Filipinas vs. Pilipinas
Is it a P or an F? Filipinas or Pilipinas? The battle of the P and F continues.
Recently, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino passed a board resolution that caused gradual and non-compulsory restoration of the use of "Filipinas," instead of "Pilipinas." The resolution aims to promote the official and modernized spelling of the name of the country as a way to reflect the history and progress of its nationhood.
"The change in the spelling will not break any law. In fact, there is no law that says 'Pilipinas' is the name of the country. Besides, if we use the name Filipino to refer to the national language, it must correspond to the name of the country, as Filipinas, which is spelled right now as Pilipinas," shares KWF chairman and National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario.
He strongly believes that it should really have been an "F" and rationalizes that history, modernity and native Filipino sounds justify the use of the letter F in the local name of our country.
The National Artist further explains that "Filipinas" has been the original name of the country until the end of 19th century, as evident in the works of Jose Rizal and Andres Bonificaio's "Katapusang Hibik ng Filipinas."
The change in the spelling happened when Lope K. Santos introduced the use of the 20-letter Tagalog alphabet in his Balarila in 1940. Santos based his Abakada on Rizal's identification of five vowels and 15 consonants in his study of Tagalog as published in La Patria in 1899; hence, all the Fs were replaced with Ps. …