Main article: History of the Philippines
Archeological discoveries show that humans existed in the Philippines around 40,000 years ago. The Negritos, a pre-Mongoloid ethnic group that migrated from mainland Asia, settled in the islands about 30,000 years ago. Another ethnic group known as the Malay people, a group of Malayo-Polynesian speaking people originated from the populations of Taiwanese aborigines, and settled in the Philippines approximately 6,000 years ago. They would populate the regions now known as Malaysia, Indonesia, the Pacific Islands, and Madagascar. The indigenous people of the Philippines, traded with other Asian countries during the Prehistoric period. Before the arrival of Islam, Animism syncretized with Hinduism, and Buddhism were the religions worshiped by various Philippine indigenous kingdoms. There was no unifying political state encompassing the entire Philippine archipelago. Instead, the region were ruled by competing thalassocracies ruled by Datus, Rajahs, and Sultans, such as the Kingdom of Maynila, Namayan, Dynasty of Tondo, Madya-as Confederacy, the Rajahnates of Butuan, and Cebu, the sultanates of Maguindanao, and Sulu. Some of these indigenous tribes were part of the Malayan empires of Srivijaya, Majapahit, and Brunei. Islam was brought to the Philippines by traders, and proselytizers from Malaysia, and Indonesia. By the 13th century, Islam were established in the Sulu Archipelago, and reached Mindanao, the Visayas, and Luzon by 1565. Muslims established Islamic communities. In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines, and claimed the islands for Spain. Colonization began when Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi, arrived from Mexico in 1565, and formed the first European settlements in Cebu. In 1571, they established Manila as the capital of the Spanish East Indies. The colony was governed as a territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1565 to 1821, and administered directly from Spain from 1821 to 1898.
A map found on board the Na SA de Covadonga, after it was taken by Commodore Anson in 1743, showing the route of the Manila-Acapulco galleon sailing through the Philippine Islands. Spanish rule brought political unification to an archipelago that later became the Philippines, and introduced elements of western civilization such as the code of law, printing, and the calendar. The Philippines was governed by Mexico City from 1565 to 1821, before it was administered directly from Madrid after the Mexican revolution. The Manila Galleon which linked Manila to Acapulco travelled once or twice a year between the 16th and 19th century. The Spanish military fought off various indigenous revolts and several external colonial challenges, specially from the British, Chinese pirates, Dutch, and Portuguese. Roman Catholic missionaries converted most of the inhabitants to Christianity, and founded schools, universities, and hospitals. In 1863 a Spanish decree introduced education, establishing public schooling in Spanish. Between the 1700s and 1800s, the Philippines opened its forts to world trade. The economy increased, and many criollos, and mestizos became wealthy. The influx of Spanish settlers secularized churches, and government positions traditionally held by the criollos. The ideals of revolution also began to spread through the islands. Criollo insurgency resulted in the Novales, and the revolt in Cavite El Viejo in 1872 that would lead to the Philippine Revolution. The Philippine Revolution began after colonial authorities executed three priests, Mariano Gómez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora (known as Gomburza), who were accused of rebellion.  This would inspire a Propaganda movement, organized by patriots José Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, and Mariano Ponce, to write a newspaper, La Solidaridad, demanding political reforms. The failure of this organization led Rizal to...
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