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Philippines History Timeline

900 - 1400
  • (900) Indian Kingdom of Tondo established around Bay of Manila
  • (1000) Trade routes established in Sulu by people from Southern Annam (present day Vietnam)
  • (1200 - 1300) Migrants from Borneo spread into southern Philippines
  • (1240) Arab Tuan Masha'ika introduced Islam to Sulu
  • (1380) Muslim Arabs arrived at Sulu Archipelago, built a mosque in Jolo
  • (1450) Muslim Sultanate of Jolo established on islands between Borneo and Mindanao
  • (1475) Muslim sultanate of Maguindanao founded on Mindanao; Islam spread throughout the archipelago reaching as far as central Luzon.
1500s
  • (1521) Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan discovered Homonhon Island, named it "Arcigelago de San Lazaro"
  • (1521) Magellan reached the Philippines
  • (1521) Magellan reached Limasawa Island, met Rajah Kulambo, the ruler
  • (1521) Magellan and Kulambo entered into blood compact
  • (1521) First Philippine mass is held at Limasawa
  • (1521) Magellan sailed to Cebu Island, entered into blood compact with Chieftain Rajah Humabon
  • (1521) Magellan died in battle near Cebu
  • (1525 - 1536) Spain attempted sending three more expeditions to Philippines - all failed
  • (1543) Spanish expedition led by Ruy Lopez de Villalobos arrived; he named the islands the Philippines in honor of Philip II, son of King Charles I of Spain
  • (1565) Expedition led by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi arrived
  • (1565) Legaspi established first permanent Spanish settlement on Cebu, became first Spanish General-Governor
  • (1568) Portuguese attacked Cebu, blockaded port
  • (1571) Legaspi established Spanish Colonial Government in Manila; proclaimed it the capital of the colony
  • (1580) King Philip II of Spain became King of Portugal, ended Portuguese harassment of Philippines
  • (1580) Forced labor of all males aged 16 to 60 instituted by Spanish
  • (1583) Fire destroyed Manila
1600s - 1700s
  • (1600) Dutch attacked the Philippines during European war between Spain and the Netherlands.
  • (1603) In the Luzon Tragedy, over 30,000 Chinese merchants were killed, along with officials and civilians by Spanish chieftain
  • (1621 - 1683) Revolts and uprisings against religious customs and Spanish rule occurred throughout the Philippines
  • (1744) Dagohoy Revolt in Bohol lasted 85 years, provided independence from Spanish rule
  • (1754) Towns of Lipa, Sala, Tanauan, Talisay destroyed by eruption of Mt. Taal
  • (1762) During Europe's Seven Years War, British attacked and occupied Manila
  • (1762) British took control of Philippines; Darsonne Drake became Governor-General; colony opened to international trading
  • (1763) British occupation of Philippines ended when Treaty of Paris signed by England, Spain and France; Manila was returned to Spain

1800s

  • (1808) French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte installed brother Joseph as King of Spain
  • (1809) Spanish colonies, including Philippines made part of Spain, Filipinos given privileges of Spanish citizenship and representation in Parliament
  • (1812) Cadiz Constitution established
  • (1813) Cadiz Constitution implemented in Manila
  • (1813) In Battle of the Nations, French were defeated, Napoleonic forces driven out of Spain
  • (1814) Ferdinand VII, son of King Charles IV, became King of Spain
  • (1816) Spanish Parliament rejected Cadiz Constitution, Philippine representation abolished
  • (1830) Port of Manila opened
  • (1863) Earthquake left Manila in ruins
  • (1869) Suez Canal opened, steamship service established between Philippines and Europe
  • (1872) 200 Filipino soldiers staged mutiny in Cavite for secularization and nationalism
  • (1872) Three priests executed as alleged leaders of Cavite Conspiracy
  • (1890s) Insurrection against Spanish rule began
  • (1898) U.S. Navy destroyed Spanish fleet in Manila Bay during Spanish-American War
  • (1898) Spain and U.S. signed Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded Philippines to U.S. for payment of 20 million dollars
  • (1899) Hostilities flared between Filipino and U.S. forces
1900s
  • (1901) Filipino insurgent leader, Emilio Aguinaldo was captured
  • (1901) William H. Taft became first U.S. governor of Philippines
  • (1901) 48 members of U.S. 9th Infantry killed by townspeople and guerrillas in the Balangiga Massacre
  • (1902) Civil government established by U.S. to replace military rule
  • (1902) Governor Taft improved economic conditions, established "pensionado" program for students, modernized and westernized the country
  • (1907) First congressional election took place, Philippine assembly was inaugurated
  • (1911) 1,334 people were killed when Mt. Taal erupted
  • (1916) Jones Law enacted, promised independence when stable government was established

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.