Colonization of The Philippines

This timeline shows the series of major events that happened from 1521 to 1945. During this period of time, the Philippines was colonized by the Spanish and the Americans and was occupied by other countries as well.

1521-03-17 00:00:00

Discovery of the Philippines

The arrival of a Portuguese explorer named Ferdinand Magellan was marked the day when Spanish discovered the Philippines. He claimed the islands for the king of Spain. The Philippines was a prize catch for Spain, which, at that time, was locked, in a fierce struggle for world colonization with Portugal.

1565-02-13 00:00:00

Spanish Colonization

Colonization began when a Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi arrived from Mexico and formed the first European settlements of San Miguel in Cebu, one of the premiere centers of trade in the region. The expedition continued northward reaching the bay of Manilaon, where new towns were established. The Spanish brought political unification to most of the Philippines’ islands and influenced the locals with western practices and religion (Christianity).

1565-05-22 00:00:00

Dagami Revolt

Many locals were unhappy with the Spanish colonizing their country so a party of 16 led by Chief Dagami of Gabi planned to get rid of Miguel López de Legazpi. They hid themselves outside of the Spanish settlement in Cebu, and the following day, a member of the personal company of Spanish Governor Miguel López de Legazpi, was speared and beheaded by them. However, the Spanish quickly retaliated, and protected their people. The Peace Treaty of Cebu was signed 13 days later, on 4 June 1565, marking the end of the Dagami Revolt.

1744-01-24 00:00:00

Dagohoy Rebellion

The Dagohoy Rebellion is considered the longest rebellion in Philippine history. Led by Francisco Dagohoy, this rebellion took place in the island of Bohol from 1744 to 1829, and took the Spainards 85 years to quell. The main cause of this this revolt was caused by Spanish authorities refusing a Christian Burial to Dagohoy's brother. This led to Dagohoy vowing to correct the wrong done to his brother, and led a rebellion against the Spanish authority. Other underlying causes of the rebellion were the accumulation of anger from early revolts ignited by forced labor, Spanish oppression, excessive tax collection and payment of tributes. After 85 years of internal war, the Filipinos surrendered on the 31st of August, 1829.

1762-01-04 00:00:00

British Occupation of Manila and Cavite

The British declared war on Spain and as a result, on September 24, 1762 a force of British Army Soldiers sailed to bay of Manila, the capital of the Philippines, from India. Manila fell into the arms of the British on October 4, 1762 but this settlement was short lived as expansion into other islands in the Philippines was met with stiff resistance from the British Forces. An agreement of armistice between the Spanish and the British resulted in the withdrawal of the British from Manila in the first week of April 1764, and the Spanish once again took control.

1892-07-07 00:00:00

Founding of the Katipunan

The Katipunan was a revolutionary society founded on July 7th by anti-Spanish Filipinos in Manila. It was sparked by Jose Rival who wrote two novels, "Noli Me Tangere" and "El filibusterismo", which incited Filipino nationalism and revolt against the Spanish colonizers, he formed a civic movement organization called La Liga Filipina on July 3rd, 1892. This league spoke of social reforms through legal means. However, the league was disbanded four days after its formation, and Jose was declared an enemy of state by Spanish authorities. He was exiled to the remote Philippine island of Mindanao. Then, Andrés Bonifacio Teodoro Plata, Ladislao Diwa, and others first formed a secret society called Katipunan. It sought independence from Spain through armed revolt and was later discovered. As a result, it started the Philippine Revolution later in 1896.

1896-08-01 00:00:00

The Phillippine Revolution

The Phillippine Revolution was an armed military conflict between the people of the Philippines and Spanish colonial authorities. It began upon the discovery of the anti-colonial secret organization Katipunan by the Spanish authorities on August 1st, 1896. In a mass gathering in Caloocan, the Katipunan leaders organized themselves into a revolutionary government, and openly declared a nationwide-armed revolution. After a year of bloody fighting with support from the United States to the Philippines, the Spanish signed the truce pact of Biak-na-Bato on December 14, 1897, ending the Philippine Revolution. The Philippine Revolution marked an important turning point in Filipino Nationalism, and was a major cause for the inevitable downfall of Spanish Colonial Rule. The Revolution also led to increased unfriendly relations between the Spanish and Americans, and is believed to have caused the Spanish-American war for territory.

