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It is believed that the history of Philippines began somewhere between 150,000 and 30,000 years ago. The Philippine archipelago was born from powerful forces - great tectonic pressures forcing islands to push upwards, and mighty volcanoes to produce their ash to enrich plains nurtured by monsoon rains.

The first man to ever walk this land arrived during the ice ages, when seas were hundreds of meters lower. Later in about 5000 BC, the ocean flooded the land bridges. With that incident, waves of colonizers came to settle at the coastal areas, driving the earlier settlers into the mountains.

It has been recorded that there are as many as 5 immigration periods from Indochina between 1500 and 500 BC. Soon after came the Malayan people from 500 BC to 1500 AD. After the Malays, the Indians arrived bringing their influences from the Buddhist-Hindu empire of Srivijaya (800-1377 AD) and Majapahit (1293-1478 AD). The year 1380 AD saw the arrival of the Arab-taught scholar, Makdum and the 'Propagation of Islam' in the Sulu Islands, which was most successful. Later on, the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan, Ruy Lopez de Villalobos (the person who named the islands 'Filipinas') and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi marked the beginning of the Spanish rule that lasted for three centuries. During the reign of the Spanish, a rise of nationalism led by Jose Rizal (Philippine National Hero) took place. However, it was unfortunate that the fight for freedom ended Jose Rizal's life as well as the revolution. It was after the Spanish that the next half a century saw the Philippines under the American flag. In 1941, during World War II, the Japanese defeated the Americans and seized the whole of Philippines. It was not until 1944, that the Americans fought their way back into Manila and recaptured the country. After being colonized for nearly four centuries, the Philippines finally gained full independence from America on 4 July 1946.

Manuel Roxas was chosen as the first president of the Philippines, followed by Elpidio Quirino, Ramon Magsaysay, Carlos Garcia, Diosdado Macapagai, Ferdinand Marcos, Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada (current President).

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