The term refers broadly and generally to the habit of powerful civilizations to “colonize” less powerful ones. On the obvious level, this process can take the form of a literal geographic occupation, outright enslavement, religious conversion at gun-point, or forced assimilation of native peoples. On a more subtle level, this process can take the form of bureucratic policy that incidentally or indirectly leads to the extinction of a minority’s language or culture, economic exploitation of cheap labor, and globalistic erasure of cultural differences.
BRIEF HISTORY Philippine history, many argue, did not begin with the coming of the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Rather, it began in the 13th century, when 10 datus from Borneo, each with a hundred of his kinsmen, landed in what is now known as Panay Island in the Visayas. Yet, it was Magellan and succeeding expeditions from Spain, who put the Philippine archipelago on the map of the world. The intrepid Magellan was dubbed as the discoverer of the Philippines after he landed in Homonhon Islet, near Samar, on March 17, 1521.
He was later killed in Mactan Island of Cebu in a clash with native warriors, led by a chieftain named Lapu-Lapu. The Philippines was a prize catch for Spain which, at that time, was locked in a fierce struggle for world colonization with Portugal. The archipelago, named Filipinas for Spain’s Philip II, was composed of 7,107 islands and islets spanning 1,854 kilometers from north to south. Spanish colonizers succeeded in introducing Christianity in Luzon and Visayas but were unsuccessful in Mindanao, where Muslims staved off Spanish efforts.
Spain’s rule lasted from the 16th to the 19th century but was marked with a series of revolts. The Philippine Revolution was launched after Rizal’s death and was led first by Andres Bonifacio and then by Emilio Aguinaldo. Philippine independence was proclaimed on June 12, 1898, on the balcony of Aguinaldo’s home in kawit, Cavite. However, the Philippines was annexed by the Americans by means of the Treaty of Paris with Spain on December 10, 1898. This brought about the Filipino-American War.
The Philippines then remained an American colony for nearly 50 years. In 1935, a semiautonomous Philippine Commonwealth was inaugurated in Manila, with President Manuel L. Quezon and Vice-President Sergio Osmena. This became the Philippine goverment in exile during the war. From 1941 – 1945, the Philippines came under the Japanese empire. A puppet goverment, the Second Philippine Republic, was established, with President Manuel A. Roxas. This was the first fully independent and internationally recognized Filipino goverment.