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Timeline: Philippines History


Part I: Magellan, Rizal, and Philippine independence
About 25,000 B.C. The ancestors of the Philippines' aboriginal inhabitants-the Negritos or Aeta-come from the Asian mainland, crossing shallow seas and land bridges. (Archaeological evidence suggests that the Philippines may have been inhabited many thousands of years before then, but that can't be stated with certainty. The oldest human fossil found so far is 22,000 years old.)
About 3000 B.C. New inhabitants come from Indonesia. This is repeated around 1000 B.C.
About 200 B.C. The first of several waves of Malayan settlers arrives from South China.
1300s A.D. Extensive trade is being conducted with India, Indonesia, China, and Japan. Arab traders from Indonesia introduce Islam to the Filipinos.
1521 Ferdinand Magellan explores the islands now known as the Philippines
1542 Spanish military party claims islands for Spain; names them "Philippines" after Prince Philip, later King Philip II of Spain; Philippines becomes part of Spanish Empire
1886 José Rizal publishes anti-Spanish novel, Noli Me Tangere (The Lost Eden); popularizes independence sentiment
1896 Spanish execute Rizal for instigating insurrection; public outrage spawns rebellion
1542 Spanish military party claims islands for Spain; names them "Philippines" after Prince Philip, later King Philip II of Spain; Philippines becomes part of Spanish Empire
1886 José Rizal publishes anti-Spanish novel, Noli Me Tangere (The Lost Eden); popularizes independence sentiment
1896 Spanish execute Rizal for instigating insurrection; public outrage spawns rebellion
1899 Treaty of Paris ends Spanish-American War, cedes Philippines to U.S. Filipinos declare their independence; Emilio Aguinaldo leads guerrilla war against U.S.
1901 U.S. captures Aquinaldo; William Howard Taft arrives as first U.S. governor of Philippines
1902 Insurrection ends; Taft improves economic conditions, settles disputes over church ownership of land, establishes pensionado program, allowing Filipinos to study in U.S., which helped modernize and westernize the country
1916 U.S. government passes Jones Law establishing elected Filipino legislature with house and senate
1934 U.S. approves Tydings-McDuffie Act promising Philippine independence in 1946; transition to independence begins
1935 Filipino people approve constitution creating Commonwealth of the Philippines with Manuel Quezon y Molina as president
1941 Japanese invade Philippines, and defeat Gen. Douglas MacArthur at Bataan and Corregidor; Quezon establishes government in exile
1944 Quezon dies; Vice President Sergio Osmeña takes presidency; MacArthur reinvades Philippines
1945 MacArthur liberates Manila; Osmeña establishes government
1946 Philippines becomes independent nation; Manuel Roxas y Acuña elected first president

Part II: Marcos, People Power, Estrada, and Arroyo
1965 Ferdinand E. Marcos becomes president.
1972 Marcos establishes martial law.
1983 Opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino returns from exile, is slain on arrival at Manila Airport; Benigno's widow Corazon Aguino leads "People Power" protest movement.
1986 Marcos defeats Aquino in a presidential election amid charges of fraud; riots erupt; Marcos flees into exile; Aquino forms new government.
1992 Former Gen. Fidel Ramos wins presidential election with Aquino's support; U.S. turns Subic Bay naval base to Philippine government, ending American military presence in the country.
1996 Philippine government agrees to greater autonomy for southernmost island of Mindanao, where Islamic separatists called Moro National Liberation Front wage guerrilla war.
1997 Philippines escape Asian financial crisis despite series of currency devaluations.
1998 Former movie star Joseph Estrada elected president.
2000 Legislature begins impeachment hearings against Estrada on corruption charges. The hearings are never completed.
2001 Public outrage forces Estrada to step down; Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumes the presidency; Estrada indicted for corruption; rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front agrees to a ceasefire.
2002 U.S. government provides training to Philippine troops fighting the guerilla group Abu Sayyaf, which is believed to have ties to Osama bin Laden; the group's leader, Abu Sabaya, is killed.
2003 Ceasefire with Moro Islamic Liberation Front breaks down, then reinstated; hundreds of mutinous soldiers demonstrate against the regime. Dozens of mutinous soldiers took over a Manila shopping complex, protesting low pay and demanding the resignation of President Arroyo and the defense secretary. The demonstration ended peacefully.
2004 Presidential election takes place on May 10; Arroyo's closest rival is film star Fernando Poe, Jr., a friend of Estrada. President Arroyo narrowly defeated Poe, taking 39.5% of the vote to his 36.6%, according to the unofficial count. Angelo dela Cruz, a truck driver kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents, released on July 10 after Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo accedes to kidnappers' demands and pulls troops from Iraq. He had been held for two weeks
2005 In March, police kill three top members of Abu Sayyaf while quelling a prison uprising in Manila. In all, 22 people, including 20 prisoners and two guards, die in the violence. A week after the operation, police arrest a suspected Islamic militant who they believe was planning a retaliatory bomb attack on Manila over Easter weekend. Members of the opposition call for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in June, after she admitted to calling an election official during 2004's presidential race. A taped phone conversation between Arroyo and an election commisisoner seems to suggest that she had tried to use her power to influence the outcome. The opposition filed an impeachment motion in July.
2006 A mudslide in February leveled the town of Guinsaugon and killed about 1,800 of its 1,857 residents. Arroyo declared a state of emergency in February, saying the government had foiled an attempted coup by the military. She also banned rallies commemorating the 20th anniversary of the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos. Some observers, however, dismissed the report of the coup attempt as political maneuvering to gain support and weaken the opposition. On June 24, President Arroyo announced the abolition of the death penalty. On June 26, opponents of President Arroyo filed a new impeachment complaint, alleging corruption and human rights abuses.
2007 In September 2007, former president Joseph Estrada was convicted of corruption and senteced to life in prison. The government said in November that it had reached a deal with the separatist Moro National Liberation Front that set boundaries for a Muslim homeland on the southern island of on Mindanao.
2010 In May, Benigno S. Aquino III is elected president during the first automated national elections in the Philippines.