In the Philippines
, Filipinos follow the conventional American form: Given name
. For persons of legitimate descent, their mothers' maiden family names become their legal middle names.
Almost all Filipinos have European surnames, mostly English or Spanish and a majority of them also have Filipino surnames. The new generation of Filipinos now have English names, but some still have Spanish and Tagalog names. For example, a man named Rafael (Spanish name) would be given a Filipino nickname of Paeng (Tagalog name), coming from a local rendering of the last two syllables of Rafael. In more formal occasions, Filipinos use the American surname first type. For example, a Filipino named John Gomez Gonzales would render his name (in formal occasions) as Gonzales, John Gomez.
Many modern-day Chinese Filipinos have traditional names with one syllable like Lim, Tan, Sy, and so on. However, early Chinese Filipino families took on the complete name of their patriarch, thus their names had three syllables. These are truly Filipino surnames and don't exist anywhere else in the world. Their names were transcribed using Spanish orthography in effect during the 19th century.
The reason why so many names end in -co and -ko, is because co was a title of respect given to someone like an elder, or an older brother. However, Co was also a valid name so that it would be hard to say whether the "Co" in the name was part of the original Chinese name or was an honorific. Generally speaking, if it is at the end it would have been an honorific. An example of this is Cojuangco. Their patriarch was Co Chi Kuan, who was addressed respectfully as Co Kuan Co (one given name dropped). Co Kuan Co eventually became Cojuangco.
The new generation of Chinese also have English names, but there are still members of the older generation living bearing completely Chinese names and also having an English nickname. For example, a man named Go Sun Tiak can also write his name as David Go (if he likes), or even as David Go Sun Tiak. Many of the Chinese also have double Spanish names, so, some Chinese people can have a name as Vicente Fernando Tan Gi Hieng.
The Spanish surname category provides the most common surnames in the Philippines. These include García, (Dela) Cruz, (Delos) Reyes, (Delos) Santos, González, and López.
Native Surnames/Filipino Chinese
These are truly unique Native Filipino and Filipino Chinese
surnames and don't exist anywhere else in the world. Some of these surnames have a literal meaning in Filipino languages
. Abaygar, Abrogar, Alimboyugen, Abulog, Ahkiong, Bakekang, Balignasay, Bebanco, Butil, Calapatia, Camat, Catacutan, Cojuangco, Chincuanco, Chuchu, Cuyegkeng, Dahil-Dahil, Deang, Dysangco (originated at China at around 1800 and still growing), Gabuat, Galit Gosiengfiao, Dinguinbayan, Dyquiangco, Ifugao, Ilaban, Japos, Kalawakan, Kanaway, Kaunlaran, Kulubot (wrinkly), Labong, Lacro, Lao-lao (saggy), Magbanua, Magday, Magnaye, Marapao, Matapang (brave), Makisig (handsome), Malaki (big), Maputi, Maitim, Maliit (small), Masipag (industrious), Matiyaga, Mangsinco, Lanta, Limcangco, Loshang, Luansing, Ongpauco, Pilapil, Pinagbuklod, Pinagpala(blessed), Sariwa (fresh), Sese, Sinagtala, Songcuya, Sipsip (suck-up), Siapuatco, Simangan, Simsuangco, Sytengco, Talong (eggplant), Tiaoqui, Tanga, Tanhehco, Tansiongco, Tubo (pipe), Tubongbanua, Quiblat, Quisumbing, Quindipan, Quibuyen, Uytengsu, Yengko, Yaptinchay, and Yapchulay.
