Philippine history

This article is about the Philippine history. Everything you need to know about the Philippine history can be found in this article. After reading this article you are well informed about the Philippine history.


The origin of the Philippine history

There are several theories about how, when and why the first people arrived in the Philippines. Below you find 4 of these theories:

  • The Beyer migration theory
    Beyer notes that the first people that lived on the Philippines was 250,000 years ago. These people lived in caves and showed similarities with the “Java man”. This Beyer theory describes that in this time bridges occurred with low tide that made the Philippines reachable for the first inhabitants. In the age of the development of navigable boats a chance arose for migration to the Philippines. The new migrants replaced the original population. The first migrants were the Negritos which arrived about 30,000 to 20,000 years ago. The second wave was 6,000 to 5,000 years ago, mainly consisting of navigators from Indonesia. The final settlers were the Malaysians. They brought the Iron Age to the Philippines and were the dominant group up until the Spanish period.
  • The Bellwood Austronesian theory
    Bellwood suggest that the first inhabitants of the Philippines came from Taiwan and bases its theory largely on the comparisons in language. Bellwood says the Chinese migrated to Taiwan 6,500 to 6,000 years ago. This evolved a unique language: Proto-Austronesia. This people migrated 4,500 to 3500 years ago from Taiwan in the direction of the Philippines and Indonesia and are, according to this theory, the original inhabitants.
  • The Solheim Nusantao Maritime Trade and Communication Network Theory
    Nusantao translates to ‘people from the south’. Solheim relies on found artefacts which suggest a trade and communication network exists in the Asia – Pacific region. Solheim states that the migration didn’t occur just from Taiwan but more so from south-east Asia, specifically Vietnam. It also proposes that a trade network in the Asian Pacific Region existed between 10,000 and 2.500 years ago and 7,000 years ago, the first people from that network, arrived on the Philippines.
  • The Jocano local origin theory
    Jocano argues that the Philippine culture doesn’t originate from Malaysia, but is much older. It bases his opinion on the fossils, including the fossils found in the Tabon cave. If the “Tabon man” really lived 20,000 years ago, it can’t have been derived from Malaysia. The present Filipinos are descendants of the evolution of the first people, together with the exodus of people that went to the Philippines.

The Prehistory

There are fossil remains found of a man in the Callao cave in the province of Cagayan on the Philippines. Carbon dating from fossils has shown that the Philippines were inhabitant 67,000 years ago. This also proves that the Philippines were populated long before the Negritos and the Austronesians arrived. The Negritos were the first migrants, followed by Malaysian-Polynesian speaking people belonging to the Austronesians, approximately 6,000 years ago. Jade artefacts, derived from Taiwan, show that communication between the Philippines and Taiwan took place, 4,000 years ago. 3.000 years ago, there were four types of clans to be distinguished on the Philippines.

  • The hunter-gatherers who lived in the forests, for example the Aetas, the Hanunoo, the Ilongots and the Mangyan.
  • The warrior tribes, living on the open plains, for example the Isneg and the Kalinga.
  • The mountain people from Luzon, for example the Ifugao
  • The seafaring people along the rivers and the coasts

The Sa Huyun period

Between 1000 BC and 200 AD the Sa Huyun culture did very well. This culture was widely distributed in central and southern Vietnam and the Philippines. The Sa Huyun are known for their beautifully decorated pots in which they buried their deceased. These pots found at several places, among which the Tabon cave in Palawan. The Sa Huyun made use of materials that were not available in the area they lived. To acquire these materials, a trading network is suspected.

The pre-colonial period

A copper document called the Laguna inscription, from the year 900 was found. This is considered to be the first written document on the Philippines and the start of the pre-colonial period. It’s written in Kawi, an old Malaysian language. This document is now used as evidence for the cultural connections between the Kingdom of Tondo and various kingdoms in Asia, including the Javanese kingdom and kingdoms in India. In that time, there were various semi-autonomous villages and city states.

