The Filipinos started adopting surnames in the 16th century, during the Spanish colonization. As the Catholic Church assigned names to the new converts, more and more Filipinos began using their native names along with their Christian names. This was when the government standardized naming practices among the inhabitants of the Philippines.
Filipino last names generally have Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic roots. A combination of American and Spanish naming customs can also be seen in the Philippines. Some surnames are also derived from Tagalog and other languages in the Philippines, but they are rare.
This post includes a list of 100 common Filipino surnames or last names, with their meanings, origins, and variants.
List Of Popular Filipino Last Names Or Surnames
It is derived from Hebrew and is used in several English-speaking countries. This name is a short form for ‘Abraham’ meaning ‘father of many or a multitude.’ It is a common surname in the Taytay region of Palawan.
This is an occupational surname of Spanish origin. It means ‘everlasting or eternal.’
This habitational name refers to a village in Biscay, Spain. It is one of the most common surnames in the Philippines.
It is also one of the common last names in the Philippines. It is derived from Ábalos, a place near Haro in Soria province, and is a variant of Avalos, referring to a grove of kermes oak.
This is a biblical name meaning ‘breath, vapor, or vanity’ in Hebrew.
It has its origin in Cebuano and means ‘daytime.’ The root word ‘Adlaw’ means ‘sun’ in English.
This surname has its usage in Filipino, Tagalog, and Ilocano. It means ‘to be heroic,’ in Ilocano language.
This is a habitational name for someone from the municipality of Alacantara in Extremadura, Spain. It is a transliteration of the Arabic word al-qantara, which means ‘the bridge.’
It is primarily used in the Philippines and refers to someone from the municipality of Almazan in Castile and Leon, Spain. The name is derived from the Arabic word ‘al-makhzan,’ meaning ‘the stronghold.’
Alonto means ‘extraordinary’ in Maranao. It is primarily used by Maranao and Filipino people.
This refers to a type of hut or shack used for storing food grains. It has its origins in Filipino and Cebuano.
It is derived from the personal name Avelino of Spanish origin. It was borne by Saint Andrea Avellino of the 17th century in Avellino in Campania, Italy.
This surname means ‘to guard’ in Tagalog.
This is a toponymic name for someone who lived in the city of Bacolod on Negros Island in Western Visayas, Philippines. It means ‘hill or mound’ in English.
It is derived from the Cebuano word bakunawa, which refers to a type of serpent or dragon in Visayan mythology.
This surname is a Minangkabau honorific for a prince. It was adopted in honor of Rajah Baguinda Ali, a Mininakabau prince who was a ruler of the Sulu Archipelago.
This habitational name refers to someone from the city of Balaguer in Catalonia, Spain. It also has its origin in Arabic.
It is a title of nobility, meaning ‘seer or philosopher’ in Maranao.
This last name originated from the Hiligaynon word baluyot, meaning ‘bag, sack, or pouch.’
Banaag means ‘gleam, daybreak, or reflection’ in Hiligaynon.
It means ‘to get up or rise’ in Maranao. It also refers to a plot of land.
It is one of the most common surnames in the Philippines. This is a derivative of the word ‘bakiran,’ meaning forest in Ilocano.
This Filipino surname is a popular surname in Manila, the Philippines.
It means ‘teapot or coffee pot’ in Maranao. It also refers to ‘green malong (tube skirt).’
It is a Tagalog and Filipino surname derived from a combination of two names, namely ‘bato,’ meaning ‘stone,’ and ’bakal,’ meaning ‘iron or steel.’
This is derived from the Maranao term ‘Bayabaw,’ which refers to the traditional subdivisions of the eastern regions of Lanao.
It is widely used in Tagalog- and Filipino-speaking regions. This is a derivative of ‘bulalakaw’ in Tagalog, meaning ‘shooting star or meteor.’
A Cebuano surname meaning ‘a moon’ or ‘a month,’ this name was first brought to England by the Norman Conquest.
The original surname ‘Cabajug’ was first found in the 19th-century Spanish documents. It is derived from ‘bahog,’ meaning ‘feed or slop’ in Cebuano.
This name was most likely given to the Filipinos during the conversion of native Filipinos into Christianity.
It is derived from ‘kalinaw,’ meaning ‘clarity or peace’ in Cebuano.
