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History of the Philippines
 
 

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 from here.

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 established.

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 Estrada's successor.

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.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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