Why do so many Filipino names sound Mexican/Spanish?

I’ve noticed that the last names of many (altho not all) Filipino people sound like they are Mexican and/or Spanish. I’ve also noticed that many cities/places in the Phillippines sound this way also. Aren’t Filipinos considered more "Asian" than anything else? I suppose I could Google all this , but I don’t have time, so I thought I would ask here instead. Thanx!


  1. The Republic of the Philippines, as it is officially called today, was once a colony of the Spain. discovered by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521,who was Portugese but was working for Spain,named the archipelago after the King of Spain,King Philipp.
    The Philippines became a colony for 333 years,Filipinos were given Spanish sounding names when they were baptized as Christians(Roman Catholic).
    as a result intermarriages between europeans was popular and so mixing of race and genes occured giving a lot of Filipinos a unique feature as compared to other Southeast Asians like Thais,Indonesian and Malaysians.
    and didi you know that Filipinos are mostly Bilingual or multilingual!! being able to speak at least two languages like English and Spanish not to Mention their own language Filipino and some regional dialects as well.

  2. Spain conquered the Philipinnes, many years ago. At the turn of the 20th century, american soldiers were having trouble with a tribe called the amoks. Our soldiers were issued .38 caliber smith & wesson revolvers, that were ineffective against the amoks, who would wrap their bodies in tree roots. Our military asked gun manufacturers to submit more effective sidearms for testing. Our military strung up monkee carcasses, and shot them with the test guns. The carcasses that swung the most were shot by the gun that was submitted by COLT. COLT won the contract. The Colt .45acp was the official government issue sidearm for many years. The phrase, "running amuk(amok) came from this.

  3. because the Philippines was colonized by the Spaniards for 330 years and they were the ones who baptized us with names and last names, introduced the form of government, established schools, hospitals and named the pueblos or cities.
    Most of all their biggest influenced is Christianity

  4. spanish colonization. the cebuano dialect is 90% spanish. we cebuanos can easily learn spanish. spanish is a very nice language. ive heard its the sexiest language.

  5. in the 1500’s there was this man who arrived and claimed the philippines to spain. philippines named after prince philip of spain; and it became part of the spanish empire. spanish colonial system was developed. the era began and lasted for 3 centuries. the philippines was administered as a province of new spain until the mexican independence. even the church embraced spanish policy during that time. spaniards want to convert them to roman catholics. the spanish era was ended by a revolution, after the war, USA controled the philippines and so on…so until now, spanish stuff hasn’t left the country… philippines has taken a lot from it. language, culture, etc.

  6. well this is the simple answer..

    Spaniards colonized Phi for 333 years
    yet until now…

    we do look like and speak like Spanish (some words)
    also Portuegese….
    now Filipino can speak a lot of Language aside from our native language that is 90% Spanish we can speak English too cause after Spaniards colonized us; American bought us from the Spaniards..

    and that’s how it is done!!!!

  7. we were colonized by the spanish for more than 300 years, and during that they forced filipinos to change their names into spanish(ex. balagtas was turned into baltazar, etc.)

    names of places and people do not connote what their race is..what’s in a name anyway?

    there’s also this harsh reality that some other asian countries do not treat the philippines as an asian country just because we are not buddhists or taoists. and that we don’t have ancient architecture that are like the palaces of china, korea and japan…

    they fail to look at our age old tradition. the bahay kubos, the rice terraces, the festivals with colorful costumes. this is what we fought for for 300 years. we are a diverse country, a cradle for all cultures if you will. and that seems to make us non-asian to them.

    Sometimes the PHILIPPINES is very much out of place. Asians reject us, and westerners deny us… Its as if we are nothing…..

    well, im proud to be filipino..if Philippines is regarded as cradle of different cultures then im proud to be one..That makes us unique.

  8. More than 300 years of Spanish colonization. Go figure!

    And most people think that foreign males’ obsession with Filipina girls is a recent phenomenon. Duh?! It dates back to the 16th century!

  9. That’s because the Spaniards had Filipinos back then to change their names/surnames into Spanish ones (for registration purposes maybe, since almost everybody was named Juan or so as one anecdote goes) and so the many Spanish sounding names/surnames.

