A Brief History of Philippines
- Officially known as the Republic of the Philippines
- It is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea. Its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and its tropical climate make the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons but have also endowed the country with natural resources and made it one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world.
- With an estimated population of about 94 million people, the Philippinesis the world’s 12th most populous country. An additional 11 million Filipinos live overseas.
- The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 marked the beginning of an era of Spanish interest and eventual dominance. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in the Philippines in 1565 and consolidated Spanish rule in the islands, which remained a colony of Spain for more than 300 years.
- In 1898, the Spanish-American War began in Cuba and reached the Philippines. Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence from Spain in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898 and the First Philippine Republic was established the following year. Meanwhile, the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States for S$20 million in the 1898 Treaty of Paris. As it became increasingly clear the United States would not recognize the First Philippine Republic, the Philippine–American War broke out. It ended with American control over the islands which were then administered as an insular area.
- In 1935, the Philippineswere granted Commonwealth status. Plans for independence over the next decade were interrupted by World War II when the Japanese Empire invaded and established a puppet government. Many atrocities and war crimes were committed during the war such as the Bataan Death March and the Manila massacre that culminated during the Battle of Manila. Allied troops defeated the Japanese in 1945. By the end of the war it is estimated over a million Filipinos had died. On July 4, 1946, thePhilippines attained its independence.