50,000,000 BC: The archipelago is formed by volcanic activity.
50,000 - 150 BC: Negroid and Malay people migrate to the Philippines.
10th Century AD: The Chinese establish commerce and settlements.
1150 - 1475: Muslims from Borneo reach the Philippines.
1203/1205: The sultanate of Maguindanao is established. Islam eventually spreads throughout the Philippines.
1450: The sultanate of Jolo is established.
1457: The sultanate of Sulu is established.
June 7, 1494: Spain and Portugal sign the Treaty of Tordesillas. The treaty divides the New World into two between Spain and Portugal.
1506: The pope grants official recognition of the Treaty of Tordesillas.
September 20, 1519: Magellan departs from Spain with five ships and a complement of 264 crew.
March 16, 1521: Ferdinand Magellan discovers the Philippines and claims it for Spain and names it Islas de San Lazaro.
March 31, 1521: The first mass in the Philippines takes place.
April 7, 1521: Magellan arrives at Cebu and befriends Rajah Humabon, ruler of Cebu. A significant number of Cebu natives are converted to Catholicism.
April 27, 1521: Magellan is killed in battle on Mactan Island by Lapu-Lapu. Disputes over women cause deterioration of Spaniard-Cebuano relations and 27 Spaniards are killed. The remaining Spaniards depart.
1522: Of the five ships that departed Spain with Magellan, only one ship returns with a crew of 18. The voyage however, is a success and the ship's cargo makes a profit of 105%.
1525: Spain sends a second expedition to the Philippines under Juan Garcia Jofre de Loaysa.
1526: A third expedition under Juan Cabot is sent but never reaches the Philippines. Instead, the expedition spends three years in South America.
1527: From Mexico, a fourth expedition is sent under Alvaro de Saavedra and eventually reaches Mindanao.
1529: Saavedra dies during the journey of his expedition's return to Spain.
1536: The Loaysa expedition returns to Spain. The expedition is a failure with Loaysa and many of his crew having died in the Philippines.
February 2, 1543: Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, leader of the fifth expedition arrives in the Philippines. He names it after the Spanish heir to the throne, Philip II. Villalobos remains in the Philippines for eight months before being forced to leave due to lack of food.
Almost half a century after Magellan's death, the Spanish returned to the Philippines with the intention of establishing a colony. In the first half of their occupation (which is not as well documented as the second half), the Spanish managed to defend the Philippines from the Dutch and various Chinese warlords. In the second half of their occupation, much discontent grew as to how the Spanish ran the colony and treated its people. Revolution was the outcome. Rizal tried a more peaceful approach but for Bonifacio, armed revolution was the only option. As the revolution progressed, a revolutionary government was formed with Aguinaldo as president. After an agreement with Spain, Aguinaldo left in exile to Hong Kong but returned along with American forces in the Spanish-American War and proclaimed independence from Spain.
February 13, 1565: Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and his men arrive in the Philippines.
February 15, 1565: King Philip II of Spain appoints Miguel Lopez de Legazpi as the first governor-general of the Philippines which is to be administered as a territory of Mexico (then referred to as New Spain).
May 8, 1565: The natives of Cebu submit to Spanish rule under Legazpi and Cebu becomes the capital of the Philippines.
1568: The Portuguese, who believe that under the Treaty of Tordesillas, the Philippines falls under Portuguese jurisdiction, attack Cebu and blockade the port.
1570: The Portuguese launch a second attack on the Philippines but are unsuccessful.
May 1570: Legazpi sends an expedition to Manila which befriends the ruler of Manila, Rajah Soliman.
May/June 1570: War breaks out between the Spanish and Rajah Soliman as a result of either a misunderstanding or due to an attempt to impose Spanish sovereignty on the Manila natives. Soliman's warriors are defeated and Maynilad (Manila) is burnt to the ground and occupied by the Spanish.
June 24, 1571: Legazpi selects Manila as the capital of the colony because of the natural harbour and rich lands surrounding the city that could supply it with produce.
November 1574: The Chinese pirate Limahong attacks Manila and attempts to invade the city but is unsuccessful.
