Name of the Philippines
The name of the Philippines (Filipino/Tagalog: Pilipinas [pɪlɪˈpinɐs], Spanish: Filipinas) is a truncated form of The Philippine Islands, derived from the King Philip II of Spain in the 16th century. During his expedition to the Islands, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos used the name Las Islas Filipinas in honour of the then-Prince of Asturias, originally referring to the islands of Leyte and Samar. The name itself is Greek, and can be traced to the name of the father of Alexander the Great, Philipp II of Macedon, Greek: Φίλιππος — φίλος philos (meaning beloved, loving); ίππος hippos (meaning horse). Despite the presence of other names, the name Filipinas (Philippines) was eventually adopted as the name of the entire archipelago.
The official name of the Philippines, however, has changed throughout the course of its history. During the Philippine Revolution, the state officially called itself República Filipina, now referred to as the First Philippine Republic. From the period of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War until the Commonwealth, United States colonial authorities referred to the Philippines as the Philippine Islands, a direct translation of the original Spanish. It was during the American Period that the name "Philippines" began to appear, a name that was officially adopted.
Since the Philippines is a nation of islands, several names are usually associated when referring to its different island groups. Below is a visual reference to some of the main concepts and territories described in this article:
Island of Luzon
Island of Mindanao
Historical names 
- Ma-i. According to the Zhao Rugua's (趙汝适) Zhūfán-zhì (諸蕃志, means "Description of the Peoples") written around 1225 AD during the Song Dynasty. According to this, there was a group of islands found in southern South China Sea called Ma-i (麻逸, Pinyin: Máyì). The islands groups were later invaded and renamed and identified by the Spanish to be the island of Mindoro. This was further proved by Ferdinand Blumentritt in his 1882 book, Versuch einer Ethnographie der Philippinen (An Attempt to the Study of Ethnography of the Philippines) that Ma-i, which means "country of the Blacks" was the Chinese local name of present-day Mindoro. On the other hand, historians claimed that Ma-i was not an island, but all the south of South Sea islands groups and Manila itself, which was known to be the Chinese settlements and in constant contact with the China Government as early as the 9th century CE and earlier.
- Ma-i consists of the Sānzhōu (三洲, "Three islands") group of islands: Kia-ma-yen (卡拉棉, Calamian), Bālāwàng (巴拉望, Palawan) and Pa-ki-nung (布桑加, Busuanga).
- Aside from Sānzhōu, Ma-i also consists of the islands of Pai-p'u-yen (巴布延, Babuyan), P'u-li-lu (波利略, Polillo), Li-kin-tung (林加延, Lingayen), Liu-sung (呂宋, Luzon) and Li-ban (盧邦, Lubang). It was said that these islands had contacts with Chinese traders from Canton (Guangdong) as early as 982 AD.
- Liu-sung was the name given by the Chinese to the present-day island of Luzon, originated from the Tagalog word lusong, a wooden mortar that is used to pound rice. When the Spanish produced maps of the Philippines during early 17th century, they called the island Luçonia which was later respelled as Luzonia, then Luzon.
- Las islas de San Lázaro (St. Lazarus' Islands). Named by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 when he reached the islands of Homonhon in the island of Samar (now present-day Eastern Samar) at the feast day of St. Lazarus of Bethany.
- Las islas de Poniente (Islands to the West). Another name from Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 when he learned that the Las islas de San Lázaro also included Cebu and Leyte islands. However, various sources claimed that Magellan was not the one who renamed the area, but his chroniclers instead. The name came from the fact that the islands were reached from Spain en route approaching the left part of the globe. Conversely, the Portuguese called the archipelago Ilhas do oriente (Islands to the East) because they approached the islands from the east of Portugal in late 1540s.
- Las islas Felipenas (Philippine Islands/Islands belonging to Philip). Named by Ruy López de Villalobos in 1543 to Samar and Leyte, honoring the Prince of Asturias, the then Philip II of Spain.
