● 1521 – Ferdinand Magellan “discovers” the islands and names them: Archipelago of San Lazaro.
● 1542 – Spanish expedition commandeered by Ruy Lopez de Villalobos claims the islands for Spain; names them “Philippines” after Prince Philip, later King Philip II of Spain; the Philippines becomes part of Spanish Empire.
● 1892 – Jose Rizal founded the civic organization La Liga Filipina.
● 1896 – Katipuneros tear their cedulas & shout in contempt of the Spaniards in what is called the Cry of Pugadlawin.
● 1897, General Emilio Aguinaldo establishes the a new republic at Biak-na-Bato in Bulacan.
● 1886 – José Rizal publishes anti-Spanish novel, Noli Me Tangere (The Lost Eden); and seers up independence sentiment.
● 1896 – Spanish execute Rizal for instigating insurrection; public outrage spawns rebellion.
● 1898 – American warship Maine was blown up in Havana harbour, triggers the the Spanish-American war, the battle of Manila Bay ensues.
● 1898 – Emilio Aguinaldo assembled the Malolos Congress in Bulacan, then declares independence in Kawit, Cavite
● 1899 – Treaty of Paris ends Spanish-American War, cedes Philippines to U.S. after payment to Spain by U.S. of $ 20 million. Emilio Aguinaldo declares independence then leads a guerrilla war against U.S.
● 1901 – U.S. captures Aguinaldo; William Howard Taft arrives as first U.S. governor of Philippines.
● 1902 – Insurrection ends; Taft improves economic conditions, settles disputes over church ownership of land, establishes “Pensionado” program, allowing Filipinos to study in U.S., which helped modernize and westernize the country.
● 1916 – U.S. congress passes the Jones Law establishing elected Filipino legislature with house and senate.
● 1934 – U.S. congress approves the Tydings-McDuffie Law promising Philippine independence by 1946; transition to independence begins.
● 1935 – Filipino people approve constitution creating the Philippine Commonwealth with Manuel Quezon y Molina as president.
● 1941 – Japanese invades the Philippines, and defeats Gen. Douglas MacArthur at Bataan and Corregidor; Quezon establishes government in exile in the U.S.
● 1944 – Quezon dies in exile; Vice President Sergio Osmeña assumes the presidency; MacArthur returns to the Philippines and lands in Leyte with little resistance.
● 1945 – Gen. MacArthur liberates Manila and President Osmeña establishes government
● 1946 – The U.S. gave the Philippines independence and Manuel Roxas y Acuña is elected as the first president of the new republic.
● 1965 – Ferdinand E. Marcos is elected by a big majority as president
● 1972 – Martial Law was declared by President Marcos
● 1981 – Marcos lifts Martial Law
● 1983 – Opposition leader Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino returns from exile and is assassinated on arrival at Manila International Airport; Aquino’s widow Corazon leads the “People Power” protest movement
● 1986 – Marcos was declared winner in a presidential election beating Corazon Aquino amid charges of fraud; demonstrations erupt; Marcos flees to Hawaii; Aquino is declared president and forms a new government
● 1992 – Endorsed by Aquino, her Secretary of Defense Gen. Fidel Ramos wins presidential election. U.S. Philippine congress rejects a new treaty with the U.S. and Subic Bay naval base and Clark Air Field returns to Philippine government, ending American military presence in the Philippines
● 1996 – The government of Ramos agrees to greater autonomy for southern island of Mindanao. Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) ends the guerrilla war with the government.
● 1997 – Asian financial crisis grips Asia and the Philippines escapes the crisis despite series of currency devaluations
● 1988 – Former movie actor Joseph Estrada is elected president
● 2000 – On charges of corruption, the lower house impeach Estrada
● 2001 – Estrada was forced to step down due to public outrage over corruption allegations. Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumes the presidency.