My Name is Gabriel not Gabrielle

Last Monday, Raquel and I tuned in to Seven Network to watch the pilot episode of the acclaimed satirical soap Desperate Housewives. After being nominated and winning in the Golden Globe Awards, our curiousity was indeed piqued by this show. The pilot episode certainly didn’t disappoint us. It was somehow refreshing, funny and interesting.

However, this isn’t really a review of the show. I only mentioned it because this is when I was reminded of an annoyance I’ve been harboring ever since I’ve stepped foot on Australian soil.

One of the lead characters of the show is called Gabrielle Solis played by actress Eva Longoria. Just my luck. They have a latina on the show and she has the French version of the feminine-form (Gabrielle) of the name Gabriel rather than the Spanish version (Gabriela).

As you know, my Christian name is Gabriel. Christened so because, according to my parents, I was born on a Monday which was supposed to be the weekday of the Archangel Gabriel according to some old Catholic calendar. Other than that, the name Gabriel is a popular masculine name to give to one’s child in the Philippines. Later on, I’d find out from a Latino acquaintance that Gabriel is also a popular masculine name in Hispanic countries.

There are two pronunciations for the name that I know of. Back home and most likely in Hispanic countries, it is pronounced GAH-briel. In English speaking countries, it is pronounced GAY-briel. That’s why in the US, a Gabriel is nicknamed Gabe and back home a Gabriel is nicknamed Gabby.

But apparently, here in Australia, the name Gabriel is so uncommon that people will by default think that it is a feminine name: Gabrielle (pronounced nearly the same as the masculine Spanish version). So whenever I need to fill out an application form or similar, I’m always afraid that they’d think I’m female. It’s not uncommon I see letters to me addressed to Ms. Gabriel. Uh, hello? Didn’t you see me tick the Male box under the Sex section?

Also, when I have to say my name over the phone, I have to spell it out for fear that the person I’m talking to will spell it as Gabrielle rather than Gabriel. And since I’m not sure they’ll know how to spell my surname, I have to spell my whole name. I no longer bother mentioning my other given name Joseph because I don’t want to go through that extra effort when giving out my name.

It takes a while for new acquaintances to get used to me having the name Gabriel. During the first few weeks, they’d spell my name as Gabrielle but after a while they’d get it right, fortunately.

So the whole time I’m here, I’m praying that a guy with the same name I have will become popular so that the Australians will become familiar with the name Gabriel as a masculine name and not just a feminine name. There was once an Australian Idol contestant named Gabriel but he didn’t get through to the final rounds so tough luck there. Then there was this new local drama show called Cooks and one of the lead characters was a Gabriel but unfortunately the show flopped. Then there’s also Hugh Jackman’s Gabriel Van Helsing character but the movie wasn’t all that popular. That and he was called Van Helsing more than he was called Gabriel.

But now there’s Desperate Housewives and it looks like it’s going to be a big hit. With that, the name Gabrielle will further be ingrained in the minds of people as being a feminine name rather than a masculine name. Just wonderful.

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Published in: on February 2, 2005 at 1:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Welcomed to Graphic Smash

Today, Graphic Smash editor T Campbell and Joey Manley, founder of Graphic Smash and Modern Tales officially welcomed me along with Zack Giallongo of Tenth Life of Pishio the Cat fame and Steve Hogan of Acid Keg fame to the Graphic Smash family of adventure and action webcomics.

That’s right. It’s official now. In a week’s time (maybe less), the Lovarian Adventures comic archives will be removed from the Lovaria site and will be made available on Graphic Smash for subscribers. I’d most likely do the migration during the weekend.

So if you want to continue reading the archives next week, you better subscribe to Graphic Smash. Also if you are asked which comic tempted you to join, choose Lovarian Adventures.

Some of you may not want to become Graphic Smash subscribers because you either don’t want to or can’t pay. As long as you regularly visit the Lovarian Adventures home page, you’ll still be able to follow the story with no problems because the latest page is always free.

I’ve already partially worked out what will go to what pages for the rest of Chapter 7. I still have to draw it though. At least, there’s finally progress again with the Lovarian Adventures comic, right?

Published in: on February 2, 2005 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment