This Month in Philippine History

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Download Graphic Unreached Masses in the 50/50 Porthole





Listed below our major events in Philippine history sorted by month.



January 17, 1981

Martial law ended after nine years.  President Ferdinand Marcos makes plans to run for President again.

January 20, 2001

An estimated 50,000 Filipinos marched to EDSA to stage a protest against the Estrada administration.  Because of the Senates unwillingness to see evidence that proved Estrada's guilt, the prosecutor's in the impeachment case walked out which sparked another version of People Power.  Estrada eventually stepped down and Vice President Arroyo was sworn in as President.



February 7, 1986 Ferdinand Marcos called for "snap" elections assuming he would win a majority of votes and thus restore the legitimacy of his regime.  Thirty people were killed during the polls and Marcos claimed victory in spite of protests against election fraud.

February 13, 1565

Another group of Spanish explorers, led by General Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, arrived in Cebu and claimed the islands for Spain.

February 16, 1986 The National Assembly declared the election to be in favor of Marcos.  His opponent, Ninoy Aquino's widow Corazon, refused to concede and called for her followers to stage a protest.

February 25, 1986

The Chief Justice proclaimed Corazon Aquino as President.  This date marks the annual commemoration of EDSA Revolution or People Power I.  The next day, Marcos and his family fled the country on an American airplane bound for Guam, then Hawaii.



March 17, 1521

Magellan accidentally arrived in the archipelago that would be known as the Philippines.

Holy Week

Holy week is commemorated either in March or April.  It is also called the Lenten Season, a time for spiritual cleansing and a time to commemorate Christ's death on the cross.  Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday.  The peak of the occasion are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday, and Easter Sunday.



April 9, 1942 On this day, the "Fall of Bataan" and the start of the infamous "Death March" took place.  Around 76,000 starving and sick American and Filipino soldiers surrendered to the Japanese in Bataan.  They were then led on a ten day march to relocate them.  During this march, about 10,000 soldiers lost their lives.

April 25, 1898

The United States declared war against Spain.  Commodore George Dewey received orders to attack the Spanish fleet in the Philippines.

April 27, 1521

Magellan was killed in the battle of Mactan Island as a result of his meddling between the rift of native warriors Lapu-Lapu and Zula.



May 1, 1898

The battle of Manila Bay occurred.  The Americans under Dewey's command destroyed the Spanish fleet of Admiral Patricio Montojo.

May 1 Labor Day in the Philippines commemorates the role of peasants and laborers.  It is a day of total rest for all Filipino workers.

May 11, 1998

Vice President Joseph Estrada won the second democratic presidential election since the EDSA Revolution.  Senator Gloria Macapagal Arroyo won the Vice Presidential seat.



June 12, 1898

Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, who had returned from Hong Kong, proclaimed Philippine independence at his mansion in Cavite.  This is now celebrated as Philippine Independence Day.

June 12, 1991

Many Filipinos in Central Luzon were left homeless when Mt. Pinatubo erupted after 600 years of silence.  Crops and communities were destroyed by the ash fallout that covered the rich landscape of Central Luzon.



July 4, 1946

Manuel Roxas became the first President of the Republic of the Philippines.

July 4 Filipino-American Friendship Day commemorates the historical ties between the Philippines and the United States.
July 7, 1892

In response to Joze Rizal's capture and exile,Andres Bonifacio, Valentin Diaz, and Teodoro Plata established a revolutionary movement whose purpose was to fight for freedom from Spain.

July 16, 1990

An earthquake with a 7.7 intensity rocked Central Luzon leaving huge damages and death tolls in the cities of Baguio, Cabanatuan, and Pampanga.



August 21, 1983

Benigno Aquino Jr. was shot dead on the tarmac of the Manila International Airport upon his arrival after three years in exile in the USA.  More than two million Filipinos attended the funeral.  The airport is now called the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

August 29, 1916

The Jones Law was signed.  It promised Philippine independence from the US and also allowed the existence of the Philippine Legistlature.



September 6, 1834

Manila was opened to world trade, leading to a dramatic transformation of the economy.

September 18, 1891 Jose Rizal finished his novels that depicted the hardships of the Filipino under Spanish rule.

September 21,1972

President Marcos declared martial law under Proclamation No. 1081.  The next day, there was a staged assassination attempt on the Secretary of Defense, which supplied the pretext for the declaration of martial law.



October 6, 1913 The Underwood-Simons Tariff Law took effect allowing open trade between the United States and the Philippines.

October 24, 1944

The prominent battle of Leyte Gulf occurred on this day.  By December of 1944, the islands of Leyte and Mindoro had been cleared of the Japanese.

October 31

All Saints Eve



November 1 All Saints Day
November 2 All Souls Day - Filipino families gather at cemeteries and memorial parks to remember their departed loved ones.
November 9, 1965 Ferdinand Marcos was elected as 6th President of the republic.  He was re-elected four years later, in 1969.

November 13, 2000

Pres. Joseph Estrada faced an impeachment court for allegations of bribery, plunder, and public mistrust.

November 30

Bonifacio Day/National Heroes' Day is celebrated in honor of Andres Bonifacio and other revolutionaries of the Spanish period.  This date is also Bonifacio's birthday.



December 7, 1941 Ten hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, Japan attacked the Philippines as well.

December 10, 1898

The Treaty of Paris was signed without consultation with the Filipinos.  Under this agreement, Spain surrendered the Philippines to the US for the sum of $20 million.

December 30, 1896 Joze Rizal was executed by firing squad in Bagumbayan (which is now Rizal Park) after being held captive at Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila.

December 30

Rizal Day commemorates the life and execution of Dr. Jose Rizal, the greatest national hero of the Philippines.

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