The IFI was Founded on the Post-Revolutionary Era and Struggle to Survive amidst US-Colonial Era
American President McKinley sent William Howard Taft to the country to head the
Philippine Commission. His task was to form a civil government in a country
besieged by the Spanish-American War, and the rebellion led by General Emilio
General Emilio Aguinaldo was captured by American forces in Palanan, Isabela
on March 23, 1901. The American colonial government considered this the end of
William Howard Taft, became the first American civil governor of the Philippines
and served his post from 1901 to 1903.
The Philippine Commission passed Act 74 providing for the public education
system, which includes the use of English as the medium of instruction, free
primary education and a normal school for the training of teachers.
The Thomasites arrived in the Philippines to serve as teachers. The normal
school on Taft Avenue in Manila is now known as the Philippine Normal University.
The American colonial government passed Act 292, known as the anti-sedition
law, on October 1, 1901 to quell the increasing armed nationalist sentiments
during the period.
The Americans abolished the autonomous “Cantonal Republic of Negros” and
made Negros a regular province on April 30, 1901.
This first labor federation in the country, Union Obrero Democratica de Filipinas,
was founded at Teatro Variedades in Sampaloc, Manila. Isabelo de los Reyes
served as president and Hermenigildo Cruz as secretary. The organization
spearheaded the first Labor Day celebration the following year.
Establishment of civil government. July 2, 1902. The US Congress signed the
Cooper Bill that provided for the establishment of a civil government in the
Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Philippine Independent Church). August 3, 1902.
The first Filipino church independent of Rome to be established with Gregorio
Aglipay as the first bishop. It was a result of the disparagement and prejudice felt
by nationalistic priests.
Manila Electric Railway and Light Company (Meralco) was granted a government
franchise ,on March 24, 1903, to supply Manila and its environs with electricity and
electric street-railway system.
The first Labor Day rally in the Philippines was organized by the Union Obrero
Democratica de Filipinas on May 1, 1903. Thousands of participants marched to
Malacanang Palace to demand for the improvement of their working conditions.
The Pensionado Law, Act 854, was passed on August 27, 1903. It provided
scholarship to Filipino to study in universities in the United States and, in their
return to the Philippines, to serve in various fields, including in government service.
The Philippine Constabulary School was established at the Santa Lucia Barracks
in Intramuros, Manila in February 19, 1905. It was transferred to Baguio City in
1908 as the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). The PMA becomes the country’s
top military school.
The government put into place the provincial telephone system.
The Nacionalista Party was founded in 1907. It dominated the political landscape
during the American occupation era. The party called for immediate independence
but their policy towards the Americans was one of accommodation.
The first Philippine Assembly was inaugurated on October 16, 1907. It served as
the lower house of a bicameral legislature with the Philippine Commission as the
The University of the Philippines, the country’s top state university was created by
Act 1870 on June 18, 1908.
The first court case of libel was filed on October 30, 1908. The newspaper El
Renacimiento published an editorial “Aves de Rapina” (Birds of Prey) about a
man who preyed on his enemy in a similar manner an eagle, vulture, or vampire
would do. The American Secretary of Interior Dean Worcester felt alluded to in the
article and sued its editor and publisher Teodoro M. Kalaw and Martin Ocampo.
The publication was forced to close when Dean Worcester won the libel case.
The first indigenous evangelical church in the Philippines, the Iglesia Evangelica
Metodista en las Islas Filipinas, was founded on February 28, 1909 by Nicolas
Zamora as a result of the separation of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The Iglesia ni Cristo, an indigenous church, was founded by Felix Manalo in 1914.
The Congreso Obrero de Filipinas was founded on May 1, 1913. Headed by
Hermenigildo Cruz, the organization fought for an eight-hour working day, the
abolition of child labor, and the implementation of fair labor standards for women.
The National Assembly proclaimed October 31, 1919 as national Flag Day.
National Federation of Women’s Clubs. 1921. It was organized primarily to
advance the political rights of Filipino women and later on developed into an
organization of women leaders for national development. Among its prominent
members were Pilar Hidalgo Lim, Josefa Llanes Escoda and Trinidad F. Legarda.
The first commercial radio stations started their broadcast in June 1922 covering
Manila and Pasay, and eventually expanded to the provinces. Most of the radio
stations were confiscated by the Japanese during the Japanese occupation.
The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) was granted the
franchise to operate the telephone system for the entire Philippines.