Cavite: The Bustling Historical Capital south of Manila

Whenever I think of Cavite, what pops up in my mind is the Aguinaldo house in Kawit where Philippine Independence was declared. Also, Tagaytay City comes next as this is Manilans’ favorite weekend gateaway where the views of Taal lake and volcano are mesmerizing. After exploring Rizal and Laguna provinces, I visited the Cavite province by riding a jeepney in front of Baclaran Church. This province is so vast, that one day isn’t enough to visit most of its towns. Because of this, I visited them in different dates.

Calabarzon, formally known as the Southern Tagalog Mainland, is an administrative region in the Philippines, designated as Region IV-A. The region comprises five provinces: BatangasCaviteLagunaQuezon, and Rizal; and one highly urbanized city, Lucena. The region is the most populous region in the Philippines and is also the country’s second most densely populated after the National Capital Region.The name of the region is an acronym of its five component provinces: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.
Cavite, officially the Province of Cavite (Tagalog: Lalawigan ng Kabite; Chavacano: Provincia de Cavite), is a province in the Philippines located in the Calabarzon region in Luzon. Located on the southern shores of Manila Bay and southwest of Manila, it is one of the most industrialized and fastest-growing provinces in the Philippines. It the most populated province in the country if the independent cities of Cebu are excluded from Cebu’s population figure. The name “Cavite” comes from the Hispanicized form of kawit or it may be a corruption of kalawit, Tagalog words for “hook“, in reference to the small hook-shaped peninsula jutting out to Manila Bay. My 3rd Province!
The de facto capital and seat of the government of the province is Trece Martires, although Imus is the official (de jure) capital while the City of Dasmariñas is the largest city in the province.
For over 300 years, the province played an important role in both the country’s colonial past and eventual fight for independence, earning it the title “Historical Capital of the Philippines”. It became the cradle of the Philippine Revolution, which led to the renouncement of Spanish colonial control, finally culminating in the Philippine Declaration of Independence on June 12, 1898 in Kawit. The old provincial capital, Cavite City also hosted docks for the Manila galleon, becoming an essential part of commerce between Asia and Latin America.
The Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine is a national shrine located in Kawit, Cavite in the Philippines, where the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain was declared on June 12, 1898. To commemorate the event, now known as Araw ng Kalayaan or Independence Day, a national holiday, the Philippine flag is raised here by top government officials on June 12 each year. The house is now a museum.

In this post, I’ll show some tourist destinations I visited in Cavite thru infographics per municipality/city. I’ll post here in my #project81 the articles related to each province.

Cavite comprises 16 municipalities and 7 cities: So far, I haven’t visited only 2 municipalities highlighted (Noveleta visited 2022) and I’ll update this post soon.

Western Cavite coastal towns: Bacoor City-Kawit-Cavite City-Rosario-Tanza-Gen. Trias City-Naic-Maragondon-Ternate

