âMaharlikaâ dropped, but Duterte still wants Philippine name change
Speaking during the groundbreaking of a gymnasium in Isabela City last Sunday, Duterte said the country should be renamed because “Philippines” was given by Spanish colonizers.
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‘Maharlika’ dropped, but Duterte still wants Philippine name change
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - March 5, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte is bent on changing the name of the Philippines but appears to have dropped his suggestion to rename it Maharlika. 

Speaking during the groundbreaking of a gymnasium in Isabela City last Sunday, Duterte said the country should be renamed because “Philippines” was given by Spanish colonizers.

But unlike his earlier speech where he floated Maharlika, Duterte said he still did not have any name in mind. 

“Kaya sabi ng mga ano na papalitan ko, gusto kong palitan balang araw (That’s why I said I want to change it someday). No particular name yet but sure, I would like to change the name of the Philippines because the Philippines is named after King Philip,” he said. 

The Philippines was named after King Philip II, the Spanish king who funded Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition that sought to find a western sea route to the Spice Islands. The expedition brought Magellan and his companions to the Philippines in 1521. 

In 1978, former senator Eddie Ilarde filed a bill that aimed to rename the country to Maharlika, which contains the words maha or noble and likha or create. 

In a speech in Maguindanao last Feb. 11, Duterte said former president Ferdinand Marcos was right in supporting the renaming of the Philippines to Maharlika because Philippines has colonial origins.

Some critics frowned upon Duterte’s remark, saying the President should focus on more important issues. Others ridiculed the suggestion, saying Maharlika literally means big phallus. 

Maharlika was also the name of the armed unit Marcos claimed to have led during World War II. But a New York Times report published in 1986 claimed Army investigations “found no foundation” for the former president’s claim. 

MAHARLIKA PHILIPPINES
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