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Republic of the Philippines
Republika ng Pilipinas

Timeline: New Union

OTL equivalent: The Philippines.
Flag of the Philippines Coat of arms of the Philippines
Flag Coat of Arms
PHL orthographic
Location of the Philippines

Maka-Diyos, Maka-Tao, Makakalikasan at Makabansa (Filipino)
("For God, People, Nature, and Country")

Anthem "Lupang Hinirang"
Capital Manila
Largest city Quezon City
Other cities Caloocan, Cebu City, Davao City
English and Filipino
  others Cebuano, Ilocano, Tagalog
  others Buddhist, Muslim, Protestant
Ethnic Groups
Cebuano, Tagalog
  others Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Visayans
Demonym Filipino
Government Unitary presidential republic
  legislature Congress
President Rodrigo Duterte
Area 300,000 km²
Population 92,337,852 (2010 Census) 
Independence from the United States
  declared March 24, 1934
  recognized July 4, 1946
Currency Peso (₱) (PHP)
Time Zone PST (UTC+8)
Calling Code +63
Internet TLD .ph
Organizations ASEAN, G24, NAM, UN

The Philippines, officially called the Republic of the Philippines, is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia situated in the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of 7,107 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City; both are part of Metro Manila.



It is believed that the islands' first inhabitants were early humans who crossed from mainland Asia via land bridges. These early men are thought to have introduced new species of plants and animals. As the seas rose, these men were trapped in the islands and became their new home. These primarily dwelt in the caves and the forests. Eventually, the Austronesians arrived in boats and displaced these early humans.

Pre-Colonial Times

This era is marked with several kingdoms throughout the islands. Most of these were Islamic kingdoms, trading with nearby neighbors such as the Malays, Chinese, Japanese, Indians and Khmers.

Contact with the Old World

The first contact with the Philippine islands was when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan reached Limasawa after having an encounter with hostile natives in the island now known as present-day Guam. They were welcomed by the natives, and the first Christian mass was held in that location. Magellan's group then reached the island of Cebu, where they baptized the local king Rajah Humabon and his wife Queen Juana as Roman Catholics. However, not all natives welcomed the Europeans. One was the chieftain of Mactan Island named Lapu-Lapu. Lapu-Lapu was at odds with Rajah Humabon, as he distrusted the foreigners. The Europeans set fire to several villages in Mactan Island, and the stage was set for the first battle of the Filipinos against the Europeans. On April 27, 1521, against all odds, the Filipinos, which numbered thousands, faced roughly 60+ men from Magellan's group which were equipped with armor and armed with guns, cannons, crossbows, and the latest weapons available. They were able to defeat the Spaniards with Magellan being killed. The rest retreated to their ships and it would take another 60 years for the islands to be rediscovered again.

Spanish Rule (1565-1898)

The islands came under Spanish administration in 1565, when the Spanish explorer Miguel Flores D. Legaspi conquered the settlement of Islamic Manila. Following the capture of Manila, it was then made the capital of the Spanish East Indies, comprising of the islands of the Philippines, Guam, Palau, Micronesia and the Northern Mariana Islands. The islands was then used as a trading port for goods traveling from Mexico to Asia. The Spaniards eventually brought their own culture to the islands, as well as establishing universities and private institutions. Trade from the new world also improved the economy of the islands, as new goods previously unknown to the Filipinos

American Rule (1898-1942)

Following the establishment of the First Philippine Republic, relations with the United States turned sour. This escalated into a conflict in 1899, when a Filipino soldier was shot over a miscommunication with American troops. The Filipinos then took up arms to fight the Americans, who were more superior in terms of numbers and arms. Meanwhile, the Americans imposed harsh repressions on the native islanders, by burning villagers, by burning villages and executing boys over 10 years old. Such actions would be done by General Jake Smith, who was subjected to court martial upon return to the states. The President, Emilio Aguinaldo, then retreated to the provinces of Luzon, with the Americans in hot pursuit. Filipino soldiers did what they can to stop the Americans. The turning point came during the Battle of Tirad Pass, when a young Filipino general named Gregorio Del Pilar and 60 Filipino troops would ambush the American troops on a narrow passage. However, they were betrayed by a Christian Igorot who revealed the passage at Tirad Pass. All the Filipino troops were killed including Del Pilar. Aguinaldo would be captured in 1901, as he swore allegiance to the United States. The Philippine Islands was now a territory of the United States and an Insular Government was formed. During the entry of the United States into World War I, some Filipinos fought in the trenches in Europe under the United States Army.

