Duterte mulls changing Philippines to ‘Maharlika’

Published February 11, 2019, 10:04 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Argyll Geducos

President Duterte has floated the idea of changing the country’s name from Philippines to “Maharlika” as earlier pushed by the late President Ferdinand Marcos.

In his speech during the distribution of certificates of land ownership award in Maguindanao, Duterte recalled how the late strongman wanted to change the name of the Philippines, saying the name represents the late King of Spain.

President Rodrigo Duterte (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Duterte (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“[It is called] Philippines because it was discovered by Magellan using the money from King Philip. Kaya pag dating ng ulol, ginawang (That’s why when the fool arrived here, he named it) ‘Philippines’,” he said.

“Pero okay na yan. Balang araw palitan natin (But that’s okay. Someday we will change it),” he added.

According to Duterte, Marcos was right for pushing to change the name of the Philippines to Maharlika, saying it was a better fit for the country because of its Malay origin. The public, however, rejected it because Marcos was a dictator

“Actually tama si Marcos, panahon ni Marcos, tama talaga si Marcos. Gusto niya palitan, Maharlika (Actually, Marcos was right. During his time he wanted to change it to Maharlika),” he said.

“’The Republic of Maharlika’ because Maharlika is a Malay word and it means – more of a concept of serenity and peace. Tama si Marcos noon (Marcos was right back then),” he added.
“Ang mga Pilipino sinulsulan lang, ‘diktador-diktador.’ Kagaya ko diktador. Kelan ba ako nag diktador, kelan pa ako nag-utos dito (The Filipinos were just urged to reject it because they said Marcos was a dictator. Like me, they say I’m a dictator, when did I dictate something)?” he continued.

In the Philippines, the term ‘Maharlika’ is used to refer to the feudal warrior class in ancient Tagalog society in Luzon. In modern Filipino, the term has come to mean “royal nobility.”

According to Duterte, Islam was ahead in the country around 90 years before Spanish conquistadors arrived. He said Filipinos originally came from the Malay race.

“Kasalanan ba namin ang dumating ang Espanyol, at kinonquer kami, subjugated…  Ang malas namin, walang missionary dumating dito (Is it our fault that the Spaniards came here and conquered and subjugated us? The only unfortunate thing was no Muslim missionary came here),” he said.

“Sila nagdala ng kanyon, sila nagdala ng baril. Okay na yung relihiyon, kung sino lang maniwala, okay. Sila yung nagdala ng, pumunta dito nang ‘di nila lupa (They brought canons and guns. The religion was fine, if people believed, then fine. But they went here while it was not their land),” he added.

“’Yan man din ang hinanakit ng Islam, hindi naman namin kasalanan yan. Eh, dumating yung mga p****g i***g yun, pinagpapatay kami, subjugation, wala mang magawa, so over 400 years nawala talaga yung pagka Malay natin (That is also the resentment of the Islam because it was not our fault. Those sons of bitches came here, killed us all and subjugated us. So for over 400 years, our Malay traits slowly disappeared),” he continued.