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Philippines History Timeline

Map of Philippines
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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.
  • (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


  • (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
  • (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
  • (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

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