Thursday, February 10, 2011

Name of the Philippines

The name of the Philippines (Filipino/Tagalog: Pilipinas) [pɪlɪˈpinɐs]), which is truncated form of Philippine Islands, was derived from King Philip II of Spain in the 16th century. Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos used the name Las Islas Filipinas (The Philippine Islands) in honour of the Prince of Asturias (Spain) during his expedition to the Philippines, originally referring to the islands of Leyte and Samar.[1] 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).[2] 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, changed throughout the course of Philippine history. During the Philippine Revolution, the Philippines was officially called República Filipina or Philippine Republic. From the period of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War, until the Commonwealth period, United States colonial authorities referred to the Philippines as the Philippine Islands, a translation of the original Spanish name. It was during in the American period that the name Philippines began to appear, a name that was adopted as its current official name.[3]
Historical names

  • Sung Dynasty. Chinese annal of the Sung Dynasty revealed a place on the south of China called Ma-i, which the government traded with silk and porcelain crafts by around 972 CE[4]
  • Chinese annals. According to the Chinese Annals of the Ming Dynasty (ca. 14th century CE), there were some specific group of islands found in southern China named Ma-i or Ma-yi. The island group was identified by the Spaniards to be the island of Mindoro.[5] On the other hand, later historians claimed that Ma-i was not an island, but Manila itself,[6] which was known to be in contact with Chinese traders as early as the 9th century CE.
  • According to José Rizal, "Maniolas" was what Ptolemy used when he referred to the city of Manila itself, Tawalisi for the whole Philippines, and Baroussai when referring to the Visayas. 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.[10]
  • 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 of St. Lazarus.[5]
  • Las islas de Poniente (Islands to the West). Another name from Ferdinand Magellan when in 1521 when he learned that the area also included Cebu and Leyte.[11] However, various sources claimed that Magellan was not the one who renamed the area, but his chroniclers instead.[5]
Mi último adiós, original Spanish (1896, first stanza)[14]English translation[16]
Adios, Patria adorada, region del sol querida,
Perla del Mar de Oriente, nuestro perdido Eden!
A darte voy alegre la triste mustia vida,
Y fuera más brillante más fresca, más florida,
Tambien por tí la diera, la diera por tu bien.
Farewell, my adored Land, region of the sun caressed,
Pearl of the Orient Sea, our Eden lost,
With gladness I give you my Life, sad and repressed;
And were it more brilliant, more fresh and at its best,
I would still give it to you for your welfare at most.
"Lupang Hinirang", official Filipino lyrics
(1958, rev. 1960s, first stanza)[15]
Original Spanish lyrics[17]
Bayang magiliw,
Perlas ng Silanganan
Alab ng puso,
Sa Dibdib mo'y buhay

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