Philipino, Phillipino or Philippino?

Philipino, Phillipino or Philippino?

Category: News


I noticed that many people especially foreigners are still incorrectly referring to a citizen of the Philippines as a Philipino, Phillipino or Philippino. Because the spelling of Philippines begins with a “ph”, it is easily assumed that the term for a citizen must also be spelled with a “ph”. This is just like referring to someone from Portugal as Portuguese or from France as French. Well, no other country in the world begins with “ph” so this kind of confusion is unique to us. Actually, the proper term would be Filipino or Filipina (feminine).

If you are asking why Filipino instead of Philipino when the Philippines is spelled with a “ph”, the answer lies with the old name for Philippines. When the country was first colonized by Spain, they give the archipelago the name “Las Islas Filipinas” and its inhabitants “Filipinos”. When it was  American’s turn to colonize the country, it was renamed “Philippines”. However, the term “Filipino” stuck.

Filipino also refers to the official language of the Philippines which is based on the Tagalog dialect.

As of the June 2009 national statistics, there are 92 million Filipinos living in the Philippines and about 11 million living outside of which 3 million are in the United States, with Saudi Arabia coming second with 1 million.

Filipinos usually refer to themselves informally as Pinoy or Pinay (feminine). A Filipino is also derogatorily called as a Flip. It has a negative connotation because flip is used to mean “crazy”.

Filipino is popularized in the song “Bebot” by Black Eyed Peas from the album “Monkey Business”. Member (Allan Pineda Lindo in real life) who sang the song is a Filipino. Here’s the music video:


Here’s a short list of some famous Filipinos:

José P. Rizal – National Hero

Dolphy (cinema)

Fernando Poe, Jr.(cinema)

Monique Lhuillier (fashion and design) (music)

Lea Salonga (music)

Charice Pempengco (music)

Billy Crawford (music)

Batista (professional wrestling) – father is Filipino

“Paeng” Nepomuceno (bowling)

Brandon Vera (mixed martial arts)

Arianny Celeste (mixed martial arts) – UFC Octagon ring girl, , mother is Filipina

Manny Pacquiao (boxing)

Erik Spoelstra (basketball) – Miami Heat head coach, mother is Filipina

Efren “Bata” Reyes (billiards)

Henry Sy (business)

Tim Lincecum (baseball) – San Francisco Giants pitcher, mother is Filipina

Vanessa Hudgens (acting) – star of High School Musical, mother is Filipina

Lou Diamond Phillips (acting) – mother is Filipina

Rob Schneider (acting) – mother is Filipina

Reference: Filipino People [Wikipedia]

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8 Responses to “Philipino, Phillipino or Philippino?”

  1. Veronique Says:

    Thanks for this cool post. Anyway i found your blog on yahoo and find it very useful. I’ll be sure to come back again for more!


    philep Reply:

    hw ar you?


  2. da vinci Says:

    Be proud tehre are many talented Filipinos out there.


    ark Reply:

    Yes, despite the negative criticisms for our race, I am proud to be a Filipino. :-)


  3. How to Differentiate Yourself Says:

    Very interesting to read it 😛 😀


  4. rarchimedes Says:

    I really like Lea Salonga. I timed my visit to NYC to see my daughter so I could catch Ms. Salonga in her second shot at Le Miz. What a glorious voice she has, and so huge a voice from one so tiny is just amazing. I’ve never been to the Phillipines, but have had many friends from there. From what I have seen on the TV and from my friends, it is very hot, wet, and beautiful.


  5. Russian Says:

    Thank you so much for your post. Now I know how correctly referring to a citizen of the Philippines)))).


  6. Paranoid ideal Dodo Says:

    I spotted a job post that says Wanted: Philippino Writers and it completely annoyed me. Although I am sure such word does not exist, I googled (sic’)the term, that’s why I got into this site. This mistake is totally unforgivable and avoidable.


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