In 1935, the Philippines was given Commonwealth status, and was to be independent in 10 years. Under Manuel Quezon, the first President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, made Tagalog (or Pilipino) the national language of the islands. It was also at this time that women were allowed to take part in suffrage, as well as land reforms.

With the outbreak of World War II in Europe, combined with the Japanese invasion of China and French Indochina, the Philippines faced imminent danger from Japanese invasion. General Douglas MacArthur made plans to reinforce the islands. Majority of these reinforcements never came, and on December 8, 1941 (December 7 in the United States, the same time Japan attacked Pearl Harbor), the Japanese invaded the islands. On Christmas Day, Manila was declared an Open City as the Japanese march right through. The Filipinos and the Americans fought hard against the invaders for four months without any reinforcements or additional supplies. The last stand was in {[W|Battle of Bataan (1942)|Bataan}}, where finally after four months, the combined Filipino-American troops surrendered to the Japanese on April 9, 1942. Corregidor fell one month later, thus making the Philippines part of the Empire of Japan. General MacArthur, President Quezon, and Vice President Osmeña escaped to Australia, where in the United States, a government-in-exile was formed. Quezon died in 1944, before he could return to his homeland.

Japanese Occupation (1942-1945)

Following the Fall of the Philippines in May 1942, the Japanese established the Second Philippine Republic, a puppet government with Jose P. Laurel as president. While popular among the Filipinos because Tagalog was made the national language, it faced opposition from both Filipino and American soldiers and guerrillas who escaped capture from the Japanese. Along with some civilian resistance fighters and Communist guerrillas, these would attack the Japanese using guerrilla tactics. This attacks would continue until MacArthur's return on October 20, 1944 with President Sergio Osmeña. The islands were completely liberated on July 1945, with the Second Philippine Republic dissolving in August 1945.

Cold War (1946-1989)



A theatrical version version of Lupang Hinirang, the Philippine National Anthem, retells Philippine History from the Battle of Mactan to People Power in 1986. This was released by GMA 7 in 2010.

The Republic of the Philippines became independent from the United States on July 4, 1946. The United States would maintain their military bases throughout the island on a 99 year lease (scheduled to end in 2047). Following the independence, the country faced several problems such as the reconstruction from the end of the war to a Communist rebellion staged by the Hukbalahap or the Huks. The Huks were originally an anti-Japanese, Communist resistance group that were composed of a group of farmers who wanted economic reform. These rebels cooperated with Filipino resistance fighters and remaining American soldiers who escaped capture from the Japanese. Upon the end of the war, they continued their armed struggle towards the Philippine government. With aid from the United States, the Philippines was able to quell the rebellion in 1954, with rebel leader Luis Taruc surrendering to the Philippine Government.

During the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, the Philippines sent an expeditionary force of around 7,500 combat troops. This was known as the Philippine Expeditionary Forces To Korea, or PEFTOK. It was the 4th largest force under the United Nations Command then under the command of US General Douglas MacArthur that were sent to defend South Korea from a Communist invasion by North Korea which was then supported by Mao Zedong's China and the Soviet Union. The PEFTOK took part in decisive battles such as the Battle of Yultong Bridge and the Battle of Hill Eerie. This expeditionary force operated with the United States 1st Cavalry Division, 3rd Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division, and 45th Infantry Division.

The Philippine economy rose during the 60s and the 70s. Under the presidency of Ferdinand E. Marcos, the Philippines became involved in the Vietnam War mainly as a combat support role. Filipino troops withdrew from Vietnam in 1969. This was the same time the NPA and the MNLF staged an insurgency in the country.Following the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombings, Marcos declared martial law in 1972, using the Communist and MNLF insurgency as the cause for stabilizing the country.

EDSA Revolution pic1

Hundreds of thousands of people fill EDSA during the People Power Revolution. February 1986.

In 1983, one of Marcos' opponents, Benigno Aquino Jr., was assassinated upon arrival in Manila International Airport from his exile in Boston, MA, USA. This further plunged Marcos' popularity among the Filipinos. Marcos would flee the country in February 1986, following the popular People Power Revolution. He lived in exile in Honolulu, Hawaii where he would die in 1989. Corazon Aquino became the President and pardoned all of Marcos' political opponents. She would also hold talks with U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev near the end of the Cold War. In one of these meetings, Gorbachev promised that the USSR will mediate the peace process of the Communist insurgency in the country. In December 1989, the United States forces in the country intervened in the Coup Attempt of 1989 staged by the Reformed Armed Movement (RAM), a group of Marcos loyalists.

