WATCH | Scarlet Snow and now Martial Law: An odd baby name crops up amid war in Marawi

June 21, 2017 - 10:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A father named his son Joker — who later became a senator — because he was fond of playing cards. Another was called Scarlet Snow because her celebrity parents were inspired by a Bible verse that says, “Though your sins be red as scarlet I shall make it white as snow.”

The grandson of the country’s most powerful person was nicknamed Stonefish because his mother loved the ocean. Another was named Bear Blaze because his mom, a British actress, met her husband-to-be when a house fire broke on an island where the couple was vacationing.

It’s no longer uncommon for parents to give their babies odd names that may have something to do with what they are fond of doing or what they believe in or anything that for them has personal meaning.

Marawi resident Tarhata Orangking adds another to the odd names’ list. Martial Law was the name she gave her baby, who was born on May 23, the day President Rodrigo Duterte imposed military rule in the entire Mindanao to address the crisis in the Islamic city.

She said she could not think of a better name for her third child when her water bag broke in Brgy. Tuca amid the sounds of exploding bombs and firing guns in the Lanao del Sur capital where clashes continue between government troops and Islamist extremists led by the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups.

Pumutok na ‘yong panubigan ko…Malakas na sumasabog (ang) baril, bomba hanggang lumabas si Martial Law. Wala akong naisip na magandang pangalan kasi nag-martial na si President Duterte,” said Orangking.

Though still weak from giving birth, Orangking had no choice but to flee Marawi with her family.

“‘Yong asawa ko binuhat n’ya ‘yong dalawa kong anak. Ako buhat-buhat ko itong anak ko [My husband carried our two children. I carried my newly born child.]

Until now, almost a month since the war started in Marawi, Orangking and her family stay at an evacuation center in Brgy. Buru-un, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte.

But while Marawi was worn down by the war, Orangking remains hopeful that a bright future will rise for her children — may be not in the city but in another place in the country that is more peaceful and just.

While Orangking and her family no longer want to go back to Marawi, she said the name she gave her baby would always remind her of the city and of her fellow Muslims, who had suffered from the war.

Kahit masama ‘yong alalala n’yan, ‘yon ang remembrance ko sa kapwa ko Muslim,” she said.