inabel : curiosities are not coincidences

inabel uytiepo
7 min readFeb 7, 2022
green and white binakul patterned inabel cloth with pink and orange details
Photo: Yuchengco Museum

I didn’t know I was going to change my name. Spirit, ancestors, the universe, all the galaxies made it very clear it was time and synchronistically confirmed what my new name was going to be multiple times.

Before I tell you about the funerals, I’ll breifly share about the birth of Bee. Bee was a nickname from when I was circumambulating years of formal Buddhist life. My given name is Deborah and I am happy to answer to this name with my immediate family. However, my Los Angeles Sangha had three Deborahs: Deborah Blando, Brazilian pop star extraordinaire, Debbie Cohen, our Jewish jewel and me. My Sangha insisted there was already a Deborah and a Debbie. So apparently they needed another name for me. Since the meaning of our name Deborah is Bee, I became Bee. I’ve been called Bee for more than half of my living years in this life.

I don’t dislike my actual given name, Deborah. It’s the name that my father bestowed upon me. I do dislike that the origin is an award winning actress who represents to me the idealized woman of the archetype I call Chipwac (cis-hetero-normative-imperialist-patriarchal-white presenting-ablist-capitalism). She was cited to be “an artist of impeccable grace and beauty, a dedicated actress whose motion picture career has always stood for perfection, discipline and elegance”. I’m not inspired.

Mid December 2021, I was inspired while speaking with a dear friend, Eva Marie. Eva was born and currently lives on the islands called the Phillipines. We were chatting about spiritual names. Engaging in ancestral wayfaring together, I began to long for a Pilipinx name. So this began our search.

I was speaking with another friend on the islands, Jamie, and shared about my apong baket, grandmother, being a weaver. I showed her the textile style of blanket I was gifted and she said, “Oh, is that inabel?” And I said, “what is that?” She explained inabel was a loom weaving style specific to Nothern Luzon. She shared the spelling and as I began to excitedly research it, I found the exact pattern of weaving that my apong had woven on a loom. This blanket along with a brightly flowered quilt are two of my most precious possessions. The green and white blanket I have is woven in a binakul pattern. (Similar to the photo above) My father likes to joke that it’s organic…

inabel uytiepo

queer + ilocanx - chinese + deep collective care + somatic forgiveness + ancestral wayfinding +