A historical trivia related to Lyca Gairanod-Karen Davila meme fest

August 18, 2021 - 2:49 PM
Karen and Lyca
Lyca Gairanod in this photo on her Instagram on July 17, 2021; Image of Governor General Narciso Claveria by Anonymous via Wikimedia Commons; Karen Davila in this photo on her Instagram on July 22, 2021.

There’s a historical tidbit about Karen Davila‘s viral video with singer Lyca Gairanod in honor of “Buwan ng Kasaysayan” or History Month this August.

The shared birthdate Lyca and Karen’s birthdate, November 21, marks the date when Spanish Governor-General Narciso Claveria standardized the surnames of Filipinos, back when the country was under Spanish colonial rule, said the National Quincentennial Committee.

“Hala! At dahil ang Agosto ay Buwan din ng Kasaysayan, heto ang saysay ng kaarawan nina Bb. Karen Davila at Bb. Lyca Gairanod (pati rin daw ng nanay ng crush ni Lyca) sa ating kasaysayan,” it said on Facebook.

The committee is tasked to spearhead the 500th anniversary of the Philippine part in the first circumnavigation of the world. It added:

“Gayong ipinatupad, may mga pamilyang hindi sakop ng pagpapalit apelyido ng mga Pilipino noong 21 Nobyembre 1849, lalo na ang mga pamilyang galing sa mga maginoo (kadatuan o pre-colonial royal family/nobility) noong panahong bago dumating ang mga Espanyol…

“Nariyan halimbawa ang mga Tupas, Soliman, Lacandola, Gatbonton, Gatmaytan, Gatsalian, Gatdula, Salamat, Dula, Salonga, magat, at marami pang iba.”

According to a feature by Esquire, the surnames were published in the book “Catalogo Alfabetico de Apellidos” which contained 141 pages of surnames with both Spanish and indigenous roots.

The initiative was in response to a Spanish colonial decree that aimed to address colonial subjects with no last name.

The catalog indicated that provincial governors allocated each town with a number of pages from the catalog. This was where the townspeople chose their names.

“For example, in the Bikol region, the entire alphabet is laid out like a garland over the provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, and Catanduanes, which in 1849, belonged to the jurisdiction of Albay,” the catalog was quoted as reading.

“Beginning with A at the provincial capital, the letters B and C mark the towns along the coast beyond Tabaco and Tiwi. We return and trace along the coast of Sorsogon the letters E to L; then starting down the Iraya Valley at Daraga with M, we stop with S to Polangui and Libon, and finish the alphabet with a quick tour around the island of Catanduanes,” it added.

Claveria intended for the decree to be followed throughout the country but some Filipinos of Spanish, Chinese or indigenous origins were allowed to keep their own surnames.

‘Birthday ko ‘yun’ 

Lyca and Karen went viral on Monday when the latter did a video feature on the first winner of “The Voice Kids Philippines.”

Karen asked about the singer’s birthday and was shocked to learn that it was the same date as hers.

The broadcast journalist’s reaction also surprised Lyca who briefly scrunched her eyebrows and took a step back.

“Liar! Birthday ko ‘yun!” Karen exclaimed.

“Hindi ko alam ‘yun. Magka-birthday kami, Scorpio! That means magka-ugali tayo. We’re meant to meet! How many people ang makakatsamba mo, ini-interview ka, ka-birthday mo!” she added.

“Dahil birthday niyo po no’n, kayo maghahanda sa akin!” Lyca quipped in response, to which Karen acknowledged and said that she will throw a “party.”

Karen in her video featured Lyca’s life post-“The Voice” where she visited the latter’s homes in Tanza, Cavite—the seaside house she grew up in and the one she bought after winning the competition.

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