The Original ‘Filipinos’ Name


Arch. Celso C. Nieves

This is a continuation of the article “Why, The Philippines?”

Manny Paquiao is a true modern Filipino warrior in boxing. Jose Rizal is a Filipino patriot. Our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) are considered our modern heroes. We have our own Filipino culture and customs.

Who are the original people called “Filipinos”?

When Spain invaded and colonized our country, the Spaniards who settled permanently here, they called themselves Filipinos. The natives, the indigenous people who owned the country, they labeled them Indios. It is Spanish for Indians, the American Indians or Amerindians, who was also invaded and colonized by the Europeans, and who found them ignorant, illiterate, half-naked and “uncivilized”.

These European colonists named the country United States of America and to themselves Americans. The Indians also became Americans, but they still want to be identified with their ethnic name such as Sioux, Cheyenne, Apache, etc. The same with our Igorot, Tausug, Badyaw, and the like who are all Filipinos.

When the white Dutch and later Britain settled in South Africa, they refer to themselves as Afrikaners. These white colonists adopted a policy called Apartheid meaning (in Merriam-Webster dictionary only line)—A racial segregation specifically a former policy of segregation and political and economic segregation against non-European (that is, black) group in the Republic of South Africa.

But ours is different. The Spaniards left us and the American successors switched our country’s name from Filipinas to The Philippine Island and later The Philippines. And so, we are now Filipinos and not Indios anymore. We cannot replace that because our country is still The Philippines.

Unless our beloved Motherland is given another name, we are still Filipinos which is not originally and definitely not ours; and aparently, it is a colonial name.

Some mystical religions say that a name reflects and vibrates to the personality of a person, a community, or even to a nation. Whether this is true or not, the Philippines reflects the name of a worthless and even thought to be a tyrant Spanish king, Felipe II or King Philips II. The name Filipinos may also reflect or vibrates his personality and attitude to our people.

If we name our loving and beautiful county Maharlika, we are Marhalikans, a noble respectful people. It undoubtedly reflects and vibrates scintillating beauty and true love. (See the article “Why ‘The Philippines?’”)

Changing for the better is one of the laws of nature to progress. We change from infant to kids to adults and then old age. New inventions change the destiny and the face of the world. Colonized countries that changed their names are governing themselves independently. Our lawmakers ratify, amend, and revise old laws to suit to the present changing situation of the county.

If we change the name of our country, we also change the hovering atmosphere from corruption to honesty, poverty to prosperity, war with the Muslim rebels and NPAs to reconciliation, and much much more.

Let us be Maharlikans. Paquiao, a great Mahalikan boxer; Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) would be Local Maharlikan Employers (LME), and others. A metamorphosis may conceivably bring peace and prosperity to our people.