1898-05-01 00:00:00

The End of the Spanish Colonization

The Battle of Manila Bay took place on 1 May 1898, during the end of Spanish-American War. After 333 years of Spanish rule, the U.S. Navy defeated the Spanish Pacific fleet, and the Spaniards surrendered control over the Philippines upon on agreeing to sign the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. This resulted in the temporary independence of the Philippines, as the American's had not yet occupied the Philippines. The battle was one of the biggest naval battles in history, and marked the end of the Spanish colonial period in Philippine history.

1898-06-12 00:00:00

Philippine Independence

The Philippine Declaration of Independence, signed by ninety-eight people, occurred in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898 where Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine islands from Spanish colonization. This was a result of the Spanish getting defeated at the battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish American War on May 1, 1898. Although not recognized by the United States or Spain, the act of the declaration of independence declared that the Filipinos were free and independent and would begin to have a life of its own, cutting all political ties with Spain. An act of nationalism is seen because despite of not being acknowledged, the people still declared their independence and portrayed themselves as their own nation. They were proud to become their own country.

1899-02-04 00:00:00

Philippine - American War

After the first Philippine Republic resisted U.S. occupation, the Philippine - American war took place. This war, also known as the Philippine War of Independence, was an armed conflict between the United States and Filipino revolutionaries. The war was a continuation of the Philippine struggle for independence that began in 1896 with the Philippine Revolution. Fighting erupted between United States and Filipino revolutionary forces on February 4, 1899, and quickly escalated into the 1899 Second Battle of Manila.

1899-02-05 00:00:00

Second Battle of Manila

The Battle of Manila, the first and largest battle fought during the Philippine–American War, was fought on February 4 and 5, 1899, between 12,000 Americans and 15,000 Filipinos. Armed conflict broke out when American troops, under orders to turn away insurgents from their encampment, fired upon a group of Filipinos. Philippine President Emilio Aguinaldo attempted to negotiate a ceasefire, but American General Elwell Stephen Otis rejected it. This battle marked the beginning of a 3 year Philippine American War. It ended in American victory.

1902-07-04 00:00:00

End of Philippine-American War

When the American forces captured Aguinaldo, the president of the Philippines, on March 23, 1901, the Filipinos began to lose hope and surrendered. The Philippine-American war officially ended on July 4, 1902, in American victory. Under the 1902 "Philippine Organic Act", passed by the United States Congress, Filipinos were allowed to vote for some elected officials such as an elected Philippine Assembly. Though American colonial rule gave the Filipinos more freedom than that of the Spanish, the Filipinos still aimed for complete freedom, and minor fights continued on for several days afterward.

1942-01-02 00:00:00

The Japanese Occupation

The Japanese invasion (Philippines Campaign) occurred on December 8, 1941, ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The American aircraft was severely damaged in the initial Japanese attack. Manila, declared an open city to prevent its destruction, was occupied by the Japanese on January 2, 1942. After a few months of difficult fighting with the Japanese, American General Douglas MacArthur escaped the Philippines on the night of March 11, 1942 for Australia .The remaining 76,000 American and Filipino defenders, eventually surrendered on April 9, 1942. The campaign came to a conclusion on May 8, 1942, with Japanese control over the Philippines. Fighting continued until Japan's formal surrender on September 2, 1945, marking the end of World War II. The Philippines had suffered great loss of life and tremendous physical destruction by the time the war was over. An estimated 1 million Filipinos had been killed from all causes.

Colonization of The Philippines

Copy this timeline Login to copy this timeline 3d Game mode

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you. Please send questions or feedback to the below email addresses.

Before contacting us, you may wish to visit our FAQs page which has lots of useful info on Tiki-Toki.

We can be contacted by email at:

You can also follow us on twitter at

If you are having any problems with Tiki-Toki, please contact us as at:


Edit this timeline

Enter your name and the secret word given to you by the timeline's owner.

3-40 true Name must be at least three characters
3-40 true You need a secret word to edit this timeline

Checking details

Please check details and try again