The beautiful country of the Philippines has a rich heritage formed by the cultural assimilation of many communities. There are a wide variety of languages and dialects. Filipino baby names are derived from local languages and have roots in Portugal and Spain.
If you’re thinking of having a Filipino name for your little one, we are here to assist. Read on!
Filipino Girl Names
The moniker Dalisay has a happy and whimsical feel to it, probably because of its association with the English name Daisy. This common Filipino surname, which is now the first name, means ‘pure’, ‘clear’ or ‘perfect’, the right name for your cute little one.
Darna is a fictional superheroine created by Filipinokomiks legend, Mars Ravelo. She is a warrior from the outer space who manifests herself through a human named Narda. Darna was previously known as Varga and even appeared in the Bulaklak Magazine. But after the differences with the editors, her name was changed to Darna.
What better way to pay homage to your roots that by naming your daughter after the national flower of Philippines. This delicate flower name burst into popular after the release of Disney’s movie, “Aladdin”, featuring the gorgeous Princess Jasmine. This name was in the top 50 baby name list until 2010, after which it started to wilt. It now falls in the Top 100 baby name list.
This one is the coolest combination name we have seen in a long time. The Filipino girl name Blessica is perhaps a mix of English words bless and the suffix is taken from the name Jessica. The meaning of this moniker is ‘to confer blessing upon’.
Mahalia is the Filipino version of Hebrew Mahala, a Biblical name. As a holy name, Mahalia is quite underrated in the regions beside the Philippines, probably because of its association with Mahalia Jackson, the queen of gospel singers. The meaning of Mahalia is ‘tenderness’.
Who said you couldn’t use the name of the country for your child’s name? Philippine is also the used a female baby name in the States, not as a name of a country, but as an ethnic identification. Shorten it to Philippa, if you don’t want your child to keep correcting her name eternally. Pippa would make the best short form of Philippine. The meaning of Philippine is ‘lover of horses’.
In the Tagalog mythology, Tala is the goddess of stars. It’s said that Tala is the eldest daughter of the moon and assists her mother in protecting the stars from trailing the sun. The meaning of Tala is ‘bright star’ in the Tagalog languages. And the best part is that you wouldn’t even need a nickname of this cute moniker.
Jaslene is one of the least common Filipino baby names for girls. It’s the combination of the elements Jas, from Jazlyn and lene, from Jolene. This name got attention by Puerto Rican-born model Jaslene Gonzales, the eighth winner of the reality show “America’s Next Top Model”.
Sampaguita is derived directly from the word ‘sampaguita’, which is the Filipino name for jasminum sambac, a kind of Jasmine. Jasmine is also the national flower of Philippines.
The Spanish name Benilda is very famous in the Philippines as a baby girl name. Benilda is the Spanish for German name Bernhilde, which came into use after Saint Benilde de Cordoba rose to prominence. The folk etymology also connects this name to the Latin moniker Benedictus, giving it the meaning ‘blessed’.
Meaning ‘goddess,’ Diwata is firmly rooted in the Philippine mythology. Diwata is a figure similar to nymphs and fairies. She is said to be the guardian spirit of nature.
Floribeth is the combination of Flora and other names ending with Beth, for example, Elizabeth. The name gained widespread popularity via Floribeth Mora Diaz from the Costa Rica, who was acknowledged as a wonder by the Roman Catholic Church in the canonization process of Johannes Paul, the second.
Perlah, the Spanish form of Pearl is quite familiar in the Philippines. It’s the name of the birthstone of June; that’s said to bring wealth and wisdom. Perlah is also the nickname of the city, Ponce in Puerto Rico. The moniker Perlah debuted in 1979 but saws it heydays in the 2000s. Perla Haney-Janine, the “Kill Bill” fame, is its most famous namesake.
Malaya is a geographical name of the southern part of the Malaya Peninsula. This name is also said to be a twist on the familiar name Makayla. Malaya entered the mainstream in the year 2006 and soon went on to become hugely popular, primarily because of its trendy ‘ya’ ending. The name means ‘free’.
