Summary of the American Colonial Period

The rule of the United States over the Philippines had two phases.

The first phase was from 1898 to 1935, during which time Washington defined its colonial mission as one of tutelage and preparing the Philippines for eventual independence. Political organizations developed quickly, and the popularly elected Philippine Assembly (lower house) and the U.S.-appointed Philippine Commission (upper house) served as a bicameral legislature. The ilustrados formed the Federalista Party, but their statehood platform had limited appeal. In 1905 the party was renamed the National Progressive Party and took up a platform of independence. The Nacionalista Party was formed in 1907 and dominated Filipino politics until after World War II. Its leaders were not ilustrados. Despite their “immediate independence” platform, the party leaders participated in a collaborative leadership with the United States. A major development emerging in the post-World War I period was resistance to elite control of the land by tenant farmers, who were supported by the Socialist Party and the Communist Party of the Philippines. Tenant strikes and occasional violence occurred as the Great Depression wore on and cash-crop prices collapsed.
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Philippine Economy: Spanish Period

The Philippine Economy During the Spanish Colonial Period

Ferdinand Magellan was the first European recorded to have landed in the Philippines. He arrived in March 1521 during his circumnavigation of the globe. He claimed land for the king of Spain but was killed by a local chief.

Following several more Spanish expeditions, the first permanent settlement was established in Cebu in 1565. After defeating a local Muslim ruler, the Spanish set up their capital at Manila in 1571, and they named their new colony after King Philip II of Spain. In doing so, the Spanish sought to acquire a share in the lucrative spice trade, develop better contacts with China and Japan, and gain converts to Christianity. Only the third objective was eventually realized.

As with other Spanish colonies, church and state became inseparably linked in carrying out Spanish objectives. Several Roman Catholic religious orders were assigned the responsibility of Christianizing the local population. The civil administration built upon the traditional village organization and used traditional local leaders to rule indirectly for Spain. Through these efforts, a new cultural community was developed, but Muslims (known as Moros by the Spanish) and upland tribal peoples remained detached and alienated.

Trade in the Philippines centered around the “Manila galleons,” which sailed from Acapulco on the west coast of Mexico (New Spain) with shipments of silver bullion and minted coin that were exchanged for return cargoes of Chinese goods, mainly silk textiles and porcelain. There was no direct trade with Spain and little exploitation of indigenous natural resources. Most investment was in the galleon trade. But, as this trade thrived, another unwelcome element was introduced — sojourning Chinese entrepreneurs and service providers. Continue reading “Philippine Economy: Spanish Period”

Filipino Presidents – Biographies

The native Tagalog word for ‘president’ is pangulo, and the Spanish-derived Filipino word is presidente.

Emilio Aguinaldo (1869 – 1964)
The president of the first Philippine republic (1899). He started as a member of the Magdalo Chapter of the Katipunan in Cavite, then was elected president of the revolutionary government at the Tejeros Convention on March 22,1897, and, later, Biak-na-Bato Republic. He proclaimed Philippine independence at Kawit on June 12, 1898. His capture foreshadowed the end of large-scale armed resistance to American rule.
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Short Historical Background

The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century. They were ceded to the United States in 1898 following the Spanish-American War.

In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel Quezon was elected president and was tasked with preparing the country for independence after a 10-year transition.

In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control.

On 4 July 1946 the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence from the United States. Continue reading “Short Historical Background”

History of Pampanga

The sociopolitical and economic conditions in Pampanga before colonization by Westerners indicate that the Pampango people had a functioning and well-adjusted system of self-governance. The agricultural sector produced food that was more than sufficient. There were artisans who had various skills, laws that preserved peace and order, and a class structure that offered security for the members of the community. The native Pampango also engaged in trade that brought them in contact with people beyond their immediate surroundings. Continue reading “History of Pampanga”

Battle of Bataan & Death March

Bataan is a province on the Bataan Peninsula of the large island of Luzon.

