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. Although, prior to Magellan's arrival, there was already established the Sultanate of Sulu in which the administrative center is the present day town of Jolo, the capital of Sulu. The Sultanate was recognized as a sovereign state by China which conducted trade with the sultanate and the Sultanate of Brunei whose rulers were actually cousins of the Sultan of Sulu.
Spanish colonization began with the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi's expedition in 1565 and permanent settlement 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 brought political unification to an archipelago of previously independent islands and communities that later became the Philippines, and introduced elements of western civilization such as the code of law, printing and the calendar. The Philippines 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 War in 1898, with a brief interlude from 1762 to 1764 when it was ruled by Britain. During the Spanish period numerous towns were founded, infrastructures built, new crops and livestock introduced, and trade flourished. Spanish missionaries converted most of the population to Christianity and founded schools, universities and hospitals across the islands.
The Philippine Revolution against Spain began in April 1896, culminating two years later with a proclamation of independence and the...