Spain created the Philippines. It did not exist before spanish colonization, prior to spanish rule it was only a collection of small, undeveloped mostly stone age tribes and villages perpetually at war with one another. Some tribes were peaceful, but still lived in horror of constant terror by the many headhunters, cannibals, and slave traders, etc. Spain introduced government, peace and a national identity, .. civilization.. and also christianity, and with it the idea that it is not ok to rape, rob, kill, pillage, burn raid, or eat your nieghbors, just because you are stronger or have more spears. Spain modernized the Philippines from mostly stone age, by the end of Spain's rule filipino society featured roads, bridges, schools, colleges, hospitals, grand ballrooms and theater. This social progress, and a growing, educated filipino middle class, and the insdustrial era, can be viewed as the ultimate cause of the downfall of colonial rule.
Spain was a traditional colonial monarchy. Power, wealth and control was kept thru a system of elite titled spanish aristorcracy that ran the country with a few filipinos included into the ruling 'class'. The ruling class gained power and wealth thru land grants, positions, and titles from the King, and in turn gave tribute and loyalty back to the King. Some filipinos in the small middle class of merchants, soldiers, skilled services, etc. The majority of 'natives' were just left alone aside from tax and trade, so long as they did not go 'off reservation' headhunting or what not. This colonial aristocracy, like those in mexico and elsewhere, used peons - peasants, who were like medievil european serfs, to do manual labor. These peons, like serfs, had little money or power, and a fairly short and miserable life of endless toil for the benefit of their colonial masters. We can only argue if this type of life was better or worse than village life in some of the more primitave tribes. Little effort was made to educate or uplift the masses, and this had the negative effect of instilling a 'peon' or peasant colonial mentality on the masses, who view all problems flowing from, and the responsibility of, the very few elite leaders.