Job / CareerTransition

Handy employment guide by surname

It’s graduation season once again, and if you are thus transitioning, you may be wondering what to do with your life. The Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung insisted that there are no coincidences. He pointed out that his own surname (meaning ‘young”) was quite relevant to his work, concerning the rebirth of the self, while that of his colleague, the Austrian Sigmund Freud (meaning “joy”) was about the Pleasure Principle, and their Austrian contemporary Alfred Adler (meaning “eagle”), wrote about the human desire for power. A later contemporary, Erik Erikson (meaning “son of Erik”) wrote about the importance of identity, and coined the term “identity crisis”. Closer to home, the name Quezon can be translated as “big cheese”, and Manuel L. Quezon certainly was one. These days, Luis Liwanag (“light”) is a noted photographer. This doesn’t work in all cases, of course. For example, B.F. Skinner, another giant in the psychology field, was a behaviorist, not a leather craftsman or taxidermist. Again closer to home, Dr. Kenneth Sy MD of St. Luke’s (sounds like “cannot see”) chose oncology as his specialization, instead of opthalmology. The Paterno (meaning “paternal”) family, one of the oldest Filipino Chinese clans, is definitely a matriarchy. So, your name may not determine your destiny, but heck, it might give you a few ideas. I found an online list of the most common Filipino surnames, and added a few, including those of some of my friends. Have fun.

If your surname is this means or recalls you should work as a/ an but maybe not as a/ an
Anciano Spanish: old, elderly caregiver youth sector representative
Andrada Spanish: walking pro golfer, caddy race car driver
Aquino Spanish: aqui, no = “not here” Prefect of Discipline location scout
Batungbacal Tagalog: steel rock geologist, miner or triathlete glider pilot, scuba diver
Bautista Spanish: baptist swimming instructor lifeguard
Castillo Spanish: castle contractor, chess player sand and gravel supplier
Castro Fidel Castro dictator or cigar vendor U.S.A. tour operator
Cruz Spanish: cross priest, or flyover contracor pedestrian crosswalk painter
Delgado Spanish: thin dietician, personal trainer sumo wrestler
de Veyra Spanish: deveras = “indeed” commentator or talk show host yes man
Dimaandal Tagalog: cannot be shoved sumo wrestler (obviously) acrobat
Dimaano Tagalog: cannot have anything done to (him/her) warlord escort girl
Dimaculangan Tagalog: will not be lacking accountant, auditor termite exterminator
Dimaguiba Tagalog: cannot be destroyed civil engineer demolition expert
Dimayuga Tagalog: cannot be shaken customer service rep disco dancer
Ermitaño Spanish: 1. “hermit”. 2. “hermit crab” monk, systems admin talk show host
Flores Spanish: flowers florist (what else) gynecologist
Garcia Eddie Garcia, actor movie contrabida gay senior citizen (oh, wait)
Go English: movement pedicab, taxi, or truck driver senator
Gonzalez Visigothic: Gundesaelf = “battle elf” bouncer at Hobbit House AFP Chief Of Staff
Guinto Spanish: gold jeweller or miner silversmith (confusing)
Honasan Tagalog: O, nasaan? = “where is it/ he?” fugitive psychic finder of lost persons
Kalaw Tagalog: hornbill (bird) environmentalist person with a large nose
Lim Latin: “line, boundary, edge” tennis official, surveyor electrician, if your name is Andy
Luz/ Liwanag Spanish/ Tagalog: light electrician, photographer mushroom farmer
Mabanta Tagalog: ma banta = “threatening” goon, bill collector kindergarten teacher
Macapagal Tagalog: pagal = “tired”, hence “tiresome” politician, economist endurance trainer
Macaraeg Tagalog: “will conquer” or “will dominate” sports coach marriage counselor
Mendoza Basque: mendi otza = “cold mountain” gay shepherd bikini designer
Mercado Spanish: market stockbroker or fish vendor superhero (Supermercado?)
Navarro Leah Navarro singer activist
Ocampo Galician: o campo = “the fields” farmer, rancher urban planner
Ongpin Hokkien:Ong = King, English: pin, “a pointy thing” kingpin bowling alley operator
Paredes Spanish: walls mason jail warden
Paterno Spanish: paternal Doctor specializing in IVF birth control advocate
Quezon Spanish: big cheese boss, president delicatessen owner
Ramos Latin: ramus = “branch” branch manager (‘di ba?) firewood dealer
Reyes, Khan, King Spanish: kings chess player gay pride organizer (all ‘queens’)
Rivera Spanish: ribera = “riverbank” anything, but in Marikina dam operator
Salazar Spanish: sala = “hall” + Basque: zahar = “old” thus “old hall” restoration architect demolition contractor
San Juan St John, author of the Gospels (New Testament) author, writer Mayor in Metro Manila (confusing)
Santos Spanish: saints priest, theologian criminal, gambler
Súnico Google Translate: Chinese pronunciation of “sonic” sound engineer or designer instructor at School for the Deaf
Tan English: a yellowish or golden brown color beach resort owner glutathione dealer
Tomas St. Thomas The Apostle, or “Doubting Thomas” detective or external auditor evangelist preacher
Torres Spanish: towers condo salesman landfill contractor
Uy Tagalog: “wow!” or “hey!” game show or beauty contest host proctologist
Villanueva Spanish: new town urban planner forest conservation activist
Ysip Tagalog: Isip = “think, thought” intellectual, writer man of action
Zaballero Spanish:shepherd ano pa? eh di, shepherd anarchist
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©2020 Rafael A. S. G. Ongpin

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