“Philippines My Philippines,” is a popular song composed by the Father of Kundiman Art Song “Francisco Santiago.” Today, the famous slogan known by the millennials is “It’s More Fun in the Philippines. But where the term “Philippines” came from?
The Term “Maniolas” referred to a group of Islands in south of China, was a name given by the Greek Map-Maker “Ptolemy” (90-168A.D.) As early as 982 AD, the Chinese traders visited Mindoro named that Island “Ma-Yi” means Gold. Because Chinese Traders bought gold in Mindoro in that time and the name “Ma-Yi” was refer to that island and not represents the whole country.
In 1521, the Spanish arrived led by a Portuguese Explorer Ferdinand Magellan, and named the whole archipelago “Archipelago of Saint Lazarus,” because he discovered Philippines during the feast of St. Lazarus. In 1543, Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, a Spanish explorer named us “Felipinas” in honor to Prince Felipe and later became King Philip II of Spain.
In 1751, the name “Pearl of the Orient Seas” or “Perlas ng Silanganan” in tagalog, or “Perla del mar de oriente” in Spanish was a nick name of the country given by a Spanish Jesuit Missionary and historian Fr. Juan J. Delgado. This refers to our country known to be the source of Golden South Sea Pearls. This nick name was popularized by Dr. Jose Rizal in his work “Mi Ultimo Adios” (My Last Farewell) that serve as his last poem before he died in 1896.
During the American Occupation (1898 to 1946) the name Felipinas became “the Philippine Island,” and later become “Republic of the Philippines” in the Independence Day.