Bits and BobsPresident Duterte has called for the country to be renamed “Maharlika”, which means nobility.

What’s in a name: Is it goodbye Philippines?

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Philippines 190214
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has called for change of name to “Maharlika”, which means nobility. Photo Credit: chekat/Getty Images
Philippines 190214

His call echoes a push by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to rename the country "Maharlika" which in the local language means nobility, Bloomberg reported. The country, which was under Spanish rule for more than 300 years, derived its name from Spain's King Philip II.

Philippines may soon be known by the name of “Maharlika”, if President Rodrigo Duterte succeeds in advocating for the name change to move away from the country’s colonial links.

He spoke of the change on Monday after distributing land titles in the Muslim-majority province of Maguindanao.

His call echoes a push by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to rename the country "Maharlika" which in the local language means nobility, Bloomberg reported. The country, which was under Spanish rule for more than 300 years, derived its name from Spain's King Philip II.

The name change, however, would entail rewriting the Constitution and “require too many changes”, according to Senate president Tito Sotto. 

Duterte has also been pushing for changes in the nation's charter and shift to a federal form of government.

Meanwhile, another nation has successfully bid and renamed as the Republic of North Macedonia (formerly Republic of Macedonia) as part of a historic deal with Greece.

The new name was formally published in the government gazette on Wednesday, opening the way for the country’s inclusion to Nato and eventually the European Union.

Workers were seen replacing road signs on the country’s border with Greece to reflect the name change, ending a nearly three decade-long dispute with Greece over the use of the term “Macedonia”.

Changes to signs at airports and on official buildings, webpages and printed materials will soon follow.


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