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Cavite Province, Philippines

Brief History | Historical Sites | How To Get There

1,287.6 sq. km.


Cavite, the name of the province, is derived from "Kawit", a Tagalog word for "hook". This refers to the hook shaped land on Old Spanish maps. The land was known as "Tangway" where Spanish authorities evolved a fort from which the city of Cavite grew.

Archaeological evidence in the coastal areas of Cavite show prehistoric settlements. Folklore says that the earliest settlers of Cavite were from Borneo. In the 1600’s encomiendas or Spanish royal land grants were given in Cavite and Maragondon. The Jesuit priests who first came brought with them settlers from Mollucas. These settlers, known as Mardicas, settled on Ternate and Maragondon. Other settlements grew over the centuries and by the turn of the century Cavite towns were already trading with one another. Traditional industries began to thrive as Manila’s commerce grew. Cavite like other provinces of Southern Tagalog, began its involvement for reforms and later on revolution as its educated citizens began to assert themselves like many Filipino ilustrados of the time.

In 1872, Filipinos revolted against Spain. Three Filipino priests - Jose Burgos, Mariano Gomez and Jacinto Zamora - were implicated in the Cavite revolt in which 200 Filipinos rose in arms against the Spanish forces in the garrisons.

On August 28, 1896, when the Philippine Revolution against Spain broke out, Cavite became a bloody theatre of war. Led by Emilio Aguinaldo, Caviteños made surprise attracts on the Spanish headquarters and soon liberated the whole province. Aguinaldo directed the Revolution to its end: the proclamation of the first Republic in Asia, the Republic of the Philippines, on June 12, 1898 in Kawit.

Cavite and its people, what they are today, and what will be tomorrow, will remain with infinity, as a place with glorious history and a people fortified with strength to live and die for a worthy cause.

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Aguinaldo Shrine and Museum (Kawit)
The province of Cavite plays an important role in Philippine political history. The proclamation of the Republic of the Philippines was made in this town in the balcony of the home of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the Philippine Republic. Now a National Shrine, it was in this house that the Philippine flag was first unfurled. Guided tours are offered in the shrine. Open daily from 8:00am to 5:00pm, except Mondays.

Imus Historical Marker (Town Plaza, Imus)
Cavite Province can justifiably claim to be the birthplace of the nation, as Imus was the site of the first successful revolution. The Imus Historical Marker commemorates this event. At the town plaza, the marker can be found near two vintage artillery pieces situated just across the Imus Catholic Church and the Imus Municipal Hall.

Battle of Alapan Marker and Flag (Bernardina Salud Elementary School, Alapan, Imus)
The site of this marker is highlighted by a 90-foot tall flagpole where the Philippine flag waves proudly. The marker is set atop three large rocks each encrusted with painted cement. On the center rock is a statue of a woman boldly holding the Philippine flag.

Battle of Julian Bridge Marker (Bo. Bayang Luma, Imus)
An old 1859 cannon stands as the lone reminder of a battle that took place long ago between the Spanish and the Filipino forces. The marker is placed on the cannon while old ammunitions are laid on its concrete base. The cannon and marker are found near the north side of the bridge where steps briefly descend to this old emplacement.

Corregidor (Off Bataan Peninsula)
The name Corregidor was derived from the Spanish word "corregir" meaning to correct or check. This island served as a checkpoint for vessels entering Manila Bay during the Spanish and American occupation. It earned the name Guardian of Manila because of its strategic location at the mouth of Manila Bay. It is the largest of the five islands guarding the entrance to Manila Bay. Tadpole-shaped, it lies off the southwestern tip of the Bataan Peninsula, 26 miles off Manila. It rises about 450 feet above sea level with a land area of three and a half square miles. During the last Pacific war, Corregidor became a theater of war between the Japanese Imperial Forces and the combined defenders of Filipino and American troops, thus its valiant last stand against the superior invasive forces came to be written in history. Guided Tours are available. For additional information, please contact: Corregidor Visitor’s Information Center (C-VIC) located at CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila with contact telephone number: (632)834-5048 and the Corregidor Foundation, Inc. (CFI) at 2nd Floor, Room 212, DOT Building, T.M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila with contact telephone numbers: (632)525-3429/525-3420.

House of Tirona (12 Maestro G. Tirona St., Bo. 4, Imus)
The house belonging to an illustrious Caviteño family is well-maintained and was restored to its original grandeur. The place has a garden and a marker set within the lot attesting to notable personalities.

Fort San Felipe (Sangley Point Naval Base, Cavite City)
An old structure dating back to 1609 when the Spaniards built it to protect the then growing city. The structure is made of granite blocks with walls approximately 30 feet high. A wide stairway leads to the top of the fort where a concrete house structure could be found. Naval memorabilia including antique cannons and cannon balls decorate the lawns.

General Artemio Ricarte Marker (Poblacion, General Trias)
In 1896, Gen Ricarte led revolutionists in attacking the Spanish garrison taking troops and civil guards as prisoners. He fought numerous other battles and was later captured and deported to Guam. In 1903 he was He was supposed to be released in Manila after they took their oath of allegiance to the Americans -- Ricarte refused. He was deported once more to Hong Kong and secretly sailed to the Philippines in 1903 hoping to reunite and rekindle the Philippine Revolution but he was denounced for a sum of $10,000, the reward offered by the American government for his capture dead or alive. He was arrested and jailed until 1910. He still refused to swear allegiance to the US and on the same day, he was once more deported to Hong Kong. He and his wife later moved to Yokohama, Japan where they lived in self exile. The marker is a pebble wash - out platform encloses the marker made in tribute to the late Gen. Artemio "El Vibora" Ricarte. Two lamp posts flank the structure.

Andres Bonifacio House (Poblacion, Gen Trias)
This is the place where the country’s Father of the Philippine Revolution, Andres Bonifacio lived. The façade of the house is of red bricks and adobe. Although renovated several times over, its original Spanish style has not changed.

General Mariano Trias Marker (Poblacion, Gen. Trias)
The marker is located in front of the house where Gen. Mariano Trias, another local hero, once stayed, near the town plaza. The marker is built in white concrete and a solitary lamp post stands directly behind. The monument to the memory of this person is located elsewhere in the Poblacion.

House where Bonifacio was Court Martialed (Poblacion 2, Maragondon)
The place is of old wooden and concrete design and a marker is set in the middle of the structure.

House of Gen. Riego de Dios (Poblacion 2, Maragondon)
Gen de Dios became a member of the Katipunan on July 12, 1896. He was among the first Caviteño to join the revolutionary society. In October, 1896, he was among the Katipunans who attacked the Spanish garrison in Lian, Batangas. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General after the triumphant defense of Noveleta in 1896. The old De Dios residence is made of wood with an architecture dating back to the bygone era. It is considered one of the country’s oldest houses in the area.

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The historical province of Cavite is accessible from Manila by land (Buses leave every 30 minutes). Normal travel time to Cavite is approximately 20-30 minutes (if you are going to Bacoor, the closest town to Manila) or about 2 ½ half hours (to the farthest point).

By car, exit South Superhighway through Carmona or Sta. Rosa.

source: Department of Tourism

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