The term Pilipinas or Filipinas refers to the name of our country, which was named for King Philip of Spain.
In 1950, the National Language-English Vocabulary (NLEV, 1950) of the Institute of National Language was based on the existing alphabet of 20 letters without an F. Hence, the name Pilipinas was entered in the Diksyunaryo Tesauro Pilipino-Ingles of the late Jose Villa Panganiban.
Panganiban’s Tesauro states: “In assimilated words, Pilipino uses “p” for foreign “f” or “ph” but retains them in proper names: Eng. Philip, Ofelia, Florence, Sp. Felipe, Ofelia, Florence.”
Thus, “Filipinas” being a proper name should be retained. With the development of the Filipino language, eight (8) letters were added, including the letter “F”. Thus, “Filipinas,” the name of our country, was entered in the “Filipino-English” Dictionary under letter “F”.
Director Virgilio S. Almario is correct in spelling the name of our country with an “F.” This is in consonance with present alphabet.
By using “Filipinas” instead of “Pilipinas” in any discourse or discussion, the writer will not cause any alteration in the subject matter or idea conveyed in the original speech or written article.
There is no change or an alteration with the use of letter “P” instead of the letter “F” in the name of our country when used in the course of a discourse, for example, in any of the written speeches of the President.
According to the Supreme Court, “Alteration generally has inherent in it the idea of deception, of making the instrument speak something which the parties did not intend it to speak. To be an alteration in violation of law it must be one which causes the instrument to speak a language different in legal effect from that which it originally speaks.” (US vs. Marco 25 Phil. 334.)
Thus, spelling the name of our country with a capital letter F is in accord with the present alphabet of the Filipino language.
Cezar C. Peralejo
#86 South Lawin St.
Philam Homes, Quezon City