- Caesarea Caroli was the name given by Villalobos to the island of Mindanao when he reached the sea near it. This was named after the Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire (and I of Spain).
- The island of Sarangani was renamed by Villalobos as Antonia, in honor of Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco, the Viceroy of New Spain who commissioned Villalobos expedition to the Philippines.
- Villalobos also named the littoral zone between the islands of Samar and Leyte as Tendaya.
- Las islas Filipinas, or simply Filipinas (Philippines). Vernacular piracy of Las islas Felipenas, irrevocably became the archipelago's name.
- Pearl of the Orient/Pearl of the Orient Seas (Spanish: Perla de oriente/Perla del mar de oriente) is the sobriquet of the Philippines. The term originated from the idea of Spanish Jesuit missionary Fr. Juan J. Delgado in 1751. In his last poem Mi último adiós, Dr. José Rizal referred the country with this name. In the 1960 revision of the Philippine national anthem "Lupang Hinirang", the Tagalog version of this phrase was included as the translation from the original Spanish.
|Mi último adiós, original Spanish (1896, first stanza)||English translation|
Adios, Patria adorada, region del sol querida,
Farewell, my adored Land, region of the sun caressed,
|"Lupang Hinirang", official Filipino lyrics
(1958, rev. 1960s, first stanza)
|Original Spanish lyrics|
- The Philippine Islands. This was the anglicised version of the original Spanish name, used under direct American colonial rule and the immediate Commonwealth Era.
Proposed names 
- Haring Bayang Katagalugan (Sovereign Tagalog Nation). Andrés Bonifacio's suggested name for the Filipino nation, intended to be governed by the 1896-1897 Republika ng Katagalugan (Tagalog Republic). This was later used by Macario Sakay for his 1902-1906 government that was suppressed by the Americans.
- Kapatiran ("Brotherhood"), or its semi-equivalent Katipunan ("Assembly"/"Gathering").
- Luzviminda. Portmanteau of the first syllables of the country's three major island groups: Luzon; Visayas; and Mindanao. Appears more nowadays as a dated female given name.
- Mahárlika (Sanskrit: Mahardhikka – Nobility). In Pre-Hispanic Philippines, the mahárlika was the "noble warrior" class whose members were essentially the same as the common man, albeit with the duty to serve the ruler in battle. The word mahárlika is derived from Sanskrit came to mean "nobility". In 1978, former President Ferdinand Marcos supported a House Bill mandating the country's renaming to Mahárlika.
- Rizalia. Named after national hero José Rizal in a similar fashion to Bolivia being named after its hero (Simón Bolivar).
Disputed names 
- Maniolas. According to Fr. Francisco Colin in 1663, a Jesuit friar and an early historian of the Philippines, Maniolas was the name used by Claudius Ptolemy to refer to the group of islands south of China. Colin quoted Ptolemy's writings speaking about the Maniolas islands, which is probably Manila. This theory was further supported by José Rizal and Pedro A. Paterno. Rizal also said that the country was recorded to Ptolemy's maps when a sailor named Hippalus told him the existence of "beautiful islands" in southeastern Far East. However, Trinidad Pardo de Tavera rejected this notion on his 1910 book, Notas para una cartografia de Filipinas (Notes for the Philippine Cartography).
- Ophir (Hebrew: אוֹפִיר) is a region of islands mentioned in the Bible, most famous for its wealth. Accounts mention that King Solomon received the riches of the region every three years. At the emergence of the hydrography of Spanish colonies in Asia in the early 17th century, Dominican Gregorio García wrote that Ophir was indeed located in the Moluccas and the Philippines. In 1609, Juan de Pineda wrote a diverse collection of literature relating Biblical accounts of Solomon, Ophir and the islands. Former Prime Minister Pedro A. Paterno said in one of his works on conjectural anthropology that Ophir is the Philippines because the scented wood Solomon received from Ophir also exists in the Islands. This notion was however, later dismissed by modern historians as merely alluding and comparing the Philippines' position to the Spanish economy with that of Ophir to Solomon's kingdom—the sudden discovery and colonisation of the Islands bringing wealth and prosperity to the realm.
