President Rodrigo Duterte has suggested the Philippines change its name to Maharlika. Photo: EPA-EFE President Rodrigo Duterte has suggested the Philippines change its name to Maharlika. Photo: EPA-EFE
President Rodrigo Duterte has suggested the Philippines change its name to Maharlika. Photo: EPA-EFE
Philip Bowring
Opinion

Opinion

Philip Bowring

Duterte’s proposal to change the Philippines’ name highlights the vexed history of place nomenclature

  • Philip Bowring says history complicates the choice of place names while sensitivities to certain designations seem to vary with political expediency

President Rodrigo Duterte has suggested the Philippines change its name to Maharlika. Photo: EPA-EFE President Rodrigo Duterte has suggested the Philippines change its name to Maharlika. Photo: EPA-EFE
President Rodrigo Duterte has suggested the Philippines change its name to Maharlika. Photo: EPA-EFE
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Philip Bowring

Philip Bowring

Philip Bowring has been based in Asia for 39 years writing on regional financial and political issues. He has been a columnist for the South China Morning Post since the mid-1990s and for the International Herald Tribune from 1992 to 2011. He also contributes regularly to the Wall Street Journal, www.asiasentinel.com, a website of which he is a founder, and elsewhere. Prior to 1992 he was with the weekly Far Eastern Economic Review, latterly as editor.