Chesa is a beautiful Filipino name with a beautiful meaning. Meaning ‘celestial,’ Chesa would be a great pick for parents who do not want a too common name for their children. Yes, Chesa is famous in the Philippines but has not yet started to register with the on-Filipino parents. And we hope that your child will shine like a celestial object in her life with this moniker.
Ligaya, meaning ‘happiness’ in the Tagalog language, will appeal to many parents for its trendy ‘ah’ ending. And the mannered pronunciation of this name brings to mind the regal British and Greek names. The meaning of Ligaya is ‘emotions’. You can even shorten it to Li for the nickname.
This Spanish word for ‘sunflower’ is one of the most favorite names of the Filipinos. Some opine that Marisol is derived from the Virgin Mary’s title and means ‘Mary of Solitude.’ Marisol Escobar, the stunning French-born Venezuelan artist, is the famous bearer of this name.
If you want to name your daughter after galactic elements like moon or star, call her Bituin. Bituin means ‘star’ in Filipino. This name is virtually non-existent in Europe and America, making it an excellent choice for parents who are looking for a different take on the tradition.
In the Tagalog mythology, Amihan the bird is believed to be the first creature of the universe along with Aman Sinaya and Bahala. She was responsible for freeing the humans from a bamboo tree. The name is also used to describe monsoon in the Philippines. The meaning of Amihan is ‘breeze or east wind’.
Amihan is a Tagalog name, coming from the word, meaning ‘the northeast monsoon.’ Despite its natural air, the moniker Amihan has managed to stay in the top 100 baby names in the Philippines every year since it has been recorded. The highest spot reached by the baby name is 65.
Amor, meaning ‘love’ in Spanish, is often used as a given name in the Philippines. It’s one of the easiest ways to make your child feel the love you have for her. Or you can even try Amoret, the lovely heroine from Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene”.
Flordeliza is derived from the Spanish phrase ‘flor de Liza, which means Liza’s flower. It is also the name of a Philippines movie. This moniker was one of the Top 100 baby names in the 1980s and 1990’s, but it gradually descended. Given the beauty of this name, we believe Flordeliza deserves a second chance.
The Tagalog name Imelda is derived from the Old High German word Irmhild, which means ‘universal flight.’ Shorten it to Imee from the nickname. It’s also borne by the eldest daughter of Ferdinand Marcos as well.
Liezel is the Tagalog version of the Elizabeth and means ‘God is abundance.’ The name is trending, largely due to its French flair and the love for el- ending names. The name is at its second highest-ranking ever-#166. You can also go with its spelling variation Liesl.
Meaning ‘spiritual peace,’ Lualhati is a Philippines family name. This traditional sounding name has now decreased in popularity of late. Filipinos are now opting for shorter and trendier names. We’d suggest Lualhati for its beautiful meaning. And there’s even a possibility of shortening this name to making it chicer.
Luzviminda is created by combining three Philippines islands- Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. As a moniker, Luzviminda is strong, solid and deep-rooted in the culture. But most of the parents now prefer the short form Luzi over Luzviminda. It sounds great and is easier to pronounce too!
Here’s another Spanish name used widely in the Philippines. It means ‘little girl.’ Nenita is popular not just in the Philippines, but in other English-speaking countries as well. Nina would make a nice, though slightly common nickname for Nenita.
The name Lilibeth is made by combining the English names, Lily and Beth. And not surprisingly, this moniker is very popular with the Filipinos. While most of the combination baby names are not that attractive, Lilibeth is a nice pick, especially if you are confused between Lily and Elizabeth. Did you know that Lilibeth was Queen Elizabeth’s nickname?
Rubylyn is believed to be a combination of names Ruby and Lynn. We think it’s one of the sweetest combination names. And you can keep the sassy and sultry Ruby as the nickname for your darling daughter.
Luningning is one of the most popular native names in the Philippines. We’d recommend you this name for its solid history. The name entered the top 100 list in 1982 and is still quite strong even after three decades. And we’re quite sure this name will never leave the popularity list.
Dolores is a Spanish name and is one of the many titles given to the Virgin Mary. This name was renowned as one of the most sensual Spanish baby girl names. Lolita or Lola would make the best nicknames for Dolores.
