After a long hiatus, Spanish colonization began in earnest in 1565 from Cebu under Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, before conquering Panay and finally Manila in 1571, where they established the capital of the Spanish East Indies, which includes what is now Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Northern Mariana Islands and Palau.
It was also part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain with Mexico, during which time Manila and Acapulco became the ports-of-call for galleon fleets which bring migrants, food and missionaries, thus contributing to the Philippines' Latin American flavor.
Classified as one of the developing nations of the world, the Philippines has been experiencing political instability, poverty, and a population growing at an extremely fast rate.
On the other hand, it is one of the world's most bountiful countries in terms of flora and fauna, has many urbanized cities with progressive socioeconomic growth, has deep, rich cultures of both ancient and contemporary, and both discussed survey results that Filipinos are happier in comparison to people of developed countries.
Although the islands had few, if any, traces of the great centralised kingdoms in most of the rest of Southeast Asia, they were occupied by several small, functionally independent, royal city-states, generally established along riverbanks or coastal areas, known as (especially after the Islamic influx; this is still true for hereditary rulers in Mindanao, for example).
The more notable examples of precolonial kingdoms include Cebu, Butuan, Tondo (the kingdom that issued the debt pardon inscribed on the Laguna Copperplate, above), and Manila (formerly named Seludong), as well as the more organised Sultanates of Sulu and Maguindanao in the south.
The Philippine Revolution, led by Andres Bonifacio and the "Katipunan" secret society (whose full acronym was KKK, no relation to the American one) broke out in August 1896.
However, the Spanish government surrendered to the Americans alone and handed over the Philippines to the US with the Treaty of Paris with zero involvement from the Filipinos.
The US was in its international expansionist phase, as was happening in Cuba.
At the same time, the Americans also pacified the Muslim south, which had never been fully conquered by the Spanish and had mostly remained apart from the Philippine Revolution, in a conflict dubbed the Moro Rebellion.
By the mid-1910s the situation had relatively calmed down, during which the Islands experienced a cultural renaissance, and some nationalists elected into the legislature began submitting multiple proposals for Washington to lay down a groundwork for future independence, culminating in the establishment of the Philippine Commonwealth in 1935, with senator Manuel L. Ten hours after the attacks, the Japanese turned to the Philippines.