The most popular Filipino surnames and Filipino baby names used in the country
The rich culture and tradition are not only the ones which were highly shaped by the Spaniards during their occupancy in the beautiful country of The Philippines. The Spaniards brought religion, trading, education, Catholicism, and Christian names amongst other things.
The prevalence of Hispanic first names and surnames is very obvious that for those who have no idea about the history of the country, they'd be surprised of the similarities of their names to that of Mexicans and Spanish. While other countries can generally be classified ethnically just by physical appearance, the Filipinos are a bit hard to identify unless you visit the remote parts of the country where the indigenous reside.
Filipino Baby Names - Filipino First Names
The intermarriages that have been going on ever since the colonization by the Spaniards, Americans, and Japanese has produced citizens that have mixed racial ancestries.
During the establishment of the Spanish colony the government implemented a systematic distribution of family names for the natives. The natives then used family names in lieu of their indigenous Filipino surnames. Most Filipinos have Spanish or Spanish-sounding surnames imposed on them by the Spaniards aside from those who lived in remote areas and those who fought against the Spanish soldiers all throughout the period. Only very few were able to retain their culture, their way of life, and their way of naming themselves.
Some of the common Hispanic Filipino surnames are Santos, Reyes, Fernandez, Rodriguez, Sanchez, Dela Cruz, Perez and Chavez. Being a predominantly Catholic nation, brought about by the strict implementation of the colonizers, a lof of Filipinos use Christian Hispanic first names.
The most common Hispanic Filipino first names are Antonio, Jose, Juan, Rodrigo, Angelo, Mauricio, Maria, Concepion and Dolores. The list can go on and on but the influence of the North American culture has been slowly changing the general orientation of the use of Hispanic names as young married Filipino couples would now prefer to use American names. That's why it's normal for a person to be given an American first name and Spanish or Chinese family name.
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Even before the Spaniards made their way to conquer the Philippines, Chinese settlers and traders were already in the Philippines because of the strong relationship between Luzon and the Ming Dynasty of China. The Spanish settlement attracted more male traders and male immigrants from China and the lack of Chinese women paved the way for the Chinese immigrants to marry the indigenous Filipina women.
The intermarriages produced a number of Filipino-Chinese that later spread all over the islands as traders and landowners. Popular Filipino surnames among Chinese-Filipinos: Chan, Cheng, Chua, Co, Cue, Dee, Go, Ku, Lee, Tan, Tiu, Ting, Ty, Sy, Yap, and Yee amongst other Chinese surnames.
There are native Filipino surnames that are unique to the Filipino naming convention. Some are the result of the modification of the natives to conform with the Spanish custom while some have literal meaning in their own language like Biglang-Awa (sudden mercy), Bitao (let go), Dimaguiba (impenetrable), Gubat (forest), Magbantay, Pinagpala (blessed) and other surnames that pay tribute to their geographic origin.
The history of the descendants of the Filipino people is very unique and diverse that you really have to experience the outcome of the long history of colonization and trading in the flesh. If you haven't been in the Philippines, don't be surprised if the very first Filipino you talk with is Antonio Sanchez or Camille Yee. Get used to it as there are millions who have Hispanic and Chinese names along the way that you will soon interact with. (Jade Sanchez)