Around 900, Tondo was a kingdom and one of the three city states, located at current Manila. The other two were Namayan, the oldest state of the three based on Indian culture and the Kingdom of Maynila, a vassal of the Bruneians empire. In 1500, the Kingdom of Tondo would ultimately become the largest state within the Philippines and rule Luzon. The Kingdom of Tondo arose from Malaysia and the culture was based on Hinduism and Buddhism.

In 1500, another major player – the Sultanate reached the Philippines. The Sultanate of Brunei wanted to ride on the back of the lucrative trade with China and ultimately ambushed the kingdom of Tondo because of the monopoly position of Tondo in trade with the Chinese. The Kingdom of Tondo was defeated by the Bruneian empire. The Bruneian empire included predominantly Muslims, which resulted in a prominent place for the Islam on Luzon and Mindanao.

In that time, there were also other major States including:

  • Kedatuan of Madja-as
    A nation based on the Indian culture that fled after the collapse of the Srivijaya empire in Sumatra and settled down at Panay in the Visayas.
  • Kedatuan of Dapitan
    A nation based on Indian culture originating from Lutao in Mindanao.
  • Radjanaat of Cebu
    A monarchical state based on Indian culture on Cebu. They were provoked by Lapu-Lapu.
  • Radjanaat of Butuan
    A monarchical state based on the Indian culture on Cebu
  • Ma-I nation
    Was known as a trading post in Mindoro. Trading trade with China and Japan.
  • Huangdom of Pangasinan
    A state which paid a tax to the Ming dynasty and had an agreement with China and Japan. Also, known as “the Gateway to Japan”

These states as well, got associated with the conflict in trade and wealth with the different sultanates. The sultanates were supported by the Portuguese. Just before the Spanish arrival, the Dapitan Kedatuan expanded to become a rich state and was defeated by the Sultanate of Ternate in Indonesia. Due to this discord in the Philippines it was not as difficult for the Spaniards to set foot ashore.

The Spanish colonial period

The Spanish colonial period started with the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan on the Philippines in 1521. This period ended with the Spanish American war in which the Americans took over Manila. The Peace Treaty of Paris agreed that the Philippines were sold to America for 20 million dollars. This connoted the end of the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines.

The Spanish period 1500 to 1600

The Spanish period begins in 1521 with the arrival of the Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who was originally born in Portugal. Magellan served the Spanish king and had the job to discover a western route to the Moluccas. On the 10th of August in 1519, Magallan left Seville with five ships and about 270 staff on board. He reached the island of Homonhon with three ships and approximately 150 of his troops left on 16th of March 1521. On the island, Magellan met Radja Siaiu, who took him to Cebu on the 7th of April. Once arrived, Magellan received a warm welcome from Radja Humabon. Later, Magellan converted Humabon and his wife to Christianity. This conversion is considered the beginning of Christianity in the Philippines.

Radja Humabon and his ally Datu Zula had a joint enemy: Lapu-Lapu. Lapu-Lapu ruled the island of Mactan. Magellan was asked to kill him, but instead decided to convert Lapu-Lapu to Christianity. He thought that if Lapu-Lapu converted, the rest of the island would follow. But there was one problem: Lapu-Lapu was not interested in the conversion. Magallan therefore opted for a different approach; show his strenght and authority, assuming that this way, the islanders would accept Christianity. But Magallan had not count on such a strong opposition. On the 27th of April, Magallan made his way, together with his 60 armed combatants and 1000 fighters from Cebu, to the island Mactan. Magellan ordered the fighters from Cebu to watch from their ships while he and his troops entered the island to finish the job. This mission failed and Magellan got hit by a bamboo spear and died. The remaining expedition members first travelled to Palawan and reached Borneo on the 21st of June. After all, only one of five ships returned from the expedition.

Five more expeditions expeditions were sent. The last expedition, leaving in 1542, was the most successful. In 1543, Ruy Lopez de Villalobos discovered the islands Samar and Leyte in the Philippines and named them Las Islas Filipinas (after Philip II of Spain). This name would ultimately apply to all the islands of the archipelago. This expedition team also discovered the return route to Spain via Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.