Coup 1989 Camp Aguinaldo

Coup 1989 Camp Aguinaldo

News from the Coup Attempt of 1989.

Towards the 90's

Pinatubo91eruption clark air base

Mt. Pinatubo eruption as seen from Clark AB.

Evacuees from Mount Pinatubo board the USS Abraham Lincoln

American servicemen and their families preparing to evacuate.

The early 90s was marked with two calamities. First was the 1990 Luzon earthquake, known to have heavily destroyed portions of Baguio City and the surrounding provinces. The following year, Mt. Pintaubo erupted. The subsequent eruption damaged Clark Air Base causing all American servicemen and their families in the country to evacuate in what is known as Operation Fiery Vigil. In a historic vote, the Philippine Congress voted no longer to extend the lease of U.S. bases in the country. The Stars and Stripes were lowered in November 1991, as Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base was returned to the Philippines. It was the first time since the 16th century that no foreign army stood in country.

In 1995, the Philippines had a spat with China after losing Mischief Reef to the Chinese. The Philippine Navy originally wanted to destroy the structures built by China, but chose to stand down in order not to risk confrontation with the Chinese. This caused the Philippine Navy to ground the BRP Sierra Madre in the Ayungin Shoal in 1999, as a symbol of Philippine sovereignty. The same year, the U.S. and the Philippines signed the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), allowing U.S. forces to rotationally visit the country. The 90's was the era that the Philippines and the NPA started their peace talks, although this would drag on twenty years later.

The New Millennium (2000-2009)

The 2000s decade was marked with a new issue that affected the globe: terrorism. Prior to the September 11 attacks, the Philippines faced terrorist attacks conducted by the Abu-Sayaff, an Al-Qaeda linked organization formed from members who fought in the Soviet War in Afghanistan. One of their known attacks was Rizal Day bombings of 2000. After 9/11, the Philippines took part in the U.S.-led War on Terror and supported both the U.S. and the Soviet Union in their campaigns against Islamic terrorists. U.S. Special Forces were deployed to the country in 2002, acting primarily in training, communications, and advisory capacity. The country became a major non-NATO ally of the United States in 2003. On August 8, 2009, former President Corazon C. Aquino passed away. Her funeral was attended by thousands of Filipinos and some leaders from abroad. This would be one of the primary reasons why Benigno Aquino ran for the 2010 elections.

Present Day (2010-present)

In 2010, Benigno Aquino was elected the President of the Philippines. His early days of administration was marked with controversy over the Manila Hostage Crisis, resulting in the deaths of Chinese and Hong Kong tourists.


On February 6, 2012, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the provinces of Negros Oriental and Cebu, causing fatalities and structural damages. The country received some form of monetary aid from nations abroad. The Soviet Union delivered relief items valued at P13 million, on February 11th morning aboard a military aircraft from the Russian Federation for Civil Defense. The donation included 16,200 cans of preserved meat, 7,200 cans of preserved fish, 5,000 kg of sugar, 80 tents and 1,500 blankets.

Relations with China soured after the Chinese occupied Scarborough Shoal in July 2012, following a three month stand-off with the Philippine Navy in April of 2012. This caused a series of diplomatic tensions among the two countries throughout the year. Particularly, the international community condemned the Chinese takeover and urged all sides for a peaceful solution.

On December 4, 2012, Typhoon Pablo hit Mindanao.


Loon 2 earthquake

Destroyed church in the town of Loon, Bohol.

In 2013, the country was affected by two disasters: the 7.2 earthquake in Bohol and Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan). The 7.2 Magnitude quake of October 15, 2013 devastated majority of the Bohol and the surrounding provinces, destroying historic churches in Bohol and claiming a total of 299 lives. The country received aid; mainly in the form of financial aid, food, medical supplies, tents and other relief goods from the United States (USAID), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Spain, South Korea, and the Soviet Union. Intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations and the World Food Programme also donated relief goods.

USS George Washington

USS George Washington carrier strike group enters the Philippines as part of Operation Damayan. November 11, 2013.

Soviet Aid During Typhoon Yolanda

Soviet relief aid arrives in Mactan International Airport, Cebu. November 12, 2013.

