Filipinos have various naming customs. They most commonly blend the older Spanish system and Anglo-American conventions, where there is a distinction between the "Christian name" and the "surname". The construct containing several middle names is common to all systems, but having multiple "first" names and only one middle and last name is a result of the blending of American and Spanish naming customs.
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Today, Filipinos usually abide by the Spanish system of using both paternal and maternal surnames, with the latter used as the "middle name". The particle y is used only for legal purposes and is otherwise dropped. The middle name in its natural sense would have been the second name if the person had one, but is never counted as an individual's given name.