Thursday, July 23, 2009


Would you support the idea of renaming the Philippines to Maharlika, in the hope of bringing international recognition and to assert national pride and self-respect?

For more than 400 years, we have carried a name imposed on us by foreign colonialists while our Asian neighbors have reclaimed their noble past and changed their names as follows: Formosa to Taiwan, Dutch East Indies to Indonesia, Siam to Thailand, French Indo-China to Vietnam, Burma to Myanmar, Cambodia to Kampuchea, East Pakistan to Bangladesh, and Ceylon to Sri Lanka.

Observe the following reasons why the country should refuse to be named after King Philip II of Spain:

- He was only 1/4 Spaniard and the son of first cousins forbidden and condemned by the (Catholic) Church.

- His grandmother died of insanity.

- He had several wives and mistresses.

- He was the instigator and the administrator of the dreaded Inquisition which murdered countless victims of oppression and colonial cruelty all over the New World including our country.

- Among his first acts when crowned king was to order the burning of Andalucia at the stake of thousands of Moors who inhabited the place which was a province of Spain.

- He died a disgraceful death caused by venereal disease, and by the time he died, his body was covered with foul-smelling ulcers festered by thousands of insects.

Why Maharlika?

Some say the name Philippines carries a shameful stigma and what is referred to as "karmic affliction," Maharlika is of "mantric significance" and spiritual meaning. It breaks down into Maja or great as in Taj Majal, Mahatma Gandhi, Mahayana, Mahabharata, and other noble names, and Likha which means to be born or created. It, therefore, means "nobly created" or "born great."

During the Majapahit and Sri Vijaya empires' golden age which covered all of East and South Asia with the Sulu Archipelago as center, Maharlika was revered by the rajahs and sultans as the name of "noble and free warriors" who won not only fierce battles and wars, but in particular the affection and admiration of all peoples. It also breaks down into Maha which in Sanskrit means good. La meaning a cup or a container, Lik meaning small and a which is a feminine gender suffix. Together they mean a "small place of great people," or a "small container filled with great things."
I'm fence-sitting on this in the meantime.

(Image from

1 comment:

Jasper Greek Lao Golangco said...

Boss Les...

I must say that I find the justifications appealing. As a matter of fact, even as a small child, I remember hearing buzz that the Eddie Ilarde was pushing for this whole renaming the Philippines thingie...

And while I am inclined to agree with the points of discussion as described by yourself. I must regretably point out that a name change will be little more than cosmetic.

The first thing we must repair is our government. After that, should a much-needed rebirth occur, then we rename the country.