Month: July 2019

History of the Philippines

The Philippines was named after King Philip 2 who ruled over Spain in the 16th century when it was still a Spanish colony. Before this, the Philippines was referred to as the Republic of the Philippines. Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, who was a Spanish explorer coined the name in respect to Prince Philip who later reigned over Spain. The initial Spanish settlement happened in 1594 and later in 1571; Manila was made a colonial capital. The Spanish administration converted most Filipinos into Catholics with the exception of those living in the southwest island who stuck to Islam.

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In the 16th century, the Philippines became a Spanish colony but the United States took over the reign after a Spanish-American war in 1898. In the 19th century, a national movement emerged that led an armed uprising where Spain won against the US. Later in 1898, Spain handed over the Philippines to the US for $20 million.

After a nationalist movement announced the Philippines as an independent state, the US opposed the declaration that led to a war break out that went on for 6 years. In 1916, the Philippines elected representatives for the Senate and the House of Representatives which were headed by an American governor General.

In 1935, the Philippines was made an independent Commonwealth nation under the leadership of Manuel Quezon. Manuel was tasked with the responsibility of getting the Philippines ready for independence following a transition that would last 10 years. In December 1941, Japan fought against the US during the 2nd world war and took over the Philippines. This, however, did not last long as the US and the Philippines forces came together and fought to regain control.

Ferdinand Marcos ruled over the Philippines for 20 years after independence. His rule was cut short when the people power organization in Manila forced him to go into exile. In his place, Corazon Aquino was made the president of the Philippines. Due to the weak economy and widespread poverty, the political scene in the Philippines remained unstable. The government had to deal with multiple coup attempts but the US forces stood with the government to destroy the coup attempts.

To end the war between the government and the Muslim forces, an agreement was signed though not all rebels agreed with the terms. Fidel Ramos took over the rein in the Philippines and during his reign, there was a lot of political stability and an increase in economic growth. The US closed down their military base in 1992 and 6 years later, Joseph Estrada was elected as the president of the Philippines.  He was impeached on corruption allegations and his vice, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took over the reign in 1998.

The Philippines continues to thrive today under the leadership of Rodrigo Duterte who took over the reign in June 2016. He will be ruling for a six-year term after which the citizens will elect a new president. Though the level of poverty is still high in the Philippines among the 103 million citizens, there is a constant economic growth that is a sign of good things in the future. The country will definitely be in a better place in the coming days if the 6% economic growth continues.