Spanish Originated Surnames
The majority of Filipinos have Spanish surnames. These type of surnames are partiatic, Christian
, or words from Spanish
. Examples of Spanish surnames are Africa, Aguilar, Alcantara, Alcante, Alejandro, Alonzo, Álvarez
, Arabejo, Armas, Asuncion, Austria, Balandra (yacht), Barcelona
, Barerra, Barretto, Barrientos
, Belloso, Belmonte
, Bernal, Blanco
, Borja, Borje, Buenaflor, Buenaventura
, Buendia, Buenpacifico, Bustamante
, Canencia, Carrasco, Castillo, Castro
, Cereza, Cervantes, Concepcion, Cordova
, Custodio, Cruz
, Cuenca, Dantes, Desiderio
, Domingo, Domínguez
, Dulce, Elefante, Elizalde, Escribano, España
, Fajardo, Fernández
, Flores, Fontanilla, Francisco, García
, Gonzales (or González
), Guevarra, Gutiérrez
, Inarez (or Inares), Infante, Jabillo, Jacinto, Javier, Jiménez
, Luz, Madrid
, Magallanes, Martínez
, Mercadejas, Miranda, Monteloyola, Montenegro, Moreno
, Muñoz, Navarro
, Navidad, Padilla, Pastor
, Patajo, Paz, Pérez
, Pojas, Ponferrada, Orante (prayer), Ramirez
, Reoja, Rivera, Rodriguez
, Rosario, Roxas
, Salazar, Salvador
, San Antonio, San Francisco, San Gabriel, San Juan, San Miguel, San Pedro, Sanarez, Sánchez
, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz
, Santa María, Santillán, Santos
, Santiago, Silvestre, Tejada, Tolosa, Torres
, Vargas, Vejerano, Velasco
, Ventura, Villaecija, Vicente, Villamar, Villanueva
, Villaroman and Yllana.
Prefix "De-" are De Asis, De Castro, De Dios, De Guia, De Guzman, De Leon, De Rosas, Del Bianco, Del Carmen, Del Fin (or Delfino), Del Gado, De(l) Rosario, Del Valle, Dela Cerna, Dela Cruz, Dela Fuente, De(la) Mesa, De(la) Paz, Dela Rama, De(la) Rosa, Dela Vega, Delas Alas and De(los) Reyes.
Chinese Originated and Derived surnames
Most of the Chinese Filipinos today have surnames like Ancheta, Cinco, Chan, Cheng, Chua, Co, Cue, Go, Ku, Lee, Tan, Tiu, Ting, Sy, Yap, and Yee.
English Originated Surnames
Examples are Burton, Dimian, Doughman, Grey, Grossman, James, and Sweeney.
Married and maiden names
Christians (as well as certain Muslims, Chinese Filipinos, and others) in the Philippines
have traditionally followed naming patterns
practiced throughout the Spanish-speaking world; i.e., the practice of having the father's surname followed by the mother's surname; the two being connected by the particle "y", which means "and" (ex. Juan Agbayani y Lopez
). In the case that the second surname starts with I (or vowel Y or Hi), the particle becomes "e", following Spanish rules of euphony, as in Eduardo Dato e Iradier
. However, this practice changed when the Philippines became a United States
colony in the early half of the 20th century. The order was reversed to the conventional American form "Given name-Middle name-Surname", which in this case is actually "Given name-Mother's maiden surname-Father's surname" (i.e. Juan Lopez Agbayani
or simply Juan L. Agbayani
). The particle "y" was also dropped.
Currently, the middle name is usually, though not always, the mother's maiden name followed by the father's surname. This is the opposite of what is done in Spanish-speaking countries and is similar to the way surnames are done in Portugal and Brazil.
When a woman marries, she usually adopts the surname of her husband and uses her father's surname (her maiden surname) as her middle name, dropping her mother's maiden name (her former middle name). When a woman whose full maiden name is Maria Santos Cojuangco (where her mother's maiden surname is "Santos", and her father's surname is "Cojuangco") marries a man by the name of Juan L. Agbayani, her full name would become Maria Cojuangco Agbayani. For the sake of brevity, she would be usually known at the very least as Maria Agbayani; her maiden name is usually not mentioned or it may simply be abbreviated as an initial (i.e. Maria C. Agbayani). In many cases, her maiden name may be mentioned. Consequently, her children will have Cojuangco as a middle name. (ex. their child, Rafael Dominic, will have a full name of Rafael Dominic Cojuangco Agbayani or Rafael Dominic C. Agbayani). Up until the middle of the 20th century, it was common for married Filipino women to insert the particle "de" ("of") in between the Maiden surname and Husband's surname (as in Maria Cojuangco de Agbayani or Maria C. de Agbayani), another common Spanish naming custom. However, this practice is no longer common.
Married Filipino women who are professionals may choose to hyphenate their surnames (i.e. Maria Cojuangco-Agbayani, instead of simply Maria Agbayani or Maria C. Agbayani) , at least in professional use, and use it socially even if legal documents follow the above naming pattern.