The Philippines has been struggling since WWII to have a steady government and labor system. The economy of the Philippines was virtually destroyed as a result of WWII. Poverty and conflict strained the economic and industrial growth of the country. Several Presidents since WWII have made improvements, but the Philippines is still struggling with poverty and political instability. .
Approximately 22,000 years ago, short, dark skinned, curly haired Negrito began to migrate to the Philippines from Southeast Asia. Pre- Spanish peoples developed communities called "barangay” after the name of the boat they arrived on. Records show that an advanced civilization evolved, including rice, fishing, weaving mining and trading. They used shell currency and indict writing inscribed on bamboo. Laws were established and a council of elders. The people worshipped ancestors as well as natural forces that governed them. .
Ferdinand Magellan sailed to the Philippines in 1521. He was accompanied by priests and began colonizations by converting the chiefs and their families to Christianity. Five years later Miguel Lopez de Legaspi arrived from Mexico. He named the islands the Philippines after King .
Philip II of Spain.
Magellan defeated petty chieftains and rewarded those who helped in the conquests with vast tracts of land. These estates were worked by natives and provided the Spaniards a comfortable life. Spain ruled the Philippines from Mexico. The Spanish would not have been able to rule on the islands if not for the priests who influenced the people. Churches were built around the town's centers. The church often surpassed the government's power and influence. Separation of church and state did not happen in the Philippines for 300 years. .
The Spaniards were abusive to the natives called Indians. They often were pushed to revolt. On June 12,1898 the first Philippine Republic was proclaimed. However, it was short lived.