Origin of Names of Philippine Provinces and Cities

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Abra - abrir, a Spanish term which means opening
Antipolo City - antipolo, a tree that used to abound in the area
Agusan - agusan, a Tagalog term referring to a spot where water flows
Aklan - from Akean River
Albay - albaybay, a Bicolano term meaning by the bay
Angeles City - Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda
Antique - hantic or large ants
Apayao - apayaw, a native word for negotiable river
Aurora - Maria Aurora Quezon, wife of former President Manuel Quezon
Babuyan Island - babuyan, which refers to a place where pigs are kept
Bacolod City - buklod, referring to a hilly terrain
Bago City - bago, a large tree in the area
Baguio City - bigjiw, an Igorot term for a moss
Balagtas, Bulacan - Francisco Balagtas
Balanga, Bataan - balanga, referring to a cooking pot
Baliuag, Bulacan - maliway, an adjective meaning tardy
Basilan - basilan, which means iron trail
Batanes - Ivatan, the natives of the area
Batangas - batang, or huge logs
Benguet - benget, a Nabaloy term meaning head scarf
Biliran -biliran, a native grass used for weaving mats
Bohol - bool, a village in Tagbilaran City
Bulacan - bulak or cotton
Bukidnon - bukidnon, referring to the people of the mountain
Butuan City - butuan, a sour fruit in the area
Cadiz City - named after Cadiz, Spain
Cagayan - carayan, an Ilocano word for river
Cagayan de Oro City - kalambaguhan, evolved from the word lambago, a type of tree
Calamba, Laguna - kalamba, a wide-mouth earthen jar
Calumpit, Bulacan - kalumpit, the name of trees, which used to abound in the area
Caloocan City - look, meaning interior
Camarines - camarine, a Spanish term for granary
Camuigin - kamagong, a tree of the ebony family
Capiz - kapis, a Visayan term for pearl shells
Caraga - caraga, or inhabitants of the area
Catanduanes - named after Catandungan river, along whose banks tando trees used to abound
Cavite - kawit or hook
Cebu - sugbu
Cotabato - kuta bato, or a stone fort
Dagupan City - nandaragupan, meaning where once stood a commercial center
Dapitan City - dapit, a Cebuano term meaning to invite
Davao City - daba-daba, a native term for mythical figures
Dumaguete City - managuit, a Cebuano term meaning to capture
EDSA - Epifanio delos Santos Avenue
Guimaras - himal-us, as local inhabitants called the place in the pre-Spanish period
Hagonoy, Bulacan - hagonoy, the name of a weed that used to abound in the area
Hermosa, Bataan - hermosa, a Spanish word for beautiful
Ifugao - pugo, which means hills
Ilocos - loco, a Malay term for lowland
Iloilo - ilong or nose
Isabela - Queen Isabela of Spain
Kalinga - kalinga, a native word for headhunters
Lanao - lanaw, a term referring to the people of the lake
Laguna - la laguna, meaning the lake
Laoag City - iluag, meaning clear or light
La Union - from the Spanish term union
Legazpi City - Miguel Lopez de Legazpi
Leyte - hiraite, the name of the place formerly known as Ete
Lucena City - named after the town of Lucena in Andalucia, Spain
Luzon - lu zung, a Chinese phrase meaning a far away land
Makati City - makati na, meaning the tide is ebbing
Maguindanao - danao, or flood
Malacanang Palace - may lakan diyan, meaning there lives a gentleman or the Spanish words mala cana (bad sugarcane)
Mandaluyong City - may daluyong, meaning where big waves roll
Manila - may nilad, a phrase referring to a spot where nilad grows.
Marinduque - Marina and Garduke, a legendary couple
Masbate - masa bati, which means mix and beat as in making bread
Mayon Volcano - magayon, a Bicolano term for beautiful
Meycauayan - may kawayan, which refers to a place where bamboos grow
Mindoro - mina de oro, or gold mine
Misamis - kuyamis, referring to sweet coconut
Mountain Province - mountain
Mount Makiling - Mariang Makiling, a legendary name
Mount Pinatubo - pinatubo, a term meaning left to grow
Muntinlupa City - monted de lupa, a vernacular phrase meaning hills
Naga City - naga, a Bicolano term for narra tree
Negros - negros, a Spanish term for black people
Norzagaray, Bulacan - Governor General Fernando Norzagaray
Nueva Vizcaya - a Spanish phrase meaning New Biscayne
Pagsanjan, Laguna - pinagsangahan, or where the river branched out
Palawan - palan yu, a Chinese phrase for beautiful harbor
Palayan City - palayan, or rice field
Pampanga - pampang, which means riverbank 
Pangasinan - asin, which means salt
Panay - pan hay, a Spanish word
Paranaque City - para aqui, a Spanish phrase meaning stop here
Pasay City - paso hay, a Spanish phrase meaning there is a pass
Pasig River - passi, probably evolved from the word mabagsik, meaning violent in force
Pateros - pato, meaning duck
Philippines - Philip II of Spain
Plaridel, Bulacan - Marcelo del Pilar
Pulilan, Bulacan - pulo ng ulan, meaning island of rain
Quezon City - Manuel L. Quezon
Quiapo, Manila - kiyapo, a cabbage-like weed
Quirino - Elpidio Quirino
Rizal - Jose Rizal
Romblon - lomlon or donblon
Samar - zamal 
Sarangani - sangir, the language spoken by inhabitants of Sarangani Island
Silliman University - Dr. Horace Brinsmade Silliman, a philanthropist from New York 
Siquijor - quipjod, a native term that means the tide is ebbing
Sorsogon - solsogon, a Bicolano term meaning to follow the river
Sultan Kudarat - Sultan Kudarat, a Muslim ruler in the 17th Century
Sulu - sug, meaning water current
Surigao - saliagao, a native term meaning to grab
Tarlac - tarlac, an Aeta word which refers to a weed
Tagaytay City - taga itay, two words which mean cut and father
Tawi-Tawi - jaui jaui, evolved from the Malay term jau that means far
Tuguegarao City - tuggui gari yaw, an Ibanag phrase meaning it used to be fire
Valenzuela City - Pio Valenzuela
Visayas - Bisayas, or the name of the people in the area
Zambales - zambals, or the name of the inhabitants in the area
Zamboanga -samboangan, evolved from the local term sabuan, which refers to a wooden pole.

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