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Philippines History Timeline

1900s continued

  • (1934) Tydings-McDuffie Law (Philippine Independence Law) approved by U.S. President Roosevelt, allowed establishment of Commonwealth of the Philippines and full independence in ten years
  • (1935) Philippine Constitution approved
  • (1935) Manuel Quezon elected president for six-year term in first elections, office of U.S. Governor-General was abolished
  • (1941) Manuel Quezon re-elected president in second election
  • (1941) After bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese attacked Philippines as ally of U.S.
  • (1941) U.S. troops left Manila, surrendering it to Japanese
  • (1941) U.S. and Filipino troops retreated to Bataan
  • (1942) Bataan was last province to surrender to Japanese
  • (1942) Bataan Death March - 36,000 U.S. and Filipino soldiers were forced to march without food and water, prisoners of war were killed by their guards, survivors were taken to a concentration camp at Capaz
  • (1942) Japanese forces entered Manila, proclaimed end of U.S. occupation of Philippines, martial law was imposed
  • (1942) Commonwealth of the Philippines joined United Nations
  • (1943) Philippine economy collapsed, shortage of rice became serious
  • (1945) U.S. forces entered Manila; Battle of Manila ended; Japan surrendered to U.S.
  • (1946) Islands granted full independence, renamed Republic of the Philippines
  • (1947) Elpidio Quirino took oath of office as President of the Philippines
  • (1947) U.S. awarded military bases in Philippines
  • (1951) Peace treaty signed with Japan
  • (1953) Ramon Magsaysay elected President of the Republic of the Philippines
  • (1957) President Magsaysay died in plane crash; Vice-President Carlos P. Garcia assumed office
  • (1957) Carlos P. Garcia elected President of the Republic of the Philippines
  • (1961) Diosdado Macapagal won presidential election
  • (1965) Ferdinand Marcos elected President
  • (1969) Ferdinand Marcos re-elected President
  • (1969) Muslim separatists began campaign of guerrilla war in the country's south
  • (1972) Suspicious bombing incidents increased around the country
  • (1972) President Marcos declared the entire country was under martial law, suspended parliament, arrested opposition politicians, imposed censorship
  • (1972) Opposition leader, Senator Benigno Aquino, arrested
  • (1973) Constitutional Convention passed new Constitution of the Philippines; gave President Marcos absolute power
  • (1973) President Marcos' term extended by referendum
  • (1976) Major earthquake and following tsunami killed 8,000 people at Mindanao.
  • (1977) Referendum empowered President Marcos to continue in office, and to also become Prime Minister
  • (1977) Opposition leader Benigno Aquino sentenced to death; execution delayed by President Marcos
  • (1980) Benigno Aquino released to undergo heart surgery in the U.S.
  • (1981) Due to upcoming three-day visit by the Pope, martial law was lifted
  • (1981) Marcos re-elected president
  • (1983) Benigno Aquino assassinated at Manila International Airport upon arrival from the U.S.
  • (1986) Aquino's widow, Corazon, ran against Marcos in presidential election; Marcos declared himself winner, Aquino disputed results
  • (1986) Mass protests followed election; military withdrew support of Marcos
  • (1986) Marcos fled to Hawaii
  • (1986) New government claimed Marcos looted billions of dollars during his presidency
  • (1989) U.S. assisted Philippine government forces in suppressing attempted coup
  • (1990) Military officials convicted of murdering Benigno Aquino
  • (1991) Philippine Senate voted to end U.S. military presence in the county
  • (1992) President Aquino's defense minister, Fidel Ramos, won presidency
  • (1996) Peace agreement reached with Moro National Liberation Front, a Muslim separatist group; the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) continued with its campaign
  • (1997) Economy damaged by Asian financial crisis
  • (1998) Joseph Estrada elected president
2000s
  • (2000) President Estrada declared "all-out-war" against Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)
  • (2000) Impeachment proceedings began against President Estrada due to allegations of corruption, violation of the Constitution, betraying of public trust
  • (2001) Following suspension of impeachment proceedings, mass street protests took place; military withdrew its support of Estrada
  • (2001) Estrada forced to step down due to public outrage over corruption allegations; Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed the office of president
  • (2001) Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) declared cease fire; said it was ready for talks with government
  • (2001) Estrada charged with plundering more than $80 million in state funds while in office; found guilty, jailed for life; won a pardon
  • (2002) U.S. and Filipino military held joint exercises in war on international terrorism
  • (2002) Series of bomb blasts on Manila bus and three locations in Zamboanga City blamed on Islamic militants
  • (2003) Cease fire between MILF and government
  • (2003) Talks between MILF and government were called off after rebel attack in Mindanao killed 30
  • (2003) Over 300 army soldiers seized shopping center in Manila in a mutiny; surrendered peacefully after negotiations
  • (2003) President Arroyo declared state of rebellion
  • (2004) Arroyo won presidential election

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.