The Philippines has an interesting history.
Here are the highlights of the country’s history from the early settlers up to the present time.
Banaue Rice Terraces Constructed by the Igorots
Callao Man (Homo luzonensis)in Callao Cave,
Tabon Man (Homo sapiens) in Tabon Caves in Quezon,
Negritos start to settle.
Arrival of Austronesians from Taiwan in
Existence of jade culture, the time when tools and ornaments are made of jade, otherwise known as nephrite.
Beginning of mining in the Philippines.
The beginning of the domestication and husbandry of carabaos (water buffaloes).
Formation of barangay, smallest political unit in the country. Every barangay is headed by a Datu and answerable to Lakan and Rajah.
The development of inter-island and international trade.
The birth of Kawi Script, a script primarily found in Java and widely used in Maritime Southeast Asia.
A Painting of Pre-Colonial Filipino-Chinese Trade | Image Source
Creation of Laguna copperplate inscription, the earliest known calendar-dated Philippine document.
Earliest date of Chinese contact with the Philippines. Merchants from Ma-i (thought to be either Bay,
or Mait, Mindoro in modern times) brought their wares to Guangzhou and Quanzhou.
Buddhism, Hinduism, and Animism become the religion of most Filipinos.
Establishment of trade zones in
by people from Central Vietnam called Orang Dampuan.
Ivatans built mountain fortress-cities called Idjangs in
Arrival of Malay immigrants in Palawan.
Karim Al Makhdum, the first Arabian trader in the Philippines, introduced and established Islam.
The eruption of Mount Pinatubo. The eruptions were roughly the same size as those of 1991.
Intramuros Built During the Spanish Colonization | Image Source
Ferdinand Magellan landed in Homonhon in the Archipelago de San Lazaro with three small ships named the Concepcion, Trinidad, and Victoria.
Blood compact between Magellan and Rajah Kulambo of Limasawa.
The first Catholic mass on Philippine soil is celebrated and officiated by Father Pedro de Valderrama.
Magellan landed in
and met Rajah Humabon.
First Catholic mass in
is celebrated. Baptism into Catholic church of Rajah Humabon and his wife.
Battle of Mactan. The Spaniards were defeated and Magellan was killed by Lapu-Lapu and his men.
Spain’s fifth expedition headed by Ruy López de Villalobos reached the Philippines. Villalobos bestowed the name Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip Asturias, the crown prince of Spain and later became King Philip II of Spain.
Arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi in
Legazpi returned to
and established a settlement.
became the first Spanish province in the Philippines with Legazpi as governor and captain general of the territory.
The Spanish Colonial Government was established by Legazpi in
. It was proclaimed the capital of the colony.
Establishment of the Diocese of Manila.
Establishment of Diocese of
Establishment of Colegio de Santa Potenciana, the first school for girls in the Philippines.
Beginning of Galleon trade between
and Acapulco, Mexico.
Formal opening of Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario (now known as University of Santo Tomas).
Establishment of Colegio de Niños Huerfanos de San Juan de Letran (now known as Colegio de San Juan de Letran).
Tomas Pinpin published Sucesos Felices, the first newsletter in the country.
Establishment of Universidad de San Felipe de Austria, first public university in the Philippines.
The beginning of the Dagohoy Rebellion, the longest in Philippine history.
The so-called Rape of Manila when British forces looted and plundered many establishments in Manila.
Great Britain conquered the Spanish colonies of
as part of the Seven Years’ War.
Start of British occupation.
Signing of Treaty of Paris returning
Birth of Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar, the greatest Tagalog poet.
Gov. Gen. Fernandez de Folgueras established Del Superior Govierno, Philippines’ first newspaper. It lasted for six months only.
is opened to the world market.
The Chamber of Commerce was formed.
Francisco Balagtas published Florante at Laura.
Miguel Sanchez established La Esperanza, the country’s first daily newspaper. It lasted three years.
Eruption of Mount Hibok-Hibok.
Establishment of Ateneo Municipal.
Foundation of the first Masonic lodge in the country.
