Historical Events in the Philippines

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Many important events have defined the course of Philippines history. These occurences played pivotal roles in the building of the foundation of the nation and the nurturing of the sense of nationalism of Filipinos.

Prior to the Spanish colonization of the country, the Philippines was home to the rich indigenous cultures of the different ethnolinguistic groups living in it and they are still evident in the peoples' enduring ways of life. During the Spaniards' 333 years of tyrannical rule on the islands, they introduced many colonial impositions, particularly regarding economy, such as polo y servicio, tobacco monopoly, the tributary system, cedula personal, cash-crop economy and so on. In addition to imposing these, the Spaniards also influenced Philippine culture, language, education, and architecture. The most enduring and consequential influence of the Spaniards on Filipinos perhaps is adherence to Christianity.

In 1898, the Philippines was subjugated by the United States, becoming the only Southeast Asian country to be occupied, if not totally colonized, by the foreign superpower. The colonization was dubbed “benevolent assimilation.” However, the American rule in the Philippines was marked by many tortures and bloody events. American influence would later on become evident in the Philippines’ education system, language, architecture and other cultural facets.

In the 1940s, Japanese occupation opened a new phase of revolutionary action in the Philippines -- by an underground guerilla movement. A surprise attack in Clark Air Base, Pampanga on December 8, 1941 commenced the participation of the Philippines in World War II. Massive attacks, relentless battles and large-scale destruction occurred during this period. The Japanese introduced a new government structure in the country and founded the Philippine Executive Commission. The Japanese occupation of the Philippines ended in 1945, after Japan surrendered.

This Historical Events knowledge database is dedicated to the many events that occurred in the Philippines that are significant to the nation. Below is a short enumeration of the events categorized according the historical period that they fall under.

(To access the knowledge database on the Philippine Historical Events, click List of Historical Events)

Spanish Colonization Period

American Occupation Period

Japanese Occupation Period and World War II



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