CAVITE AN AFFAIR WITH THE PAST

By Anna Galathea 

Renowned for being the “Historical Capital of the Philippines,” Cavite was the cradle of the Philippine Revolution, the official renouncement of the Spanish colonial rule, and the platform for the fulfillment of the Philippine Declaration of Independence which took place on June 12, 1989 in Kawit, Cavite.

This was where the Philippine Independence was proclaimed at the house of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the Philippine national flag was officially hoisted, the Philippine national anthem was first played, and the Act of the Declaration of Independence was read out loud.

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An unidentified woman in local costume waves flag during the commemoration of Philippine independence in Kawit, Cavite.

There are two theories about its name. It was said to be the Hispanicized form to have originated from “kawit” (hook) in reference to it being a small hook-shaped peninsula. Or it could be the Hispanicized form of “kabit” (joined/attached) referring to its topographical connection to the main land. US Diplomat Edmund Roberts wrote in his memoir in 1821 that the natives (Filipinos) called it “Caveit” due to the “corked point of land extending to the sea.” Colonizers who came in the late 16th century saw an unusual junction of land thrust into Manila Bay. They thought it would be an ideal and valuable launching pad for their bulky galleons. That time, because of its hook-shaped peninsula, it became the most important port linking the colony to the outside world.

What is now Cavite City was once a mooring spot for Chinese junks trading that came to trade with the settlements around Manila Bay. The Spaniards fortified the settlement in 1571 as a first line of defense for the city of Manila.

Cavite is home of the infamous three priests known as “Gomburza” (Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Francisico Zamora) who were implicated for their anti-Spanish revolt  through the Cavite mutiny in 1872  and were martyred.

Cavite is a home for significant sites bearing historic origins highly relevant to the Philippine Revolution. Some of these sites are:

Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine

This ancestral home of Gen. Aguinaldo in Kawit is a highly relevant site for the monumental Declaration of Philippine Independence in 1898. The brave General and first Philippine President left his mansion to the Filipinos as a legacy on June 12, 1963, “to perpetuate the spirit of the Philippine Revolution of 1896 that put an end to Spanish colonization of the country”. In 1964, Pres. Diosdado Macapagal declared it a national shrine.

Battle of Binakayan Monument (Kawit)

A remembrance to a very fierce fight between the Spaniards and the Filipino soldiers on Nov. 9-11, 1896, in an ensuing shining moment of Philippine struggle for independence.

Corregidor Island (Cavite City)

This is the largest island among five which served as a guard to the entrance of Manila Bay. From being a fishing village with a lighthouse for all ships coming to and from Manila Bay, into a vital combat zone between the Japanese Imperial Army and the allied forces during the Pacific War. Here was the place Gen. Douglas McArthur uttered that unforgettable line which left a spark of hope to the Filipinos amidst the Japanese invasion: “I shall return!”

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Corregidor Cannon 3 WWII

Fort San Felipe (Cavite City)

A 16th century fort made in memory of San Felipe Neri. In 1872, this is where the Cavite Mutiny occurred where Filipino workers were implicated for rebellion against Spain. This is where the 13 Martyrs of Cavite were executed.

Andres Bonifacio House (Gen. Trias)

The residence of a revered Philippine hero, Andres Bonifacio, founder of the Katipunan, a secret revolutionary society, and one of the masterminds of the Philippine Revolution.

There are many more historic sites Cavite is proud of; many spots, where meaningful battles were won and lost. We can say this is a cradle of the Philippine Revolution and eventually, our Independence.

Today, Cavite is a bustling hub of economic and commercial activities. Shopping malls are prevalent everywhere, fabulous resorts, beaches, festival celebrations, natural attractions, and many more are offered by Cavite. Despite industrialization and urbanization, agriculture remains to be a major staple source of income for the Caviteños.

Cavite is sub-divided into 17 municipalities and 6 cities. Its proximity to Metro Manila has been an advantage for traders and merchants for years and years. Its rich forestry produces forest products such as the bamboo found in the municipalities of Ternate, Magallanes, Maragondon, and Gen. Aguinaldo throughout the year. One of the favorite outdoor activities  in Cavite is mountain climbing. Mount Pico De Loro is a favorite hiking destination here.

NATURAL ATTRACTIONS

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A view of the famous Taal volcano and Taal Lake in Tagaytay City.

Some of Cavite’s natural attractions are:

Tagaytay City – is a certified Filipino getaway. It is considered to be the second summer capital next to Baguio because of its beautiful scenery and cool climate. Its famous Tagaytay Ridge is actually a remnant part of an ancient volcano. Tagaytay provides vantage breathtaking views of the Taal Lake and Taal Volcano in Batangas.

Cabag Cave (Maragondon) – where a small brook forms a small pool at the entrance of the cave. An underground river lies amidst vegetation can be found here.

Pico De Loro – Cavite’s highest peak has a waterfall that refreshes hikers and travelers with its gushing, pristine waters.

Piitan Cave (Daine, Indang) – is a good spot for exploratory field trips and camping activities

There are many more natural attractions Cavite has. It is a land of colorful people, smiles, and warmth which draw people from all walks of life to come and unwind here.

Quick Facts on Cavite

Land Area

1,426.06 km2

Capital

Imus (P.D.1163)

Income Class

First Class

Congressional District

7

Cities

6

Municipalities

17

Number of Barangays

829 (Pres. Proc. No. 28)

Seat of Provincial Government

Trece Martirez City

Provincial Website

www.cavite.gov.ph/home

2010 Population

3,090,691

Population Density

2,000/km2 (5,100/sq mi)

Number of Economic Zones

46

Number of Industrial Establishments

768

Products

Foods: Coffee, Cocoa Tablets, Kaong   Vinegar, Tahong Chips, Smoked   Fish, and other Processed Seafoods, Processed Fruits and Vegetables, Milk and Milk Products, Native Delicacies etc.

Bamboo Products: Novelties and Furniture, Ceramics, Bags, Wallets, Novelty Items, Scented Candles, Virgin Coconut Oil

Climate

Relatively Dry Season from November to April

Wet Season from May to October

Ethnic groups

Tagalog (85%), Others (8%), Bisaya (5%), Bicolano (3%)

Languages

Tagalog, Chavacano, English

Time zone

PHT (UTC+8)

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