As per experts, before 50 million years, due to the volcanic eruptions the archipelago was formed in today’s Pacific Ocean. Approximately, about 30,000 years ago the initial or first occupants arrived from the Asia over land bridges. Later on after some centuries, the culture of southeastern Asia reached the country with the early settlers. From the eighth to the fifteenth centuries, one great Hindu-Malayan empire used to rule from Java and Sumatra and Philippine Islands were part of it.
Later on, the Philippines were claimed by Spain in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan a Portuguese explorer and sailor, who named the islands after his King Philip II of Spain. And this is how the nation got the name. Unfortunately, the islanders were not enough capable to stand against these armed men and by the end of the sixteenth century, most of the nation was conquered by Spaniards.
Spaniards destroyed the prior histories of the nation completely. However, Rizal wrote two books where he described the actual exploitations of Spanish rules. Unfortunately, these books were banned at that time due to the bitter truth. Jose was a great soul who was born in the Spanish colonial period. He was a great freedom fighter and ignited the fire of Philippine Independence. Filipinos proudly consider themselves as Malays as the natives of the Indonesia and Malaysia. Even, José Rizal, the Philippines’ most respected and admired national hero is commonly addressed as the “Pride of the Malay Race”. Here we can see the actual roots and origin of the nation.
In 16th century, Philippines became Spanish colony and the country was under Spanish rule for almost 333 years. The Philippine Revolution started in 1896. During a gathering in Caloocan, the leaders of the Katipunan planned for a revolutionary government and declared a nationwide revolution. Revolutionary, Andres Bonifacio decided to attack on the capital city of Manila unfortunately it failed however, this ignited the fire of Independence and the neighboring provinces began to revolt too. In 1897 Andres Bonifacio was executed by the Spaniards and the command was handed over to Emilio Aguinaldo, who ran the revolutionary government. That same year revolutionaries and the Spanish signed the treaty which reduced the conflicts temporarily. Some of the Filipino revolutionary exiled to Hong Kong due to recent treaty the signed.
In February 1898 US Maine was an American Navy ship which sank in Havana Harbor. Americans said that the Spanish were blamable for the ship’s ruin and this contributed to the outbreak of the Spanish–American War in April 1898. After that Americans launched a naval blockade of the Spanish colonial island of Cuba. After that on May 1, the U.S. Navy had beaten the Spanish Navy in the Battle of Manila Bay by grabbing the control of Manila. On May 19, Aguinaldo, connected with the United States and came back to the Philippines and restarted outbreaks against the Spaniards. By June, the rebels got almost control of the Philippines, except Manila. The Spanish regulation of the Philippines ended with the Treaty of Paris of 1898. Americans helped the Philippines at that time and entered the Philippines in the meanwhile.
There was a very strange situation at that time around Manila; American forces were controlling the city and the weaker Philippines forces were surrounded by them. On February 4, 1899, in Manila a fight started between the Filipino and American forces, beginning the Philippine–American War. In June 1899, the emerging Philippine Republic officially declared war against the United States for Independence.
Actually there are two phases of the Philippine-American War. In the first phase, from February to November of 1899, this was led by Aguinaldo’s which failed against the equipped American troops. And the second phase was by the Filipinos’ shifting to the guerrilla-tactics warfare which began in November of 1899, lasted to the spring of 1902. This war was ruthless on both sides. In 1907, the Philippines organized its first elected assembly, and in 1916, the Jones Act promised the nation ultimate independence. The nation became an independent commonwealth in 1935, and the U.S. decided to grant independence to the nation.
However, in December 1941 Japan entered the World War II and Japan occupied the Philippines for almost three years. United States and Filipinos fought collectively during 1944 – 1945 to defeat Japan. The United States of America approved independence to the Philippines on July 4, 1946. On August 4, 1964, Republic Act No. 4166 retitled July 4 holiday as “Philippine Republic Day”, altered and announced June 12 as “Philippine Independence Day”.
There is a big list of freedom fighters like, Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo H. Del Pilar, Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat, Juan Luna, Melchora Aquino, Gabriela Silang and many more. I am unable to add the name of all great souls who fought for independence however, they are in our heart and we truly respect them.
Amongst all the Presidents, former President Ferdinand E. Marcos has the longest term of 21 consecutive years of being the President of the Philippines (December 30, 1965 – February 25, 1986). The popular People’s Power movement in 1986 led a dispute uprising against the regime. The confrontation resulted to exile of President Ferdinand E. Marcos. In his term he increased the budget of the armed forces, appointing them in civil projects such as the construction of schools and public facilities. Currently respected Rodrigo Roa Duterte is the President of the Philippines and he is doing a great job for the Nation.