"Barring polygamy, you will break up with every person you date minus one." - Yellow
Question #45277 posted on 05/26/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why are people from the Philippines called Filipinos? I mean, why is it spelled with an f, instead of ph?


A: Dear Thumbelina,

"Filipino/a" is actually the older word. Ruy López de Villalobos called the islands Las Islas Filipinas after Spain's Philip II (Felipe II de España), so the people became known as "Filipinos." Americans, however, generally referred to the islands as the "Philippine Islands" — a translation and transliteration of the original Spanish name. Because of America's close ties with the Philippines after the Spanish-American War, the American spelling became accepted as the official name of the country.

Thanks for prompting me to research something I'd always wondered about.

- Katya