Birth of Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero. Now a regular holiday in the Philippines.
Birth of Andres Bonifacio, founder of the Katipunan. Now a regular holiday in the Philippines.
Birth of Apolinario Mabini, the Brains of the Revolution.
Establishment of the first museum in the Philippines.
The Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of the University of Santo Tomas is established as the first school of Medicine and Pharmacy in the Philippines.
Jose Rizal published his Noli Me Tangere, a novel describing the inequities of the Spanish Catholic friars and government.
Publishing of El Filibusterismo, sequel of Noli Me Tangere.
Jose Rizal forms La Liga Filipina only to be arrested 4 days later for establishing it.
Andres Bonifacio forms the Katipunan, a Philippine revolutionary society.
Jose Rizal’s Execution | Image Source
The beginning of the revolution against the Spanish government. Headed by Andres Bonifacio, the Katipuneros tore up their cedulas (community tax certificates) in defiance of their allegiance to Spain. This event is referred to as the Cry of Pugad Lawin (originally Cry of Balintawak).
Emilio Aguinaldo formed a new group of Katipunan.
Filipino forces headed by Emilio Aguinaldo defeat the Spaniards in a battle in Kawit,
Rizal was executed in Bagumbayan (now known as
Rizal Park or Luneta Park
) for the crime of rebellion. Now a regular holiday in the country.
Creation of revolutionary government by the Katipuan. Aguinaldo was elected as president in the first election in the country’s electoral history.
Bonifacio, along with his brothers Procopio and Ciriaco, is arrested by Katipuneros on orders of Aguinaldo for the crimes of sedition and treason.
Execution of Bonifacio and brother Procopio.
Establishment of a Philippine Republican government by Aguinaldo.
Signing of Pact of Biak-na-Bato, a truce between Filipinos under Aguinaldo and Spaniards under Gov. Primo de Rivera to end the Philippine Revolution.
Silliman University, the First American University in the Philippines | Image Source
The civil government established the Official Gazette, public journal and main publication of the Philippine Government.
The US declares war on Spain.
Proclamation of a dictatorial government by Aguinaldo who issued two decrees showing trust and reliance in US protection.
Rizal was executed in Bagumbayan (now known as Rizal Park or Luneta Park) for the crime of rebellion. Now a regular holiday in the country.
First unfurling of the Philippine flag when Filipino revolutionaries defeat the Spanish forces in a battle in Cavite.
Filipino revolutionaries headed by Aguinaldo declared Philippine Independence from Spain in Kawit, Cavite. Now a regular holiday in the country.
Arrival of US reinforcements and troops.
The US took
when Spanish surrendered.
Thomas Cowan founded The Manila Times, the oldest running newspaper in the Philippines.
Establishment of Academia Militar, the country’s first military training school. It lasted for less than a year.
Signing of the Treaty of Paris between Spain and the US. Article III states the cession of the Philippines to the US by Spain and payment of 20 million dollars to Spain by the US.
Aguinaldo signs the Malolos Constitution, the constitution of the First Philippine Republic.
Inauguration of the Malolos Republic (First Republic) at Barasoain Church in Malolos,
. The Malolos Republic is Asia’s first republic with Aguinaldo as the first President of the Philippines.
Gregorio del Pilar killed in the Battle of Tirad Pass, a battle between Filipino and American forces.
Carson Taylor publishes the first issue of Manila Bulletin, the country’s oldest continuously existing newspaper.
Established on Colegio de San Beda (San Beda University).
Establishment of Silliman University, the first American university in the Philippines.
Americans proclaimed the end of war between the Philippines and America but fighting continues.
Establishment of Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan, the oldest and largest open prison in the Philippines.
Establishment of Culion Leper Colony in Palawan.
Establishment of St. Scholastica’s College.
Establishment of Centro Escolar de Señoritas (now Centro Escolar University).
Establishment of University of the Philippines in
Establishment of De La Salle University-Manila.
Introduction of the first Filipino movie in the Philippines. It’s a silent movie about Jose Rizal.