This is a toponymic name that refers to someone from the river in Batangas, Philippines. It is an alternative to the name ‘kalumpang,’ meaning ‘wild almond tree’ in Tagalog.
This Filipino surname is derived from the word ‘kamama,’ meaning ‘manly or masculine’ in Maranao.
It is derived from the Latin word ‘Cana’ meaning ‘cave or reed.’ It is a common surname in the Caraga, Central Visayas, and Northern Mindanao regions.
This surname is derived from the nickname Dingal, meaning ‘very handsome or very beautiful’ in Tagalog.
This is derived from the Tagalog word katakutan, meaning ‘fright or fear.’
It means ‘courage or bravery,’ and is derived from the Tagalog word ‘tapang.’
This Filipino surname originated from the Tagalog word ‘yabyab,’ meaning ‘pounding of rice grains.’
This modern surname is of Spanish origin and is a word referring to a prison cell.
This is an alternate spelling of Chavez, the famous labor leader Cesar Chavez.
It is derived from the Cebuano phrase ‘dagon sa huyuhoy,’ meaning ‘talisman of the breeze.’
This surname is a popular nickname meaning ‘chaste or pure.’ It has its origin in Tagalog and Cebuano languages.
It refers to a ‘place of prayer,’ and is derived from the word ‘dasal,’ meaning ‘prayer’ in Tagalog.
This last name is a title used for religious leaders. It is derived from the Maranao word ‘dato,’ meaning ‘chieftain, leader,’ and Arabic word ‘imam,’ meaning ‘leader.’
It is derived from the name, Datomanong, a character in the Maranao epic poem Darangen. The name means ‘two-headed lizard’ in Maranao.
This surname is a combination of the Maranao words ‘dato,’ meaning ‘chieftain or leader’ and ‘molok,’ meaning ‘own or possess.’ It is a title used for nobility.
It means ‘chosen lady,’ and has a Tagalog origin. It is a combination of the words ‘dayang,’ meaning ‘lady, girl, process,’ and ‘hirang,’ meaning ‘selection or choice.’
48. Del Rosario:
This last name, meaning ‘of the rosary,’ has its origin in Spanish.
It refers to ‘splendor, beauty, or brilliance,’ or ‘maiden’ in Tagalog.
It means ‘not injured or not touched.’ This surname is a combination of two Tagalog words, namely ‘di,’ meaning ‘no, not,’ and ‘maano,’ meaning ‘have something happen.’
This Tagalog word means ‘cannot be expressed.’
It is a Tagalog word for ‘dry.’ The name is a combination of two words, namely ‘di’ meaning ‘no, not’ and ‘basa’ meaning ‘watery, wet.’
It is Tagalog word meaning ‘unobtainable.’ It has been derived from the words di (no, not) and makuha (to obtain, to get).
It means ‘indestructible’ in Tagalog. It is derived from the words ‘di,’ meaning “no, not” and ‘giba,’ meaning ‘demolished, destroyed.’
It means ‘unfathomable.’ This surname is a combination of the Tagalog words ‘di’ meaning ‘no, not,’ and ‘isip’ meaning ‘discernment, intellect.’
It is a Tagalog word meaning ‘cannot be withered,’ and is derived from the words ‘di,’ meaning ‘no, not,’ and ‘malanta,’ meaning ‘wither, fade.’
It is a Tagalog word meaning firm or stubborn. It is derived from the words ‘di,’ meaning ‘no, not’ and ‘liwat,’ meaning ‘to transfer.’
The meaning of the surname is ‘cannot be dissuaded.’ It is derived from the Tagalog words ‘di,’ meaning ‘no, not,’ and ‘pili,’ meaning ‘contorted or twisted.’
It means ‘stubborn’ or ‘cannot be moved.’ It is derived from the Tagalog words ‘di,’ meaning ‘no, not’ and ‘tulak,’ meaning ‘shove, push.’
It means ‘unshakable’ in Tagalog and is a combination of the words di (no, not) and mauga (shaky or wobbly).
It is a Visayan or Mindanao word for‘ guardian or protector of nature.’ It refers to ancestorial spirits that guide mortals.
This surname is a Hokkien romanization of ‘Li’ meaning ‘plum or plum tree’ in Chinese.
