Thursday, November 08, 2007

Names by Which the Philippines Has Been Known



The Philippines is known today as Republic of the Philippines, but do you know that she has had various names since ancient chroniclers and geographers began compiling data about the country?

The Philippines had been known "Liu Kiu" as early as the 6th century. Chinese chroniclers Chau Ju Kua and Wang Ta Yuan called the country "Mai-I" or "Ma-it."

In other Chinese description, the "Kingdom of Pangasinan" and "Pisia-e" also referred to the Philippines. Later in the 10th century Canton traders come to know this country as "Luong" or "Liu-Sin."

Cladius Ptolemy's work on geography mentioned the Philippines as "Maniolas."
Transylvanus called the country "Moluccis Insulis," while Fr. Organduru Moris named it "Ophir."

Other names were attached to the country when the Spaniards came. On the day he landed on the Philippines on March 17, 1521, Ferdinand Magellan named the country "Archipelago de San Lazaro" because it was St. Lazarus Day.

The Portuguese coined "Las Islas de Oriente" because they reached the country by sailing east; to the Spaniards, it was "Las Islas de Poniente" because they came here by sailing west.

In the course of time, other names or terms were applied to the Philippines according to historians, ancient and modern.

These included "Archipelago de Magallanes," "Archipelago de Celebes," "Isles of Fear," "Isles of Hope," "Pearl of the Orient Seas," "Treasure Islands of the Pacific," "Emerald Island," "Keys of the World," "Garden Spot of the Pacific," " The Only Christian Country in the Orient," and "The 1st Christian Commonwealth in the Pacific."

"Philippines" or "Filipinas" is credited to Spanish explorer Villalobos in 1542. The name "Filipinas" originally referred to Leyte (known as Tendaya at the time) but it soon applied to the whole country.

The "Philippines" recalls to memory then Prince Felipe, son of King Charles I and Heir to the Spanish throne, who later became King Philip II.

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