Ph President Mulls Over Changing Country Name
The Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte recently expressed his desire to change the country’s name from Philippines to Maharlika.
The official name of the country is Republic of the Philippines. Philippines was named after Spain’s King Philip II in the 16th century, when the country was still a Spanish colony. Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, a Spanish explorer, gave birth to the name “Las Islas Filipinas” for the archipelago. Hence, the president shuns the country’s colonial roots and use a name better suited to the “Malays” identity. Many people view the name “Philippines” as a colonialist reminder of the ruler of the previous colonial masters
It was the former Sen. Eddie Ilarde who proposed through Parliamentary Bill 195 that the name of the Philippines be changed to Maharlika, which, allegedly means “nobly created.”
However, Maharlika pertains to the freemen or lower nobility contrary to what was believed to be ‘high nobility”. The word comes from the Indian sanskrit word mahā. Indian honorifics influenced the Malay, Thai,Filipino and Indonesian honorifics.
Since the idea is still on its conception stage, reactions are still few and far in-between. There aren’t any strong opposition nor support as of the moment. But one thing is apparent, the president cares about the country’s identity and freedom despite his infamous character.
Some countries have changed the names over the years. Republic of Macedonia is on its way of renaming to Republic of North Macedonia. Africa’s last absolute monarch changed the names of its country in April 2018. Instead of Swaziland, it became known as the Kingdom of eSwatini because the country is said to be confused with Switzerland. Other countries include Kampuchea to Cambodia, Burma to Myanmar, and Zaire to Democratic Republic of Congo to name a few.
Let’s discuss with aimtalk teachers:
- What are the pros and cons of changing a country’s name?
- If someone would propose to change your country’s name, would you agree to the idea or be against it? Why?
- Do you know the meaning of your own name? Please share its origin.
shun(v): deliberately avoid someone/something
allegedly(adv): said that it is true, although there is no proof
pertain to (v): relate directly to something
contrary to (something believed) : opposite to something believed
honorific(n): an expression or title that is used to show respect for the person you are speaking to