Bacoor, officially known as the City of Bacoor (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Bacoor), is a 1st class component city in the province of Cavite, Philippines. It is the second largest city in the province of Cavite after Dasmariñas. Some accounts indicate that the city of Bacoor, also named Bakood or Bakoor was founded as a pueblo or town in 1671. When Spanish troops first arrived in Bacoor they met some local inhabitants in the process of building a bamboo fence (bakod in Filipino) around a house. The Spaniards asked the men the name of the village but because of the difficulties in understanding each other, the local inhabitants thought the Spaniards were asking what they were building. The men answered “bakood”. The Spaniards pronounced it as “bacoor” which soon became the town’s name.
Kawit, officially the Municipality of Kawit (Tagalog: Bayan ng Kawit), is a first-class municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines. It is one of the notable places that had a major role in the country’s history during the 1800s and 1900s.
Formerly known as Cavite el Viejo, it is the location of his home, and the name Kawit is from the word kalawit meaning “hook” which is suggestive of its location at the base of a hook-shaped shoreline along Manila Bay extending to the tip of Cavite City.
Rosario, officially the Municipality of Rosario (Tagalog: Bayan ng Rosario), is a 1st class municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines. Formerly known as Salinas, Rosario is the most densely populated city/municipality in Cavite. Rosario was formerly called Tejero, which may have originated from the word tejer (Spanish to weave) because weaving fish nets was then the main occupation of the women. Rosario was also called Salinas derived from the word sal (Spanish salt) during the Philippine Revolution because salt-making was a prime industry of the town.
The place was likewise called Marcella or Marcelles due to its proximity to the sea (“mar” in Spanish). Rosario was, finally, named in honor of their patroness Nuestra Señora Virgen del Santissimo Rosario, Reina de Caracol or (Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary).
Tanza, officially the Municipality of Tanza (Tagalog: Bayan ng Tanza), formerly known as Santa Cruz de Malabón, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines.
Tanza was formerly a strip of land incorporated for official purpose to the municipality of San Francisco de Malabon, now called General Trias. The first settlers were the Fabian brothers who migrated here. This place was particularly devoted to grazing and was called Estancia (1780). The name TANZA, according to popular belief, may have originated from the word Santa; which means holy.
General Trias, officially known as the City of General Trias (Tagalog: Lungsod ng General Trias), is a 1st class component city in the province of Cavite, Philippines. During the earlier part of the Spanish colonial period, General Trias was often referred to as Las Estancias (the ranches), which was once a part of Cavite el Viejo, the present-day Kawit. It was also called Malabón Grande. The name Malabón was speculated to have been derived from either the local term “maraming labong,” due to the abundance of bamboo shoots in the area, which is a main ingredient in Filipino cuisine; or from “mayabong,” referring to the trees and other plants once abundant in the place.
At any rate, the first reference seems to be more probable because General Mariano Trías, a noted writer, adopted the nom de guerre “Labong,” a word he often used in his writing and conversation. Grande, on the other hand, was affixed to the appellation because at the time, the place was a vast wilderness covering Sitio Tejero, frequently called by the revolutionary as Salinas (present-day Rosario), Santa Cruz de Malabón or Malabón el Chico (present-day Tanza) and Tierra Alta (present-day Noveleta). When the town was made independent from Cavite el Viejo, it was finally called by its popular name San Francisco de Malabón, in honor of patron saint, Saint Francis of Assisi.
Maragondon, officially the Municipality of Maragondon (Tagalog: Bayan ng Maragondon), is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines.  The town is famous for its bamboo crafts, Mounts Palay-Palay–Mataas-na-Gulod Protected Landscape which includes Mount Pico de Loro, and various ancestral houses and structures important to Philippine history and culture such as Maragondon Church and the execution site and trial house of national hero Andres Bonifacio. The name Maragondon is a Spanish approximation of the Tagalog word maragundong/madagundong, which means “having a rumbling or thunderous sound”. This refers to the noise coming from the Kay Albaran river in the village of Capantayan. This was initially the place on which the town was to be built. However, due to the floods caused by the frequent overflowing of the river, the town was later relocated to its present site.
Ternate, officially the Municipality of Ternate (Tagalog: Bayan ng Ternate, Chavacano: Municipio de Ternate), is a 4th class municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines.
Formerly known as Bahra, the municipality is named after Ternate island of Indonesia where migrants from then Dutch East Indies originated.

Southern Cavite inland towns: Imus City-Dasmariñas City-Trece Martires City-Indang-Alfonso-Mendez-Tagaytay City-Amadeo-Silang-GMA-Carmona

