Philippine History, 1521-1946

The Tagalog word for ‘history’ is kasaysayan.

Spanish rule of the Philippines began soon after the explorer Ferdinand Magellan discovered the islands in 1521. Magellan had been searching for a shorter route to Moluccas, the Spice Islands.

Admiral Ruy Lopez de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Filipinas after King Philip II of Spain, and in 1565 helped to build the first Spanish settlement on the main island of Luzon.

The Spanish conquistadores reigned for nearly 400 years until 1898 when the United States defeated Spain in the Spanish-American War. As a result of the Treaty of Paris, Spain surrendered the Philippines, marking the end of Spanish colonial rule and the beginning of American control. In 1901, future U.S. president William Howard Taft became the first civilian governor of the islands.

American rule was interrupted briefly during World War II when the Japanese occupied the islands from 1941 to 1945. After the war ended, the United States granted the Philippines independence on July 4, 1946, ending nearly 50 years of American government.


kasaysayan ng Pilipinas
history of the Philippines

sa ilalim ng mga Amerikano
under the Americans

Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon
People’s Anti-Japanese Army