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Chronology of Significant Events in Philippine History

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1521 Mar. 16 Ferdinand Magellan "discovered" the Philippine Islands. He landed on Cebu and claimed the islands for Carlos I of Spain. A month later he was killed in Mactan by Lapu-lapu, the first native Filipino chieftain to successfully resist foreign rule.
1565 Spain officially colonizes the Philippines. A permanent Spanish settlement was established when Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the first Royal Governor, arrived in Cebu from Mexico. Six years later he conquered Manila and established the capital there.
1762 Oct. After Spain sided with France against Britain in the Seven Years War, the British East India Co. captured Manila after fierce fighting.
1762 Dec. Diego Silang expelled the Spanish from the coastal city of Vigan and set up an independent government.
1763 May Diego Silang was assasinated, but Gabriela Silang continued the struggle.
1764 May The Phil was returned to Spanish control after the Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years war. But the brief British occupation, according to some historians, signalled the decline of the old Spanish order.
1781 Spanish Gov. Jose Basco Y Vargas (1778 - 1787), established the Economic Society of Friends of the Country which encouraged the growth of new crops for exports.
1782 A gov't tobacco monopoly was established raking in large profits for the gov't. and made the Phil a leading tobacco producer worldwide.
1785 The Royal Company of the Phil, chartered by the King, began direct trade between Spain and the Phil.
1815 The end of the Galleon Trade between Mexico and the Phil.
1834 The Crown abolished the Royal Company of the Phil, and formalized free trade, opening the port of Manila to unrestricted foreign commerce. In just a few years, around 1870, British and US merchants dominated the Phil commerce; Impor-texport business rose spectacularly.
1839 Bro. Apolinario de la Cruz started the Filipino brotherhood called the Cofradia de San Jose. When it was declared illegal and banned in 1840, they went into armed rebellion mainly around Tayabas; They initially defeated a detachment led by the provincial governor.
1841 Nov. 1 Superior Spanish force overran the Cofradia camp and slaughtered many members of the brotherhood
1841 Nov. 5 Bro. Apolinario was executed. His followers went to the slopes of Mt. San Cristobal and Mt. Banahao. These mountains, where no friars ventured, became the source of various myths and folklore.
1855 Additional ports for foreign trade were opened including Cebu, Legazpi, Zamboanga, and Iloilo. In Iloilo, the British Vice-Consul, Nicolas Loney, started encouraging and supporting the development of Negros as the center of the Phil Sugar Industry.
1861 June 19 Philippine National hero, Dr. Jose Rizal was born in Calamba, Laguna
1863 Nov. 30 Andres Bonifacio was born in Tondo, Manila
1868 A liberal governor, General Carlos Maria de la Torre, came to the Phil following the Spanish revolution that deposed Queen Isabela II.
1871 The friars and other conservatives managed to engineer the replacement of de la Torre by a more conservative figure, Rafael de lzquierdo, who boasted that he came to the islands " with a crucifix in one hand, and a sword in the other."
1872 Feb 17 Three Filipino priests, Jose Burgos, Mariano Gomez, and Jacinto Zamora, were executed with the brutal garotte on the Luneta. They were the reformers. Earlier Fr.Jose Burgos had published a pamphlet, Manifesto to the Noble Spanish Nation, during the liberal governorship of General Carlos Maria de la Torre.
1887 Mar 21 Rizal's Noli Me Tangere was published in Berlin and dedicated to "My Fatherland".
1891 Sept. 18 Rizal's El Filibusterismo was published in Ghent, Belgium and dedicated to "Gom-Bur-Za" -- Frs. Gomez, Burgos and Zamora.
1892 July 7 Andres Bonifacio founded the Katipunan
1896 June 21 Andres Bonifacio's emissary, Dr. Pio Valenzuela meets with Rizal in Dapitan for the purpose of seeking his support for an armed revolution, as well as rescuing him.
1896 Aug. 26 Premature Philippine Revolution against Spain started at Pugad Lawin by Bonifacio and the Katipunan
1896 Dec. 30 Dr. Jose P. Rizal was executed in Bagumbayan
1897 May 10 While recovering from a wound at Mt. Buntis, Maragondon, Cavite, Bonifacio was executed by the military govt. headed by Emilio Aguinaldo. Aguinaldo then became the supreme commander of the revolution.