December 1574: Limahong launches a second attack on Manila but is again unsuccessful. Limahong leaves Manila for Pangasinan. Following Limahong's defeat, Rajah Soliman and Lakandula lead a short revolt against the Spanish in towns north of Manila after some of their lands are given away to Spanish officials.
March 23, 1575: A Spanish-Filipino force leaves for Pangasinan where Limahong has established his own kingdom. In the following months, Limahong's Chinese fleet is destroyed by fire. His fort is attacked and damaged by fire but holds out giving Limahong time to build new boats and repair some of the breaches in his fort.
August 4, 1575: Limahong sets sail for China and departs the fort via a secret channel that his men had dug. The Spanish are taken by surprise by this development and drive wooden stakes into the riverbed where they expect Limahong to pass through. As Limahong arrives at the stakes the Spanish subject his fleet to a blinding fire. Despite this, the Chinese remove enough stakes to allow Limahong to escape.
1580: Philip II of Spain becomes Philip I of Portugal (not officially recognised until 1581), ultimately ending the dispute between Spain and Portugal over the Philippines. In the same year, forced labour is imposed on Filipino males aged 16 to 60.
1585: In Pampanga, a revolt is planned against the Spanish who learn of the revolt before it even takes place. The leaders of the planned revolt are executed.
1589: A revolt breaks out in the Ilocos and Cagayan areas over abuses of tax collectors and unfair taxes. The Spanish forces pacify the rebels and grant them pardon. The tax system is overhauled.
1600: The galleon trade between Manila and Acapulco, Mexico begins.
1600 - 1617: The Dutch attempt to seize the Philippines but are defeated by the Spanish navy.
1603: The Chinese revolt against injustices under the Spanish who suppress the revolt brutally.
1621: A revolt breaks out in Bohol lead by Tamblot, a priest of the native religion. The revolt is followed by other revolts in Leyte, Panay and Samar against collection of tributes.
January 1, 1622: The revolt in Bohol lead by Tamblot is crushed.
1639: The Chinese revolt against Spanish rule. The revolt is brutally suppressed.
1646: The Spanish navy repulses five separate Dutch attempts to enter and capture Manila throughout the year.
June 1, 1649: A revolt breaks out in Samar lead by Juan Ponce Sumuroy in protest of native Warays being sent to the shipyards of Cavite under the imposed forced labour.
June 1650: Sumuroy is defeated, captured and executed which ends the revolt in Samar.
1662: The Chinese revolt against Spanish rule. The revolt is brutally suppressed.
1686: The Chinese revolt against Spanish rule. The revolt is brutally suppressed.
1744 - 1829: Bohol remains outside of Spanish control following one of the most successful revolts against Spanish authority led by Francisco Dagohoy. None of the Spanish governor-generals serving in office throughout the revolt are able to suppress it. Dagohoy dies two years before the end of the revolt and thousands of survivors are granted pardon after the revolt is over.
1745 - 1746: A revolt breaks out in Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite and Laguna after greedy Spanish friars seize land from the Filipino natives. In retaliation, churches are looted are burnt to the ground. The Spanish authorities investigate the case which even reaches the king of Spain who orders the friars to return the lands. The friars successfully appeal and no land is returned to the Filipino landowners.
1756: The Seven Years War begins although hostilities had already begun sometime before war was declared.
September 24, 1762: British forces land off Manila and attack.
October 6, 1762: The Spanish surrender Manila and the Philippines to the British but organise a resistance to retake the Philippines. The long persecuted Chinese merchant community support the British invasion. The Spanish establish a new capital in Bacolor. The British forces open the colony to international trade.
December 14, 1762: Diego Silang starts a revolt against the Spanish and declares an independent and free state called Ilocandia with Vigan as its capital. Silang and the British join forces against the Spanish.
May 28, 1763: Diego Silang is murdered by his friend who was paid by the Spanish for the murder. The revolt continues led by Diego's wife, Gabriela Silang.
September 10, 1763: Gabriela Silang attacks Vigan but the Spanish are well prepared and supported by a Filipino force from surrounding regions. Many of Gabriela's men are killed but she escapes along with her uncle and several other men to Abra but captured several days later.
