It was believed that the first inhabitants of the
Philippines are the Negritos or Aeta that sometime
30,000 years ago, they migrated from Borneo, Sumatra,
and Malaya. Negritos or Aeta came here in the
Philippines over a land bridge from the Asian mainland.
Then the Malayans who belonged to a primitive epoch of
Malayan culture followed in successive waves. These
Malayan people still exists here in the Philippines.
They are the Igorot tribes which are found Luzon.
In the 14th century, Arab traders from Malay and Borneo
led by Makdum arrived in the Sulu archipelago and
establish a powerful Islamic influence. The Arabs
extended their influence to Luzon. The influence was so
powerful that it reigns over the next hundred years.
In 1521, A Purtugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan
discovered Philippines. Ferdinand Magellan is the first
European to visit the Philippines. He claimed the
Philippine archipelago for Spain. He spread Christianity
here in the country and because of these Philippines is
the only Asian nation that Christian majority. In 1543,
Ruy Lopez de Villalobos followed and named the
archipelago after Philip II of Spain.
The Spanish Government was only establish when Miguel
López de Legaspi arrived in 1564 and Spanish occupation
began. Miguel López de Legaspi established the first
Spanish settlement in Cebu. In 1571, López de Legaspi
secured the Philippines by establishing the Spanish City
in Manila. Manila was once a Moro Town where López de
Legaspi conquered a year ago.
In 1574, Limahong, a Chinese Pirate, attacked and wants
to take over the Spanish City Manila. He was
unsuccessful in his quest to conquer Manila. Chinese
trade and labor is very important in the development the
Spanish colony. Before the Spanish discovery of the
Philippine archipelago, Chinese already traded with
Filipinos for centuries. But even though the Chinese
trade is very important to the Spanish government, they
are feared and heated because they are growing in
numbers. That is why in 1603, thousands of Chinese where
murdered by Spaniards.
In the 16th Century, Manila has become the leading
commercial center in East Indies. Because Philippines is
rich in natural resources, Spain is getting its supply
In the 19th century, Filipinos uprise against the
Spanish regime because of the injustices, bigotry, and
economic oppressions. Many Filipino heroes like Jose
Rizal, Emilio Aguinaldo, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio
Jacinto, Gregorio del Pilar and many more led the
campaign to overthrow the Spanish regime. In 1896, the
revolution began in Cavite after the execution of Jose
Rizal. The Spanish government where overthrown with the
help of the Americans. The Americans control Philippines
in 1898 after America bought the Philippines from Spain
for US$20 million.
In February 1899, A new revolution began against the
Americans. General Emilio Aguinaldo led the the new
revolution. This broke out the Philippine-American war.
Filipinos were defeated and turned into guerilla
warfare. In 1935, A constitution was made giving
Philippine power of internal self-governance. Manuel
Quezon was elected as President. After the inauguration
of President Manuel Quezon in November 15, 1935, the
Commonwealth of the Philippines was formally
In December 8 1941, Japanese forces attacked without
warning. Japan invaded Philippines and occupied Manila
on January 2, 1942. Filipinos fought alongside with the
Americans. Japan was defeated in 1945. In July 4, 1946,
Independence was finally granted to the Philippines
making it the country the Asia's first real democracy.
Presidents and Vice Presidents come in and out from 1946
to 1965 until Ferdinand Marcos was elected as the
Philippine President in 1965. Ferdinand Marcos seated
for two consecutive terms as President until he
instituted martial law in September 1972. He suppressed
all political opposition including Benigno Aquino. After
the assassination of his political rival Benigno Aquino
at the Manila Airport in 1983, the outraged and powerful
revolutionary organizations was formed. In February 25,
1986, The dictatorship of President Marcos ended when
Filipino people revolted against him led by Corazon
Aquino. This was the the famous "People Power
Revolution", the bloodless revolution. Ferdinand Marcos
with his family flew to Hawaii.
Cory Aquino assumes the Presidency after Marcos fled the
country. Aquino's government faced problems like coup
attempts, significant economic difficulties and
political insurgencies. 1992, Fidel Ramos, former Chief
of Staff of Cory Aquino, became President of the
Country. His political program are successful including
the singing of peace compact to the MNLF. In 1998,
Joseph Estrada, former Vice President of Fidel Ramos,
runs for Presidency and won. President Estrada was
overthrown in 2001 because of the graft charges against
him. In this event, "People Power II" was born calling
for Estrada to resign. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,
Estrada's Vice President, was sworn as President in as
In May 2004, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo seeks re-election
and won. But the people also called for President
Arroyo's resignation because of the "Hello Garci"
controversy. Until now, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is still
the President of the Philippines.