This discovery was the beginning of the commercial route between Manila and Acapulco in Mexico, better known as the Manila Galleon. These galleons transported products from China including porcelain, silk, ivory, spices and other goods from Asia. These goods were via land transported to the east coast of Mexico from where they were taken on-board towards Spain. These goods were purchased with the silver that was won in Mexico. It’s estimated that one third of the won silver by the Spaniards in New Spain and Peru was used for trade with the far east. This trade line was active from 1565 to 1815.

The colonization of the Philippines begins in 1565 with the construction of a settlement in Cebu by Migual Lopez Legazpi. He arrived from Mexico with 5 ships and 500 seamen. In 1567, another 200 soldiers joined the force, which enabled him to disperse the Portuguese and create the foundation for the colonization of the archipelago.

The Spaniards reached the bay of Manila in 1570. Legazpi befriended the king of Tondo. The Muslim Radja of Manyla, a mere servant of the Sultan of Brunei refused. In the subsequent battle of Bankusay, the Radja was defeated and killed. In 1571, the Spaniards occupied the kingdoms of Maynila and Tondo. Manila became the capital city of the Spanish East Indies. Manila owes its name to the nila shrub that occurs here a lot.

In 1573, the Chinese pirate Lima Hong and his 3000 fighters arrived in Luzon after they had been expelled from China. They set up their own kingdom and declared war to the Spanish colonists. Lima Hong thought he could conquer Manila, but his plan failed in 1574. He was dislodged from the Philippines and got murdered.

In 1578, a new war began. This war is now known as the Castille war. The Castille war was between the Christian Spaniards and the Muslims from Brunei. The reason for this battle was the authority over the Philippine archipelago. In the meantime, Spain had built up several local allies, who were after revenge. These were the Kedatuan of Madja-as and the Radjanaat of Cebu and Butuan. These parties decided to join the Spaniards after they first had been the victim of an attack of the sultanate. Brunei was conquered by the Spaniards and the Spanish domination in the archipelago was enlarged. The provinces Zambalas, La Union, Ilocos and the coast of Cagayan now also belonged to the Spanish colony.

The Spanish period 1600 – 1700

This period is also devoted to many of the conflicts duked out by the Spanish colonists. One of the objectives of the Spanish colonists was converting the local population to Roman Catholicism. As the Islam wasn’t widely spread at that time, it was quite easy to manage. This ensured the Roman Catholicism soon to be the majority on the Philippines, except on the western part of Mindanao and in the highlands of Luzon.

First there was the fight with the Moro population in Mindanao. The Spanish colonists were planning to after the conquest of Brunei, also convert the Muslims from the south of Mindanao. They refused which resulted in a long longitudinal conflict. The Spanish colonists had a larger army and were better armed but they couldn’t manage to beat the Moro tribes. This was partly due to the fact that the Spanish colonists also had to watch out for other countries which were aiming on taking over the Philippine colony. For instance, the Dutch who attacked Manila in 1646. The Dutchmen were defeated by the Spanish Philippine combined forces and had to capitulate their invasion plans.

As the Spanish colonists were active on more than one front at the same time, the Moros had the chance to pillage the by Spain conquered villages in Mindanao and the Visayas and assail the Spanish commercial fleet on sea. The Moro’s declared a sacrosanct war against the Spanish conquerors. The Spanish colonists had enough of the Moros and decided to build a fort in Mindanao to permanently win and end this everlasting war.

Yet, Manilla awaited another threat. Zheng Cheng Gong, better known as Koxinga, from Taiwan arrived on the Philippine archipelago with a large army in 1962. He had attacked a few villages already and now demanded money from the Spanish colonists. If they didn’t agree on this, he impended his next target to be Manila. The colonists refused to pay and soldiers were disastrously remand to Manila to defend the city. Koxinga died and the attack was put on hold. This however meant that the plan to deal with the Moro’s, failed.