Three weeks after the deadly earthquake, Typhoon Yolanda made landfall on November 8, 2013 - severely causing heavy damages to the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Northern Cebu (including the Camotes islands and Bantayan Island), and Aklan. Tacloban City was heavily damaged along with the nearby towns. International response was immediate. Just days after the landfall, the United States deployed their Marines from nearby Japan and the USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group for the relief efforts. Nearby countries such as ASEAN members, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea and China deployed troops for the relief operation. China sent the Peace Ark Hospital Ship. The United Kingdom deployed Royal Navy ships from nearby Australia. The Soviet Union deployed three Soviet Air Force IL-76 and two Antonov An-12 loaded with servicemen, generators, and other relief goods three Soviet Navy destroyers off the coast of Tacloban City, cooperating with the other naval ships from other countries. The Arab states donated mainly in the form of cash as relief goods from the European Union were brought in from chartered flights. Some of these foreign service men would stay in the country for the following months to help in the recovery of the affected areas.


NPA lay down arms

NPA rebels turnover their arms to government officials after the peace talks with the Philippine government reached a historic agreement to end the Maoist insurgency.

On February 22, 2014, the New People's Army (NPA) and National Democratic Front (NDF) finally ended their 45 year struggle in peace talks mediated by the U.S., the Soviet Union, Brunei, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Norway, Vietnam, Switzerland, Spain and the Holy See. This would see former NPA rebels laying down their arms and reintegrating back to society, many of who are working in government sponsored programs. The NPA subsequently dissolved after the signing of the peace agreement. The Communist Party of the Philippines as well as the National Democratic Front dropped their Communist causes as they were now allowed to run in local politics.

This was also the year that the MNLF ended their armed struggle, though the Philippine government troops occasionally clash with MILF and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). The country has submitted their claim to The Hague regarding the territorial dispute with China, garnering support from majority of nations abroad.

Philippine Presidential Elections of 2016

The Philippines held its presidential elections on May 9, 2016. At the end of the day, candidate Rodrigo Duterte, the former mayor of Davao City, was presumed the winner of the elections. He was inaugurated in the Malacanang Palace in Manila on June 30, 2016. Part of his campaign was to end corruption, eradicate crimes and drugs, and fixing foreign relations with China. The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces would then increase their operations against drug lords and syndicates in the country, drawing the attention of human rights groups on the extrajudicial killings allegedly conducted by police and vigilantes.

Philippines v. China

On July 12, 2016, the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines against China in the South China Sea Issue. The findings stated that China's "nine-dash" line has no historical basis. It ruled out that Chinese reclamation of the islands in the SCS has caused severe damages to the environment and has requested the Chinese to stop reclaiming these. The decision was welcomed by the Philippines, the United States, the Soviet Union, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and several other states. Beijing rejected the decision, declaring it as "baseless" and that the area around the South China Sea has been under Chinese sovereignty since "ancient times" and is seen as a "traditional, Chinese fishing ground."


The Philippines has a democratic government in the form of a constitutional republic with a presidential system.It is governed as a unitary state with the exception of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao which is largely free from the national government. There have been attempts to change the government to a federal, unicameral, or parliamentary government since the Ramos administration.

Malacanang palace view

Malacañang Palace.

The President functions as both head of state and head of government and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The president is elected by popular vote for a single six-year term, during which he or she appoints and presides over the cabinet. The President resides in the Malacañang Palace, located right next to the Pasig River in Metro Manila. The bicameral Congress is composed of the Senate, serving as the upper house, with members elected to a six-year term, and the House of Representatives, serving as the lower house, with members elected to a three-year term. The senators are elected at large while the representatives are elected from both legislative districts and through sectoral representation. The judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court, composed of a Chief Justice as its presiding officer and fourteen associate justices, all of whom are appointed by the President from nominations submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council.

Prominent Political Parties include:

  • Nacionalista Party
  • Liberal Party
  • PDP Laban
  • National Democratic Front/Communist Party of the Philippines (allowed to run since 2014, local politics only)
  • Kilusang Mayo Uno (May 1st Movement)


Philippine culture is a diverse culture due to the island's long history of colonization. It a mixed culture of Malay, Spanish, Chinese, and American. Majority of Filipinos are Roman Catholic so it is common to see several Christian festivals being celebrated in the country. The country, along with East Timor, represent the major concentration of Catholics in Southeast Asia. Some indigenous culture still persist, particularly the Igorot and Ifugaos of the North and the Tausugs in the South. Filipinos values respect, family, and bayanihan, which fosters community building among the countrymen.


