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History 3
The Spanish colonization

page 1 of 2


The Spanish Era covers a period of about three centuries. It is the longest
period by which the Philippines was colonized by any foreign country.


1543
Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, leader of the fourth Spanish expedition, reached the
archipelago and named it Las Islas Filipinas, in honor of King Philip of Spain.

1565
The Spanish colonization started when Miguel Lopez de Legazpi landed in
Cebu in 1565. Spain's King Philip II appointed him as the Philippine's first
Governor-General to formalize the colonization. He established the seat of
Spanish colonial government in Manila.

Spanish General Legazpi and Rajah Sikatuna performed the blood compact in
Bohol, in March 1565, to signify their peace agreement.

Rajah Tupas and General Legazpi signed the first Philippine peace treaty in
June 4, 1565. Under the peace agreement, Cebu recognized the Spanish
government which, in return, would protect Cebu in times of wars.

The church and convent of Santo Niño, the first Roman Catholic Church in the
Philippines, was built in Cebu by Rev. Father Andres de Urdaneta. This marked
the beginning of Roman catholicism in the Philippines as Spanish priests from
other religious orders followed. The priests were instrumental in developing
the country as a Spanish colony.

1571
Governor Legazpi selected Manila as the capital of the colony. Manila was
selected because of the beauty and strategic location of its harbor, and its
proximity to rich and productive agricultural lands.

1600
The ship building industry started in early 1600 with the establishment of the
Spanish shipyard in the coastal town of Naval in Biliran Island. Formerly known
as Isla de Panamao, the province of Biliran Island is located northeast of Leyte.

1744
Francisco Dagohoy led the longest Filipino uprising against the Spanish
government.  The revolution started in Bohol and lasted from 1744 to 1829.

1756 ( to 1763)
The Seven Years' War erupted involving all of the major European powers at
that time, including their colonies. Estimates of deaths from the war varies from
900,000 to 1,400,000 people.

1761
Spain joined the Seven-Year War when it declared war on Great Britain on
January 4, 1761. In the Battle of Villinghausen Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick
defeated a 92,000-strong French army.

1762
The Spanish rule in the country was interrupted when the British troops invaded
and occupied Manila on September 23, 1762 .

1763
The Treaty of Paris was signed ending the Seven-Year War in Europe which
started in 1756. It involved a complex series of territorial exchanges, including
the return of the Philippines to Spanish rule.

1764
The British occupation ended when Great Britain returned the Philippines to
Spanish rule on March 1764 pursuant to the Treaty of Paris. The British left to
avoid provoking another costly and devastating war with  Spain. The short
British occupation weakened Spain's political grip on power and encouraged
the rise of nationalism and demands for independence.

1781
The Spanish government established the Tobacco Monopoly for business
purposes. It created tobacco farms and cigarette plants that employed many
Filipinos as farmers and factory workers.

The Tobacco Monopoly was a source of huge revenue for the Spanish
government but the Monopoly discontinued in 1882.

continued on next page
Historical events

Early history
Ferdinand Magellan's expedition of 1521
Spanish colonization
Spanish-American war
Post-war era
The socialist  movement
Philippine Commonwealth (1933-1937)
Japanese occupation (1941-1945)
Post-Japanese occupation (1945-1956
Peace time era (1957-1965)
Ferdinand Marcos regime (1965-1986)
Return of democracy (1987 to present)