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The Philippines A Brief History

A Brief History

The Philippines is a archipelago of over 7100 unique and distinctive islands. There are two theories as to how the Philippines formed.

Tectonic Plate Theory,  a very huge earthquake and a strong volcano eruption under the China Sea happens some 225 million years ago. The lava and mud that erupted had slowly hardens and that becomes land in the surface of the ocean. Several strong earthquake also happens which pushes and scatters the land masses that was formed by the volcanic eruption. This now became the 7,107 islands that makes up the Philippines.

Sunda Shelf Theory, this explains that the Philippines is once part of the Sunda Shelf. The Sunda Shelf is a huge part of the Continent of Asia (at least 1,800,000 square kilometers) that was projecting high in the surface of the ocean. About 45,000 years ago, after the Ice Age, the melted ice had swell the ocean and engulfed the land bridges that connects the Philippines to the rest of Asia. Source brainlyPh

The first inhabitants were black!

By Ken Ilio from Chicago, USA - Ati, CC BY 2.0,
An Ati girl of Kalibo, the Philippines in 2006

We think he first humans arrived on the archipelago at least 67,000 years ago. They are referred to as ‘negritos’. They come from the same group that made up the Australia aboriginals.  Today their descendants are referred to as the

Europeans Arrive & Unify

The first recorded visit by Europeans is the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan. He sighted Samar Island on March 16, 1521 and landed the next day on Homonhon Island, now part of Guiuan, Eastern Samar. Spanish colonization began with the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi’s expedition on February 13, 1565 from Mexico. He established the first permanent settlement in Cebu. Much of the archipelago came under Spanish rule, creating the first unified political structure known as the Philippines.

The Spanish

The Spanish ruled and controlled the Philippines from 1565 to 1898. Many describe the Spanish rule as brutal as the Filipinos were in many cases de-facto slaves

The Americans

In 1898 the Americans freed the Philippines from Spanish tyranny in the Spanish-American war. There was hot debate in the US on whether or not the Philippines should remain a US colony. The Philippines became of strategic importance during WWII. During that time the Japanese invaded and took over the Island. They brutalized the Filipinos killing up to 2,000 Filipinos a day at one point. Over 100,000 Filipinos died under Japanese rule. After WWII ended so did Japanese occupation. The Americans then released the Philippines in 1946,

The Marcos era

Whether Ferdinand Marcos was a brutal dictator worthy of nothing but scorn or a visionary leader that built many great public works projects is a hotly debated topic. Up until 2017 there was a heated debate on whether or not his body should be buried in the cemetery of heroes until finally President Duterte buried him there.


In 2016 Rodrigo Duterte was elected president and has waged a brutal war on drugs. It is estimated that over 8000 filipinos have died. Despite that number most of the population considers those people to be degenerates and Duterte still remains highly popular with approval ratings in the high 80s.