The History of the Philippines and Five Reasons Why You Should Visit It

A beautiful beach in the Philippines

With over 7,000 islands to choose from, the Philippines is a paradisaical playground waiting to be explored. Visitors can enjoy stunning beaches, picturesque rice terraces, hospitable locals, and mouthwatering cuisine—not to mention some of the best scuba diving in the world. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most visited countries in the world. It’s estimated that about a million tourists visit the country. However, before you see the country, you must first know its history. Here’s what you need to know about Philippine history.


Unlike many other Asian countries, the Philippines were not discovered by Chinese or Indian traders. Instead, the first people to reach the islands were the Austronesians, a group of people who originally came from Taiwan. They settled in the Philippines around 3,000 BCE and began to develop a unique culture that blended Malay, Polynesian, and Melanesian influences.

The arrival of Chinese traders followed the Austronesians in the first millennium CE. These traders brought new technologies and ideas, further influencing Philippine culture’s development. Islam also arrived in the Philippines, introduced by Arab and Malay traders during this time.


The Philippines was governed by three colonial powers throughout its history: Spain, the United States, and Japan.

The Spanish colonized the Philippines in 1565, a part of the vast Spanish empire that included most of South and Central America and parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia. The Spanish ruled the Philippines for over 300 years and left a lasting mark on the country. As a result, Spanish influences can still be seen in Philippine culture, religion, and language.

The United States colonized the Philippines in 1898 after defeating Spain in the Spanish-American War. The Philippines became a US territory and remained under American rule until 1946. During this time, the US had a significant impact on the development of the Philippines. Many American institutions were introduced, such as education and democracy.

Japan occupied the Philippines during World War II from 1942 to 1945. The Japanese military was ruthless during their occupation, and many Filipinos were killed or imprisoned. After the war, the Philippines gained independence from the United States in 1946.

A well-cooked sisig dish

After the Colonials

Since gaining independence, the Philippines has undergone many changes and challenges. The country has been through several dictatorships and periods of democracy. Currently, the Philippines is a republic with a democratically-elected government.

The Philippines is a culturally diverse country with influences from all over the world. It’s a fascinating place to visit and learn about. Here are some reasons why you should see the Philippines.

Rich History

As mentioned, the Philippines has a rich and varied history. It’s been through many different colonial powers and periods of democracy and dictatorship. This history is reflected in the country’s culture, a unique blend of Malay, Polynesian, Melanesian, Spanish, American, and Japanese influences.

Friendly Locals

One of the best things about traveling to the Philippines is the warmth and hospitality of the Filipino people. Located in Southeast Asia, the country has been influenced by several different cultures over the centuries, resulting in a rich tapestry of traditions and customs. And you’ll need help navigating all those 7,000 islands — where the locals come in!

Delicious Cuisine

If you’re a foodie, you’ll be in heaven in the Philippines. The cuisine in the Philippines comes from various culinary traditions, including Malay, Spanish, Chinese, and American. The result is a unique fusion of flavors you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

From Lechon (roast suckling pig) and adobo (chicken or pork braised in vinegar and soy sauce) to lumpia (spring rolls) and Halo-Halo (a shaved ice dessert). There’s no shortage of delicious dishes to try. Just be sure to bring your appetite!

Breathtaking Sights

From the stunning rice terraces of Banaue to the majestic Mayon Volcano, there’s no shortage of breathtaking sights in the Philippines. In addition, the country is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and a variety of other natural wonders.

World-Class Scuba Diving

With over 36,000 kilometers of coastline and an abundance of coral reefs teeming with marine life, it’s no surprise that scuba diving is one of the most popular activities in the Philippines. Experienced divers can explore WWII shipwrecks while beginners can enjoy colorful reefs brimming with tropical fish — making it a perfect destination for both groups.

Whether you want to relax on the beach or explore the great outdoors, you’ll find plenty of things to see and do in the Philippines. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to the Philippines today!

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