Project TILT: Ancient Philippine Names
Another history-related TILT. Ever wonder what is the name of our archipelago (or at least, a significant part of it), before the Spaniards came and named it Las Islas Felipinas? Well, here is a short list of probable names that ancient people used to refer to our country. Please note, however, that these are not 100% authoritative as most of these were derived based on assumptions and reasonable conclusions.
- Ophir - place where King Solomon obtained the gold he used to build his temple (Friar Aganduru Morris)
- Maniolas (Ptolemy). According to José Rizal, "Maniolas" was what Ptolemy used when he referred to the city of Manila itself, Tawalisi for the whole Philippines, and Baroussai when referring to the Visayas.
- Liu-Kiu (Suis)
- Ma-i (Sung Dynasty). During the Ming Dynasty, according to the Chinese Annals, Ma-i (or Ma-yi) refers either to Mindoro or Manila.
- Scattered Islands of the South Pacific (Marco Polo)
I personally like the idea of the Philippines being "Ophir". However, based on Wikipedia, there are a LOT of other places contending for this honor. Oh well, since there is no 100% sure answer, I'll indulge in my imagination.