  10. Filipino Hispanic surnames does not always mean that one is Mestizo. We don’t have a reliable statistics for that but what connects Filipinas from Asia is by blood and geography. The native-born Filipinos in distant provinces, some cities like Zamboanga (Asia’s Latin City—a Spanish Creole called Chabacano de Zamboangueño is spoken by a large population) & Cavite (Chabacano de Caviteño/Ternateño); and distant towns are typically raised Hispanic culturally. Majority of the Filipinos celebrate fiestas as Latin Americans do in reverence to their respective patron saints. The grandest of them all is the Sinulog Festival of Cebu in reverence to Señor Santo Niño. Zamboanga City celebrates El Dia de Hispana (El Dia de La Raza) along with Fiesta de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, patron of the Hispanic peoples. Filipinas share a pattern of history with Latin America and it had ties with Nueva España (México today) through the Acapulco-Manila Galleon Trade and was a viceroy of Nueva España itself. Spanish was spoken among the wealthy Filipinos but in 1863 it was taught in all public school systems. The emerging middle-class learned and spoke it. It was the official language of the First Republic, the Act of Independence was written in Spanish, the original national anthem was first sung in Spanish, the Malolos Constitution was written as well in Spanish and was patterned after the Cuban Constitution. It was when the coming of the North Americans that it became prohibited since speaking Spanish was a sign of resistance under the North American rule. The destruction of Intramuros, the heart of Spanish Manila in World War II marked its slow death and popularity among the Filipinos. The original Filipino mestizos left the islands for the US, Latin America and Spain. In 1973, it became unofficial but prior to that year the Philippines had 3 recognized official languages—Filipino, Spanish and English. Hispanophobia is consistently taught in Philippine History making some Filipinos forget and worst hate their Hispanic heritage and their links with Hispanidad. But with the current President’s directive, Spanish will be taught in the Philippines again to compete in the global market and to restore the strong, rich cultural heritage that Mexico and Spain left to the islands.

  11. There’s a confusion among Filipinos today what Spanish Culture and Hispanic Culture is. Spanish Culture is typically European like Gallician, Basque Andalusian etc. Hispanic Culture is a fusion of indigenous and Spanish culture. Latin America has the African component brought by the African slaves. Filipinos are culturally Hispanic that made us different among our neighboring countries. Filipino-hispano culture is simply the fusion of Malay, Chinese plus Spanish culture making it Hispanic too. Debemos inculcar el patriotismo filipino en la enseñanza de castellano.

  12. To put it this way as british historian once said the Philippines is a Hispanic country transported by a big ocean of wave into the orient. Filipino are Asian but its culture and social structured are based on Spanish becuase of the long Spanish presents in the country. It is the Spanish that made the Philippines before the Spanish the Philippines is not a unified country but a consist of many smaller and independent tribes. The Spanish unified the country through swords and relgion and infused thier own culture with the locals known today as Filipino cultured.

    Marco Antonio
  13. Governor and Captain General of the Philippines from 1844 to 1849, Narciso Clavería y Zaldúa required all Filipinos to have surnames and majority chose Spanish last names. Beginning this period, indigenous Filipinos as well as mestizos or those of Spanish decent may all have Spanish last names.

    Nanô de Tibac
  14. It was a result of the Claveria decree wherein all inhabitants of the Philippines, even including Chinese, were forced to adopt Hispanic surnames because the Spaniards had a hard time in taxations & record keeping because Filipinos adopt different surnames even among family members that made the Spaniards very confused. The Spaniards made a book of list of all Spanish surnames called Catalogo de Alfabeticos Apellidos & every head of the family had to choose a surname from the list that will serve as their family name. The surnames distribution varied in different parts of the archipelago (except in Muslim & tribal areas) & that is why there are certain places who have surnames starting with the same letter. For example in one province, people have surnames starting with letter A while surnames of all residents living in another province starts with letter B. This process made it difficult for any Filipino to actually trace his ancestry whether it is of Spanish, Chinese or Indigenous descent.

    However one thing is for sure, a Filipino having a Spanish or Hispanic-sounding names doesn’t automatically assume his Spanish/Hispanic ancestry.

  15. Spain conquered The Philippines or Filipinas and gave that name to the islands after their king Felipe… I’m latin american born and raised in Central America my parents are both spaniards immigrants and I’ve been always fascinated with filipino culture… because of the mix of culture and the spaniard past… The Phillipines were sold by Spain to the US after the Spanish/American war, were Spain lost Cuba, Puerto Rico and The Phillipines… the war was because an american ship was sinked in the Havana harbour (Cuba) mysteriously the American Press said that the Spaniards sinked the ship… I believe The Phillipines should embrace the Hispanic World and be part of the whole latin culture

  16. The Philippines is not Mexican. Many in the Philippines have no Spanish blood, the same goes for many in Mexico. My wife’s DNA test showed 4% Spanish blood. Most showed a mix of different areas around Asia with the largest part of her DNA being polynisian which was a bit of a shock to her. Her Mexican friends keep telling her they are the same. They are not. Not even close.


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