Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Uson, A Unique and Tough Name

ASEC. Mocha Uson (Photo from Mocha's FB Page)
I have kept my silence about Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson ever since her appointment to a government post. For me, as long as she was given a task which I felt she could do, who was I to judge? Plus, I had faith in President Duterte's choices. So while I read here and there the many issues and insults thrown her way by the Liberal Party, the intelligentsia, and mainstream media, I never made a comment. Until now. I feel that people have become too focused on the shallow and the mundane and have forgotten the bigger picture. And I feel that we have become a nation very quick to judge, to impugn, and to malign, not caring if we have all the facts on hand. Thus, my genealogical two cents' worth.

My comment, still, is genealogical, because that is where I am best in doing. Ever since I started doing genealogy I always believed that we are shaped by what happened to our family's past. Naturally, it does not mean that we are stuck in whatever present situation our family has left us in, but it will always be there to influence and lead us, whether to something magnificent or evil depends on us.

Now, back to Mocha. I have been trying to find our more about her genealogy because I had this feeling, just like President Duterte, that her name would have some very interesting and profound meaning. It has taken me more than 2 months of online research and I finally struck gold.

The town of Uson in the province of Huesca (Photo from Google Maps)
According to the Instituto de Historia y Heraldica Familiar, the surname USON is a variant of the Spanish family name Usón, which is an Aragonese name that is considered rare with very few distribution in Spain and is mostly found in the province of Zaragoza. It is derived from the place-name Uson, the name of a small town of the province of Huesca, derived in turn from the Basque voice -uson, meaning "field of grass" (campo de gramas).

The Cynodon dactylon
Simple as it may sound, when researched further, the name Uson is associated with a particular grass with the scientific name, Cynodon dactylon, which is better known as Bermuda grass. What is interesting is that the Bermuda grass is really an apt representation of ASEC. Mocha.

For one, Bermuda grass, just like many other plants, can be a weed or a desirable species. It is extremely fast-growing and tough and thus making it popular and useful for sports fields because, even when damaged it will recover very quickly. 

The Bermuda grass best thrives in warm temperate climates, because it can survive in places where few other grasses can. And perhaps, because of this natural survival trait, it is also highly aggressive, crowding out most other grasses and invading other habitats, and has become a hard-to-eradicate weed in some areas.

As I have always said, surnames often mean more to the bearer than we know. ASEC. Mocha's last name clearly is an obvious and apt description of her. Just like the Bermuda grass from where her name is derived, Mocha has been really tough and very strong despite her detractors' constant attacks. And as stated - even when damaged it will recover very quickly - well, hasn't she bounced back from all the controversies and lies peddled against her?

But the best description I have found of her surname that really suits her is this: "it can survive in places where very few others can".


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