Philippines Old History

By | January 2, 2023

Philippines is an independent nation in Southeastern Asia. With the capital city of Manila, Philippines 2020 population is estimated at 109,581,089 according to countryaah. The oldest finds of human settlements in the Philippines come from the island of Palawan where over 30,000 years of stone tools have been found. At the beginning of the 11th century, Malay people from the Malacca peninsula and Indonesia came to the islands.

  • Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Philippines, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

Islam was brought to the Philippines via the Indonesian Islands, but the new religion barely gained hold until the Spaniards arrived and began to preach Catholicism. The first Spanish fleet in these waters was led by Fernando Magellan, who arrived in Cebu in Visayas in 1521 during history’s first world tour. Spain sent a fleet to conquer the islands and in the early 1570s the area became Spanish. It was named after King Philip II of Spain. For Philippines political system, please check carswers.

Catholic doctrine was forced upon the people, sometimes by force, and after a hundred years, virtually all residents were Christians, with the exception of a group of Muslims on the islands of Mindanao and Sulu in the south who never fully subordinated themselves to the colonial power.

The Philippines was ruled from Mexico, which was then a Spanish colony. Oriental silk, porcelain and spices were shipped from Manila to Acapulco in Mexico and from there to Spain. Most Spaniards lived in the capital Manila, where they were mainly engaged in trade. Only the priests, who served as tax collectors, lived in the countryside.

Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, the land was jointly owned, but under the Spanish rule the uneven ownership conditions of the day were founded. A new local upper class of plantation owners, who got their land from the Catholic Church or the Spanish throne, emerged during the 19th century. On large plantations sugar, coconuts, hemp and tobacco were grown. In the second half of the 19th century, thousands of Chinese came to the Philippines, where many gained an important role in trade. People of Sino-Filipino or Spanish-Filipino origin came to own large land areas.

The upper class sent their children to universities in Manila and Spain and when they returned home they brought with them Spanish culture and liberal political ideas. Resistance to colonialism emerged from this elite.

At the end of the 19th century, the United States claimed Cuba, which belonged to Spain. The Philippines was drawn into the power struggle between the United States and Spain as a Spanish colony. The United States helped equip an armed movement in the Philippines that fought for independence from Spain. Initially, the rebels had success in the fighting but eventually the Spanish army took over. At the same time, the US Navy fought in the Gulf of Manila, primarily to prevent the Spaniards from directing their forces to Cuba.

In 1898, a war broke out between the United States and Spain and in June of that year the leader of the rebels, Emilio Aguinaldo, proclaimed the Republic of the Philippines. At the post-war peace talks, the Declaration of Independence was ignored and Spain handed the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States for a sum of $ 20 million. After an intense debate in the United States between colonialists and anti-colonialists, President William McKinley, who felt that the Philippines was not ripe for self-government, was the duty of the United States to take over the colony. Americans used brutal methods to suppress the Philippine independence movement.

The Americans introduced free education and health care. The Philippines developed into a large US market. Goods from the United States were allowed to be imported duty-free in the country, while the import of Philippine goods into the US market was restricted. No domestic industry of importance developed during this time and the country became even more dependent on agriculture.

The landowners’ oppression in the 1920s and 1930s created concern in the countryside. Peasant movements were formed to demand better conditions and a more even distribution of the soil.

In 1934, an agreement was signed with the United States that gave the Philippines internal autonomy as well as a promise of independence after ten years. But in 1941, the country was occupied by Japan. The Philippines was one of the few countries in Asia that offered Japanese resistance. Leading the opposition was the communist-dominated nationalist guerrilla, Hukbalahap, who also advanced hard against the domestic elite.

During the guerrilla war, which lasted throughout the occupation, over one million people lost their lives. In addition, large parts of Manila and other cities and villages were destroyed. In 1944, an army stepped up from the Allies’ side that the following year, together with the squat guerrillas, could liberate the country from the Japanese.



New peace deal with Muslim rebels

On December 8, the government signs the peace agreement with Milf. However, President Aquino points out that all important issues have not yet been resolved, including the issue of disarmament. There are also several smaller groups that are not covered by the settlement.