Imus, officially known as the City of Imus (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Imus), is a 3rd class component city and de jure capital of the province of Cavite, Philippines. There are at least four versions on the origin of the name of the city. Firstly, Imus is a Tagalog word meaning “a piece of land cutting into the junction of two rivers.” The old location of the church is in Toclong where the confluence of the Imus and Julian rivers is located, forming a slice of land.
Dasmariñas, officially known as the City of Dasmariñas (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Dasmariñas), often shortened to Dasma, is a 1st class component city in the province of Cavite, Philippines. It is the largest city both in terms of area and population in Cavite. The rapid development is manifested by the influx of major shopping malls, hospitals, universities, banks, industrial parks, and the growing number of residential subdivisions accommodating its growing population. Dasmariñas was named after Gómez Pérez Dasmariñas, the 7th Spanish governor-general of the Philippines who served from 1590 to 1593.
After his death, his son Luis Pérez Dasmariñas became the governor-general from 1593 to 1596. Pérez Dasmariñas came from San Miguel das Negradas of Viveiro, in Galicia, Spain. Dasmariñas literally means “from As Mariñas” (coastal region of Lugo combining the comarcas of A Mariña Occidental, A Mariña Central and A Mariña Oriental), coming itself from mariño (“of the coast, seaside or shore” in the Galician language, the native tongue from Viveiro Galicia, Spain), and this from mar (“sea”). In the 19th century during Spanish rule, Dasmariñas was originally called Tampus meaning “end of the forest” in the local Tagalog language. It was formerly a barrio of Imus. It was once a part of a vast Recollect Hacienda that supported the various missionary activities of the Recollects in the Philippines and in Spain.
Trece Martires, officially known as the City of Trece Martires (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Trece Martires), is a 4th class component city and de facto capital city of the province of Cavite, Philippines. Trece Martires started as one of the largest and most remote barrios of Cavite. Originally named Quinta or Quintana, it was part of the municipality of Tanza. The land was basically agricultural subdivided into cattle ranches and sugar farms, with less than 1,000 hectares, at the intersection of the present Tanza–Trece Martires–Indang Road (Tanza–Trece Martires Road / Trece Martires–Indang Road) and the Naic–Dasmariñas Road (now part of Governor’s Drive).
Indang, officially the Municipality of Indang (Tagalog: Bayan ng Indang), is a 1st class municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines. Indang (originally called Indan) was established as a town in 1655, when it was administratively separated from the nearby town of Silang, Cavite. Indang derived its name from the words “Inrang” or “yndan”, a tree which was also called “Anubing”. The tree of Inrang was used to be abundant in the local since the early times. The economy of Indang largely depends on agriculture. It is a first-class municipality. The 80.45% or 7,176.38 hectares are primarily devoted to agriculture. They are predominantly planted with various types of crops like coconut, banana, coffee, fruit trees, and pineapple, while there are small portions of rice, root crops, vegetables, and corn. Most farmers are engaged in multi-cropping farming system. The largest number of employment is farming and trading of agricultural products. The public market has three simple market buildings and “Bagsakan” for wholesale trading.
Mendez, officially the Municipality of Mendez-Nuñez (Tagalog: Bayan ng Mendez), is a 4th class municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines. The municipality of Mendez-Nuñez was originally known as “Gahitan”, one of the many barrios of Indang. The name was derived from the word “gahit” meaning “to cut”, because the people then had to cut down tall and thick cogon grass that abounded in the place in order to clear areas for agricultural and residential purpose. As time went on, the number of houses in Gahitan increased so that the sitio eventually became a barrio and finally a full-fledged town on 1 December 1875, thanks to Governor-General Jose Malcampo y Monje (1874-1877). Malcampo incorporated the three barrios of Gahitan, Palocpoc and Anuling into one independent municipality called Méndez Núñez, after a Spanish naval officer and close friend, Commodore Casto Méndez Núñez. Mendez is one of the smallest and upland towns of Cavite province.
Tagaytay, officially known as the City of Tagaytay (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Tagaytay), is a 2nd class component city in the province of Cavite, Philippines. It is one of the country’s most popular destinations for domestic tourism because of its scenery and cooler climate provided by its altitude. Tagaytay overlooks Taal Lake in Batangas and provides views of Taal Volcano Island in the middle of the lake through various vantage points situated in the city.
Legend has it that the word Tagaytay came from “tagâ” meaning to cut and “itáy” which means father. A father and son were said to be on a wild boar hunt when the animal they were chasing turned and attacked them. As the boar charged towards the old man, the son cried “Tagâ, Itáy!”. The boy’s repeated shout reverberated in the alleys of the ridge. Heard by the residents, hunters and wood gatherers, the cries became subject of conversation for several days in the countryside. In time, the place where the shouts came from became known as Tagaytay. The most plausible origin is that city is named after the Tagalog word “tagaytay” which means ridge.