September 29, 1763: Gabriela and her remaining followers are executed by hanging. Gabriela is the last to die and ultimately becomes the first female martyr of the Philippines. History will remember her as the Joan of Arc of Ilocandia.
February 10, 1763: Under the Treaty of Paris, Britain returns the Philippines to Spain.
July 23, 1763: News of the Treaty of Paris reaches the British governor of the Philippines. He attempts to negotiate a truce with the Spanish who do not trust the British and so hostilities continue.
1764: The Spanish learn of the treaty from Madrid. All fighting ceases.
May 31, 1764: The British withdraw from the Philippines but illegally retain a base in the Sulu islands. Several years later, they are forcefully evicted by Filipinos.
November 9, 1774: Filipino natives are permitted to enter the Catholic priesthood.
June 6, 1808: Joseph Bonaparte becomes the king of Spain after being installed by his brother, Napoleon Bonaparte, the emperor of France.
September 16, 1810: Mexico declares independence from Spain and the war for independence begins.
March 19, 1812: The Spanish Cortes adopts the 1812 Constitution (also known as the Cadiz Constitution as the Cortes was holding its session in the City of Cadiz). The constitution is liberal and all citizens of Spain, including all natives of colonies and overseas territories are given equal rights and representation in the Cortes.
September 24, 1812: The first Philippine delegates to the Spanish Cortes take their oath of office in Madrid.
October, 1813: Napoleon and the French are defeated in the Battle of Nations. Napoleonic forces are driven out of Spain.
December 11, 1813: Ferdinand VII is recognised as the king of Spain.
1815: The galleon trade with Mexico comes to an end.
May 24, 1816: A conservative Spanish Cortes rejects the Cadiz Constitution and repeals all liberties, equality and representation it gave to Filipinos.
September 27, 1821: Spain officially recognises the independence of Mexico. The Philippines must now be governed directly from Madrid.
September 6, 1834: Spain opens Philippine ports to international free trade. The commercialisation of Philippine agriculture begins and results in economic expansion.
1839: Apolinario de la Cruz (also known as Hermano Pule) is refused entry to a monastic order in Manila as he is a native Filipino.
June, 1840: Apolinario de la Cruz forms the Cofradia de San Jose (Confraternity of St. Joseph), a Filipino-only Christian brotherhood. The Spanish authorities condemn the brotherhood as heresy and outlaw it.
October 23, 1841: The Cofradia de San Jose is forced to confront Spanish forces on the grounds of religious freedom.
November 1, 1841: The Cofradia de San Jose is crushed by Spanish forces. Apolinario de la Cruz escapes initially is but later captured.
November 4, 1841: Apolinario de la Cruz is executed by firing squad.
1863: The Spanish government concedes to the increasing demand of educational reform. Originally, the religious orders excluded the teaching of foreign languages, scientific and technical subjects from their curricula. The wealthier Filipinos send their children to Spain for education.
1868: A liberal revolution breaks out in Spain and Queen Isabella II is deposed.
1869: The new Spanish government promulgate the liberal constitution of 1869. General Carlos Maria de la Torre, a liberal governor is appointed to the Philippines. He abolishes censorship and extends to Filipinos the rights of free speech and assembly contained in the new Spanish constitution.
April 4, 1871: Rafael de Izquierdo replaces de la Torre and promptly rescinds the liberal measures.
January 20, 1872: In Cavite, 200 Filipino recruits revolt and murder their Spanish officers. The Spanish suppress the revolt brutally and use the opportunity to implicate the liberal critics of Spanish authority in an imaginary wider conspiracy. Many liberals are arrested or driven into exile.
February 17, 1872: The reformist Fathers Jose Burgos, Mariano Gomez and Jacinto Zamora are publicly executed as part of the crack-down against liberal critics of Spanish authority. The priests are made martyrs for the nationalist cause.
March 3, 1882: Jose Rizal leaves Manila to continue his studies in medicine in Barcelona, Spain.
June 2, 1882: Rizal begins writing Noli Me Tangere in Madrid.