Several million homeless people after typhoons

Six larger and several smaller islands in central Philippines are paralyzed when typhoon Haiyan (in the Philippines called Yolanda) sweeps across the country with winds of up to 80 meters per second in the villages. The damage after the typhoon is long overlooked and the Philippine and international relief efforts are difficult to reach because roads and other infrastructure are in ruins. Millions of people have been affected by the disaster in various ways. Worst, the damage appears to be at Leyte with the provincial capital Tocloban. The island of Samar is also one of the hardest hit provinces. Several millions of people are reported to have lost their homes and the material damage to buildings and fields is enormous. President Aquino announces disaster states throughout the country. In retrospect, reports of how food and water shortages will lead to looting and unrest, among other things, firearms erupt between looters and police. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agency, about one-third of the country’s rice crops have been destroyed. Financial figures, which reflect the first three quarters of the year, show continued high growth of over 7 percent. Economists believe that growth is likely to remain at a high level. The government is planning major reconstruction programs and building homes and other buildings that have been destroyed, as well as roads and other infrastructure. In addition, Filipinos abroad send home more money than otherwise after natural disasters.


Over 100 dead after earthquake

An earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale hits the island of Bohol and the Cebu Province in the middle part of the country. At least about 100 people are killed.


Storms require about 10 deaths

The typhoon Usagi causes major damage in the northern part of the country. About 30 people are killed and at least 100,000 are forced to leave their homes.

New battles on Mindanao

Struggles break out between the government army and a faction of the MNLF near Zamboanga on Mindanao. At least 50 people are killed and in several villages civilian Filipinos are taken hostage by the rebels. President Aquino and several of the military’s top tier travel to Zamboanga. At the end of the month, the military says the hostage disaster in Zamboanga is over and that most of the MNLF rebels who have survived the fighting have given up or been captured.


Senior politicians in corruption scandal

A corruption scandal is brewing. Among those appointed are Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile of the Opposition United National Alliance (UNA). He and several other leading politicians are accused of using a development fund, PDAF, which had been set up by President Arroyo, to incur large sums.


Agreement with Saudi Arabia to strengthen guest workers’ rights

The Philippines and Saudi Arabia conclude an agreement aimed at protecting Filipino certain rights (they should be entitled to at least one day off per week and a minimum wage of $ 400 a month). About 60,000 Filipino women work as maids in Saudi Arabia.

Dispute with Taiwan

Tensions arise in contact with Taiwan after the Philippine Coast Guard shot to death a Taiwanese fisherman who they claim had entered Philippine waters.

Aquino’s success in the parliamentary elections

Mid-term elections are held in which new members of both provincial and municipal assemblies and both chambers of Congress are appointed. Violence in connection with the election campaign requires at least 50 lives. The elections are widely regarded as a kind of referendum on President Aquino’s reform program, which seeks to curb widespread corruption, put an end to armed conflicts and strengthen the country’s economy. Aquinos partiallians Team PNoy¬†gains a majority in both chambers of Parliament. Former President Joseph Estrada becomes new mayor of Manila. Imelda Marcos, widow of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is allowed to retain her seat in the House of Representatives and her daughter Imee to retain her post as governor of the province of Ilocos Norte. Gloria Arroyo also wins a new term in the House of Representatives. At the local level, the Ampatuan clan (see November 2009) has success, including wives elected to three murder-accused clan leaders as mayor. At the same time, Ismael Mangudadatu, whose wife was murdered at the massacre in 2009, is re-elected as governor of Maguindanao province.


The Preventive Drugs Act is delayed

March 19

The law on allowing contraception is appealed to the Supreme Court. This means that it cannot take effect as planned.


Philippine clan attacks city on Borneo

A Filipino clan attacks a village in Sabah, but it is quickly defeated by the Malaysian military. At least 70 people are killed. The Government of the Philippines indicates that it has nothing to do with the attack. The attackers belong to a Muslim clan who claim Sabah on the northeastern part of the island of Borneo and call themselves the Sultanate of the royal army of the Sultanate. In Manila, a demonstration will be held in early March, where participants express their hope for a peaceful solution and express concern about the approximately 800,000 Filipinos who live and work in Sabah.

Philippines Old History