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The Jakarta Post:
13th Century: Arab traders introduce Islam to the Sulu island group near the lower tip of a Southeast Asian archipelago, later to be called the Philippines.
1521: Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, in a voyage to look for alternate routes for the vital spice trade, lands on Homonhon island on the Pacific coast, converts natives to Christianity and claims the archipelago for Spain.
1898: The Philippines is ceded to the United States as part of the settlement of the Spanish-American War, with the victors later mounting a bloody pacification campaign against Muslims in thesouth that lasts several years.
1930s: US authorities encourage Christians to migrate to the southern region of Mindanao, which was mostly populated by Muslims. The policy of Christianising the region is accelerated in the 1950s and 1960s after the Philippines wins independence. Muslims eventually become a minority in many parts of the southern Philippines, fueling resentment at rulers in Manila.