Filipino Boy Names
If you are a fan of hip-hop music, you must be familiar with Bayani, the seminal album from the famous band Blue Schools. But for the Filipinos, Bayani is one of the most used names. And for the American and Europeans, it is an exotic, gem of a name with an easy pronunciation. Use Bay as the nickname for Bayani.
Crisanto is the derivation (also one of the least common) of Christ in the Filipino language. This moniker would appeal to parents who want a spiritual name for their child, but do not want to go the Christian and Christopher route. Cris would be the ideal nickname for Crisanto in our opinion.
Vedasto is the Spanish and Italian of Vedastus but is used widely in the Philippines as a remnant of the influence Spain had over the country). The name Vedastus came into the mainstream inspired by the 6th century French saint, Vedastus.
Joselito is the Filipino variation of Joseph. The name sounds very different than its counterpart because of its Spanish pronunciation. It is pronounced as Ho-she-lee-tow. Nevertheless, it still carries the real meaning of Joseph, which is ‘God will increase’.
This quirky name is inspired by Dr. Jose Rizal, Philippines answer to Martin Luther King. Dr. Jose Rizal, an ethnic Filipino fought tirelessly for his people during the Spanish colonial era. If Rizalino sounds too elaborate for you, you can just stick with Rizal. Rizo or Riz would make the quirkiest nicknames for Rizalino.
Ernest is preferred widely by Filipino and Hispanic families. This name had gone out of favor of late but has a great chance of revival along with other ‘o’ ending baby names. Ernie, Nesto or Ernio would make cute nicknames for Ernesto. Or you don’t need to shorten it at all. You can keep it just the way it is.
The Hebrew name Jonah is very popular with Filipinos. The meaning of Jonah is ‘dove’. It’s the moniker of the Old Testament messenger who was swallowed by the whale but emerged unharmed after three days. This name has also featured in movies like “Knocked Up” and “Sleepless in Seattle”. Actor and writer Jonah Hill is the most popular bearer of this name.
Keanu is an evocatively exotic name brought to the Philippines from Hawaii. You can even credit Keanu Reeves, the global star for its popularity worldwide. The name has now reached the top 1000 baby name list. The meaning of Keanu is ‘cool breeze over the mountains’.
Although Luntian is more common as a Japanese name, it is also Tagalog word for the color green. It’s usually associated with the fresh garland during the summer time.
We love this dashing name with a Latin flair. Alon is a Philippines term for ‘waves’ and means ‘Alon’. It’s also considered the short form of Alfonzo, which is a diminutive of Alphonso.
Vergel is one of the coolest V-starting Filipino boy names. Its famous bearer is Vergel Meneses, a Filipino professional basketball player who played with the Talk ‘N’ Text Phone Pals in the Philippine Basketball Association.
Antonia, the Spanish variation of Anthony, is used widely for Filipino baby boys. Having featured in five of his plays, Antonio is also one of Shakespeare’s most favorite. For the nickname, use Tonio.
Juan, the Spanish variation of John is well liked, not just in the Spanish-speaking world, but also in the Philippines. The name is well heard in the world of sports, especially football. The meaning of Juan is ‘the Lord is gracious’.
Rodrigo is the Spanish version of classic name Roderick. And we think it sounds rhythmically appealing than the original. This aristocratic name has always been on the top 1000 list, reaching its high #220 in the late 1990s.
Efren, the Spanish variation of Ephraim is a Hebrew name, meaning ‘fertile and fruitful’. In the Genesis, Ephraim is Joseph’s second son and the founder of one of the tribes of Israel. Ephrem would also make a good pick.
Bagwis is a unique baby name, meaning ‘long feather’ in the Tagalog language. This name is growing in popularity in the Philippines along with other trending baby names. It entered the popularity list in 1990, and hasn’t looked back since.
Mauricio is the Spanish variation of Maurice and means ‘dark skinned’. In the United States, Maurice was amongst the top 200 baby names for the most of the 20th century. The original form is on the decline, but the variation is in its glory.
