I’m absolutely sure, majority of Filipinos are unaware of the origin or meaning of our own country name, the Philippines. I, myself learned new things while researching for this piece.
1. The name Philippines was derived from the Spanish name Filipe or Philip in English, and specifically in honor of King Philippe II, the King of Spain from July, 25 1554 – November 17, 1558.
2. “Lover of horses” is the meaning of “Philip” is a common name among Christians. Philip who was also called “the evangelist”, was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.
3. Samar and Leyte were originally referred to of the name Philippines by Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos in 1543.
4. Las islas Filipinas was originally the Spanish name of the Philippines.
5. Las islas de San Lázaro or Saint Lazarus Island in English, was the name coined by Ferdinand Magellan when he arrived in 1521. In honor of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha who was raised by Jesus Christ from death.
6. Other variations of the present name Philippines.
Pilipinas – the Filipino term.
Republika ng Pilipinas – the official name in Filipino.
Republic of the Philippines – in English.
7. Several renaming of the Philippines. There had been several controversies regarding the renaming of the Philippines. One proposal in the 1990s was reverting it to its Spanish name “Filipinas”. The other was “Mahárlika” (noble warrior) during Ferdinand Marcos in 1978.