Provincial name 
Name in other languages 
Given that it has two official languages, the country also possesses two official names as stated in the 1987 Constitution. In Filipino, it is officially called Republika ng Pilipinas, while it is named the Republic of the Philippines in English. When standing alone in English, the country's name is always preceded by the article "the". How ever, the definite article "ang" does not precede the name in Filipino contexts.
Unlike Ireland which uses the name "Eire/Ireland" to identify itself in international meeting, the English name usually appears to identify the Philippines (e.g. when there are meetings in the United Nations or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in this setting. This is also the tradition even if the meeting is held within the country's boundary.
Though the name Philippines is the official name that is used by the country's government for international and domestic businesses, numerous major languages of the world still use their own translation or transliteration of the name Philippines to refer to it.
(Republika ng Pilipinas)
|Afrikaans||Filippyne||Republiek van die Filippyne|
|Albanian||Filipinet||Republika e Filipineve|
|Arabic||الفلبين||Āl-filibiyīn||جمهورية الفلبين||Jāmhwayr āl-filibiyīn|
|Bengali||ফিলিপাইন||Filipain||ফিলিপাইন প্রজাতন্ত্র||Filipain Projatôntro|
|Bulgarian||Филипини||Filipini||Република Филипини||Republika Filipini|
|Catalan||Filipines||República de Filipines|
|Dutch||Filipijnen||Republiek van de Filipijnen|
|English||Philippines||Republic of the Philippines|
|French||Philippines||République des Philippines|
|German||Philippinen||Republik der Philippinen|
|Greek||Φιλιππίνες||Filippínes||Δημοκρατία των Φιλιππίνων||Di̱mokratía to̱n Filippíno̱n|
|Hebrew||פיליפינים||Filipinim||הרפובליקה של הפיליפינים|
|Hindi||फ़िलीपीन्स||Philipīns||फिलीपींस गणराज्य||Philīpīnsa Gaṇarājya|
|Indonesian||Negeri Pilipina||Republik Filipina|
|Irish||Na hOileáin Fhilipíneacha||Phoblacht na hOileáin Fhilipíneacha|
|Italian||Filippine||Repubblica delle Filippine|
|Korean||필리핀||Pillipin||필리핀 공화국||Pillipin Gonghwaguk|
|Marathi||फिलिपिन्स||filipins||फिलिपिन्साचे प्रजासत्ताक||filipinsāce prajāsattāk|
|Portuguese||Filipinas||República das Filipinas|
|Russian||Филиппины||Filipinɨ||Республика Филиппины||Respublika Filipinɨ|
|Spanish||Filipinas||República de Filipinas|
|Ukrainian||Філіпіни||Filippiny||Республіка Філіппіни||Respublika Filippiny|
|Vietnamese||Philippin||Cộng hoà Philippin|
|Welsh||Philipinau||Gweriniaeth Ynysoedd y Philipinau|
See also 
- Catálogo alfabético de apellidos
- Juan de la Cruz
- Philippine name
- Epistle to the Philippians - Greece
- Scott 1994, p. 6
- "Online Etymology Dictionary". www.etymonline.com. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
- World Factbook — Philippines. CIA. ISBN 978-1-4220-0227-8. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
- The Islands to the West: How are Philippine towns named? at the Wayback Machine (archived March 18, 2008)
- Hirth 1911, p. 160, Footnote 1
- "National identity". Retrieved 2009-07-27.
- Scott 1984, p. 150
- Hirth 1911, p. 162, Footnote 1
- Hirth 1911, p. 160, Footnote 3
- Keat 2004, p. 798
- "Names of the Philippines at different times in history". Retrieved 2009-08-26.
- "History of the Philippines". Retrieved 2009-07-27.
