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100 Filipino Last Names With Meanings

Due to the Spanish colonization from 1565 to 1898, Filipinos had adopted plenty of Spanish culture and traditions. People started to convert to Christianity and embrace Christian last names along with their traditional native names.

The last names contain several roots, Spanish, Arabic, Latin, etc. Some surnames belong to Tagalog and other native languages in the Philippines, though they are rare.

We’ve adorned this article with a list of 100 last names of Filipino, their origins, meaning, and other essentials. Check it out.

1. Abalos

The Spanish originated word Abalos means the desert ridge. Abalos is a quite distinguished surname among Filipinos. Even they have two film stars named Jason Abalos and Jing Abalos.

2. Abadiano

Abadiano is one common surname in every other Philippine household. It is a habitational name in Basque, Northern Spain. Many sources claim that this name was first found in Biscay, a village of Spain.

3. Abella

The occupational name Abella appeared from Catalan, Spanish and Galician language to Filipino tradition. It has two meanings; one is a beekeeper, and the other is energetic.

4. Abelardo

Abelardo is the Spanish of the word Adelard. Adelard is a French word that means dignified and strong.

5. Agbayani

It is one of the most used surnames in Filipino and Tagalog tradition. The word Agbayani means ‘to be loyal or patriotic.’

6. Agustin

The historians had confusion about the origin of the last name Augustin. Either it developed from the word ‘Augustus,’ which means ‘respected.’ Augustus was the title of the Roman emperor.
The other origin is the Latin word Augere which means ‘to augment.’

7. Almazan

This name appeared in Filipino tradition from the Arabic word ‘Al-makhzan.’ It means a secure place. Al-Makhzan or Banu Makhzan was a famous tribe in ancient Arab. Thus, it entered as a surname into the Filipino Muslim community.

8. Aranda

The Basque word ‘Aran’ was the foundation from where the last name Aranda came. Aran means valley. Historians also connect the word with the Spanish place, Asturias.

9. Acosta

Derived from the Spanish word, Acosta indicates a person who came from the mountains or lived near the seashore.

10. Alvarado

It is a geographical last name. Alvarado means whitened place. It also confers a citizen of dry land or a white hill. In several areas in Spain, natives address all the faded areas as Alvarado.

11. Arellano

Arellano derived from the Latin word ‘Aurelianus.’ Aurelius’ was an ancient place. By the word ‘Aurelianus,’ people used to specify the farm, land or domain of Aurelius.’

12. Avelino

Avelino was a city in Campania, Italy, and the natives of the city first started to take this as their surname. In the 17th century, the Italian saint Andrea Avelino was quite famous in Europe.

13. Bacolod

The inhabitants of Bacolod were the first who bore this as their last name. Bacolod is a city of Negros Island in the Philippines. It means mountain.

14. Ballesteros

The word Ballesteros came from the word Ballesta and Ballestero, which consequently mean a crossbow and crossbowman. Initially, the heir of crossbowmen took this as their last name, but now it became an inherited surname among many Filipinos.

15. Baquiran

Baquiran derived from the word ‘bakiran”. Bakiran was a forest in Ilocano. As a habitational name now, it became a common surname among many Philippine households.

16. Barretto

The Spanish word Barrera means a barrier. It was the symbolic name of the family that used to live near a fence or gate. Gradually those families started to take this as a family name; thus, it entered into the last name tradition.

17. Basilio

Basilio indicates something majestic or royal. During the Spanish colonization, it became popular among Filipino natives.

18. Bayani

Bayani means a very courageous person. In Filipino tradition, a Bayani gets respect like a patriotic hero.

19. Belmonte

There are several places in Portugal, and Spain named Belmonte. The families and successors of natives who live in Belmonte are the bearers of this surname.

20. Bonilla

The surname Bonilla derives from the word ‘Bueno’ which means ‘be sufficient.’ The name was popular among the Castilian people in Spain. Thus, it arrived in Spanish and then Filipino trend.

21. Briones

It came from the Celtic word ‘Brigh’ which indicates power. Briones was once a strong and powerful Celtic tribe. Therefore, if you want a meaningful, significant last name for your infant, you can pick Briones.