In addition to the various conflicts there was also a lot of renewal in the Philippine archipelago, including a social economic transformation. Primarily, the Spaniards made a lot of progress with the colonization on the Philippines and the dissemination of Christianity. The Manila Acapulco trade route made emigration from Latin America to the Philippines easier. This resulted in a community with influences from Spain, Latin America and the local population. The Spaniards introduced a new educational system. Universities, colleges and vocational schools were set up, which made the inhabitants of the Philippines now belong to the highest educated in Asia. New elements from the western society were introduced for example, the Spanish legislation, the Gregorian calendar and new food such as corn and chocolate.

The Spaniards also created the ‘principalia’. This was the top class in the Philippine society. The principalia community had local power. This oligarchic manner system caused a major change. Land now became private property and the common use and possession were no longer valid. As icing on the cake, the ‘principalia’ were assigned titles.

The Spanish period 1700 – 1800

The Philippines would never been a profitable colony for the Spaniards. This partly because of the Eighty Years War with the Dutch and the recurring conflict with the Muslims in the south. This almost resulted into an empty colonial treasury. The Spaniards advised King Charles II to leave the colony.

The strongly attenuated colony was an easy prey for the British. On the 4th of January 1762, they declared war on the Spaniards and on the 24th of September the British set foot ashore in Manila Bay with a great army from India. Manila surrendered on the 4th of October. Until April 1764, the Philippines were a colony of the British empire, but Manila was given back to the Spaniards as part of the peace negotiations. The Binondo community was then prosecuted by the Spaniards because of their loyalty to the British.

After the British period, Spain decided to constitute direct communication between Spain and the Philippines. As well as the establishment of the commercial line between the Philippines and Spain.

The Spanish period 1800 – 1900

In the 19th century Spain invested in schooling and infrastructure in the Philippines. This investment caused a great boost for the economy. The standard of living in the Philippines increased extremely and was better than most Asian and many European countries in that time. Spanish Manilla was now the model of a colonial government, that put the interests of the local residents before that of the colonial power. In 1900, the Philippines grown to become the second richest country in Asia, just behind Japan and far up front of China and India. In the same year, the Spanish left the Philippines.

The Philippine revolution 1896 – 1898

The Philippine revolution began in 1896 when the Spanish authorities discovered a secret organization against the colonial domination. This organization was named the Katipunan and was headed by Andres Bonifacio. The Katipunan evoked an armed resistance against the Spanish colonists. An attack by members of Katipunan on Manila followed. This attack was repulsed by the Spaniards, but was the starting signal for the outbreak of the revolution in other parts of the Philippines. The combats between the Spanish colonists and the inhabitants of the Philippines came to an end when Bonifacio deceased in 1897. There was a split in the ranks of Katipunan concerning the follow-up of Bonifacio. This resulted in a ceasefire between the Spanish colonists and the Philippine inhabitants. Members of the Katipunan organization including Emilio Aguinaldo, elected exile in Hong Kong. Andrés Bonifacio would later be known as the father of the Philippine Revolution.

The American colonial period

This period runs from 1898 to 1946. The Filipinos thought to have a joint ally against the Spanish colonists, but the Americans soon appeared to be the following settlers. Below you find more information about this period.

The Spanish – American war 1899 – 1902

The Spanish American war was caused by incident in Cuba. Cuba started a revolution against the Spanish colonists in 1868. When in January 1898 riots break out in Havana, America sends the USS Maine, an American naval vessel, to protect the American citizens in Havana. On the 15th of February, there was an explosion at the naval vessel, which subsequently sank in the port of Havana. America demanded preventive or institutive actions of the Spanish colonists. The Spanish colonists started the negotiations with the Cuban freedom fighters, but the peace treaty was rejected by the Cubans. The American opinion about the Spanish intervention in Cuba soon changed by propaganda in various newspaper articles. The American population supported the desired independence of the inhabitants of Cuba and the President decided to militarily intervention. This all began with a naval blockade of Cuba by America on the 21st of April 1898. On the 23rd of April, Spain declared war against America, which they followed up on the 25th of April.

