The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. Life for Relief and Development had Sent medical aid to hospitals and clinics, books for schools, agricultural seeds for farmers and toys for children.