The Battle of Bataan was one of the last stands of American and Filipino soldiers before they were overwhelmed by imperial Japanese forces during World War II. It is the largest surrender of American and Filipino troops in military history.

Date: January 7 – April 9, 1942

US Commanders: Douglas MacArthur, Jonathan Wainwright
Filipino Commander: Vicente Lim
Japanese Commander: Masaharu Homma

US and Filipino forces: 79,500 soldiers
Japanese forces: 75,000 soldiers

Bataan Death March (1942)
About 76,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war were captured by the Japanese during the Battle of Bataan. The POWs were made to march from the Bataan peninsula to prison camps to the north.

April 9 is now celebrated every year as Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) in the Philippines. The commemoration is also known as Bataan Day.

400 Years (1521-1921) Timeline in Tagalog


Timeline of 400 years of Philippine history, as written in 1922.


1521.—Ika-26 ng Marzo, kaunaunahang pagdatal sa Pilipinas ng mga kastila.

1863.—Ika 30 ng Nobyembre, kapanganakan kay Andrés Bonifacio.

1872.—Ika 28 ng Pebrero, pagbitay kiná Gomez, Burgos at Zamora.

1892.—Ika 26 ng Hunyo, paglunsad ni Rizal sa Maynila.

1892.—Ika 7 ng Hulyo, pagkakapabilanggo kay Rizal ni General Despujol, sa Fuerza de Santiago.

1892.—Ika 7 ng Hulyo, pagkakatatag ng “Katipunan.”

1896.—Ika 1 ng Enero, pagkakahalal sa mga magsisibuo ng Panguluhan ng “Katipunan.”

1896.—Ika 1 ng Enero, unang labas ng pahayagan ng “Katipunan” na ang pamagat ay “Kalayaan.”

1896.—Buwan ng Mayo, sinugo ni Bonifacio si Dr. Valenzuela kay Rizal.

1896.—Ika 5 ng Hulyo, sulat ng pinuno ng sibil na si Sityar sa mga pinunong kastila sa Maynila.

1896.—Ika 5 ng Agosto, paglunsad ni Rizal sa Maynila buhat sa Dapitan.

1896.—Ika 5 ng Agosto, tinangka ng mga “Katipunan” na iligtas si Rizal.

1896.—Ika 13 ng Agosto, sulat ng “cura” sa Sampiro kay Luengo.

1896.—Ika 17 ng Agosto, pulong na idinaos ng “Katipunan” sa “Kankong.”

1896.—Ika 19 ng Agosto, pagkatuklas ng “Katipunan” ni P. Mariano Gil.

1896.—Ika 27 ng Agosto, paglipat nina Bonifacio sa Balakbak.

1896.—Ika 28 ng Agosto, pagkalagda ng pahayag sa paghihimagsik.

1896.—Ika 29 ng Agosto, pasyang pagsimula ng paghihimagsik, na iniuutos sa pahayag ni Bonifacio.

1896.—Ika 29 ng Agosto, pagkakalabanang mahigpit ng mga “Katipunan” at kawal ng kastila sa Balintawak at iba pa.

1896.—Ika 30 ng Agosto, araw na ipinasyang pagsalakay sa Maynila.

1896.—Ika 30 ng Agosto, ipinasya ni General Blanco na gawing pook ng digmaan ang mga lalawigang Maynila, Bulakan at iba pa.

1896.—Ika 4 ng Septiembre, kaunaunahang mga ipinabaril ng mga kastila.
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Philippine History, 1521-1946

The Tagalog word for ‘history’ is kasaysayan.

Spanish rule of the Philippines began soon after the explorer Ferdinand Magellan discovered the islands in 1521. Magellan had been searching for a shorter route to Moluccas, the Spice Islands.

Admiral Ruy Lopez de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Filipinas after King Philip II of Spain, and in 1565 helped to build the first Spanish settlement on the main island of Luzon.

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