On the 1st of May 1898, the U.S. Navy attacked the port of Manila. They destroyed the Spanish fleet and conquered the port. There were however competitors on the horizon. In addition to the French, English and Japanese, it was especially Germany lurking on an easy acquisition of the Philippines after the Americans would have expelled the Spaniards. The Americans took Aguinaldo back from his exile in Hong Kong to work and defeat the Spaniards together. The Spanish – American war came to an end. On the 12th of June Aguinaldo proclaimed the independence of the Philippines. After 333 years of Spanish colonization, the Philippines finally became an independent republic.

The first Philippine Republic 1899 – 1901

In December 1898, Spain sold the Philippines to the Americans. The Spanish were no longer the colonists of the Philippines, but it was America’s shot. The first Philippine Republic was officially established on the 23rd of January 1899 during the public announcement of the constitution of Malolos, the official capital of the first Philippine republic.

The Philippine American war 1899 – 1902

The Philippine independence however didn’t last very long. The Spanish soldiers in Manilla were replaced by Americans. This occasionally caused tension. On the 4th of February 1899, after an American soldier shot a Philippine soldier, the tension mounted terribly. So much, that this was the beginning of the Philippine – American war. The President of the Philippines tried to maintain the friendly relationship with the Americans, but this proved to be in vain. Again, the American propaganda worked at full speed and the general opinion was that America protected the Philippines against new colonization of European countries. General Otis, the boss of the American armed forces on the Philippines, didn’t take any measurements to prevent a war with the Republic of the Philippines. Next to that, Otis made sure that the American media didn’t find out any negative matters about the war against the Republic of the Philippines. The Philippine armed forces were, despite the large number of fighters, no match for the American army.

Many Filipino soldiers were still equipped with bow and arrow, spears and other primitive weapons. The plan of the Philippine armed forces was to carry out a guerrilla war and deliver the American armed forces nothing, but losses. All hopes were pinned on the election of a moderate president, so that he under pressure of the population would withdraw the American troops in the Philippines. As another president was elected, this hope faded away. This meant that the American armed forces would stay in the Philippines, which worked demoralising for the Philippine armed forces. On the 31st of March 1899, the Americans occupy Malalos, where the government of the Philippines was established. President Aguinaldo had to flee the city. Aguinaldo manages to elude the Americans for a long period of time, until he finally was imprisoned on the 25th of March 1901. Aguinaldo promised the United States to be faithful and ordered his fellow fighters to put down their arms.

During the birth of the first Philippine Republic three other republics originated, independently from the Republic of the Philippines. After the surrender of Aguinaldo, they were attached to the Philippines.

  • The Tagalog republic in Luzon
  • The Negros Republic in the Visayas
  • The Zamboanga republic in Mindanao

On the 2nd of July 1902, the Philippine – American War officially ended.

The American territorial government on the Philippines 1901 – 1935

In 1901, the United States established a committee, led by William Howard Taft. Taft had to ensure the foundations of a new government in the Philippines. The Taft Commission had the task to adopt the legal system, based on the American legal system, in the Philippines. There were officials appointed by the Commission. As well as a new Philippine government which main task was to prepare the Philippines for a possible autonomy. A commissioner of the Philippines was appointed, who got a seat in the House of Representatives on the Philippines. The separation between Church and state was implemented, something which wasn’t the case over the past few centuries and a ban on slavery, piracy and headhunting was introduced.

An important goal at the beginning of the American period in the Philippines was to ensure that the Spaniards wouldn’t be able to reconquer the Philippines. The Americans carried out an anti-Spain policy which had to ensure that the Spanish influences of everyday life on the Philippines were to disappear. Thus, the prohibition of the then Spanish national anthem “Filipinas”. Another effective way was the introduction of a new education system, based on English language. From now on not Spanish, but English was the official language. This ensured that the Spanish period rapidly was replaced by a society based on the American model.

The Philippine trade flourished after a long period of turmoil. The trade with foreign countries increased from 62 million pesos in 1895 to 601 million pesos in 1920. Accordingly, 66% of the trade was for the account of trade with the United States. Health care also experienced a massive growth. In 1930, the health care was at the same level as that of the United States. During the first world war, the Philippines supported the Americans with soldiers and goods.

