Place:Cavite City, Cavite, CALABARZON, Philippines


NameCavite City
Alt namesCavitesource: Getty Vocabulary Program
City of Cavitesource: Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 230
Coordinates14.483°N 120.9°E
Located inCavite, CALABARZON, Philippines     (1500 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

is a in the province of , . According to the , it has a population of people.

The city was the capital of Cavite province from the latter's establishment in 1614 until 1954, when it was transferred to the newly created city of Trece Martires near the center of the province. It started as the small port town of Cavite Puerto that prospered during the early Spanish colonial period when it became the main seaport of Manila hosting the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade and the port used for other heavy and larger sea-bound ships. Thereafter, San Roque and La Caridad, two former independent towns of Cavite province, were later added to form one municipality. The present larger Cavite City now includes the communities of San Antonio (includes Cañacao and Sangley Point), the southern districts of Santa Cruz and Dalahican, and the outlying islands of the province, including the historic Corregidor Island.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia


There are several names attributed to present-day Cavite City. Its early settlers, who were Tagalogs, called it "Tangway," meaning peninsula. The name "Cavite" evolved from the word Kawit or Cauit meaning "hook" as people from other places refer to it, referring to the hook-shaped land along the coast of Bacoor Bay. It was mispronounced by the Spaniards as "Kawite" or "Cavite" there being no "K" in the Castillan alphabet, then changing "w" to "v" so as to conform to their accentuation.[1] The Chinese traders or the Sangleys who came to Cavite to do business with the natives called it Keit,[2] a corruption of the word Kawit.

Pre-Hispanic era

The early inhabitants of Cavite City were the Tagalogs ruled by the Kampilan and the bullhorn of a datu, the tribal form of government. According to folklore, the earliest settlers came from Borneo, led by Gat Hinigiw and his wife Dayang Kaliwanag who bore seven children. Archaeological evidences in the coastal areas show prehistoric settlements.

Spanish colonial period

On May 16, 1571 the Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi declared the region a royal encomienda, or royal land grant. Spanish colonizers settled in the most populated area of the place (present day Kawit), they called it Cavite. The old Tangway at the tip of the Cavite Peninsula, across Bacoor Bay was referred to as Cavite la Punta meaning "Point of Cavite" or Cavite Point. Upon discovering that because of its deep waters, Cavite la Punta was a suitable place for the repair and construction of Spanish ships and galleon, the Spanish moved their settlement there and called it Cavite Nuevo (New Cavite) or plainly Cavite, while the first settlement was renamed "Cavite Viejo" (and in the early 20th century, regained its former name, Kawit).

In 1590, the Spaniards fortified Cavite Nuevo with a muralla (high thick curtain walls) on its western, northern and eastern side while the side fronting Baccor Bay remained open. Fort Guadalupe on the easternmost tip was also built at the same time, and the town became the Puerto de Cavite (Port of Cavite) or Cavite Puerto. The Fort of San Felipe Neri and Porta Vaga gate were constructed in 1595 and completed in 1602. Puerta Vaga (corrupted to Porta Vaga) was the port city's barbican western and only principal entrance from San Roque. It was flanked by the western wall protected by two bastions at its north and southern end. The wall and gate were also separated from the mainland by a moat, which also made the town like an island.[3]

Cavite was officially founded as a town in 1614 with Tomás Salazar as the earliest known gobernadorcillo recorded.[3] At the same time, the town became the capital of the new politico-military province of Cavite, established also in 1614. Like some other provinces during the Spanish era, the province adapted the name of its capital town [e.g., Bulacan, Bulacan; Tayabas, Tayabas (now Quezon province); Tarlac, Tarlac; Manila, Manila province ; Balayan, Balayan Province (now Batangas); Taal, Taal (now Batangas); and the present Batangas, Batangas].

San Roque was founded as a separate town also in 1614. It was placed under the civil administration of Cavite Puerto until it was granted a right to be a separate and an independent municipality in 1720. La Caridad, formerly known as La Estanzuela of San Roque, separated and was founded as town in 1868. The Spanish Governor General Jose de la Gardana granted the petition of the people led by Don Justo Miranda to make barrio La Estanzuela an independent town.

City of churches

As the town was progressing, it also became a cosmopolitan town that attracted the different religious orders to set up churches, convents and hospitals within the limited confines of the fortified town. The Franciscan Hospital de San Jose (Saint Joseph Hospital) was built for sailors and soldiers in 1591, the San Diego de Alcala convent in 1608, the Porta Vaga (La Ermita), Our Lady of Loreto (Jesuit), San Juan de Dios (St. John of God), Santo Domingo (Dominicans), Santa Monica (Recollects), and San Pedro, the port's parish church. At the most, the fortified town enclosed eight churches, the Jesuit college of San Ildefonso, public buildings and residences, which served the needs of its population of natives, soldiers and workers at the port, transients and passengers on board the galleons.

It was also during those times when it was called "Tierra de Maria Santisima" (Land of Most Holy Mary) because of the popularity of the Marian devotion in this place. Plazas and parks were evidence of importance, Plaza de Armas across from San Felipe Fort, Plaza de San Pedro across from the church and Plaza Soledad across from Porta Vaga, Plaza del Reparo was at the bayside.

Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade

The Port of Cavite (Puerto de Cavite) was linked to the history of world trade. Spanish galleons sailed every July to Acapulco (Mexico) while another ship sailed from Acapulco to Cavite. Galleons and other heavy ocean-going ships were not able to enter the Port of Manila along Pasig River because of a sand bar that limits entrance to the river port only to light ships. For this reason, the Port of Cavite was regarded as the Port of Manila, the main seaport of the capital city.[4]

At the height of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade, the Port of Cavite was the arrival and departure port of the Spanish galleons that brought many foreign travelers (Mostly Spaniards and Latinos) to its shores. The Port of Cavite was fondly called Ciudad de Oro Macizo meaning the "City of Solid Gold". The Chinese emperor at one time sent some of his men to this place they called Keit (Cavite) to search for gold.

Between 1609 and 1616 the galleons Espiritu Santo and San Miguel were constructed in the shipyard of the port, called the Astillero de Rivera (Rivera Shipyard of Cavite), sometimes spelled as Ribera.

San Roque isthmus

The narrow San Roque isthmus or causeway (now M. Valentino Street) connected Cavite Puerto to San Roque town, its only border town. Maps from the 17th century shows that this narrow isthmus was wider, as wide as the town itself. Problems with rising water and the encroaching waves that plagued Cavite Puerto since the beginning must have eroded the land into a narrow isthmus.

American colonial period

Control over the port was turned over to the Americans by Spain after the Treaty of Paris of 1898at the turn of the 19th century. At the start of the American era, Cavite Puerto became the seat of the U.S. Naval Forces in the Philippines. It was redesigned to make way for modern ships and armaments. The ruinous historical structures like Fort Guadalupe were demolished, along with most of Fort San Felipe.[3]

Local government administration was under the renamed Presidentes municipales with the direct supervision of the American Army Officers (the first being Colonel Meade). The first Filipino Presidentes municipales were appointed: Don Zacaria Fortich for Cavite Puerto, Don Francisco Basa for San Roque, and Don Pedro Raqueño Bautista for Caridad.

In 1900, the Caviteños tasted their first election under the American regime. They elected in each pueblo or town, local officials called Presidente municipal, Vice-Presidente municipal and a Consejo (council) composed of Consejales (councilors). They elected Don Gregorio Basa as Presidente Municipal of the town now known as Cavite City.

In 1901, the Philippine Commission approved a municipal code as the organic law of all local governments throughout the country. In its implementation in 1903, the three separate pueblos of Cavite Puerto, San Roque and La Caridad were merged into one municipality, which was called the Municipality of Cavite. By virtue of a legislative act promulgated by the First Philippine Assembly, Cavite was again made the capital of the province. Subsequently, its territory was enlarged to include the district of San Antonio and the island of Corregidor. The Municipality of Cavite functioned as a civil government whose officials consisted of a Presidente Municipal, a Vice-Presidente Municipal and ten Consejales duly elected by the qualified voters of the municipality.

In 1909, Executive Order No. 124, of Governor-General W. Cameron Forbes, declared the Act No. 1748 annexing Corregidor and the islands of Caballo (Fort Hughes), La Monja, El Fraile (Fort Drum), Sta. Amalia, Carabao (Fort Frank) and Limbones, as well as all waters and detached rocks surrounding them, to the Municipality of Cavite.

World War II

On December 10, 1941, two days after an attack that had destroyed American air defenses at Clark Field and three days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Imperial Forces destroyed Cavite Naval Base and bombed Cavite City.

Later, after Japan seized the Philippines, Japanese leaders appointed at least two city mayors of Cavite City.

The island of Corregidor played an important role during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. The island was the site of two costly sieges and pitched battles—the first during the first months of 1942, and the second in January 1945—between the Imperial Japanese Army and the U.S. Army, along with its smaller subsidiary force, the Philippine Army.

In 1945 during the fight for the liberation of the country from Japanese hands, the US and Philippine Commonwealth military bombarded the Japanese forces stationed in the city, completely destroying the old historic port city of Cavite. The old walls and the Porta Vaga gate were damaged. Most of the structures were destroyed while some of the church towers remained. The city was littered with bomb craters.

After the war, the city's local administration resumed the way it was before the war. The walls, gate and ruins of the old city were later removed. Only the bell tower of the Santa Monica Church of the Recollects and the two bastions of Fort San Felipe remain of the old city.


Under the Philippine Commonwealth, Assemblyman Manuel S. Rojas, grandfather of Mayor Bernardo Paredes, sponsored Commonwealth Act No. 547 elevating Cavite town to a chartered city. Upon approval into law on September 7, 1940, the executive function of the city was vested in a City Mayor appointed by the President of the Philippine Commonwealth. The legislative body of the City of Cavite was vested on a Municipal Board composed of three electives, two appointive and two ex-officio councilors, the presiding officer of which is the City Mayor.

The city lost its status as capital in 1954 when Trece Martires was created in the central part of the province as a planned capital city. In 1972, city Mayor Manuel S. Rojas was assassinated in the nearby town of Bacoor, Cavite.

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