22. Bernal

The Spanish word Bernal means a healthy bear. No matter if it means a strong bear or human, there is no doubt that it is indeed a great family name.

23. Cabello

Cabello means hair. Cabello was the surname of tribes who had lush growth of hair. If your baby’s hair gives you a feel of Cabello, pick it.

24. Cabrera

Cabrera was the ancient village of Spain that used to have plenty of wild animals. The natives of those places had this common last name ‘cabrera.’

25. Calumpang

It is a topographic name. People near the region of the Filipino river in Batangas were Calumpang. Though people pronounce the word Calumpang and Kalumpang in the same manner, the application is different. Kalumpang is a feral almond tree.

26. Castro

A renowned Jewish last name Castro came from the word Castle. This surname came to the Filipino culture during the Spanish establishment.

27. Celestial

It means arrived from heaven or star. In the Tagalog language, it symbolizes magnificent or bright.

28. Chaves

Someone who makes keys for his livelihood is a Chaves. Though it is an occupational meaning, natives of the Philippines embraced this last name even without connection with this key-making profession.

29. Custodio

Portuguese originated from a name that means guardian. The word Custodi and the Filipino last name Custodio are born from the same base.

30. Carpio

The citizens of Carpio in Valladolid are Carpio. In the 16th century, Carpio natives went on the Philippines ‘ territory, making the name a global one.

31. Dalisay

According to the Tagalog language, Dalisay signifies pure. As having the beautiful meaning, many Filipino tribes welcomed this as their last name.

32. Datuimam

Datuimam is the last name of several religious leaders in the Philippine. It is the combination of the Marano word ‘Dato’ and the Arabic word ‘Imam.’ Both the word means ‘a head or a leader.’

33. Davin

Davin is the Gaelic meaning of the French word David. The origin of Davin came from the word Damh which means a stag or male deer.

34. Dimacuha

The word Di means not, and makhua means to attain. The last name Dimacuha came from the Tagalog word Dimacuha. It denotes something unattainable.

35. Diwa

Diwa is a hugely adored surname among Filipino Muslims. But by origin, it is an Urdu word that symbolizes a human spirit.

36. Elyas

The Latin word Elyas is the form that came from the Hebrew word Eliyahu. It is one common last name among Ethiopian and Filipinos.

37. Enriquez

The Spanish word Enrique means home ruler. In ancient times, the sons of Enrique used to call themselves Enriquez. Thus, the successors of Enriques’ embraced this name as their last name.

38. Esguerra

The origin of Esguerra is the Basque word ‘Ezkerra’ which indicates a left-handed person. Colombian diplomat Domingo Esguerra is the beholder of this surname.

39. Estrella

It originated from the word ‘stella’ that means star. But the name denotes a person who lived at ‘the house of the star.’

40. Espino

Espino means “hawthorn,” which is a thorny shrub. The first beholder of this last name was an inhabitant of such a place where this tree used to grow in high quantity.

41. Esquivel

It is derived from the Basque word ‘Eski’ which means lime tree and ‘gibel’ that denote behind. People who used to live behind a lime tree were Esquivel.

42. Facundo

The Latin word Facundus is the origin of the last name Facundo that means an eloquent person.

43. Fernandez

It means ‘son of Fernando.’ Though it is a renowned family name in Spain and the Philippine, by origin, it is a German word. Fernando means ‘a spirited traveler.’

44. Fulgencio

Fulgencio descended from the Latin word Fulgentus which means a bright or brilliant person.

45. Flor

Flor is a Latin word which means flower. The Latin language always dominated the Spanish language. Therefore, during Spanish settlement in Philippine territory, several Latin last names entered into Filipino culture.

46. Faustino

Faustinus is the original word from which the surname Faustino came. Filipinos used to address a Roman citizen as Faustinus.

47. Gallardo

The word ‘Gallardo,’ is the transformation of the original word Gali which means joyous and brave.

48. Galang

In Tagalog, Galang means to respect. Filipino martial artist, Rey Galang’s fame, did justice with his last name.

49. Galvez

It is an esteemed last name among the people who formerly lived in the mountainous borders. Galvez is the accumulation of two elements, the word Gundself and the suffix ez. Gundself means battle elf.