The great depression in the United States accelerated the process of independence on the Philippines, as the sugar industry in the United States could not compete with the cheap prices of sugar from the Philippines. It was for this reason that the trade unions were a great supporter of the independence of the Philippines, so that they could repulse the cheap products from the Philippines. The Commonwealth of the Philippines was set up after the Philippine declaration of independence was served, in 1935. This document agreed the Philippines to be truly independent within 10 years’ time.

The Second World War

On the 8th of September 1941, ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese army attacked the Clark air force base on the Philippines. The beginning of new battles on the Philippines. On the 2nd of January 1942, the Japanese armed forces occupied Manila. The remaining American – Philippine armed forces pulled back to the Bataan peninsula and the island Corregidor. The battle lasted until April 1942 when the combined American – Philippine armed forces surrendered the Japanese army. 80,000 prisoners of the American and Filipino soldiers were forced to walk a 105-kilometre-long march, which is now known as the dead mars of Bataan. During that mars, at least 11,000 prisoners lost their lives. After the capitulation, the Japanese immediately introduced a new government structure in the Philippines.

The Second Philippine Republic 1943 – 1945

It dragged until October 1943 for Japan to proclaim The Philippines as an independent republic. At the head of the Republic stood the by Japan elected president, Jose P. Laurel, who together with the majority of the Philippine elite administrated the country. The official language was Tagalog, which was also implemented at schools. There was a shortage of everything on the Philippines, because the Japanese needed food and fuel for the conduct of the war. As the Japanese were short on cotton, the sugar production in the Philippines was replaced with cotton production. The cotton harvest was a disaster, due to a lack of experience which caused a lot of unemployed. The value of the Philippine peso decreased drastically and was called Mickey Mouse money among the population.

There was an active underground resistance against the Japanese domination. This turned out to be so effective that the Japanese would only have 12 of the 48 Philippines provinces under control. The opposition took care of information for the Americans and were in exchange supplied by the Americans. At the end of the Japanese domination there were about 277 different guerrilla groups consisting of approximately 260,000 individuals active in the resistance on the Philippines.

On the 20th of October 1944, the American army lands on the island Leyte. The Japanese were determined to keep the American troops out off the Philippines. The battle that followed was one of the bloodiest of all wars in the Pacific Ocean, including the biggest naval battle of the second world war. The Second Philippine Republic came to an end on the 17th of August. The battles lasted until the 2nd of September 1945, when Japan formally surrendered.  Estimations show a million-people died during the 4 years of Japanese dominations on the Philippines, mainly in the last months of the war.

The post-colonial period

The Americans kept word and declared the Philippines independent on the 4th of July 1946. Although, the Philippines would still remain dependent on the Americans. The second world war damaged the Philippines disastrously and the reconstruction would cost a lot of time. Armed groups initially fighting the Japanese domination were still active in the Philippines, but now fought the new government. A well-known guerrilla group was the Huks, which was supported by the communists. Ultimately the Huks surrendered to the Government of the Philippines in 1954.

The third Philippine Republic 1946 – 1965

Manuel Roxas was the first president of the independent Republic of the Philippines in 1946. He was succeed by Elpidio Quirino in 1949, after Roxas died of a heart attack in 1948. Quirino remained the president of the Philippines for four years. In 1953, there were new elections. These were won by, the by America sponsored, Ramon Magsaysay. Magsaysay was very popular among the Philippine population. He promised economic reforms. He passed away after an airplane accident in 1957. In the fall of 1957 Carlos P. Garcia was elected as president for the coming 4 years. Garcia was succeeded by Diosdado Macapagal during the elections in 1961 because of the many rumours about corruption of the government of Garcia. Macapagal altered the Independence Day of the Philippines from the 4th of July to the 12th of June. Next to that, Macapagal reformed agriculture. From now on farmers were to pay a fixed amount of rent to owners of land instead of a percentage of the revenues. Yet a large part of the population still lived in poverty. Macapagal participated in the following elections in 1965 but was defeated by Ferdinand Marcos in 1965.

