1998 in the Philippines

1998 in the Philippines details events of note that happened in the Philippines in the year 1998.

Philippines 1998
the Philippines

See also:

The year was also designated for the country's year-long 100th centennial anniversary of the Philippine Independence, as known by its theme, "100 Kalayaan: Kayamanan ng Bayan (1898-1998)".




  • January 3 – A power interruption affects the entire Luzon for almost 7 hours, caused by a broken power line after a Meralco utility post has fallen in Laguna.[1]




  • April 4Antipolo becomes a city in Rizal province through ratification of Republic Act 8508 which was approved on February 13.
  • April 19Tarlac becomes a city in the province of Tarlac through ratification of Republic Act 8593 which was approved on March 12.



  • June 6 – Carmela Arcolas–Gamboa of Negros Occidental, was crowned Miss Philippines Centennial 1998.
  • June 12 – The Philippines celebrates the centennial of its independence.
  • June 30 – Former vice president Joseph Estrada is sworn in as the 13th president of the Philippines, succeeding Fidel Ramos. Senator Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also sworn as tenth vice president of the Philippines as the latter's successor.
  • JuneSeptember – Dry spell felt in 16 regions amid country's four-year growth, with ₱9 billion worth of agricultural damages.


  • Early JulyDepartment of Agriculture reports that the drought and pest infestation to crops in Southern Mindanao region between November 1997 and June 1998 have affected some 254,000 hectares of farmlands, have destroyed 360,037 metric tons of crops worth at least ₱2-billion; rice and corn lands are the severely damaged.[16]


  • September 18 – Passenger ferry MV Princess of the Orient, taking its Manila–Cebu route at the height of Typhoon Vicki (Gading), sinks at sea off Fortune Island, Nasugbu, Batangas; 150 are either reportedly dead or missing.[17][18][19]
  • September 23Philippine Airlines (PAL) suspends its operations for days effective midnight, as it has announced on Sept. 17 to "permanently" halt, as a result of the Asian financial crisis and industrial action by its unions. Two separate strikes have been staged, by approximately 600 pilots in June, on the claims of unfair labor practice and union-busting by PAL, affecting PAL's operations; and by almost 2,000 union members in July, following the June 15 retrenchment of about 5,000 employees as part of its measure to counter financial losses. Pres. Estrada has made a series of interventions in an effort to resolve the labor dispute until certain agreements are made between PAL Employees Association and the airline management. On Oct. 7, PAL partially resumes operations, as announced by Pres. Estrada, Sept. 28. Supreme Court would uphold in 2016 the dismissal of 24 PAL pilots, and in 2018 the retrenchment of some 1,400 cabin crew.[20][21]



  • December 3 – A fire devastates private orphanage Bahay Kalinga, run by women's organization Asociacion de Damas de Filipinas Inc., in Paco, Manila, with at least 30 people confirmed dead, mostly children who have been admitted there.[26][27][28]
  • December 18 – An encounter between Abu Sayyaf founding leader and the country's most wanted outlaw, Abdurajak Janjalani, with 20 rebels, and the 12-member government forces, occurred in Lamitan, Basilan; Janjalani and two of his men are killed, while two government men are killed and two are reported missing.[29]
  • December 30Valenzuela becomes a highly urbanized city in Metro Manila through ratification of Republic Act 8526 which was approved on February 14.[30]


As per Executive Order No. 292, chapter 7 section 26, the following are regular holidays and special days, approved on July 25, 1987.[31] Note that in the list, holidays in bold are "regular holidays" and those in italics are "nationwide special days".

In addition, several other places observe local holidays, such as the foundation of their town. These are also "special days."



  • January 17 – The Tanduay Gold Rhum Masters achieves their 6th title of the PBL after their winning against AGFA HDC Films in Game 5 of the 1998 PBL All-Filipino Cup Finals, 82–76.
  • March 7 – The Inauguration games of the Metropolitan Basketball Association is held at Don Narciso Ramos Sports Complex in Lingayen, Pangasinan.
  • May 8 – The Alaska Milkmen regains the 1998 PBA All-Filipino Cup crown with a 4–3 series victory against the San Miguel Beermen and repeated as back-to-back title, Alaska winning their 8th PBA title.
  • July 6 – The Tanduay Centennial Rhum Masters are crowned as the PBL Basketball champions of the 1998 Yakult PBL Centennial Cup after beating Batang Red Bull in the Game 3 of the finals series, 71–65. and also breaking its seventh title drought.
  • August 14 – The Alaska Milkmen wins their 9th straight PBA title, defeating the San Miguel Beermen for the second time in the season, winning in six games.
  • October 6 – The Mobiline Phone Pals wins the PBA Centennial Cup title, defeating the Formula Shell Super Unleaded in winning the overtime 67–66.
  • October 31 – The Pampanga Dragons wins as the first MBA champions, winning against Negros Slashers 4–1. The Dragons clinch the first MBA national championship.
  • December 620 – The Philippines participates in the 1998 Asian Games held in Bangkok, Thailand The country ranks 21st with one gold medal, five silver medals and 12 bronze medals with a total of 18 over-all medals.[32]
  • December 9 – Formula Shell Super Unleaded wins their third PBA title and their first in six years, with a 4–3 series victory over the Mobiline Phone Pals.



