The history of the Philippines is believed to have begun with the arrival of the first humans via land bridges at least 30,000 years ago. The first recorded visit from the West is the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan on Homonhon Island, southeast of Samar on March 16, 1521.
Prior to Magellan's arrival, there were several established kingdoms and sultanates present in the Philippines, such as the Buddhist Kingdom of Butuan, the indianized kingdoms of Tondo and Maysapan, some of which flourished from as early as the 10th century AD, as well as the Muslim Sultanates of Sulu, Maynila, and Maguindanao. Despite these kingdoms attaining complex political and social orders, as well as enjoying trade with areas now called China, India, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia, none encompassed the whole archipelago which was to become the unified Philippines of the twentieth century. The remainder of settlements were independent Barangays allied with one of the larger kingdoms.
Spanish colonization and settlement began with the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi's expedition in 1565 and established the first permanent settlement of San Miguel on the island of Cebu, and more settlements continued northward reaching the bay of Manila on the island of Luzon in 1571. In Manila, they established a new town and thus began an era of Spanish colonization that lasted for more than three centuries.
Spanish rule unsuccessfully attempted to achieve the political unification of the whole archipelago of previously independent kingdoms and communities. Unification of the Philippines was not achieved until the twentieth century. The Spanish introduced the western European version of printing and the Gregorian calendar. The Spanish East Indies was ruled as a territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain and administered from Mexico City, Mexico from 1565 to 1821, and administered directly from Madrid, Spain from 1821 until the end of the Spanish–American... [continues]
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