Duterte revisits idea of Philippines’ name change

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Duterte Revisits Idea Of Philippines’ Name ChangePhilippines President Rodrigo Duterte has called for the island nation to be renamed to shed its colonial heritage from Spain. At a speech in Maguindanao on February 11, Duterte said that the country should ditch the name “Philippines,” which was given by 16th century Spanish explorers in honour of King Philip II of Spain, in favour of an indigenous term.

Duterte suggested the country should become Maharlika, the term for the warrior class who held an honoured status in the archipelago’s indigenous Tagalog society prior to Spanish colonisation. “Maha” is Sanskrit for noble or great while “likha” means create, thus, Maharlika means “nobly created.” 

The proposal was originally made by former dictator Ferdinand Marcos – or rather one of his senators – in the 1970.

“Actually, Marcos was right. During the time of Marcos, he wanted it changed. Maharlika. The Republic of Maharlika because Maharlika is a Malay word and it means serenity,” Duterte said.

However, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said congressional action would be needed to change the country’s name.

“The Constitution provides that Congress may enact a law that can change the name of the country and submit it to the people for a referendum,” he said.

Human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno said changing the name of the country should be set aside and the present administration should “prioritise providing food, jobs and justice for the people.”

Still, there have been other suggestions to rename the Philippines in the past, among them “Tagalog Republic” or “Haring Bayang Katagalugan (Sovereign Nation of the Tagalog People), ” as well as a transliteration of the Philippines’ byname “Pearl Islands,” namely “Margaronesia”  from the Latin margarita (pearl) and Greek -nesos (islands), or, shorter, Margaria.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has called for the island nation to be renamed to shed its colonial heritage from Spain. At a speech in Maguindanao on February 11, Duterte said that the country should ditch the name “Philippines,” which was given by 16th century Spanish explorers in honour of King Philip II of Spain, in favour of an indigenous term.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Duterte Revisits Idea Of Philippines’ Name ChangePhilippines President Rodrigo Duterte has called for the island nation to be renamed to shed its colonial heritage from Spain. At a speech in Maguindanao on February 11, Duterte said that the country should ditch the name “Philippines,” which was given by 16th century Spanish explorers in honour of King Philip II of Spain, in favour of an indigenous term.

Duterte suggested the country should become Maharlika, the term for the warrior class who held an honoured status in the archipelago’s indigenous Tagalog society prior to Spanish colonisation. “Maha” is Sanskrit for noble or great while “likha” means create, thus, Maharlika means “nobly created.” 

The proposal was originally made by former dictator Ferdinand Marcos – or rather one of his senators – in the 1970.

“Actually, Marcos was right. During the time of Marcos, he wanted it changed. Maharlika. The Republic of Maharlika because Maharlika is a Malay word and it means serenity,” Duterte said.

However, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said congressional action would be needed to change the country’s name.

“The Constitution provides that Congress may enact a law that can change the name of the country and submit it to the people for a referendum,” he said.

Human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno said changing the name of the country should be set aside and the present administration should “prioritise providing food, jobs and justice for the people.”

Still, there have been other suggestions to rename the Philippines in the past, among them “Tagalog Republic” or “Haring Bayang Katagalugan (Sovereign Nation of the Tagalog People), ” as well as a transliteration of the Philippines’ byname “Pearl Islands,” namely “Margaronesia”  from the Latin margarita (pearl) and Greek -nesos (islands), or, shorter, Margaria.

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