Release of the first film to be produced locally, Dalagang Bukid, a silent film by Jose Nepumoceno.
Manuel L. Quezon established the Philippines Herald, the first pro-Filipino nationalist newspaper.
George Lucas Adamson founded Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry (now Adamson University).
One of the largest pearls in the world was discovered in Palawan.
Signing of the Philippine Constitution.
The first Philippine Presidential elections; Manuel Quezon elected as president.
Inauguration of the Philippine Commonwealth.
Creation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Establishment of Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
Tagalog became the basis of the country’s national language per recommendation of the Institute of the National Language.
Establishment of Girl Scouts of the Philippines.
World War II
General MacArthur Returns to the Philippines | Image Source
Maiden flight of Philippine Airlines.
Beginning of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Japanese troops reached
The Philippines became a member of the United Nations.
Inauguration of the puppet government with Jose P. Laurel as president.
End of the battle of Manila. The Japanese surrendered to the joint forces of the US and Philippines.
Gen. MacArthur announced the liberation of the Philippines.
Japan accepted defeat.
Inauguration of Manuel Roxas as President of the 3rd Republic of the Philippines | Image Source
The US recognized the independence of the Republic of the Philippines.
Manuel Roxas became the first president of the Third Republic.
Pres. Quirino declared Quezon City as the capital of the Philippines.
Establishment of the Central Bank of the Philippines.
Declaration of Fort Santiago as a National Shrine.
Pres. Diosdado Macapagal officially changed the commemoration of the Philippine Independence Day from July 4 to June 12.
Gemma Cruz was crowned Miss International 1964, the first Filipino to win the title.
Ferdinand Marcos Regime
People Power Revolution at the End of Marcos Regime | Image Source
Election of Ferdinand Marcos as president of the Philippines.
Gloria Diaz was crowned Miss Universe 1969, the first Filipino to win the title.
Inauguration of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
First papal visit of Pope Paul VI.
President Marcos announced that he placed the country under Martial Law.
Establishment of the Philippine News Agency, the official news agency of the government.
Martial Law lifted.
First papal visit of Pope John Paul II.
Opening of the Manila LRT Line 1, the first rail line in Southeast Asia.
EDSA I Revolution, Pres. Marcos was ousted and Corazon Aquino became president.
Filipinos During the Covid-19 Pandemic | Image Source
Canonization of San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint.
MV Doña Paz and MT Vector collided and sank at Tablas Strait. Considered the deadliest maritime disaster in peacetime world history, the death toll reached 4,386.
Closure of Subic Bay Naval Base ending the US military presence in the country.
The country made its first connection to the internet.
Pope John Paul II visited the Philippines and presided over the country’s first World Youth Day in Manila.
Centennial celebration of the Philippine Independence.
EDSA II Revolution ousted Pres. Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo became president.
Jemaah Islamiyah-linked Abu Sayyaf bombed SuperFerry 14, killing 116. It is considered the deadliest terrorist attack in Philippine history.
Maguindanao Massacre, considered the deadliest attack against journalists in world history.
Canonization of Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipino saint.
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit
and caused 222 deaths. It is considered the country’s deadliest earthquake since 1990.
Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) made landfall in Visayas causing at least 6,300 death tolls. It is considered one of the strongest tropical cyclones to hit the country and the deadliest typhoon on record.
Papal visit of Pope Francis. A special mass was held at the
on the 17th.
Mamasapano Clash, an encounter between police forces and the MILF to capture international terrorist Marwan. The clash resulted in 74 deaths including 44 PNP-Special Action Forces (SAF).
The Permanent Court of Arbitration rules in favor of the Philippines against China over territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
911 emergency number and 8888 civil service complaint hotline were launched.
Janelle Frayna became the Philippines’ first female chess grandmaster during the World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The controversial burial of Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani
President Duterte declared a 60-day martial law in Mindanao following the encounters between government forces and the Maute group in Marawi City.
President Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi City, with more than a thousand reportedly killed in the battle.
Island of Luzon placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine in response to COVID-19) pandemic.
READ MORE: An Introduction To The Philippines