Before I go into why I chose the name, let’s start by breaking it down a little bit.
The first word “Taong” comes from the Filipino/Tagalog root word “Tao” (pronounced Tah-oh), meaning man or person. It has an “-ng” ligature at the end, which links it to the second word, “Boondocks”, which is an Americanization of the Filipino/Tagalog word “Bundok” which means mountains. American GI’s couldn’t pronounce bundok properly (the ok at the end is pronounced like “oak”) when referring to the backwards, mountainous regions of the Philippines, so they called them the boondocks. As far as I can tell this is the only word that American English has borrowed from Tagalog. Put together Taong Bundok or Taong Boondocks would thus mean “Mountain Man”, which in Tagalog carries some of the same hillbilly/rustic connotations the phrase has in English.
So why did I chose a name like that? Here’s a few reasons:
- It ties into my two years I spent in the Philippines on a mission for my church. I had originally intended to talk a bit about my time there on my other blog, Selenian Boondocks, but this is a more appropriate forum for such discussions/stories.
- It also ties into my better-known, space policy blog, Selenian Boondocks (which would roughly mean Lunar Mountains, but with sort of a Lunar Hillbilly connotation).
- I like the fact that we actually have a word in common usage in America that was borrowed from Tagalog.
- I plan on using this blog to discuss some topics (religion, politics, etc.) that are typically considered inappropriate for polite conversation.
- In some ways this blog is also sort of a blog about the person (tao) behind Selenian Boondocks.