Ferdinand Marcos

Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos (11 September 1917 – 28 September 1989) ruled from 1965 to 1986. He was the tenth and longest reigning president of the Philippines.

The first reign of Marcos 1965 – 1969

Ferdinand Marcos was elected to govern the Philippines in 1965. Marcos made an expeditious start. He wanted to make the Philippines a powerful modern state which would no longer be dependent on foreign input or investment. He promised to come to grips with the problems in the country and to tackle poverty. Marcos wanted to refresh the judiciary and to fight crime and the (public) corruption. Marcos commissioned to ambitious infrastructure plans with the construction of thousands of kilometres of roads and bridges. He also entrusted large-scale public projects, including the construction of electricity and water facilities and the construction of new schools and health centres. Next to that, Marcos assigned the agricultural production, so that import of large quantities of rice would no longer be necessary. To achieve this goal, Marcos needed money. The money therefore needed, Marcos earned by increasing the tax and through foreign loans. Since the extra fee, Filipinos had to pay now, was mainly used to cover government projects, the population seemed to be satisfied with their new president. Furthermore, Marcos made a great effort to maintain the friendly relations with America and America saw a president who represented the American interests in the Philippines. Marcos spent the tax money also on the reconstruction of the Philippine army. The engineers of the army came in handy, because of realisation of the large infrastructure projects in the country. He also made a part of the army available to fight in Vietnam, together with the Americans.

The second reign of Marcos 1969 – 1972

In 1969, new elections were hold and Marcos was re-elected as president of the Philippines. Marcos was the first president to be selected for a second period. The victory of the second elections was mainly due to his first ruling period and the not entirely fair running of the elections. In his second term Marcos was to face large problems. There was talk of an economic crisis as a result of internal and external factors. Rebellious students demanded reforms in educational systems, the crime also increased and the communist movement was greater. The in 1968 founded Communist Party got an armed branch, the New People’s Army. This was founded as they believed that Marcos was not in a position to guarantee, nor ensure the safety of the Philippine citizens. The communist party was actively supported by the China of Mao Zedong.

A state of siege 1972 – 1981

On the 21st of September 1972, Marco placed the Philippines under a state of siege, because he feared a coup. Marcos claimed that the imposition of martial law enabled him better to control the growing communists. He also wanted to tackle the rising crime and many small private armies. The New People’s Army, the armed branch of the Communist Party, was one of the private armies. Many poor people of the rural supported their movement. In Mindanao was the Moro National Liberation Front formed to fight for an independent Muslim state in the southern Philippines. The result of the state of siege was that the freedom of the press was abolished and political opponents were arrested. Because the state of siege was not completely unfavourable for America, foreign response to these actions, failed. Also in the Philippines, the massive protests hold off, because the state of siege payed off. The armed gangs and crime were dealt with severely. Regarding rice production, this was the first period the Philippines were self-sufficient again. Marcos declared war against the Moro National Liberation Front. After the declaration of a state of siege the corruption and abuse of power by Marcos and his confidants were taking on huge proportions. High positions were more and more served by Marcos loyalists and almost all large companies in the Philippines were in the hands of the Marcos family.

The fourth Philippine Republic 1981 – 1986

On the 17th of January 1981, the state of siege lifted and Marcos presented the “New Republic”.  Yet, there was hardly any change. There was a lot of corruption and civil agitation in the Philippines. This decreased the growth and development of the economy in the Philippines. Marcos announced new elections in June 1981. These were won by Marcos with a difference of 80%. Now he could rule the country for another 6 years. In order to improve his position Marcos let go one of his political opponents Benigno ‘Ninoy” Aquino to be treated in America. Upon his return to the Philippines on the 21st of August 1983 Aquino was murdered at the airport. His widow, Corazon Aquino, became a symbol of resistance against Marcos. Under pressure from the United States, Marcos reported early elections on the 23rd of November 1985. Corazon Aquino was chosen to take on and compete Marcos.