1897 Dec. Pact of Biak-na-Bato temporarily suspends fighting between Filipinos and Spanish; Aguinaldo went into exile to Hongkong.
1898 May 1 Admiral Dewey defeats Spanish in Manila Bay
1898 June 12 Emilio Aguinaldo declares Philippine independence
1899 Jan. 23 Aguinaldo declares Philippine Republic
1899 Feb. 4 Fighting breaks out between U.S. and Filipino forces
1899 Feb. 6 U.S. Senate votes to annex Philippines
1899 Nov. 21 Aguinaldo retreats to the mountains of Northern Luzon; subsequently, General Gregorio del Pilar was killed at age 24 defending Tirad Pass
1901 Mar. 23 Aguinaldo captured
1901 July 4 Pres. McKinley establishes civil government, appointed Philippine Commission headed by William Howard Taft
1901 Sept. 28 Balangiga Massacre. American troops, while eating their breakfast, were caught totally unprepared, and massacred by Gen. Miguel Malvar's men. "... In a matter of minutes the street was littered with the flesh, brains, and intestines of dead american soldiers". This tragic event trigerred the most brutal reprisal from the american occupation forces.
1902 July1 Congressional legislation provides for colonial administration in the Philippines (First Organic Act)
1902 Sept. Gen. Miguel Malvar surrendered, and the americans finally felt the war was over.
1907 Oct. 16 First meeting of elected lower House; Sergio Osmena Sr. elected Speaker
1909 Aug. Payne-Aldrich tariff establishes free trade between U.S and Philippines
1916 Aug. 29 Jones Law promises Philippines ultimate independence; elected Senate replaces appointed Commission
1934 Mar. Tydings-McDuffie Act sets Philippine independence after 10-year Commonwealth period
1935 Nov. 15 Philippine Commonwealth established with Manuel Quezon as president and Sergio Osmena as vice-president
1941 Dec. 7 Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and Clark Airfield in the Philippines
1942 Jan. Prominent Philippine politicians formed the Philippine Executive Commission (PEC), as a provisional caretaker gov't. under the Japanese occupation.
1942 Mar. 11 On Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s orders, Gen. Douglas MacArthur pulls out of the Philippines, as the American defense of the islands against the invading Japanese Imperial Army collapses..
1942 Mar. 29 Formation of the People's Army against the Japanese occupation, a guerilla movement called "Hukbong Bayan Labang Hapon(Hukbalahap)"; members were called "Huks" for short.
1942 May Last U.S. forces in the Philippines surrender to the Japanese
1943 Oct. Japanese establish puppet "Philippine Republic" and grant it "independence"
1944 Aug. 1 President Manuel Quezon died in New York, USA due to malaria while in exile.
1944 Oct. 20 U.S. forces under General MacArthur return to Philippine island of Leyte together with Vice-Pres. Sergio Osmena Sr.
1944 Oct. 23 Philippine Commonwealth reestablished with Osmena as president
1945 Feb. Manila cleared of Japanese troops
1946 Feb. 20 US Congress enacted the infamous Rescission Act of 1946, and then signed into law by Pres. Harry Truman. This new US law excluded Filipino WWII veterans from some benefits entitled to US veterans of war.
1946 Apr. 23 Manuel Roxas defeats Osmena for presidency
1946 May-June Opposition legislators ousted from Philippine Congress
1946 July 2 Philippine Congress accepts Bell Trade Act
1946 July 4 Philippines given independence
1946 Sep. 18 Philippine Congress passes "parity" amendment to Philippine constitution, granting special rights to U.S. Investors