Unknown date


  1. ^ "NEWSFLASH: 7-hour power outage darkens Luzon" PHNO. 01-04-1998. Retrieved 03-31-2022.
  2. ^ "RP's worst air accidents" (April 20, 2000). Philippine Daily Inquirer, p. 13. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  3. ^ "No survivors in Cebu Pacific crash" PHNO. 02-05-1998.

    News articles from Manila Standard:
    —Silva, M., Rivera-Acosta, L., & MS wires (02-03-1998). "Cebu Pacific plane, 106 aboard, missing." pp. 1–2.
    —Silva, M., Rivera-Acosta, L., AP & Reuters. (02-04-1998). "Wreckage sighted; no sign of survivors." pp. 1, 4.
    —Silva, M., Maragay, F. V., AP & Reuters. (02-05-1998). "Dense jungle snags trek to site of crash." pp. 1–2.
    —Silva, M., AP & Reuters. (02-06-1998). "No survivors." pp. 1–2.

    All were retrieved 04-02-2022.
  4. ^ According to Aviation Safety Network database (Link), the said aviation accident was the worst at that time and currently the 2nd. The worst before was the one which occurred in May 1964, now the 3nd deadliest, with 80 fatalities (including 1 on the ground). (See the details of May 1964 and Feb. 1998 accidents. Retrieved 02-11-2021.)
  5. ^ "Republic Act No. 8528". ChanRobles Law Firm. February 14, 1998. Archived from the original on 2007-10-26. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  6. ^ "Historical development of the Province of Isabela" (PDF) Province of Isabela. Retrieved July 27, 2022.
    "G.R. No. 133064" The LawPhil Project. September 16, 1999. Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  7. ^ Samonte, Severino (September 12, 2020). "Rise in number of PH cities from 60 in 1987 to 146 in 2020 traced". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  8. ^ "149 dead in Sulu malaria outbreak" PHNO. 03-01-1998.
    "Malaria death toll hits 140, measles next" PHNO. 03-04-1998.

    All were retrieved 03-31-2022.
  9. ^ "Proclamation No. 1171, s. 1998" Official Gazette. 03-04-1998.
    "Militants seek real autonomy for Cordillera" Philippine Daily Inquirer via Hartford Web Publishing. 03-12-1998.
    (Editorial) "Cordillera turns back on autonomy" The Manila Times (Internet Edition); republished in the website of the NEDACAR, same day. 09-06-2008.
    "Gauge views on autonomy, Cordillera leaders asked" Inquirer.net. 02-12-2019.
    "Chronology for Igorots in the Philippines" Minorities at Risk Project via UNHCR–Refrworld. 2004.

    All were retrieved 03-27-2022.
  10. ^ "Brief History". Island Garden City of Samal. Archived from the original on 2022-02-14. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  11. ^ "History of Urdaneta City". Urdaneta City. Archived from the original on 2001-04-17. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  12. ^ "Historical Origin". City of Kidapawan. Archived from the original on 2020-09-28. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  13. ^ "HISTORICAL BACKGROUND". THE CITY GOVERNMENT OF MALAYBALAY | OFFICIAL WEBSITE. Archived from the original on 2020-07-13. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  14. ^ "22 perish in Lung Center fire, arson suspected" PHNO. 05-17-1998. Retrieved 04-01-2022.
  15. ^ "Philippines: Manila: 8 patients die in hospital fire" AP Archive. 05-16-1998.
    "Philippine Hospital Fire Kills 10" AP (via Los Angeles Times). 05-17-1998.
    "May 16, 1998: a fire swept through the Lung Center of the Philippines killing 25 people" The Kahimyang Project.

    All were retrieved 04-01-2022.
  16. ^ "After drought: flood, deaths in Mindanao" PHNO. 07-09-1998. Retrieved 03-31-2022.
  17. ^ "NEWSFLASH: Cebu-bound ship sinks, passengers missing" PHNO. 09-19-1998.
    "54 dead, 75 still missing in Sulpicio disaster" PHNO. 09-21-1998.

    All were retrieved 03-31-2022.
  18. ^ "23 Dead, Many Missing in Manila Ferry Sinking" AP (via The New York Times). 09-20-1998.
    "Princess of the Orient: Erroneous maneuvering leads to deadly sinking" Safety4Sea. 12-10-2019.

    For the timeline of related accidents:
    "TIMELINE: Deadliest ferry disasters in the Philippines" Reuters. 06-23-2008.
    All were retrieved 04-01-2022.
  19. ^ See the details of this accident from Wrecksite database. Retrieved 04-01-2022.
  20. ^ (PHNO FIRST SCOOP) "PAL strike over, pickets lifted" PHNO. 07-26-1998.
    "NEWSFLASH: Philippine Airlines closed for good next week" PHNO. 09-17-1998.
    "NEWSFLASH: Solved! PAL re-opening Oct. 7" PHNO. 09-28-1998.

