Welcome to ThePeterTom.com!
This website bears my given names. Both of them come from my grandfathers: my mother’s father and my father’s father, respectively. That’s the origin story of my names, short as it may be. Why my parents didn’t go for the more formal Thomas for the second name is a question I never bothered to ask, and never considered a crucial matter.
But what could be more interesting to note is which one I use. Or rather, by which name people know me.
I was known mostly as Peter (or the complete “Peter Tom” when my parents get serious, or when other people get comfortable enough to poke fun at me for whatever reason). That is until July 2014. On the first day woking for the Office of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, each member of staff was made to introduce ourselves–in alphabetical order. As fates would have it, there were three people in the staff to have Peter as their first names, and I have the luck of having a surname that starts with the twentieth letter in the alphabet. Anticipating that the eldest one is already known as Pedro and the other will take Peter, I took on being known as Tom to avoid confusion among the staff and dodge annoyance from a boss with a famed temper and has the impatience for petty things. Thus for the rest of my professional life I became known and introduced myself as Tom.
One superior remarked that it’s a good name to go by, as Tom Tolibas has recall value benefiting from alliteration. It’s also a tribute to my grandfather who goes by the same name, which is always a good thing.
Tom therefore became my “professional self” or my “career self”. This website (at least for now) will be less about Tom, although anyone can still reach me through this site if want to talk about WORK: public relations, digital strategy, and political stuff. I’d rather keep those conversations be kept in official emails or over coffee. At least for now.
This website will be more about Peter and less about WORK. Those who know me by Peter know me by my more creative pursuits, primarily music and photography. I’ll throw in some personal stuff once in a while, as no one in my family calls me Tom. I’ve been blogging about these topics before–in a bit of an on-and-off manner–but finally getting this website up and running has been a long time coming. It’s one way of maintaining Peter despite Tom being busy in the office.
And then there are people who know me by my two names: friends who I got to work with, and people from work who I became friends with. The decision to name this site ThePeterTom is recognizing that I am known by these two names and in two different contexts, that one name can be a modifier of the other. Yes, I intend this website to be more about Peter, but it’s also for those who know me as Tom, and those who knew me because you were led to this site.
I will then know you by the name you call me. Again, welcome!