Did you know that the Philippines has its own home of the brave? This is what Cavite City is referred to, as it is known to have raised a number of known national heroes. Another name that they are called is the History Capital of the Philippines. Being close to the dock, this city was well-coveted by colonialists throughout the history of the country. During the Spanish colonial period, it had become the main seaport for the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade. During the American colonial period, control of the seaport was turned over to the American under the Treaty of Paris in 1898, and it eventually became the base of US Naval Forces in the country.
To this day, the city is well-known for bountiful trade, particularly in the towns of General Trias where Gateway Business Park and the new Cavite Export Zone are; and Trece Martires, where the seat of government is located.
Living in History
Bearing the title of history capital of the Philippines, Cavite has witnessed centuries and generations of colonialism, culture shaping and culture change. The city has played a significant role in the shaping of what the Philippines is now. Here are some of the landmarks that have contributed to this title:
- St. Mary Magdalene Parish Church – The 279 year old church was said to be the exit side from a secret passageway originating from the home of Emilio Aguinaldo. This is also where Emilio Aguinaldo was baptized, when you visit the church, you will find his baptismal certificate on display within the premises.
- Our Lady of Assumption Parish – This church is located along Col. Infante street and was declared by the National Museum as a National Cultural Treasure. Built in the 1700s, the church is has a beautiful Baroque style and detailed designs from the door down to the priest’s pulpit. Beside it is a convent, which is older than the church.
- Aguinaldo Shrine – Located in Kawit, Cavite, the shrine is open for public viewing from Tuesday to Sunday. This was the home of the country’s first president, Emilio Aguinaldo, and was also where the Philippine independence was declared. It was rebuilt in the 1840s and had gone through several renovations until 1996. Still, much of the design was maintained, from the appliances to the sculptures. At the end of the tour, by the backyard, there is a souvenir shop where you will see a model of the shrine.
- Tomb of Emilio Aguinaldo – Also located in Kawit, Cavite is the marble tomb where Aguinaldo was buried.
- Museo ng Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio – The Bonifacio Trial House, or the Teodorico Reyes Ancestral House was built in 1889 and was the military court where the trial of Andres Bonifacio was held. Located right next to Our Lady of Assumption Parish, it was restored in 1996 and was converted to a museum in 2014. It features the series of events from Bonifacio’s trial to his death.
- Fort San Felipe – This is located within the Phlippine Naval Base in Cavite. The fort was built in the 1600s to serve as a defense fortress. Today, it is a mini-museum but is not open to the general public. You can, however, drive up to the Philippine Navy gate and ask for permission to see it as a tourist.
- Corregidor – A separate island but part of Cavite nonetheless. The place has witnessed several foreign takeovers, the declaration of independence, world wars and bloody revolutions. Today, the island is a tourist destination that shares a rich history leading to the country’s independence. When you go there, there will be a nostalgic feeling because most of the structures have not been restored and left as is after the war to commemorate the Filipino and American soldiers that died there. Some of the landmarks within the island are the Pacific War Memorial, Malinta Tunnel, Filipino Heroes Memorial, Japanese Garden of Peace and the Corregidor Lighthouse.
After the history, it’s time to chill. Tagaytay is the perfect spot for that. Here are some of the must-go places in Tagaytay:
- Bag of Beans – Over the years, it is one of the most visited restaurants in Tagaytay. This is ideal for people who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and just want a relaxing day with fresh coffee and food with freshly picked vegetables. The first and main branch of the restaurant is located along Aguinaldo Highway in Tagaytay city.
- Sonya’s Garden – Dine in a restaurant with freshly picked vegetables and freshly baked pastries, or wake up to the smell of fresh flowers. These are only some of the things that Sonya’s Garden offer.
- Taal Volcano – You are never in Tagaytay without trying to see the Taal Volcano. Whether you are in Bag of Beans or at Starbucks overlooking the volcano – that is really a must. One of the most popular destinations for viewing the volcano is Taal Vista Hotel where they have a viewing deck for the Taal Volcano.
- Palace in the Sky – Located at the tip of Mt. Gonzales in Tagaytay is the People’s Park in the Sky. This was supposedly a mansion that was built during the Marcos era but was left unfinished. The place is good for scenic photos overlooking the whole Tagaytay.
- Sky Ranch – This is an amusement park located along the Main road of Tagaytay city. Enjoy the usual rides in the cool weather of Tagaytay.
When not in Tagaytay, Cavite offers a number of leisure places and activities, here are some:
- Water Camp – Located in Kawit, Cavite, this was once the spot for famous Josephine’s Restaurant. It closed in 2010 and the place was converted into a water resort. This is ideal for family get togethers where they can enjoy the different pools and fountains as well as the playgrounds. There are also available restaurants and villas as well.
- Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park – The water park with the giant slide is still a favorite especially for groups of friends on excursion. The place also has basketball and tennis courts, a spa, fishing spots and eating places.
- Tanza’s Beaches – This is the best go-to when you want to go to the beach without going far from Manila.
- Mt. Pico De Loro – In English translation, Parrot’s Peak, is the highest point in Cavite. This is a popular destination for mountaineers as you will see the whole of Cavite and the South China Sea.
- Balite Falls – Located in Amadeo, the place is also known for their famous Amadeo coffee. For only PHP75.00, you can enjoy the clear waters and the green landscape of the place. Aside from a number of falls, they have small lagoons as well. This is good for that much needed R and R and perhaps some photo op!
- Mt. Marami – Also known as the Mataas na Gulod Boulders is located the Southern area of Mt. Mataas na Gulod in Cavite. The name was given as it had multiple rocky pillars. Also a popular climbing spot for mountaineers, the trek will take about six (6) hours of trekking accompanied by some river-crossing under the hot weather.
- Tierra Montephine – A nature resort located in Alfonso, Cavite, where you will walk along lush landscapes and a hanging bridge. When you enter the resort, you will see pools that have water coming out of a spring and a man-made lake where you can enjoy boating. This is also ideal for a family day out.
There are so much more places in Cavite not to mention food and restaurants such as the buko tarts, or the Kainan sa Balsa and Calle Real Restaurant. Cavite is really a place where one can live and never get tired of. With all of the places that you can discover and experience, this is a place where you will never get bored.