Inhabitants of the Philippines began to adopt surnames during the 16th century, at the time of Spanish colonisation. Filipinos began using their native names along with the Christian names that were assigned by the Catholic Church, and subsequently, the government standardised their naming practices. This post has 100 Filipino last names for those who are searching for some to familiarise themselves with their meanings.
100 Filipino Surnames or Family Names With Meanings
Filipino surnames may be from Spanish, Chinese or Arabic origins or may often be combinations of American and Spanish customs or even be derived from native Filipino languages. Here is a list of 100 Filipino last names with varied origins and meanings:
Derived from the Hebrew language and short for ‘Abraham’, it commonly refers to ‘a father of many’.
The surname Abad is of Spanish origin; it means ‘everlasting’ or ‘eternal’.
A very common last name in the Philippines, Abadiano is a village in Biscay, Spain.
One of the common Filipino last names, Abalos is a habitational name which refers to a place in the Soria province.
A famous Biblical name, Abel means ‘breath’ or ‘vanity’.
Derived from the word Adlaw, Adlawan means ‘Sun’. It originates from Cebuano where it refers to ‘daytime’.
This surname is derived from the Ilocano word agannad, which means ‘to take care’.
One of the traditional Filipino last names, Agbayani means ‘to be heroic’ in the Ilocano language. Its traditional usage is in Filipino, Tagalog, and Ilocano.
Of Latin origin, this surname was borne by the first President of the Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo.
Referring to the municipality of Alacantara in Spain, this transliteration of the Arabic word al-qantara means ‘the bridge’.
A common surname in the Philippines, Almazan is a habitational name referring to a municipality in Spain. It comes from the Arabic term al-makhzan, i.e., ‘the stronghold’.
Commonly used in Maranao and Filipino, Alonto in Maranao means ‘extraordinary’.
Originated from Filipino and Cebuano, Ambong refers to a type of hut where food grains are stored.
A personal name of Spanish origin, it was the name of the 17th century Saint Andrea Avellino in Italy.
Derived from Tagalog, this Filipino surname means ‘to guard’.
Referring to ‘hill’ or ‘mound’, this toponymic name refers to a person living in the Bacolod city of the Philippines.
Originating from the Cebuano word bakunawa, this name is a reference to a kind of serpent or dragon in Visayan mythology.
It is a Filipinised version of the Sanskrit words bhagat, meaning ‘devotee’, and simha, meaning ‘lion’.
This Filipino surname is honorific of the prince Rajah Baguinda Ali, the ruler of the Sulu Archipelago.
Referring to persons hailing from the Balaguer city of Spain, this last name has Arabic origins.
Maranao for ‘philosopher’, this surname is a title of nobility.
Meaning ‘bag’ or ‘pouch’, this surname originates from the Hiligaynon word baluyot.
This last name is Hiligonyan for ‘gleam’, ‘daybreak’ or ‘reflection’.
Maranao for ‘to rise’, this surname also means ‘a plot of land’.
One of the common Philippines surnames, Baquiran is derived from the Ilocano word bakiran, which means ‘forest’.
Derived from Maranao, this surname means ‘tea/coffee pot’ or a ‘green tube skirt’.
Derived from two names, Bato, meaning ‘stone’ and Bakal, meaning ‘iron/steel’, this is a common Tagalog and Filipino surname.
A Spanish word for Baptist, this surname refers to Saint John the Baptist.
Derived from the Maranao term Bayabaw, Bayabao is a habitational surname that refers to a traditional subdivision in the eastern regions of Lanao.
Derived from the Tagalog word bulalakaw, it means ‘shooting star’ or ‘meteor’.
The first name brought to England by the Norman Conquest, this Cebuano surname means ‘a moon’ or ‘a month’.
Derived from the Cebuano term bahog, meaning ‘feed’ or ‘slop’, this surname was originally used in 19th century Spain.
Cagadas was the last name given to native Filipinos during conversion to Christianity.
This surname is derived from the Cebuano word kalinaw, which means ‘clarity’ or ‘peace’.
Referring to persons from the Batangas river in the Philippines, this Tagalog derivative refers to the ‘wild almond tree’ as well.
Derived from the Maranao word kamama, this surname means ‘manly’ or ‘masculine’.
One of the popular Philippines surnames, Canasa is derived from the Latin word Cana, which means ‘cave’ or ‘reed’.
Derived from the Tagalog nickname ‘Dingal’, this last name refers to ‘very handsome’ or ‘very beautiful’.
A derivative of the Tagalog word katakutan, this surname means ‘fear’.
Derived from the Tagalog word tapang, this Filipino surname refers to ‘courage’.
Derived from the Tagalog word yabyab, it means ‘pounding of rice grains’.
This surname is of Spanish origin and means ‘prison cell’.
A name borne by the famous labour leader Cesar Chavez is a popular surname among the Spanish and Portuguese as well.
This surname is derived from the Spanish word cruz, meaning ‘cross’ and is spelt as krus in Tagalog.
It is derived from the Hokkien word kui sun, which means ‘precious grandchild’.
Dagohoy, meaning ‘talisman’, is derived from the Cebuano phrase dagon sa huyuhoy.
A popular name originating from Tagalog and Cebuano, Dalisay means ‘chaste’ or ‘pure’.