May 29, 1887: Noli Me Tangere is published in Spain.
October, 1887: Rizal begins writing El Filibusterismo.
December 13, 1888: Filipinos in Barcelona organise La Solidaridad which demands equality, freedom and representation for Filipinos.
March 28, 1891: Rizal finishes El Filibusterismo.
July 3, 1892: Back in Manila, Rizal organises La Liga Filipina which is a peaceful reformist movement.
July 7, 1892: Rizal is arrested for forming La Liga Filipina. Andres Bonifacio establishes Kataastaasan Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng Mga Anak ng Bayan (Highest and Most Respected Association of the Sons of the Country), also known by it initials, KKK or Katipunan. The aim of the Katipunan is to overthrow Spanish rule in the Philippines.
July 17, 1892: Rizal is exiled to Dapitan in Mindanao.
August 6, 1896: Rizal returns to Manila after his services as a physician have been requested for the Spanish army in Cuba. Cuba is currently having its own revolution for independence from Spain.
August 19, 1896: A talkative Katipunero, Teodor Patino tells his sister and a nun at an orphanage about the Katipunan and their aim to overthrow Spanish rule. The nun convinces him to confess everything to Father Mariano Gil, who in turn discloses the existence of the Katipunan to the Spanish authorities. The Spanish begin making hundreds of arrests. Many Katipuneros flee to Balintawak to escape arrest.
August 22, 1896: Around 500 Katipuneros leave Balintawak and make their way to Pugadlawin.
August 25, 1896: Bonifacio issues the call to arms, the Cry of Balintawak.
August 29, 1896: Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto attack the Spanish garrison at San Juan with 800 Katipuneros. Insurrections also brake out in eight provinces surrounding Manila on Luzon and soon spread to other islands.
August 31, 1896: In Cavite under the leadership of Emilio Aguinaldo, Katipuneros defeat the Civil Guard and colonial troops.
December 26, 1896: After being arrested in transit to Cuba, Rizal had been sent back to Fort Santiago in Manila to stand trial for rebellion. He is tried and found guilty and sentenced to death.
December 30, 1896: Dr. Jose Rizal is executed by firing squad. His death will make him both the national hero of the Philippines and fresh determination to the Katipunan.
May 10, 1897: The Katipunan was divided between factions loyal to Bonifacio and Aguinaldo. Aguinaldo had been elected to replace Bonifacio who then begins to withdraw his supporters. The two factions begin to fight. Aguinaldo has Bonifacio arrested, tried and executed.
July 1897: Aguinaldo's forces are driven from Cavite to Bulacan where Aguinaldo declares his constitution and establishes the Republic of Biak-na-Bato. Both Spain and Aguinaldo's new republic realise the situation had become a no-win for either side. Negotiations begin.
December 27, 1897: Negotiations have concluded with the Pact of Biak-na-Bato. Aguinaldo and his government accept US$800,000 (only half of this was actually paid out) for voluntary retirement and exile to Hong Kong where Aguinaldo designs what is now the Philippine national flag.
January 20, 1898: The Truce of Biak-na-Bato is violated as the Spanish continue arresting suspected members of the Katipunan. Most of those arrested are innocent. Hostilities between Spanish and Filipino forces are resumed by General Francisco Makabulos.
April 25, 1898: The US declares war on Spain. Relations had deteriorated over the conduct of the war for Cuban independence. Commodore George Dewey is ordered to attack the Spanish fleet in the Philippines. Prior to this, Dewey had discussions with Aguinaldo's exiled government. An agreement had been reached to crush the Spanish forces.
May 1, 1898: By noon, Commodore George Dewey has destroyed the Spanish fleet.
May 19, 1898: Aguinaldo returns to the Philippines to lead his rebel forces against the Spanish.
May 24, 1898: Aguinaldo establishes a dictatorial government.
June 12, 1898: From the balcony of his house in Cavite, Aguinaldo declares independence and displays his new flag before the people.
June 23, 1898: Aguinaldo changes his dictatorial government to a revolutionary government.
July 15, 1898: Aguinaldo appoints a cabinet and the Malolos Congress is formed with 136 members.