by Wes Kawato
In 1521, Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines. He claimed all of those islands for Spain and even won a few converts to his Catholic faith. Magellan died on the island of Cebu while trying to settle a tribal dispute. Spain used the death of Magellan as an excuse to take over all of the Philippines. Spain then issued land grants to Spanish families who went to the Philippines. These land grant recipients established the dozen or so rich families that still control the Philippine economy today. In time most people in the northern Philippine Islands adopted a form of Roman Catholicism brought to them by missionaries.
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