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.
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.
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).