Derived from the Tagalog word dasal, this last name means ‘a place of prayer’.
Used as a title by religious leaders, Datuimam is derived from the Maranao dato, and the Arabic imam, which mean ‘leader’.
A character in the Maranao epic poem Darangen, this name means ‘two-headed lizard’.
A combination of two Maranao words dato and molok, which means ‘leader’ and ‘own’ respectively, this surname is used as a noble title.
One of the unique Filipino family names, Dayanghirang is a combination of two Tagalog words dayang, meaning ‘lady’, and hirang, meaning ‘selection’.
53. Del Rosario
Of Spanish origin, Del Rosario means ‘of the rosary’.
Derived from Tagalog, this surname refers to ‘splendour’, ‘beauty’ or ‘maiden’.
Coming from the Tagalog words di, meaning ‘no’, and maano, meaning ‘have something happen’, this name means ‘not touched’.
Coming from Tagalog, this surname means ‘cannot be expressed’.
Derived from the two Tagalog words di, meaning ‘not’, and basa, meaning ‘wet’. It means ‘dry’.
Of Tagalog origin, this surname means ‘unobtainable.
Derived from the Tagalog words di and giba, i.e. ‘not’ and ‘demolish’, respectively, this surname means ‘indestructible’.
A combination of the Tagalog words di, meaning ‘not’ or ‘no’, and malanta, meaning ‘fade’ or ‘wither’. The surname means ‘cannot be withered’.
Tagalong for ‘firm’ or ‘stubborn’, this surname is a combination of the words di and liwat. It means ‘to transfer’.
A combination of the Tagalog words di and pili, which mean ‘not’ and ‘contorted’, respectively, this traditional surname means ‘cannot be dissuaded’.
Referring to ancestral spirits that guide mortals, this surname is a Visayan word for ‘guardian’.
It is derived from the French word du tertre, meaning ‘of the hillock’.
It is derived from the Spanish word ejército, meaning ‘army’.
A common surname among the Filipino, Ethiopian and Malay population, it is derived from Elias, meaning ‘My God is Yahweh’.
A word of Tagalog origin and a variant of Fabro, this last name means ‘lucky’.
A popular and common Filipino surname, Fernandez, is Spanish for ‘son of Fernando’.
Derived from the Sanskrit word garuda, this surname refers to a mythical bird in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mythology.
This surname is derived from the Tagalog word ginto, meaning ‘gold’.
Hermedilla was the name that was given to those hailing from the Batangas province of Southern Tagalog at the time of the Spanish rule.
Halili is derived from Tagalog, and it refers to ‘successor’.
Often associated with the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro Labrador, this name means ‘work’ or ‘labour’.
This habitational name refers to the people originating from Lardizabal Palace.
Derived from the Sanskrit word Laksamana, it means ‘admiral’ or ‘officer’.
This surname is derived from the Tagalog word luwalhati, which means ‘glory’.
It is Cebuano or Hiligaynon for ‘comfort’ or ‘pleasant’.
Magasaysay is Cebuano for ‘to relate’ or ‘to narrate’.
It is the name of a demigoddess and a mythical mermaid in the Philippines.
This traditional Filipino surname is often used by those residing in Mnaug, Visayas or Mindanao, Philippines.
Originating from Maranao, this Filipino surname means ‘of the Sultan’, in terms of the Sultan in the Maranao region.
Derived from the Spanish word oracion, this last name means ‘prayer’ or ‘sentence’.
It refers to ‘humblest’ and is derived from the word pabel, meaning ‘humble’.
A name borne by the famous world boxing champion, Manny Pacquiao, it means ‘wholesale’ in Cebuano.
Radiomoda was traditionally used as a title by Sultans. It means ‘young king’.
It is derived from the Spanish word reyes, which refers to ‘kings’ or ‘royals’.
A name referring to the Rajah of Maynila, this surname is a Sanskrit derivative of sarira, which means ‘body’.
It is derived from the Spanish word that means ‘saints’.
Used widely in Filipino, Spanish, and Portuguese regions, this popular Christian name means ‘saviour’.
Commonly used in the Philippines and Latin America, Suarez means ‘son of Suero’.
A habitational name that refers to persons from the sea in the Philippines.
Sumulong comes from Tagalog origins, and it refers to ‘to advance’ or ‘to progress’.
Derived from the Tagalog word tanglaw, this surname means ‘illumination’ or ‘light’.
This surname is derived from a Tagalog word which means ‘three kings’. It refers to the biblical Magi.
It comes from the Tagalog word for ‘to strengthen’ or ‘to secure’.
It is derived from the name of a town in Italy.
This surname means ‘trinity’ and refers to the Holy Trinity in Spanish.
A mix of Spanish and Japanese words val, i.e. ‘valley’, mor, i.e. ‘forest’ and ta, i.e. ‘field’, this surname means ‘valley of the forest field’.
The name Valle means ‘valley’ and it is a habitational surname used by people living in a valley.
A derivative of the medieval name Belasco, this habitational name is used by persons of Velasco in Logrono, Soira, and Seville.
Filipino surnames originate from numerous traditional languages and regions and are a depiction of the rich culture and geography of the country. Used over centuries, across different parts of the world, these fascinating surnames have native roots and meanings.