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Shvoong Home>Arts & Humanities>Origin of the Name "Philippines" Summary

Origin of the Name "Philippines"

Article Summary   by:windslash     Original Author: windslash
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    The Philippines has been called with so many names.  Even before the Spaniards set foot on the country's shores, many of its neighboring countries traded goods with the local inhabitants.  Being a place of different tribes, whenever the traders visited, they hear a wide array of names from the islands inhabitants. Even the people from the visiting groups gave their own name for the country.

    During the ancient Greeks' time, Claudius Ptolemy included the set of islands in a map he made.  He called the islands "Maniolas".

    On the other hand, traders from China favored the name "Ma-yi", which means "Land of Gold" as a name for our archipelago.

    In 1512, the islands were given the name "Archipelago of St. Lazarus" by Ferdinand Magellan because his group arrived on the islands during the Feast of St. Lazarus.

    A few years after Magellan, Ruy Lopez de Villalobos renamed the country as "Felipinas" in honor of Prince Felipe (later crowned as King Philip II).  The name evolved into "Filipinas" during Spanish time.  After that, the Americans called it "The Philippine Islands".  Finally, it was called the "Republic of the Philippines" on 1946.

Published: August 17, 2008   
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