The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the military force of the Philippines that is responsible for national security and is composed of three branches: the Philippine Air Force, the Philippine Army, and the Philippine Navy (includes the Marine Corps). Civilian security is handled by the Philippine National Police (formerly the Philippine Constabulary).

In recent years, the Philippine military has been battling insurgent groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. While majority of the New People's Army have laid down their arms in 2014, occasional encounters with rogue NPA members have engaged the Armed Forces. In the south, the country is battling the Abu Sayaff, an Islamic terrorist group with ties to Al-Qaeda. This terrorist group has been responsible for various bombings, beheadings, and kidnappings in the south.

1024px-PMC BAlikatan Exercise

Philippine and U.S. Marines in Southern Mindanao.

The Philippines has been an ally of the United States since World War II. A mutual defense treaty between the two countries was signed in 1951. The Philippines supported American policies during the Cold War and participated in the Korean and Vietnam wars. It was a member of the now dissolved SEATO, a group that was intended to serve a role similar to NATO and that included Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. After the start of the War on Terror, the Philippines was part of the coalition that gave support to the United States. The U.S. maintains a Visiting Forces agreement to the country as well as a joint US-Philippine Special Forces camp near Zamboanga City. The Philippine military has annual joint-exercises with the United States every April-May called Exercise BALIKATAN.

FA-50 Fighting Eagle Test Flight

First batch of South Korean FA-50 fighters jets delivered to the country.

The countries other suppliers include South Korea, Japan, Italy, Spain, Germany, the UK, and Israel. In 2015, two of 10 South Korean FA-50 jets, 1 C295 Cargo Plane, and 3 armed AW109 attack helicopters were delivered to the country. Currently the country is bidding to purchase 12 A129 Mangusta attack helicopters from Italy. The Philippines has also been bidding with the Soviet Union on purchase of 10 BMP amphibious transports, five Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters, surface-to-air missiles, fighter jets, and the famed Tunguka Anti-aircraft vehicle.

Foreign Relations


The Stars and Stripes flying alongside the Three Stars and the Sun as a symbol of Philippine-American friendship.

The Philippines maintains foreign relations with several countries. Being a pro-Western country, relations with the member states of the European Union, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the country's former colonizer: the United States. The U.S. considers the Philippines as a major non-NATO ally in the Asia-Pacific, along with ANZUS, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea. Since the War on Terror bean, The United States has maintained a small presence of troops in the country, mainly advisers and Special forces, to help the Philippine government forces fight Islamic terrorists.

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Soviet Air Force Il-76 in Manila as part of the humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan. November 18, 2013.

Relations with the Soviet Union have gradually improved since the 1980s, as the Soviet Union is a large importer of Philippine products such as beer, gum, fruits. and coconut oil. During the Cold War, relations were frosty as both countries distrusted each other because of ideological differences. The Philippines distrusted the Soviet Union because of the Communist ideology of violence and atheism, as well as alleged support to the Huks and the NPA. On the other hand, the USSR distrusted the country because the Philippines is ally of the United States and fought in Korea and Vietnam alongside the Americans. This change in the late 80s to the early 90s, as the Soviet Union slowly started to shift to a democracy and an open market. After the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013, the Soviet Union took part in the relief effort by bringing in supplies and engineers to assess the situation. In 2014, the U.S., the Soviet Union, Norway, Malaysia, and Brunei mediated the peace talks between the Philippine Government and the New People's Army; in which the NPA ended their 46 year struggle after being offered several government land reform programs. Also, the USSR was part of the International Monitoring Team with peace talks with the MNLF and the Bangsamoro Basic Law. In recent times, there are over 14,000 Filipinos working as OFWs in the Soviet Union, mainly as domestic workers and teachers. Currently, the Philippine government is dealing with the Soviet Union on the purchase of surface-to-air missile equipment, fighter jets, amphibious transports, and attack helicopters.

The country is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It is also member of the United Nations and the Olympic Committee.

The country has several territorial disputes with Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Taiwan, and China over islands in the South China Sea. Relations with the China have gradually soured in 2012, due to China occupying the dispute Scarborough Shoal. The lowest peak came in 2015, when China was reclaiming reefs to make artificial islands. The country has recently filed an arbitration case to United Nations about this as the U.S. and the Soviet Union continue to push for freedom of navigation in the disputed area.

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