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.

  1. Ophir - place where King Solomon obtained the gold he used to build his temple (Friar Aganduru Morris)
  2. Maniolas (Ptolemy). According to Jos√© 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.
  3. Liu-Kiu (Suis)
  4. Ma-i (Sung Dynasty). During the Ming Dynasty, according to the Chinese Annals, Ma-i (or Ma-yi) refers either to Mindoro or Manila.
  5. 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.


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