Over one thousand seven hundred years ago the Chinese called it "Ma-Yi ". One hundred years later they had shortened the name to "Ma-i". The people of this verdant country were reknown for their honesty. Chinese merchants recorded, once a deal was struck, the people would never cheat you. The most honest country in all of Asia.
A scant two hundred years later Ruy Lopez De Villalobos christened that special Asian country the " Filipinas " and thus it remained for another three hundred years. When America "bought" the Filipinas from Spain, they changed the name to the "Philippine Islands". Once the Philippine people won their long political and military struggle for freedom they chose the name "Republic of the Philippines".
Long before the Philippine people cast off the cruel yoke of colonial oppression various leaders had searched for a new name for this unique and beautiful land. The KATIPUNAN General Artemio Ricarte proposed that the islands be re-named the " Rizaline Republic" in honor of Jose Rizal. Jose Rizal himself, in his moving farewell poem, called his beloved homeland " Pearl of the Orient Sea". Even President Ferdinand Marcos joined the list of notables and suggested the name "Maharlika" ( ).
Over the years a litany of people have contributed a long list of suggestions. During World War II, "Tokyo Rose" ( Iva Toguri D'Aquino) called the Philippines "Orphans of the Pacific". Katherine Mayo in her book enigmatically called us the "Isles of Fear". Explorer and anthropologist Arnold Landor called us the "Gems of the East". Other suggestions have been, the "Emerald Islands", "Treasure Islands of the Pacific", "Isles of Hope", and even "Land of Morning" None of these names seem to resonate with the Pinoy people.
As a guest in this beautiful country, I do not get to make any suggestions or even cast a vote in this quest for the best name. But as long as my generous host will let me; I would like to call the Republic of the Philippine simply, "my home".