Author Name

Austrian Ako

When I was young, I was fascinated about how I could look like some family members. Did I look my Lola Maring, my Mom's mother or my Lola Rose, my Dad's mom? I was curious to know how much Spanish, Japanese, Chinese blood I had. I was starting Biology in sophomore year and I wanted to find out the exact percentage of whose blood was running in my veins.

I know I look like my Dad. We are both "chinky-eyed." My eyes are small like my Mom's almond shaped ones, but droop just like my Dad's. 

Either way, we look Chinese.

One day, I was talking to my Dad's older sister, Tita Beth, and asked her if we had Chinese blood. She told me we that we had none, as far as she knew.

Our origins couldn’t have a more of a surprising twist, beginning with this tale of how we got our last name. This might just be barrio folklore, but it is one I’d like to believe and am choosing to pass on to my children:

We hail from the land of River of Gold, Cagayan de Oro.

One day, an Austrian came to one of the villages. He introduced himself as “Austrian ako.”

He eventually married a lady from the barrio and since the local folk did not really know what to call him, they adopted the way he called himself as his family name.

And that is how we got our last name.

Austriacos, from what I gather, are few but are sprinkled all over the three islands of the Philippines, since my great grandfather had three kids, from three wives, at different points of his life, from when he lived in Mindanao, Luzon and Visayas.