    All were retrieved 03-31-2022.
  21. ^ For this event:
    "INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS; Island Nation Loses a Bridge As Philippine Airlines Fails" The New York Times. 09-25-1998.
    "Philippine Airline Jet Seized at LAX" Los Angeles Times. 09-25-1998.
    "BUSINESS: Bad News Bird" Time Asia issue of 10-05-1998.

    Related events:
    "SC upholds dismissal of PAL pilots in 1998 strike" Philstar.com. 02-05-2016.
    "1998 PAL retrenchment of 1,400 cabin crew legal" Philippine News Agency. 03-26-2018.
    "PAL's labor woes: then and now" Newsbreak via ABS-CBN News. 08-05-2010.

    For the details of the case:
    "G.R. No. 178083" (10-02-2009) Official Gazette.
    "G.R. No. 200088" (02-26-2018) supreme Court E-Library.

    "History and Milestones" Philippine Airlines website.

    All were retrieved 04-01-2022.
  22. ^ "NEWSFLASH: Imelda acquitted!" PHNO. 10-06-1998.
    "Supreme Court acquits Imelda on 3 grounds" PHNO. 10-07-1998.

    All were retrieved 03-31-2022.
  23. ^ a b "2 Die in Philippines Typhoon" AP News. 10-22-1998.
    "Philippines: Typhoon Babs aftermath" AP Archive. 10-24-1998.
    "Typhoon Babs downgraded" BBC News. 10-26-1998.
    "Monthly global tropical cyclone summary, October 1998" Typhoon2000. 1998.

    All were retrieved 04-01-2022.
  24. ^ "Iliang toll: 33 dead, highways closed, towns flooded" PHNO. 10-16-1998.
    "Typhoon Zeb: Hundred feared feared dead, Luzon devastated" PHNO. 10-17-1998.

    All were retrieved 03-31-2022.
  25. ^ "Typhoon damage: P200-M calamity funds released" PHNO. 10-23-1998.
    "Babs' death toll 145 and climbing, destruction massive" PHNO. 10-24-1998.
    "Erap inspects Bicol damage, grants P50-M for Catanduanes rehab" PHNO. 10-25-1998.

    All were retrieved 03-31-2022.
  26. ^ "TODAY IN HISTORY: In 1913, the Association de Damas Filipinas was established". InterAksyon. September 26, 2011. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
  27. ^ "Manila orphanage fire: 29 dead, 9 missing" PHNO. 12-04-1998. Retrieved 03-31-2022.
  28. ^ "Fire Ravages Manila Orphanage" CBS News. 12-03-1998.
    "Fire kills 28 in Manila orphanage" AP (via Deseret News). 12-03-1998.
    "Philippines Orphanage Fire Probed" AP. 12-04-1998.

    For the list of related disasters:
    "The 7 Deadliest Fires in the Philippines in the Last 50 Years" Esquire Philippines. 03-27-2018.

    All were retrieved 04-01-2022.
  29. ^ a b "Abu Sayyaf chief, public enemy no. 1, killed" PHNO. 12-19-1998. Retrieved 03-31-2022.
  30. ^ "Modern History". Tayo na, Valenzuela!. Archived from the original on 2017-01-27. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  31. ^ "Executive Order No. 292 [BOOK I/Chapter 7-Regular Holidays and Nationwide Special Days]". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. July 25, 1987. Archived from the original on 2017-09-03. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  32. ^ 1998 Asian Games medal tally Archived 2009-02-13 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ "Charito Solis dead at 62" PHNO. 01-11-1998. Retrieved 03-31-2022.
  34. ^ "Charito Solis" Ancestry.com. Retrieved 04-01-2022.
  35. ^ "Viral attack kills Secretary Enrile" PHNO. 01-16-1998. Retrieved 03-31-2022.
  36. ^ "Arturo Enrile, Philippine transportation secretary" The Journal of Commerce. 01-14-1998.
    "Passage" Asiaweek. Jan. 1998.
    "Gen Arturo Tiongson Enrile" Ancestry.com.

    All were retrieved 04-01-2022.
  37. ^ "FVR orders Zamboanga, Basilan killings probed" PHNO. 05-28-1998. Retrieved 03-31-2022.
  38. ^ "Mamburao vice mayor killed, Villarosa brod hunted" PHNO. 09-29-1998. Retrieved 03-31-2022.
  39. ^ "NEWSFLASH: General Ver is dead" PHNO. 11-21-1998. Retrieved 03-31-2022.
  40. ^ "Ninoy's mother Doña Aurora Aquino dies" PHNO. 12-25-1998. Retrieved 03-31-2022.
  41. ^ "Aurora Aquino" Orlando Sentinel. 12-25-1998.
    "Aurora (Lampa) Aquino" Geni.com.

    All were retrieved 04-01-2022.