According to the Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations, the European discoverer of the Philippines was Ferdinand Magellan. He discovered the Philippines on March 15, 1521. Evidence of human habitation of the islands dates back as far as 250,000 years ago.
Experts believe that the Negritos crossed land bridges from Borneo and Sumatra to the Philippines around 30,000 years ago. Malays were later migrants from the south, eventually outnumbering the Negritos. Arab traders made contact with the southern Philippine islands in the 14th century. Magellan attempted to claim the islands for Spain after discovering them in 1521 but was killed in battle by Filipino chieftain Lapulapu. Spain launched an invasion of the islands in 1565.