50. Halili

The name Halili has many origins. The Africans, Tanzanians, Kenyans embrace this as their last name. But according to Filipino language, Halili means adored or dearly loved.

51. Ilagan

An Anglo-Saxon family once lived in the area named Illide Green in the region of Cheshire. The word Illide derived from the Anglo-Norman French word ‘Island’.

52. Javier

Francis Xavier was a famous catholic saint. Through his followers, this name got immense popularity, and the word Javier turned into a famous last name.

53. Magboo

In Tagalog, Magboo means maker or producer. Once only the Filipinos took this as their last name, but now it became a widespread surname.

54. Manalo

Derived from Tamlog language, Malano denotes winning something big. Therefore, if you carry a desire that your newborn will conquer something significant in the future, you may take this as his/her last name.

55. Mendoza

In Basque origin, the word ‘mendi’ means hill or mountain, and the word Otz means cold. Accumulating both, the name Mendoza defines a snowy mountain.

56. Moreno

A person with dark hair and complexion is a Moreno. The ancient Moor Maurus has this type of physical structure. But how Moreno penetrated Spanish last name culture, that history is not clear yet.

57. Morin

In French, More means dusky or dark-skinned. Thus, the word Morin came. In Irish tradition, it came from surnames O’Moran. O’Moran was the son of Maurice.

58. Navarro

Navarre used to be a place in Navarre, Basque. It was a renowned kingdom in Spain. The people of Navarre are Navarro.

59. Nicolas

Nicholas symbolizes victory. It is a typical French surname, thus entered into Philippine culture.

60. Noriega

The last name Noriega has several bases. According to some, it came from the word ‘Noria,’ which means a water wheel. Others claim that the Arabic word ‘noria’ is the origin of Noriega, which means ‘to whine.’

61. Oliveros

The first Oliveros family name bearer used to live in Aragon, Spain. Their descendants made this a common last name.

62. Padilla

Spanish word ‘padilla’ means a frying pan. Padilla families are now in various places in Spain and the Philippine.

63. Pandoro

The word pan indicates ‘all,’ and Doro symbolizes ‘gift.’ Pandoro is the moderation of the name Pandora. In ancient Greece, Pandora was the first lady mortal specialist.

64. Pastor

From the Spanish and Portuguese perspective, Pastor means shepherd. But in the Latin language, Pastor means ‘to graze.’

65. Peralta

A common surname in various countries, Peralta, means high rock. Peralta is a village in multiple provinces like Aragon, Catalonia, and Navarre. In Italy and Philippine, Peralta is a highly established name.

66. Portillo

The Castilian word Portillo defines a small port. British politician Michael Portillo is the bearer of this name. He was also pro in Scottish and Spanish accents.

67. Posadas

There are several places named Posada. Posada means standstill or resting place. Natives’ of Posada are Posadas.

68. Quindo

It came from the Castilian word Quinto or Quinta, which means fifth. The history of Castile included the tenant of Quintas as Quinto.

69. Radiab

Radiab is a Marano surname derived from the word Radiyab and Arabic word Rajab. Rajab is the seventh month of the Arabic calendar, but Radiab is a famous surname among Filipino.

70. Radiomoda

Radiomoda means a youthful or juvenile king. A traditional title used to address ancient kings, and now their heir was the beholder of this family name.

71. Rimas

Though the title Rimas is feminine, both the male or female Filipino apply this as a last name. The origin of the word Rimas is from Arabic methodology. It means a white deer-like mammal.

72. Rioflorido

According to the Philippine people, Rio was a flower used to grow near the river bank’s soft mud. The whole Rioflorido indicates those flowers that blow beside the river bank. But there is no specific story about how it came into ‘name tradition’.

73. Roberto

The origin of Roberto is the German word Hrodeberht. The meaning of Hrode is recognition, power, or fame, and Berht means luminous.

74. Rozario

A noble surname that came from the word ‘Rose’ by origin. In ancient history, the rose was a famous family name. However, as time passed, the name turned into Rozario.

75. Ruiz

Ruiz originated from the word Rodrigo. Rodrigo arrived from the German word Hrodric which means renown and Ric means influence. Ruiz is the 21st common last name among Hispanics. Thus, it becomes too common among Filipinos.

