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he name Filipino was derived from the term “las Islas Filipinas” (“the Philippine Islands”),33 the name given to the archipelago in 1543 by the Spanish explorer and Dominican priest Ruy López de Villalobos, in honour of Philip II of Spain (Spanish: Felipe II). The lack of the letter “F” in the pre-1987 Tagalog alphabet (Abakada) caused the letter “P” to be substituted for “F”, though the alphabets and/or writing scripts of some non-Tagalog ethnic groups included the letter “F”. Upon official adoption of the modern, 28-letter Filipino alphabet in 1987, the term Filipino was preferred over Pilipino.citation needed Locally, some still use “Pilipino” to refer to the people and “Filipino” to refer to the language, but in international use “Filipino” is the usual form for both.

Use of the term “Filipino” in the Philippines started during the Spanish colonial period. The original meaning was “a person of Spanish descent born in the Philippines” (a person of Austronesian ancestry and not of Spanish descent was called an “Indio”).34 This original usage is now old-fashioned and obsolete. Historian Ambeth Ocampo has suggested that the first documented use of the word to refer to Indios was the Spanish language poem A la juventud filipina, published in 1879 by José Rizal.35

A number of Filipinos refer to themselves colloquially as “Pinoy” (feminine: “Pinay”), which is a slang word formed by taking the last four letters of “Filipino” and adding the diminutive suffix “-y”.

Other collective endonyms for the Filipino people include: “Patria Adorada” (Spanish for “Beloved Fatherland”) as popularized by Jose Rizal through his poem “Mi último adiós”, “Bayang Pilipino” (Tagalog: “Filipino nation”) or the more poetic “Sambayanáng Pilipino” (a formal term in Tagalog meaning “one/entire Filipino nation”).

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