Fernandez is one of the most common Filipino surnames. As a name, Fernandez is the Spanish form of Fernando. The Filipino form of this name has a softer and slightly more romantic feel than the original form.
Venancio, the Latin for hunting, is quite a familiar name in the Philippines. The famous bearer of this name is Venancio Johnson Paras, Jr, also known as Benjie Paras, a Filipino actor, and former basketball player. He played in the Philippine Basketball Association.
Isko, the shortened form of the Spanish name Francisco is well used in the Philippines. We think it’s a refreshing alternative to the somewhat stuffy name, Francisco.
Melchor is the Tagalog version of the Melchior, one of the three kings who visited the newborn Jesus. The meaning of Melchor is ‘city of the king’.
Jejomar is the combination of Joseph and Mary. We think it would work better as a unisex name. What about you? Use Joe as the nickname for Jejomar. Even the nickname would work best for both boys and girls.
Benjie is the Tagalog variant of Benjamin. This twist on the Biblical name has enjoyed widespread favor for decades and is still sturdy and attractive enough to be in the top 50. Use Ben as a nickname for Benjie.
Danilo, the Tagalog variant of Daniel is a perennial favorite. It’s one of the handful of old Filipino names that sound both classic and modern. The meaning of Danilo is ‘God is my judge’.
Here’s a perfect name for your handsome boy. Makisig is a Tagalog name means ‘handsome’. This name sounds much more fabulous and soignee than a regular Filipino baby name. Mickey would make a cute nickname.
The name Magtanggol means ‘to defend’ in Tagalog. This name was receding into a distant memory but is now making an appearance on the baby boy list.
Hispanic baby names are quite familiar in the Philippines. One such name is Homobono, which means ‘good man’ in the Latin language. But do not use Homo as a nickname. Try something unique.
It’s crucial to teach children about peace and tranquility from a young age. And the easiest way to take the initiative is by naming your child Nimuel, which means ‘peace’.
The name Jerome has a serious, studious and bespectacled image, just like its namesake St. Jerome, one of the most brilliant scholars of all time. He was the patron saint of librarians, students, and archaeologists. The meaning of Jerome is ‘sacred name’.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do Filipino parents choose a baby name for their child?
Like other cultures and regions, Filipino parents may choose a baby’s name based on family traditions, religion, cultural significance, or personal preferences.
2. What are some unique Filipino baby names that are not commonly heard of?
Some unique Filipino baby names that are not commonly heard of include Alulod, Dagami, Lawin, Malaya, and Maganda.
3. What are some traditional Filipino baby names that have been passed down for generations?
Some traditional Filipino baby names passed down for generations are mostly of Tagalog and Spanish origin, including Corazon, Rosario, Althea, Bituin, Tala, Crisanto, Juan, Vicente, and Aurora.
4. What are some popular Filipino baby names inspired by nature, such as flowers, animals, or elements?
Some popular Filipino baby names inspired by nature are Agila (eagle), Agwa (water), Arnulfo (wolf), Ulan (rain), Amihan (northeast wind), and Alon (wave).
The long list of Filipino baby names has beautiful meanings and easy pronunciations. These names sound melodic and will add a spark to your child’s personality. So ensure to choose an appropriate name that complements their character. While some may be more traditional, others would seem modern. Therefore, if you have been looking for some good options to name your little one, our list could be of your help. Lastly, ensure that the name you decide to go with adds grace and sounds impressive.
Discover More Names
When you have to choose a name for your baby, a few hundreds of names may not be just enough. Keep digging our mine of baby names until you find that one precious gem.
Infographic: Filipino Names
The Filipino names were inspired by many languages, including Tagalog (the basis for the Filipino language), Spanish, Italian, and English. While the Italian and Spanish names among Filipinos became popular after the Spanish conquest, the Tagalog names represent the country’s culture. Over time, the names of other nationalities became a part of the Filipino naming system.
Here is an infographic listing the famous names of the country and a few other Filipino names of various origins.
We hope you enjoyed learning about these exotic Filipino baby names. Share us your favorite in the comment section below!
Discover 20 Filipino baby names for boys and girls! Take your pick with the one that suits your darling the most.