The Philippines was named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobosduring his expedition in 1542 named the islands of Leyte and Samar Felipinas after the then Prince of Asturias. Eventually the name Las Islas Filipinas would be used to cover all the islands of the archipelago. Before that became commonplace, other names such as Islas del Poniente (Islands of the West) and Magellan’s name for the islands San Lázaro were also used by the Spanish to refer to the islands.
The official name of the Philippines has changed several times in the course of its history. During thePhilippine Revolution, the Malolos Congress proclaimed the establishment of the República Filipina or thePhilippine Republic. From the period of the Spanish–American War (1898) and the Philippine–American War(1899–1902) until the Commonwealth period (1935–46), American colonial authorities referred to the country as the Philippine Islands, a translation of the Spanish name. From the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the namePhilippines began to appear and it has since become the country’s common name. Since the end of World War II, the official name of the country has been the Republic of the Philippines.