Philippine History

Spanish Colony 1565 – 1898

Ferdinand Magellan set out from Spain in 1519 on the first voyage to circumnavigate the globe with five ships and a complement of 264 crew. 3 years later in 1522, only the a single ship, the Victoria, returned to Spain with 18 guys.

The Philippines had been the death of Magellan. The expedition sighted the island of Samar on March 16, 1521. Magellan was welcomed by two Rajas, Kolambu and Siagu. He named the islands the Archipelago of San Lazaro, erected a cross and claimed the lands for Spain. The friendly Rajas took Magellan to Cebu to meet Raja Humabon. Humabon and 800 Cebuanos have been baptized as Christians. Magellan agreed to assistance Raja Humabon put down Lapu-Lapu, a rebellious datu on the nearby island of Mactan. In a battle involving Spanish soldiers and Lapu-Lapu’s warriors, Magellan was killed on April 27, 1521.

Disputes over women caused relations among Raja Humabon and the remaining Spaniards to deteriorate. The Cebuanos killed 27 Spaniards in a skirmish and the Spaniards, deciding to resume their explorations, departed Cebu.

For all its losses, the voyage was a large economic good results. The Victoria’s 26 ton cargo of cloves sold for 41,000 ducats. This returned the 20,000 ducats the venture had expense plus a 105 % profit. 4 more expeditions followed amongst 1525 and 1542. The commander of the fourth expedition, Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, named the islands following Philip, heir to the Spanish throne (r. Philip II 1556-1598).

The Philippines was not formally organized as a Spanish colony until 1565 when Philip II appointed Miguel Lopez de Legazpi the very first Governor-Common. Legazpi selected Manila for the capital of the colony in 1571 simply because of its fine organic harbour and the rich lands surrounding the city that could supply it with make.

The Spanish did not develop the trade possible of the Philippine’s agricultural or mineral resources. The colony was administered from Mexico and its commerce centered on the galleon trade in between Canton and Acapulco in which Manila functioned secondarily as an entrepot. Smaller sized Chinese junks brought silk and porcelain from Canton to Manila where the cargoes were re-loaded on galleons bound for Acapulco and the Spanish colonies in the Americas. The Chinese goods had been paid for in Mexican silver.

Spanish rule had two lasting effects on Philippine society the near universal conversion of the population to Roman Catholicism and the creation of a landed…

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