76. Salazar

Salazar came from the Castilian word sala that means hall and Basque word Zahar, which means old. The Salazar tribe was early Spanish dwellers who later settled in the Philippines.

77. Sauro

Sauro is a person with light brown hair. People used to call a horse Sauro. But as an evolution of name, some blonde people initiated to embrace this as their last name.

78. Soriano

Soriano people were the natives of Soria in Castile. Jewish tradition had a significant attachment to the place Soria.

79. Suarez

Suarez was the son of Suero. The successors of King Suero embraced this as their surname. Thus, as a historical belonging, this last name remains among Filipino. Suarez means blood.

80. Sumaya

Sumaya denotes a superior individual. By origin, it came from the Arabic language. This last name is prominent among Filipino Muslim communities.

81. Sumulong

It is derived from the Filipino language. According to Philippines’ methodology, Sumulong means ‘to grow.’ The famous revolutionary journalist of the twentieth century, Juan Sumulong, had this last name.

82. Tibayan

It is a Tagalog word. Tibayan means to fortify or to make stronger. In Philippine, the ancient superior arm forces used to have the Tibayan family name.

83. Timbol

Derived from Tagalog language, Timbol means floating. In the ancient Philippine, people near the river area used this as their surname. But now, it becomes a universal title for Filipinos.

84. Torres

Torres used to be a surname for people who lived near the tower. It came into the Filipino language from the United States and Spain and turned into a familiar name.

85. Tungpalan

Originating from Philippine, this last name is also popular among Hawaii. The word Tungpalan means ‘blessings of god.’

86. Ugalde

The basque word Uhalde symbolizes a beach or a riverbank. With time the word Uhalde changed into Ugalde. Ugalde was a prominent surname among the natives of the beach or a riverbank.

87. Urrutia

Urrutia means isolated, distant, or far away. Urrutia was a family name in Zumarraga.

88. Valencia

Before Filipinos started to use this as their last name, it belonged to Spanish people. The Spanish word Valencia means courage.

89. Vargas

There was a place named Vargas in the province, Santander. Vargas was the plural of the word Varga that means a thatched hut.

90. Velasco

The inhabitants of places named Velasco in Soria and Logrono use this as their family or tribe name. But the renowned Filipino last name Velasco came from Belasco’s word where Bel means raven bird and ‘sco’ is only a suffix.

91. Veluz

The surname Veluz came into Filipino casts from Spanish tradition. Veluz means ‘visible brightness’.

92. Villamor

Villamor came from the Galician name Davilla. Davilla indicates a person who went to a town. This name is loosely based on the word villa.

93. Villasis

Filipino last name Villasis obtained from the word Villa. Villa means a big cottage or a town.

94. Wagan

The original form of Wagan was wagen, the carriage that carries persons or goods. It is an Old Dutch word. Wagan is an occupational name. People who used to drive that wagen was a wagan.

95. Yanga

Yanga is a South African origin name that means ‘May Almighty bless you.’

96. Yasis

It is derived from the Arab word ‘Yasira’ that symbolizes the meaning ‘to become affluent’ or denotes a person who makes things easier. It also arrived from the Hebrew word ‘Yasse’ which signifies a just person.

97. Zabala

In Arab Zabal means great or huge. In Arab tradition, there is a mountain named Zabal E Rahmat or tremendous blessings. Thus, from the Muslim Filipinos, this name came in Philippine culture and formed as Zabala, a renowned last name.

98. Zamora

Zamora means wild olive. The inhabitants of Zamora in North West Spain hoard this surname as their own. This place was found in the 12th century.

99. Zacarias

This surname came from biblical history. Zacarias came from the name Jacob which was a nobleman or prophet in Hebrew methodology.

100. Zayas

Zayas was a noble family in Castilian. They used to live in a place named Zaya. All the inhabitants of Zaya were Zayas. The word Zayas came from the Basque word Zai that means protector or guard.

It is interesting how colonization affects a custom, tradition, even naming pattern. Whenever you come across Filipino names, you will get a fascinating glimpse of the country’s history, geography, and culture. And the most surprising thing is how Spanish and Arabic traditions entered into Filipino culture, and now the mixture of them became Philippine’s own.