EDSA – Revolution

On the 7th of February 1986 elections, that were marred by violence and messages about fraud, took place. According to the official body responsible for the election, Marcos had won the elections. The National Movement for free elections designated Aquino as the legitimate winner of the elections. Minister of Defence Enrile and Lieutenant General Ramos responded that they no longer could support the president. They reinforce themselves, together with hundreds of soldiers in barracks in Manila. Marcos threatened this disobedience with violence, after which cardinal Sin cried out for the Philippine people to help the rebellious soldiers. A few hundreds of thousands of people form a human shield between the Philippine army and the “rebels”. This number increased to 1 to 2 million in a few days’ time. Marcos did not let the army attack it’s own citizens and many of them switch sides. After this, Corazon Aquino was appointed as the new president of the Philippines in a simple inauguration ceremony, on the 25th of February. Due to the pressure of the population and diplomatic pressure from the United States, Marcos and his family chose to cooperation and flee the Philippines. Marcos was offered political asylum on Hawaii. On Hawaii Marcos indicated to be the legitimate president of the Philippines on several occasions and even considered to return. He never ended up doing so. Marcos died at the age of 72.

The Fifth Republic 1986 – Present

The Government Corazon Cojuangco Aquino (1986 – 1992)

Aquino made a great start. In February 1987, the new Philippine constitution was taken into use, a new Senate was chosen and a new House of Representatives was presented. Many political prisoners were released and many civil servants from the era Marcos got replaced. Aquino was therefore resented by the Filipino elite. Aquino struggled to make the Philippines politically and economically stable. This was mainly because she also had various opponents. This resulted in 6 coups attempts against Aquino and several armed incidents. In addition, there was also the eruption of the Volcano Pinatubo that caused 700 deaths and more than 200,000 homeless. In September 1991, Clark air force base was given back to the Philippines by the United States. In December 1992 followed the naval base in Zambales. After nearly a century the presence of American soldiers in the Philippines finally came to an end.

The Government Fidel Valdez Ramos (1992 – 1998)

The presidential elections of 1992 were won by Ramos. Ramos planned to make the Philippines more modern and economically stronger. This resulted in a period of economic growth, which unfortunately wasn’t in the benefit of the poor part of the Philippine population. Ramos decreased the corruption and negotiated for peace with different resistance movements, which resulted in a treaty with the MNLF. In his reign, Ramos had to deal with a current crisis, as the Philippines couldn’t deliver the growing demand for power. This resulted in large-scale power failure. He also got to do with the possibility of war with China over the Spratly islands. At last, the financial crisis in Asia burst out in 1997. Ramos had good plans for the Philippines, but never had the chance to perform them all because his reign came to an end.

The Government Joseph Ejercito Estrada (1998 – 2001)

Estrada was a movie star who was elected to be president of the Philippines, in 1998. In his reign, he restored the economy of the financial crisis in Asia. As well as the long-debated conflict with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which was completely back on track when Estrada declared war in March 2000. In November 2000, Estrada was accused of among other things, bribery and corruption and a deposition proceeding against Estrada began. This however failed, as it was stopped by some senators who remained faithful. The citizenry responded with a protest on the streets, after which the Estrada government came to an end and the then Vice President Arroyo was elected president of the Philippines.

The Government Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (2001 – 2010)

Arroyo is the daughter of the then President Macapagal. In her presidency, she as well had to deal with demonstrations and violence. Supporters of Estrada, who did not agree with the legality of her presidency held various demonstrations. Arroyo stopped this hustle and bustle by arresting the demonstrators. Arroyo also won the elections of 2004, which resulted in a second term. In 2005, she was threatened with a deposition procedure, as she was accused to have used public funds for her campaign. In the end, the house of representatives voted against this procedure. In February 2006, the President informed the country that a coup attempt was taken. Followed by a state of emergency. Arroyo’s reign came to an end in 2010.

The Government Benigo Simeon Aquino II (2010 – 2016)

Benigno Simeon, beter known as Noynoy Aquino, was the 15th president of the Philippines and the only son of Corazon Aquino and Ninoy Aquino.

The Government Rodrigo Roa Duterte (2016 – present day)

Duterte was the major of Davao before he became president of the Philippines.