Amadeo, officially the Municipality of Amadeo (Tagalog: Bayan ng Amadeo), is a 4th class municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines. The town got its name after King Amadeo I of Spain, an Italian prince who reigned as King of Spain from 1870 to 1873. Amadeo is best known for its Pahimis Festival, which showcases the town’s coffee industry. It is usually held on the last weekend of February and its town fiesta is held on the last Sunday of April.
Silang, officially the Municipality of Silang (Tagalog: Bayan ng Silang), is a 1st class municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines. Silang is located in the eastern section of Cavite. Silang, like most of the towns in the province of Cavite, depends on a mainly agricultural economy. The primary crops grown in the area are coconut, coffee, corn, banana, pineapple, and tree crops like mango, lansones, caimito, santol, jackfruit, guava, and avocado. Fertile soils and abundant water sources make Silang suitable not only for common commercial crops but also for high value and exotic crops production. Most of the local farmers practice intercropping to increase land productivity and lessen soil erosion. Fruit production exceeds the demand of the municipality’s population, thus, supply excesses are marketed to Metro Manila and neighboring urban centers. A number of poultry and swine farms are also located in some rural barangays. One legend explains that the town was named Silang because it is located in the eastern portion (Silangan) of the province. Another legend tells that the Roman Catholic Church was born (isinilang) from the ground. Nonetheless, Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala, one of the first Tagalog dictionaries authored by Spanish friars, shows that “siláng” (stress in the second syllable) is an old Tagalog word, which means to cross the road in between two high landforms. Topography proves that, indeed, the roads of Silang are in between elevated terrains.
General Mariano Alvarez, officially the Municipality of General Mariano Alvarez (Tagalog: Bayan ng Heneral Mariano Alvarez) and often shortened as GMA, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines. It is the second most densely populated municipality in Cavite after Rosario. The municipality was named after General Mariano Álvarez, a native of the town of Noveleta, Cavite. General Mariano Alvarez was formerly a part of Carmona, Cavite. The province’s third planned community was previously called Carmona Resettlement Project and was under the direct management of the People’s Homesite and Housing Corporation (PHHC). The project started in March 1968 because of the need to clear the Quezon Memorial Park, Diliman, Quezon City of different shanties and other illegal constructions built on it. By 1974, the project lots became part of the full-fledged communities of poor and middle class residents coming from Quezon City, Manila, Makati and Parañaque. Gen. Mariano Alvarez also takes pride in being known as the “Mushroom Capital of Cavite” because of the mushroom culture facilities in the town. Mushrooms have become the town’s main product in line with the “One Town, One Product” program of the Philippine national government.
Carmona, officially the Municipality of Carmona (Tagalog: Bayan ng Carmona), is a 1st class municipality located in the province of Cavite, Philippines. Carmona has been classified as a first class municipality since July 1996, brought about by industrialization, real estate development and commercial activities. When Silang became a town and Latag was annexed as a part of it since 1595.  Three brothers coming from the mountain of Silang were said to be the first settlers in the place which was then called “Latag”, a Tagalog word for “plain” due to the numerous hills and plains in the area. The settlement was not known to other residents of Silang until some of them also went down to the place, cleared some forest areas and established their residence. Finally, by virtue of a decree issued on February 20, 1857, by the King of Spain through Governor General Fernando de Norzagaray, Latag became a separate municipality with the name it bears today: Carmona, named after the town of Carmona in the province of Seville, Spain. Yet until now, it had not been known where the name originated.
Noveleta, officially the Municipality of Noveleta (Tagalog: Bayan ng Noveleta), formerly known as Tierra Alta during the Spanish colonial era, is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines. Noveleta was originally a barrio of the municipality of Kawit (Cavite El Viejo) and some part of Cavite City (Dalahican). It was made an independent pueblo on January 5, 1868, by Gen. Jose dela Gandera y Navarro. Ironically, Noveleta was referred to by the Spaniards as Tierra Alta meaning higher ground in view of the fact that it was more elevated than Cavite la Punta (now Cavite City). The name Noveleta is said to have originated from Nueva Isla or (new island), a tern frequently used by the Spaniards, referring to the locality. In the early years of the Spanish regime visiting priests described the place as Nueva Late (New fate or Fortune). In the course of time these terms Nueva Isla and Nueva Lete involved of Noveleta.

For detailed post about visita iglesia in Cavite, click on below link:

Visita Iglesia in Cavite

#TaraCaviteTayo 😁🏖️ (n_n)

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