Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday he wants to rename the Philippines into “Maharlika,” in an effort to decolonize the country from its Spanish roots.
The name change was pushed by the late former president and ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos to promote nationalism, to which Duterte agrees.
“Marcos was right. He wanted to change it to Maharlika because that’s a Malay word and it means more of a concept of serenity and peace,” said Duterte in a speech after distributing land titles in Maguindanao.
“[It was named] Philippines because it was discovered by [Ferdinand] Magellan using the money of King Philip,” he said further.
The Philippines was named after King Phillip II and was a Spanish colony for more than 350 years.
“Maharlika” is a word of Malay origin that allegedly means “noblemen.”
It remains unclear whether the administration will push for the name change.
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