Naming things has power - for better or for worse.
Names can be changed in order to remove or increase power.
Names are identity.
I personally love my name, in all its Filipino-ness, 274th in popularity, Simon & Garfunkel ode-inspired, and significance.
In its Latin root, it means "the way for the blind," and interestingly, Saint Cecilia is the patron saint of music and musicians. In the Catholic tradition, she was sainted because she continued singing to god as she died in his name.
Coming from a very Catholic family, I had to ask my parents why they decided to name me Cecilia. According to my mom, when she was growing up, there was a picture of a Saint playing the piano in her house, and she really liked it. Apparently, the same picture was in their dentist's office as well. She later found that it was a painting of Saint Cecilia.
St. Cecilia by John Melhuish Strudwick
My dad's family moved to Santa Cecilia Village, in Las Piñas, Philippines, after he graduated from college. It's such a small town, it wasn't really labeled on Google Maps. However, from street names like Rhapsody and Cantata, it was clear where the village was located.
What cute street names!
To add to the history of my name, my paternal grandfather was hired as a driver for a single, wealthy Los Angeleno named Cecilia Botiller. Though I don't know much about her, with Google and WorldVitalRecords.com, I learned that she was born on November 22, 1898, and passed on December 17, 1990. I feel like I have a vague memory of meeting her, and I remember feeling a great appreciation for her, as she helped my grandfather get his footing in the States and helped move my dad's family over from the Philippines.
Though it's completely unrelated, I was fascinated to learn recently that a "cecaelia" is a mythical creature that is half human and half tentacles like an octopus or squid - much like Ursula from Disney's "The Little Mermaid."
Today, November 22nd, is Saint Cecilia's Feast Day.
Though I'm not Catholic or religious necessarily, I wish you all a lovely St. Cecilia Day, full of life, good food, love, and music.