Kawit, Cavite

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Street scene in Binakayan.
Street scene in Binakayan.
Official seal of Kawit
Nickname(s): The Birthplace of Philippine Independence
Map of Cavite showing the location of Kawit
Map of Cavite showing the location of Kawit
Kawit is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 14°26′N 120°54′E / 14.43°N 120.9°E / 14.43; 120.9Coordinates: 14°26′N 120°54′E / 14.43°N 120.9°E / 14.43; 120.9
Country Philippines
Region CALABARZON (Region IV-A)
Province Cavite
District 1st District of Cavite
Founded 1898
Barangays 23
 • Mayor Angelo Emilio G. Aguinaldo (NPC)
 • Vice Mayor Armando Bernal (UNA)
 • Total 22.86 km2 (8.83 sq mi)
Population (2015 census)[3]
 • Total 83,466
 • Density 3,700/km2 (9,500/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Kawiteños
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 4104
IDD:area code +63 (0)46

Kawit (formerly Cavite El Viejo) is a first class urban municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 83,466 people.[3]

Kawit is the birthplace of Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the Philippines. It is also the location of his home, the Aguinaldo Shrine, where independence from Spain was declared on June 12, 1898. From 1895 to 1897, he served as the town's chief executive.


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.

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 "cauite," and finally "cavite".


Kawit was the most thriving settlement prior to the coming of the Spaniards. In fact, the town 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.

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.

With the establishment of the Philippine Independent Church in the country as a result of the Philippine Revolution, an Aglipayan church dedicated to Saint Michael, the Archangel was established in the barrio of Binakayan in 1902.

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. Eventually, these three barrios seceded as their population grew and became independent municipalities.

Aside from its role as the birthplace of independence Kawit also bore witness to one of the great victories of Filipinos during the Revolution - the Battle of Binakayan-Dalahican.


Kawit is politically subdivided into 23 barangays.[2]

  • Batong Dalig
  • Balsahan-Bisita
  • Binakayan-Aplaya
  • Binakayan-Kanluran
  • Congbalay-Legaspi
  • Gahak
  • Kaingen
  • Magdalo (Putol)
  • Manggahan-Lawin
  • Marulas
  • Pulvorista/Polvorista
  • Panamitan
  • Poblacion
  • Samala-Marquez
  • San Sebastian
  • Santa Isabel
  • Tabon 1
  • Tabon 2
  • Tabon 3
  • Toclong (Different from Toclong in neighboring Imus)
  • Tramo-Bantayan
  • Wakas 1
  • Wakas 2


Population census of Kawit
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1903 6,114 —    
1918 6,855 +0.77%
1939 10,783 +2.18%
1948 13,970 +2.92%
1960 19,352 +2.75%
1970 28,447 +3.92%
1975 33,813 +3.53%
1980 39,368 +3.09%
1990 47,755 +1.95%
1995 56,993 +3.37%
2000 62,751 +2.08%
2007 76,405 +2.75%
2010 78,209 +0.85%
2015 83,466 +1.25%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][4][5][6]

In the 2015 census, the population of Kawit was 83,466 people,[3] with a density of 3,700 inhabitants per square kilometre or 9,600 inhabitants per square mile.


Maytinis Festival

An original Kawit tradition that takes place every Christmas Eve, a dramatic retelling of the Virgin Mary and Joseph's search in bethlehem for a place to stay called "Panunuluyan". This reenactment happens on the streets of Kawit with different floats depicting different biblical scenes from Adam and Eve up to Mary and Joseph. The "Panunuluyan" takes place in several houses and is done in singing until it reaches the 400-year-old St. Mary Magdalene Church of Kawit where the Virgin Mary and Joseph are welcomed by angels in a giant "belen" (Nativity Scene) which covers the whole main Retablo or altarpiece of the church. The songs performed by the angels acted by little girls are mostly in Spanish and Tagalog.


Like any other Philippine municipality, Kawit is headed by a municipal mayor, vice mayor, and ten councilors, eight of them elected at large by the voting populace and two of them being sectoral representatives (one for the barangays and one for the youth, elected respectively through their federations).

The current Mayor of the historical town is Angelo Emilio G. Aguinaldo who succeeded his father, Reynaldo "Tik" Aguinaldo, after winning over former Vice Mayor Paul Plaridel A. Abaya Jr. by a historic margin of 5, 039 votes in the last May 2016 elections.

Mayor Angelo Aguinaldo served as a Sangguniang Bayan member from 2013-2016.

Then Mayor Reynaldo "Tik" Aguinaldo was elevated to the mayorship after three terms as vice mayor. The scion of the first Philippine president has twice (2007 and 2010) beaten Federico "Hit" Poblete, another descendant of Emilio Aguinaldo (youngest son of Maria Aguinaldo y Poblete: one of General Emilio Aguinaldo's daughters), Poblete served a total of five terms as its chief executive. [Poblete used to be an undersecretary for the Department of Agrarian Reform under the Estrada administration after his first three terms as mayor (1988–1998).]

Sister city

See also



  1. ^ "Official City/Municipal 2013 Election Results". Intramuros, Manila, Philippines: Commission on Elections (COMELEC). 11 September 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: Cavite". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Census of Population (2015). "Region IV-A (Calabarzon)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region IV-A (Calabarzon)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  5. ^ Census of Population (1995, 2000 and 2007). "Region IV-A (Calabarzon)". Total Population by Province, City and Municipality. NSO. Archived from the original on 24 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Province of Cavite". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016. 
  7. ^ "List of Sister City Affiliations with Japan (by country)". Clair Singapore. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Official Website of the Provincial Government of Cavite
  • Philippine Standard Geographic Code
  • Philippine Census Information
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