- Halili 2008, p. 22
- Duka 2004, p. 55
- Cooley 1830, p. 244
- Spate 1979, p. 98
- "East Visayan History". Northern Illinois University. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- Tope 2002, p. 7
- "Mi Ultimo Adiós by Dr José Rizal". Retrieved 17 November 2010.
- "Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines". The LawPhil Project. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
- "The Last Poem of Rizal". Jose Rizal University. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
- Palma, José (1912). Melancólicas : coleccion de poesías. Manila, Philippines: Liberería Manila Filatélica. (Digital copy found online at HathiTrust Digital Library on 2010-03-31)
- "Origin of the Name "Philippines"". Retrieved 2009-08-26.
- Guerrero, Encarnacion & Villegas 1996, pp. 3–12
- Guerrero & Schumacher 1998, p. 95
- "Maharlika: AsianWeek". 2008-09-02. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
- Rodis, Rodel (2 September 2008). "‘Maharlika’ Reconsidered". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
- Carunungan, Celso Al (December 23, 1987). "What's in a Name?". Manila Standard Today. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
- de Morga 2004, p. 298
- Mojares 2006, pp. 174–175
- Sheehan 2008, p. 398
- Mojares 2006, p. 85
- Truxillo 2001, p. 82
Printed sources 
- Cooley, William Desborough (1830), The History of Maritime and Inland Discovery 2, Longman
- de Morga, Antonio (2004), History of the Philippine Islands Vols 1 and 2, Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4191-2427-3 ISBN 978-1-4191-2427-3. Originally published by Antonio de Morga as Sucesos de las islas Filipinas in 1609, reprinted by Kessinger Publishing in 2004.
- Duka, C. (2004), Philippine History, Rex Bookstore, ISBN 978-971-23-3934-9 ISBN 978-971-23-3934-9
- Guerrero, Milagros; Encarnacion, Emmanuel; Villegas, Ramon (1996), "Andres Bonifacio and the 1896 Revolution", Sulyap Kultura (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) 1 (2)
- Guerrero, Milagros; Schumacher, John (1998), Reform and Revolution, Kasaysayan: The History of the Filipino People 5, Asia Publishing Company Limited, ISBN 978-962-258-228-6
- Halili, M. C. (2008), Struggle for Freedom, Rex Bookstore, ISBN 978-971-23-5045-0 ISBN 978-971-23-5045-0
- Hirth, Friedrich; W. W. Rockhill (1911), Chau Ju-Kua: His Work on the Chinese and Arab Trade in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries entitled Chu-fan-chi, Imperial Academy of Sciences
- Keat, Gin Ooi (2004), Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor, ABC-CLIO, ISBN 978-1-57607-770-2 ISBN 978-1-57607-770-2
- Mojares, Resil B. (2006), Brains of the Nation: Pedro Paterno, T.H. Pardo de Tavera, Isabelo de los Reyes, and the Production of Modern Knowledge, Ateneo de Manila University Press
- Scott, William Henry (1994), Barangay: Sixteenth-century Philippine Culture and Society, p. 6, ISBN 978-971-550-135-4 ISBN 978-971-550-135-4, ISBN 978-971-550-135-4
- Scott, William Henry (1984), Prehispanic Source Materials For The Study of Philippine History (Revised ed.), ISBN 971-10-0227-2
- Sheehan, Kevin Joseph (2008), Iberian Asia: The strategies of Spanish and Portuguese empire building, 1540--1700, ProQuest, ISBN 978-1-109-09710-8 ISBN 978-1-109-09710-8
- Spate, O. H. Khristian (1979), The Spanish Lake, Taylor & Francis
- Tope, Lily Rose R.; Detch P. Nonan-Mercado (2002). Philippines. Marshall Cavendish Reference Books. ISBN 978-0-7614-1475-9.
- Truxillo, Charles (2001), By the Sword and the Cross: The Historical Evolution of the Catholic World Monarchy in Spain and the New World, 1492-1825, Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-313-31676-0 ISBN 978-0-313-31676-0