Philippines History and Demographics

The history of the Philippines has begun on the arrival of the migrants Negritos who came in the islands of Palawan by means of walking through land bridges. They are believed to come from Asian country. They are small people who have dark complexion and curly brown hair. These people lived through hunting and fishing, they do not know anything about agriculture. They are the ancestors of the indigenous Filipino group called the “Aetas”.

After Negritos came to the Filipinos there are also second group of migrants who came to the Philippines, the Hindus. They are believed to be native of Indonesia. Next to them is the arrival of another group who came to islands of the Philippines using rafts which they call “balangay”, they are the Malays. These people are said to be the ancestors of most of the Filipinos. Their physical appearance resembles the majority of the Filipinos. They have brown skin ”kayumanggi”, straight hairs, average height and flat nose.These group of migrants have engaged in pottery, weaving jewelry making, metal smelting and they introduced irrigation system.

In the beginning of the third century, the inhabitants of the Philippines were trading with traders from East Asian countries including China, and later Japanese have also built trading post on the northern part of Luzon.

In 1380, Muslim Arab groups from Borneo arrived on the islands of Sulu and established Muslim communities in the area lead by the Datu. They were the one who introduced Islam in the Southern parts of the Philippine archipelago and in some parts of Luzon. They dominated the region for hundreds of years until the discovery of the archipelago by the Spaniards.

In 1521, the team of the Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed on the land of Samar, he named it Archipelago of San Lazaro and explored nearby areas including Cebu where he was killed by the leader of the Mactan Island (near Cebu), Sultan Kudarat. After Magellan died, Spanish government continued to send expeditions to the archipelago for financial gain and on the fourth expedition, the leader Ruy Lopez de Villalobos named the Island Philippines, after the King Philip II. When Miguel Lopez de Legazpi was appointed as the first governor of the Philippines he chose Manila to be the capital because of its natural harbor that they can be used for trading. The Spaniards colonized Philippines for 356 years; they have influenced the Filipino culture in so many ways. They have introduced the Catholicism to the country, which became the religion of most of the Filipinos up to the present times.

During the Spanish colony, many Filipinos heroes have leaded some revolutionary movements again the Spanish suppressor. They include Andres Bonifacio who led the faction named Katipunan and later Emilio Aguinaldo drafted the constitution and established the Very first Philippine republic. Among with them is Jose Rizal, now the National Hero of the country who used his gift of intelligence against the Spaniards, he was then later executed in Luneta park (Rizal Park today)

The Spanish colonization was ended when they ceded the Philippines to the American after the Spanish-American war and payment of 20 million US dollar in accordance to the Treaty of Paris. On June 12, 1898, President Emilio Aguinaldo declared the Philippine Independence day. During the American period, Commonwealth government was established and Manuel Quezon won the position as the President of the Philippine Commonwealth. Americans also have big contribution on the culture of the Filipinos. Until now the two countries have remained allies.

The American era have lasted on 1941, when the Japanese invaded the country after bombing Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Soon there was guerilla war against the Japanese where they were fought by Filipinos together with the Americans. Filipinos civilian endured so much cruelty from the Japanese military. In 1944 Gen, McArthur with President Sergio Osmena (who assumed presidency after the death of Manuel Quezon) returned and liberated the Philippines from the Japanese.

After the Japanese colonization, the Philippines had begun to have its own Republic and constitution. They have lead by the Presidents: Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Ramon Magsaysay, Carlos Garcia, and Ferdinand Marcos. Marcos was the first president to be re-elected for a second term in office, he then declared Martial Law on 1972 which lead to 21 year dictatorship. People Power Revolution has ended the Marcos dictatorship and Corazon Aquino has won the snap election. She was then succeeded by Fidel Ramos. After him Joseph Estrada was elected as the president who was impeached because involvement in Jueteng, an illegal number game, Gloria Arroyo who was then the vice president assumed the country’s highest position after the People Power Revolution was repeated for the second time. After Arroyo is Benigno Aquino, son of Corazon Aquino, was elected and succeeded by Rodrigo Duterte (present President of the Republic).

President Rodrigo is now the leader of over 100 million population of the country. Philippines are the 12th place in the most populated countries in the world with growth rate at 1.59%. There is a concentrated distribution of the population to the major cities like Manila (12.9M population).

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