Thursday, July 4, 2013

What's in a name? Filipinas or Pilipinas?

There is an on-going debate as to the appropriate name for our country. Online, we have people who try to convince others to call this country "Filipinas", instead of the "Philippines". Others revived the popular 70's topic of changing the name of the "Philippines" into "Maharlika".

Virgil Almario, President of the Commission on the Filipino Language started the debate when he publicly announced that it is better to call our country " Filipinas" instead of "Pilipinas." Of course, the use of the letter "F" says so much about the colonial linguistic baggages brought by the Spaniards. Almario says its best to use "F" instead of "P" to give the name a proper historical perspective.

The use of "Filipinas" dates to the time when the Spaniards took over the country, and it changed into "Pilipinas", when efforts at Filipinizing the government went into full gear during the fifties and into the eighties.
While the idea is okey, the desired result is not. If the reason is to give the name the proper historical perspective, isn't wiser to use "P" instead of "F", since the use of "P" is ingrained in the indigenous language and was used much earlier than "Filipinas".

What will we gain from such a change except perhaps remember those times when we were enslaved by the Spaniards? Is that something of value?

What is important sans the use of letters is perception about the brand. Many say, the very word "Filipinas" connotes "slavery", and therefore, not apt for our use, being now, a truly democratic society.