umma will say you are "kalawakaw" meaning he is out of tune; anyway he loves to sing. "Takaw" means eating a lot. There are times that when he does not like anything, he will make faces, sometimes will have his eyes half-closed with his head up. With the posing and attitude we call him "OA." Now when we ask him , "who is takaw and kalawakaw and OA...he will say; "Kai Van Patten.'

8.) "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"

This is a very important song for him. Every time he goes to the bathroom to pee, even though he has not touched himself, "I have to wash my hands." Tisha taught him the use as a "timer." He knows that after the song he is done washing and ready for a towel. He does not want to have a dirty hand. Whenever I am with him, I always have a damp hand towel so he can wipe his hands.

9.) "Umpha will spank her on the cheek"

There is a little girl about his age in the neighborhood and at times they play together. Her name is Lulu. We uses her as a ruse so he will eat. We tell him that Lulu will come over and eat everything. "No it's mine." "Umpha will spank her in the cheek." Of course he will eat with the "OA" posing. This mostly happens when we are introducing him to something new or that hasn't tasted before.

10.) "I have to find some treasures"

He was promised that he will get a treasure if he doesn't wet his diaper but tells us when he wants to pee or poo. He is very good in my opinion in telling us that he needs to use the bathroom. He knows that Umma keeps the "treasure" in the storeroom, he will go there and will try to find any. There are times that he will open the door and when asked what are he is doing there..."I have to find a treasure" that is what he will tell you. He is not very choosy...last Wednesday, Umma gave him a "Crayola" portable radio with head phone. He exclaimed; "WOW! I like it. We have to get some batteries. I will get my screwdriver." The funny thing is he was so anxious to open the battery case using his screw driver. "I can do it, I am strong." So I let him; sort of guided him to open the case and he was happy that he was able to open it...with Umpha's help.

11.)"Oh! I forgot"

He was reluctant to go home the other Wednesday (nothing unusual) I asked for a hug...he hugged me and kissed me...resigned to go home and I told him "how about Umma?" He turned around and said, "Oh I forgot." Umma got her hug and kiss too.

12.) "Umphaaaaaaaa! come and watch "Tom and Jerry" with me. He wants me to lie down with him under the blanket, sitting side by side we watched his favorite show together.

13.) "I sit on your head...I am your hat."

While we were watching TV and as usual laying under the blanket...he stood up and sat on my forehead. That was his comment.

14.) "I have to plant some seeds"

We have been eating cherimoya from the garden. He loved it after he tasted it...but was so fascinated with the seeds. He remembers that I let him plant some wax gourd seeds before and he remembers that they grew. After lunch, we went out in the the backyard and he planted some seeds. Maybe he will be a gardener too like Umpha.

There must be some more phrases that may be included the moment this will do for now. I haven't started the "WWII YEARS" might be on the next blog.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Let me think for a minute...I was born before:

polio vacines
frozen foods
Pizza hut, McDonalds, Taco Bell
instant coffee
contact lenses
jet airplanes
hang gliders
the pill

There were no:

credit cards
FM radios
electric typewriters
digital cameras
personal computers
CDs and DVDs
laser beams
ball point pens
pelt tip pen
acrylic paints
Men had not invented:
panty hose
air conditioners
clothes dryers and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air.
man hadn't walked on the moon.
every family had a mother and a father
until i was 24, i called every man older than me, "sir."

We were before:
computer dating
dual careers
daycare centers
group theraphy
our lives were governed by the ten commandments, good judgement, and common sense.
we were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and stand up and take responsibilities for our actions.
serving the country was a privilege, living in this country was a bigger privilege.
having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with you family.
draft dodgers were people who closed their doors when evening breeze started.
time-sharing meant time with the family spent together in the evenings and weekends - not purchasing a condominiums by the seaside.
we listened to big bands and radio shows.
if you saw anything with "made in japan" on it, it was junk.
the term "making out" refered to how you did on your school exam.
we had 5 &10 stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.
you could buy a chevy for $600.00...but not all could afford one, because gas was 11 cents a gallon.

In my days:

"coke" was a cold drink.
"grass" or "weeds" were mowed.
"pot was something your mother cooked your meals in.
"rock music" was your mother's lullaby.
"aids" were helpers in the hospitals or in the schools.
"chips" meant a piece of wood.
"hardware" was found in hardware stores.
"software" wasn't even a word.
"briefcase" was what the lawyer put his papers in and carried to court.
"web" meant to be a spiders home.
"links" meant the connection of two chains.
"dashboard" meant the front section of a car where the odometer was.
"address book" was usually a small black book with handwritten addresses.
how about that? our generation invented all of those things that we have today. i wonder what will be next from your generation.
and we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby.

I am almost 74 years old next month!

Thursday, February 01, 2007



I wished that I was more receptive and more inquisitive when my father was telling the story of why we have the surname Morales. The story goes that our supposed family name should be Tolentino. His great grandfather had to change it because he was a hot item for the Spaniards in those days. He was a rebel, opposed to the Spaniards domination of the people and the country. In those days, anyone that was opposed to the government were "persona non grata." If caught, one ended up on the other end of the firing squad. To elude the Spaniards he changed his surname to Morales; the surname of his godfather from another province. He was able to live a long and fruitful life, thus, the Morales became one of the Tagalog tribe. There are few Tagalog Morales and most of them are related to us. The others, you will find them in the provinces of Pampanga, Pangasinan, and in the Visayan islands.
Originally the Tolentino, Spanish/Italian and Jews came from Italy. It is a habitational name from the city of Tolentino in Macerata province of Italy. It was adapted as a given name in Spain because of its association with St. Nicholas of Tolentino (c. 1245-1305).
Well, what is in a name? The surname Morales appears to be patronymical and locational in origin and believed to be associated with the Spanish and Portuguese meaning,"the son of Moral (right and proper); one who came from Morales (mulberry tree), the name of two towns in Spain; dweller near a mulberry or blackberry bush."
With the almost four hundred years of the Spanish in the Philippines, Spanish surnames were sure to appear in the church's registries.
In the Philippines, it is not common to have a middle name per se'. One always carries the surname of one's mother next to his name. Jose Ramos Morales, indicates that my mother's surname is Ramos. I think it is changing now, as I have seen some of the Filipino names, specially those that have been born outside the Philippines. My name was also the first name of my father. I think he gave the name Flordeliza for my sister, Wilfrido and Renato for my brothers. The younger ones were chosen by my parents. Practically all the names of my cousins on my father side were "mandated" by my grandfather. He was the name giver! Except for the younger ones who came later after he died.