Ma-i. According to the Zhao Rugua's (趙汝适) Zhūfán-zhì (諸蕃志, means "Description of the Peoples") written around 1225 AD during the Song Dynasty. According to this, there was a group of islands found in southern South China Sea called Ma-i (麻逸, Pinyin: Máyì). The islands groups were later invaded and renamed and identified by the Spanish to be the island of Mindoro. This was further proved by Ferdinand Blumentritt in his 1882 book, Versuch einer Ethnographie der Philippinen (An Attempt to the Study of Ethnography of the Philippines) that Ma-i, which means "country of the Blacks" was the Chinese local name of present-day Mindoro. On the other hand, historians claimed that Ma-i was not an island, but all the south of South Sea islands groups and Manila itself, which was known to be the Chinese settlements and in constant contact with the China Government as early as the 9th century CE and earlier.
Ma-i consists of the Sānzhōu (三洲, "Three islands") group of islands: Kia-ma-yen (卡拉棉, Calamian), Bālāwàng (巴拉望, Palawan) and Pa-ki-nung (布桑加, Busuanga).
Aside from Sānzhōu, Ma-i also consists of the islands of Pai-p'u-yen (巴布延, Babuyan), P'u-li-lu (波利略, Polillo), Lim-kia-tung (林加延, Lingayen), Liu-sung (呂宋, Luzon) and Li-ban (盧邦, Lubang). It was said that these islands had contacts with Chinese traders from Canton (Guangdong) as early as 982 AD.
Liu-sung was the name given by the Chinese to the present-day island of Luzon, originated from the Tagalog word lusong, a wooden mortar that is used to pound rice. When the Spanish produced maps of the Philippines during early 17th century, they called the island Luçonia which was later respelled as Luzonia, then Luzon.
Las islas de Poniente (Islands to the West). Another name from Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 when he learned that the Las islas de San Lázaro also included Cebu and Leyte islands. However, various sources claimed that Magellan was not the one who renamed the area, but his chroniclers instead. The name came from the fact that the islands were reached from Spain en route approaching the left part of the globe. Conversely, the Portuguese called the archipelago Ilhas do oriente (Islands to the East) because they approached the islands from the east of Portugal in late 1540s.
Adios, Patria adorada, region del sol querida, Perla del Mar de Oriente, nuestro perdido Eden! A darte voy alegre la triste mustia vida, Y fuera más brillante más fresca, más florida, Tambien por tí la diera, la diera por tu bien.
Farewell, my adored Land, region of the sun caressed, Pearl of the Orient Sea, our Eden lost, With gladness I give you my Life, sad and repressed; And were it more brilliant, more fresh and at its best, I would still give it to you for your welfare at most.
Kapatiran ("Brotherhood"), or its semi-equivalent Katipunan ("Assembly"/"Gathering").
Luzviminda. Portmanteau of the first syllables of the country's three major island groups: Luzon; Visayas; and Mindanao. Appears more nowadays as a dated female given name.
Mahárlika (Sanskrit: Mahardhikka – Nobility). In Pre-Hispanic Philippines, the mahárlika was the "noble warrior" class whose members were essentially the same as the common man, albeit with the duty to serve the ruler in battle. The word mahárlika is derived from Sanskrit word maharddhika which means "nobility". In 1978, former PresidentFerdinand Marcos supported a House Bill mandating the country's renaming to Mahárlika.
While exiled in Japan, former revolutionary general Artemio Ricarte proposed the name República Rizalina ("Rizaline Republic") and had already drafted a constitution for this attempt at a revolutionary government.
Maniolas. According to Fr. Francisco Colin in 1663, a Jesuit friar and an early historian of the Philippines, Maniolas was the name used by Claudius Ptolemy to refer to the group of islands south of China. Colin quoted Ptolemy's writings speaking about the Maniolas islands, which is probably Manila. This theory was further supported by José Rizal and Pedro A. Paterno. Rizal also said that the country was recorded to Ptolemy's maps when a sailor named Hippalus told him the existence of "beautiful islands" in southeastern Far East. However, Trinidad Pardo de Tavera rejected this notion on his 1910 book, Notas para una cartografia de Filipinas (Notes for the Philippine Cartography).
Ophir (Hebrew: אוֹפִיר) is a region of islands mentioned in the Bible, most famous for its wealth. Accounts mention that King Solomon received the riches of the region every three years. At the emergence of the hydrography of Spanish colonies in Asia in the early 17th century, Dominican Gregorio García wrote that Ophir was indeed located in the Moluccas and the Philippines. In 1609, Juan de Pineda wrote a diverse collection of literature relating Biblical accounts of Solomon, Ophir and the islands. Former Prime MinisterPedro A. Paterno said in one of his works on conjecturalanthropology that Ophir is the Philippines because the scented wood Solomon received from Ophir also exists in the Islands. This notion was however, later dismissed by modern historians as merely alluding and comparing the Philippines' position to the Spanish economy with that of Ophir to Solomon's kingdom—the sudden discovery and colonisation of the Islands bringing wealth and prosperity to the realm.
Tawalisi, was an ancient kingdom in Southeast Asia reached by explorer Ibn Battuta. He reached the kingdom when he left Sumatra and headed towards China. According to the historical accounts of the explorer, he met Urduja, a legendary warrior princess from Pangasinan. However, according to William Henry Scott, Tawilisi and its warrior-princess Urduja are fabulous, fairy-tale, fiction.
Given that it has two official languages, the country also possesses two official names as stated in the 1987 Constitution. In Filipino, it is officially called Republika ng Pilipinas, while it is named the Republic of the Philippines in English. When standing alone in English, the country's name is always preceded by the article "the". However, the definite article "ang" does not precede the name in Filipino contexts. The Commission on the Filipino Language and National Artist, Virgilio S. Almario urges the use of Filipinas as the country's official name to reflect its origin and history.
Unlike Ireland which uses the name "Eire/Ireland" to identify itself in international meeting, the English name usually appears to identify the Philippines (e.g. when there are meetings in the United Nations or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in this setting. This is also the tradition even if the meeting is held within the country's boundary.
Though the name Philippines is the official name that is used by the country's government for international and domestic businesses, numerous major languages of the world still use their own translation or transliteration of the name Philippines to refer to it.