1947 Mar.11 "Parity" amendment ratified in plebiscite
1947 Mar. 14 Military Bases agreement signed with U.S. for 99 year term
1947 Mar. 21 Military Assistance agreement signed with U.S.
1948 Jan. 28 Collaborators with Japanese pardoned
1948 Mar. 6 Huks declared illegal organization
1948 Apr. 16 Roxas dies in office; succeeded by Elpidio Quirino
1949 Nov, 8 Quirino officially elected president
1950 Oct. 1 U.S. economic survey mission finds situation in Philippines desperate
1950 Nov. 9 U.S. National Security Council authorizes all necessary steps to defeat insurgency
1951 Aug. 30 U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty signed
1953 Nov. 10 Ramon Magsaysay defeats Quirino for the presidency
1954 Sept. 8 Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) established in Manila
1955 Sept. 6 Bell Trade Act replaced with the Laurel-Langley agreement
1957 Mar. 17 Pres. Ramon Magsaysay, together with most members of his cabinet, dies in plane crash at Mt. Manunggal, Cebu. Vice-Pres. Carlos Garcia, from Bohol, was sworn into office as the new president.
1957 Nov. 12 Garcia officially elected president, defeating avid nationalist Claro Recto
1959 Oct. 12 Bohlen-Serrano agreement on military bases: U.S. to consult before using bases for non-SEATO or non-Philippine defense combat operations or deploying long range missiles in the Philippines
1961 Nov. 14 Garcia defeated for presidency by Diosdado Macapagal
1962 Jan. 21 Macapagal removes import controls
1962 June 12 This date declared new Philippine independence day
1965 Nov. 9 Ferdinand Marcos defeats Macapagal for presidency; Marcos, going back on campaign promise, backs sending civic action unit (PHILCAG) to support U.S. war in Vietnam
1966 Sept. 16 Rusk-Ramos agreement: fixed term of military bases agreement changed to expire in 1991
1969 Nov. 11 Marcos re-elected
1970 Jan-Mar. "First-quarter storm": massive student demonstrations in Manila against Marcos and U.S. government
1971 Aug. 21 Grenades thrown at speakers' platform of Marcos's political opponents; perpetrators never caught; writ of habeas corpus suspended (restored Jan. 11, 1972)
1972 Sept. 21 Marcos signs declaration of martial law
1973 Jan. New constitution ratified by village assemblies, voting by show of hands
1974 July 4 "Parity" amendment expires
1976 Dec. 23 Tripoli Agreement signed to end fighting between government and Muslim guerillas
1978 Apr. 7 Elections for Interim National Assembly held, generally regarded as fraudulent
1979 Jan. 7 U.S. bases agreement amended: Philippine flag to fly over bases, but U.S. guaranteed "unhampered" military use.
1980 Nov. 4 Ronald Reagan elected president of the U.S.
1981 Jan. 17 Marcos "lifts" martial law, but retains most martial law powers
1981 June 16 Marcos elected president in elections boycotted by most of his opponents
1982 Sept. Marcos on state visit to U.S.
1983 Aug. 21 Former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. assassinated at Manila airport as he returns from exile in U.S.
1984 Apr. 14 National Assembly elections; some oppositionists participate but fraud minimizes the number of seats win
1984 Oct. 24 Agrava Commission finds there was a military conspiracy to assassinate Aquino
1984 Nov. Secret U.S. National Security Study Directive finds Marcos part of the problem and part of the solution
1985 May CIA chief William Casey meets with Marcos in Manila
1985 Oct. 16 U. S. Sen. Paul Laxalt meets with Marcos in Manila
1985 Nov. 3 Marcos announces snap election on an American TV talk show, "This Week with David Brinkley".
1985 Dec. 2 Marcos-controlled court clears Ver and other military officers in Aquino assassination
1985 Dec. 3 Corazon Aquino announces that she is a candidate for the presidency
1985 Dec. 11 At the deadline, Corazon Aquino and Salvador Laurel agree to run as a united opposition ticket
1986 Feb. 7 Election held between Marcos and Aquino; both claim victory
1986 Feb. 11 Reagan declares there was fraud on both sides
1986 Feb. 15 Philippine Bishops denounce election and call for civil disobedience
1986 Feb. 22 Marcos's defense minister, Juan Ponce Enrile, and deputy chief of staff, Fidel V. Ramos, defect
1986 Feb. 23 People protect Camps Crame and Aguinaldo from Marcos's armed forces; troops refuse to fire on civilians
1986 Feb. 25 Marcos flies to Clark Air Base and then to Hawaii; Aquino takes over presidency.

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