1. Home
  2. Asia
  3. Philippines

Philippines History Timeline

Map of Philippines
Locator Map of Philippines arctic ocean pacific ocean indian ocean australia oceania tropic of capricorn tropic of cancer arctic circle equator africa europe black sea caspian aral sea red sea gulf of aden bay of bengal arabian sea middle east mediterranean sea asia

Philippines's Information

Flag of Philippines
Land Area 298,170 km2
Water Area 1,830 km2
Total Area 300,000 km2
Population 102,624,209
Population Density 342.08 / km2
Government Type Presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $807.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $7,700
Currency Peso (PHP)
More Information Philippines Map
Largest Cities
  • Manila (10,444,527)
  • Quezon City (2,761,720)
  • Budta (1,273,715)
  • Davao (1,212,504)
  • Malingao (1,121,974)
  • Cebu City (798,634)
  • General Santos (679,588)
  • Taguig (644,473)
  • Pasig City (617,301)
  • Antipolo (549,543)
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

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

2000s continued

  • (2004) Hundreds of people killed in floods and mudslides caused by powerful storms and typhoon
  • (2005) Fighting between Filipino troops and MILF rebels broke 2003 cease fire
  • (2005) Peace talks in Malaysia between government and MILF rebels resulted in breakthrough of issue of ancestral land
  • (2005) Demonstrations and calls for President Arroyo's resignation over allegations of vote-rigging in election
  • (2005) Congress voted against filing of impeachment against Arroyo
  • (2006) Mudslide on island of Leyte killed more than 1,000
  • (2006) President Arroyo declared state of emergency in response to coup rumors
  • (2006) Typhoon Durian battered east coast, triggered mudslides, hundreds dead
  • (2007) Army confirmed death of Abu Sayyaf leader, Khaddafy Janjalani
  • (2007) Military increased offensive against Abu Sayyaf, after the beheading of seven Christian hostages
  • (2007) Government report accused military of being responsible for killings of hundreds of left-win activists
  • (2007) Soldiers on trial for 2003 mutiny, made coup attempt at luxury hotel in Manila
  • (2007) Former President Joseph Estrada was convicted of plunder
  • (2008) Government negotiators, MILF rebels reached an agreement for a Muslim autonomous region in the south; deal collapsed after objections from Christian communities and fighting on island of Mindanao which left more than 30 people dead
  • (2009) Army captured MILF base on Mindanao
  • (2009) People traveling to file election nomination papers in Mindanao were attacked, 57 were killed
  • (2009) Peace talks resumed between government and MILF rebels in peace talks in Malaysia
  • (2009) Three volunteers of the International Committee of Red Cross kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf rebels
  • (2009) Former President Corazon Aquino died
  • (2009) "State of calamity" declared by President Gloria Arroyo due to Typhoon Ketsana which caused landslides, flooding; nearly 500 people died
  • (2010) Prosecutors charged 196 people with murder over the Maguindanao massacre
  • (2010) Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino elected president
  • (2010) Manila Hostage Crisis occurred when dismissed national police officer hijacked tourist bus in Manila in attempt to get his job back
  • (2010) Typhoon Megi killed 31 people, caused major damages in Luzon, one of the costliest typhoons in the Philippines
  • (2011) U.S. committed to defense of the Philippines amid rising tensions in South China Sea with China over the Spratly Islands
  • (2011) Former President Gloria Arroyo arrested on vote-fraud over Senate election in 2007, she denied charges
  • (2011) Ban ordered on deployment of workers to 41 countries for failure to sign agreements to protect foreign workers from abuse
  • (2011) More than 1,000 died after Typhoon Washi struck Mindanao; entire neighborhoods swept away, tens of thousands forced into shelters
  • (2011) Abu Sayyaf group blamed for explosion at small hotel in Zamboanga which killed three, injured nearly 30
  • (2012) Gunmen in speedboats opened fire on fishermen off Sibago Island, killed 15
  • (2012) Military announced it killed man on FBI most-wanted terror list, two other militants in pre-dawn air strike on Sulu Island
  • (2012) Philippines, Chinese naval vessels confronted one another in South China Sea
  • (2012) Torrential rains caused flooding which paralyzed most of Manila
  • (2012) Philippine Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo missing after the light aircraft he was traveling in crashed into the sea
  • (2012) Approximately 3,000 protesters from the Philippines Muslim minority burned U.S. and Israeli flags in Marawi over amateur anti-Islam video produced in the U.S.
  • (2013) Filipino coastguard killed Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters, set off major diplomatic row
  • (2013) Over 75,000 residents fled Zamboanga during stand-off between Moro National Liberation Front rebels and the army, 200 people were killed, including 166 rebels
  • (2013) Typhoon Haiyan decimated central area of the country, over 6,000 killed, millions lost homes, major international aid effort was organized
  • (2013) Government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed power-sharing accord
  • (2014) Benito Tiamzon and wife Wilma, leaders of the Communist Party-New People's Army-National Democratic Front, and five others were arrested by armed forces for for their crimes against humanity that included multiple murders
  • (2014) Government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed peace accord, ended four decades of fighting
  • (2014) U.S. and Philippines reached 10-year agreement giving American warships, planes and troops greater access to bases in Philippines
  • (2014) National Police arrested 11 Chinese fisherman for poaching more than 500 endangered sea turtles in disputed South China Sea

Latest by WorldAtlas