It is a variant of Elias, a Latinized form of the Hebrew word ‘Eliyahu,’ meaning ‘My God is Yahweh.’ This is a common surname amongst Filipino, Ethiopian, and Malay populations.
This surname means ‘lucky’ and is of Tagalog origin. It is a variant of Fabro.
This is a common Filipino surname, and it means ‘son of Fernando’ in Spanish.
This Filipino last name originated from the Sanskrit term ‘garuda,’ which refers to a mythical bird in Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist beliefs.
This is a Cebuano word for ‘hundred.’
This Filipino surname is derived from the Spanish word ‘gozar,’ meaning ‘to enjoy.’
It means ‘gold’ in Tagalog.
It is an occupational name given to those from the Batangas province of the Southern Tagalog region during the Spanish rule.
It means successor in Tagalog.
It is derived from the root word ‘labaro,’ meaning ‘work or labor.’ This surname is often associated with San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers.
It is a toponymic name denoting someone who lived at Lardizabal Palace, a mansion in Segura, Comarca of Goierri.
This surname is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Laksamana,’ meaning ‘admiral or officer.’
It is the Tagalog word for ‘modest, prudent or civil.’
This is a Cebuano word meaning ‘to tell, to relate, or to narrate.’ A notable person with this name was Ramon Magasaysay, the seventh President of the Philippines.
This surname is commonly adopted by those living in Mnaug in Visayas or Mindanao, Philippines.
It means ‘of the Sultan’ and refers to the Sultan in the Maranao region.
This is a surname used by people of the Bicol region in the Philippines.
This last name is derived from the Spanish word ‘oracion,’ meaning ‘prayer or sentence.’
The Filipino surname means ‘saddle, cover,’ or ‘saddle maker.’ It is believed to have been given to a boy by a Spanish surveyor in the late 19th century.
This is the Hispanicized variant of Paquiao, and it means ‘wholesale’ in Cebuano. A notable personality with this surname is Manny Pacquiao, the former world boxing champion.
It means cautious or careful. It is a combination of the Tagalog word ‘panganib,’ meaning ‘danger’ and the suffix -an denoting action or cause.
It is derived from the Maranao word ‘Radiyab,’ the name for the seventh month of the Islamic calendar.
It means ‘young king.’ It is a Maaranao title that was traditionally used by sultans.
It is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘sarira,’ meaning ‘body.’ It was the name of a rajah of the historical region of Maynila.
It is a popular Christian name meaning ‘Savior.’ it has its usage in Filipino, Spanish, Catalan, Tagalog, and Portuguese regions.
It is derived from the Tagalog word ‘sikat,’ meaning ‘rise to fame or appearance.’
It is the Hokkien word for ‘small grandchild.’ It was probably used as a nickname and eventually transformed into a surname.
The surname is an unaccented form of Suárez, meaning ‘son of Suero (blood, race, or family).’ It is a common surname in the Philippines and Latin America.
It is a habitational name referring to someone from the sea in the Philippines. A notable bearer of the name is Hikaru Sulu, the fictional character from Star Trek.
This surname has its origin in Tagalog. It means ‘to advance’ or ‘to progress.’
It is derived from the Tagalog word ‘tanglaw,’ meaning ‘illumination or light.’
This refers to the biblical Magi or the Epiphany. It is a Tagalog word meaning ‘three kings.’
The Filipino surname Tibayan is a Tagalor word meaning ‘to strengthen’ or ‘to secure.’
The toponymic surname is derived from the name of a town in the province of Macerata in Italy.
This Philippino last name means ‘trinity,’ referring to the Holy Trinity in Spanish.
It is a habitational name, generally used by people living in any of the several places named ‘valle,’ meaning ‘valley.’
This means ‘valley of the forest field,’ and is a mix of Spanish and Japanese—‘val’ for ‘valley,’ ‘mor’ for ‘forest/ woods’ in Japanese, and ‘ta’ for ‘paddy/ field.’
It is derived from a medieval name, Velasco or Belasco formed with ‘bel’ meaning ‘raven’ and a diminutive suffix’ -sco.’ It is also a habitational name used by people from any of the various places named Velasco in the Logrono, Soria, and Seville provinces.
Filipino surnames provide a fascinating glimpse into the country’s geography and culture. Most of these surnames have been in use for centuries and are still popular. It is interesting to learn the origins and variants of these names.