On Friday, baby HTML Pascual was born. And before they even had the chance to let out a good cry, they already became Internet famous for an apparently laughable reason — but was it worth it?
First posted by Panay News’s social media page on June 10, news of a baby born with the name Hypertext Markup Language R. Pascual in a hospital in Bocaue, Bulacan quickly caught the attention of netizens who had a kick out of the baby’s name.
But where did the name came from? As it turns out, it was a homage to the father’s profession as a web developer. What’s more, it wasn’t hard to spot which side of the family will be passing on the wit, as according to Inquirer’s interview with the mother, the baby’s father is also hilariously named “Macaroni ‘85” while his two sisters are named “Spaghetti ‘88” and “Sincerely Yours ‘98” like they were a set of family videotapes.
Not only that, but Spaghetti also has children named Cheese Pimiento and Parmesan Cheese, while their cousins are named Design and Research. As common parents browse the Bible for inspiration, they sound like they drew theirs from a cookbook and a thesaurus.
And we’re not going to lie — it is wildly hilarious to hear about. Social media users thought so too, with some even jokingly commenting that they hope the HTML gets a sibling named SSL so the siblings would grow up “secured.” Their warm reception of baby HTML has also led to the post getting shared more than 63,000 times and garnering more than 56,000 reactions, with the “laugh” reaction reasonably ranking the highest.
So we laughed, until we didn’t.
As fast as the news came, so did comments expressing concern towards the thought behind it. Many aired their worry that the distinct name may cause the baby to get bullied once they grow up. Some also said that it’s unfair to name a baby — who lacks the agency to refuse or rejoin — something that they might regret due to any number of reasons in the future, regardless if it means sentimental to the parents.
Some users even outright called the parents “selfish” for naming the baby something it wouldn’t understand, and that the baby ought to sue their parents once they are legally able to.
According to Republic Act No. 9048, any Philippine citizen can legally change their name in the civil register on a handful of grounds, one of which being that the petitioner’s current name is found to be “ridiculous, tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce.”
So it’s possible. Though, of course, this doesn’t yet take into account the financial cost, emotional damages, and the hassle of having to go through such a procedure in the first place.
Granted, coming up with a name for your baby is a daunting decision to make. From considering perhaps their grandparent’s pet names to factoring in the chances of getting a “hit” in the NBI, parents rack their brains for a name that makes their child stand out, whatever form that may take.
But it isn’t impossible to enact empathy towards your child even before they are born. Sentimentality is important, sure, but uniqueness isn’t in what they are called, it’s in what they do with the name they’re given. If they’re too busy filling out forms or answering “how do you spell that?” to do good acts with the name they’re given, then is it really worth it?
Besides, your baby’s name isn’t their entire personality. Picture this: the baby, grown up and all, joins a party and spends their entire time there with their unique name as their only talking point. Yikes.