History of the Philippines: (1521–1898) The Spanish Rule
Much before the arrival of the Spanish in the sixteenth century, the Philippines already had a considerable population that was settled in numerous barangays (villages). Early Filipino history does not prove the existence of any great dynasties, however, barangays had proper leaders who were known as datus and they ensured that the lives of the people were well-ordered and peaceful.
The first Westerners who landed in the Philippines were the Spanish. The first ships to circumnavigate the Earth – led by Ferdinand Magellan – reached Philippines. However, in a scuffle with the locals, Magellan died near Cebu in 1521.
This prompted Spain to dispatch a number of voyage’s which succeeded in capturing parts of the archipelago and resulted in the eventual colonization of the Philippines. The Spanish colonized the Philippines from 1565 – 1898 – a period of 333 years.
While the Philippines did not incur many administrative changes under the Spanish, the colony did receive orders from Madrid. However, the Spanish rule was not a just one, and was also one of the reasons why the Filipinos opposed colonial power at the end of the nineteenth century.
The Spanish officers in the Philippines, though received orders from Madrid, ended up following their own rules. This lead to a great amount of discontentment amongst the Filipinos. This eventually led to the Philippine Revolution.