First of three parts
Philippine history is made up of thousands of events that happened from the earliest period ever documented to the present. This list includes only 100 major events that influenced Philippine history from the 14th century to the end of the 20th century. Interestingly, the events included on this list represent major areas where the life of the nation revolves like trade and commerce, religion, culture, literature and arts, education, various movements, wars and revolutions, laws and government, and military. Moreover, the events mentioned here are crucial in understanding the present and future of the Philippines as a nation.
1. Trading with the Chinese. 10th century. They dominated Philippine commerce from then on.
2. Arrival of Arab traders and missionaries. Mid-14th century. They conducted trade and preached Islam in Sulu that later spread to other parts of the country.
3. Arrival of Ferdinand Magellan. March 1521. It marked the beginning of Spanish interest in the Philippines as several Spanish expeditions followed.
4. First Mass in the Philippines. March 31, 1521. It was held in Limasawa, an island in Southern Leyte. Symbolized the conversion of many Filipinos to Roman Catholicism.
5. Death of Ferdinand Magellan. April 27, 1521.
6. Landing of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in Cebu. 1565. This marked the beginning of Spanish dominion in the Philippines as Legazpi later established the seat of Spanish colonial government in Manila.
7. Blood Compact. March 1565. Spanish Captain General Legazpi and Rajah Sikatuna performed the blood compact in Bohol as a sign of peace agreement between their parties.
8. First agreement for peace in the Philippines. June 4, 1565. Rajah Tupas and Legazpi signed this treaty of peace. Through the treaty, Cebu would recognize the Spanish government, which, on the other hand, would provide protection to Cebu in times of wars.
9. Construction of the Church and Convent of Santo Niño, the first Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines, in Cebu by Rev. Father Andres de Urdaneta. 1565. This marked the beginning of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines as Spanish priests from other religious orders followed. The priests played significant roles in developing the country as a Spanish colony.
10. Shipbuilding. Early 1600s. Ships were built on Biliran Island and later in Cavite.
11. Longest Revolt in history. 1744-1829. Francisco Dagohoy led this longest uprising in Bohol against the Spanish government.
12. British invasion of Manila. September 23, 1762. The British invaded and occupied Manila until March 1764, when the Seven-Year War in Europe ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The treaty compelled the British to return Manila and its environs to Spain.
13. Tobacco Monopoly. 1781. The Spanish government established this for business purposes. It served as a big source of revenue for the Spanish government until it was closed in 1882. During the period, tobacco farms and cigarette plants in the country increased and employed many Filipinos as farmers and factory workers.
14. Surnames for Filipinos. November 21, 1849. Governor Narciso Claveria y Zaldua issued a decree that provided for the use of Spanish surnames by Filipinos to facilitate census, tax collection and administration.
15. Cofradia de San Jose. 1832-41. Founded as a religious cult which attracted many members and alarmed the government. It was disbanded after one of its prominent leaders, Apolinario de la Cruz or Hermano Pule, was killed by the government forces on November 4, 1841.
16. Quarantine Station. 1850s. The Spanish government established the Lazareto de Mariveles in Bataan as a way of checking and sanitizing passengers and cargoes of foreign ships from contagious diseases before they could enter Manila. The Americans continued this practice in 1902 by establishing quarantine services in ports of entry.
17. Sugar industry in the Philippines. 1859. Nicholas Loney from England pioneered the sugar industry that contributed to the economic growth of Iloilo and Panay.
18. Cavite Mutiny. January 20, 1872. Sergeant Lamadrid led artillery regiments and some naval crews in capturing the arsenal of Fort San Felipe in Cavite. The event was local in scope and easily quelled, but Spanish priests used it to implicate their enemies in the clergy, resulting in the execution of Fathers Mariano Gomes, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora.
19. Execution of Burgos, Gomes and Zamora. February 17, 1872. The three priests, known in history as Gomburza, were garroted by the Spaniards in connection with the Cavite Mutiny.
20. Founding of La Solidaridad. 1889. The Filipino propagandists in Spain established this as the organ of the Propaganda Movement. Graciano Lopez Jaena and Marcelo H. del Pilar served as editors. It published essays and articles in Spanish expressing the Filipino demands for reforms in the Philippines. One of the writers was Jose Rizal.
21. Telephone system. 1890. The first telephone system in the Philippines is inaugurated. In 1906 the government put provincial telephone systems. In 1928 PLDT was granted franchise for the entire Philippines.
22. Establishment of Masonic Nilad Lodge or "Logia Central y Delegada." 1891. Pedro Serrano Laktaw, Moises Salvador and Jose Ramos established this Masonic lodge that was approved by Grande Oriente Español on March 10, 1892. Other lodges followed. Many Katipuneros were members of the Masonry.
23. Construction of Manila-Dagupan Railroad. 1892. It hastened transportation from Manila to Dagupan. Used by revolutionists and by American soldiers during the revolution. Another railroad was constructed in Iloilo in the early 1900s.
24 Founding of the Katipunan. July 7, 1892. Andres Bonifacio, Ladislaw Diwa and Teodoro Plata composed the first triangle of the secret society.
25. Exile of Dr. Jose Rizal. July 17, 1892. Rizal arrived in Dapitan to serve his exile. This agitated many Filipinos to fight the Spanish colonial government. The hero contributed much to the development of Dapitan during his exile.
26. Discovery of the Kati-punan. August 19, 1892. Its discovery led to the government’s crackdown on suspected members and Bonifacio’s immediate declaration of war against the Spanish government.
27. Cry of Pugad Lawin. August 23, 1892. The Katipuneros gathered in Pugad Lawin, tore their cedulas and declared war against Spain.
28. Battle of Pinaglabanan. August 31, 1896. The first battle between the Katipuneros and Spanish forces in San Juan, Rizal. Over a hundred Katipuneros were killed.
29. Battle of Zapote Bridge. February 19, 1897. One of the major battles of the Philippine Revolution.
30. Tejeros Convention. March 22, 1897. The Kati-puneros belonging to the Magdaló and Magdiwang councils changed the Kati-punan into a revolutionary government and elected its officers. Subsequent events resulted in the execution of Andres Boni-facio in Maragondon.
31. Acta de Tejeros. March 24, 1897. Bonifacio nullified the results of the elections during the Tejeros Convention.
-- Christine G. Dulnuan, National Historical Institute