Kawit, Cavite

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Municipality of Kawit
Ph seal cavite kawit.png
Ph locator cavite kawit.png
Region CALABARZON (Region IV-A)
Province Cavite
Mayor Federico Poblete (1998-2007)
Barangays 23
Physical characteristics
Area 16.7 km²
Total (2000) 62,751
Density 3,758/km²
Aguinaldo Shrine, Kawit, Cavite
400 year old church of Saint Mary Magdalene

The Municipality of Kawit (formerly Cavite El Viejo; Filipino: Bayan ng Kawit) is a 1st class urban municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 62,751 people in 13,510 households. It has a land area of 16.7 square kilometers.

Kawit is the birthplace of Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the Republic of the Philippines. It is also home to the Aguinaldo Shrine.

The name Kawit is derived from the Tagalog word kawit (hook) which is suggestive of its location at the base of a hookshaped shoreline along Manila Bay extending to the tip of Cavite City. Kawit was the most thriving settlement prior to the coming of the Spaniards. In fact, it provided the first anchorage of the Spaniards in the province, whence colonization and proselytization of the Christian religion began, spreading to all corners of the province.

Legend, however, gives another version on how the town got its name. One day a Spanish visitor asked a native blacksmith about the name of the village. The latter was busy at the time pounding on the anvil a piece of hot metal that looked like a hook. He hesitated to speak, not understanding what the stranger was asking, but when pressed for an answer, and thinking that he wanted to know what he was doing, he merely said kawit (hook). The Spaniards left muttering the word kawit. In the course of the time the word kawit evolved into "cawite," and finally "cavite".

For a long time the place was called by the Spaniards "Cavite el Viejo" or Old Cavite to distinguish it from "Cavite la Punta" or "Cavite el Puerto," the commercial port and naval base (now Cavite City) whence came many Spanish marines on shore leave who made frequent visits to Cavite el Viejo, eventually turning it into a red light district. The bad reputation of the place, however, was completely wiped out when it was placed under the spiritual supervision of the Jesuits during the administration of Manila Archbishop Miguel Garcia Serrano(1618-1629) by placing St.Mary Magdalene as Patron saint of the town.

Cavite el Viejo was then a big town, comprising the municipality of Kawit today, Cavite la Punta (now Cavite City), Noveleta (called Tierra Alta by the Spaniards), and Imus. One after the other these three barrios seceded and became independent municipalities.

Its current chief executive is Federico "Hit" Poblete, who is on his second tour of duty as the historical town's mayor. He used to be an undersecretary for the Department of Agrarian Reform under the Estrada administration after his first three terms as mayor (1988-1998).



Kawit is politically subdivided into 23 barangays.

  • Binakayan-Kanluran
  • Gahak
  • Kaingen
  • Marulas
  • Panamitan
  • Poblacion
  • Magdalo (Putol)
  • San Sebastian
  • Santa Isabel
  • Tabon I
  • Toclong
  • Wakas I
  • Batong Dalig
  • Balsahan-Bisita
  • Binakayan-Aplaya
  • Congbalay-Legaspi
  • Manggahan-Lawin
  • Pulvorista
  • Samala-Marquez
  • Tabon II
  • Tabon III
  • Tramo-Bantayan
  • Wakas II

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Original Source

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