It is the most densely populated province in the Philippines, with a population of about 3.7 million people (2015). Being near to Metro Manila, its northern areas has become characterized by sprawling residential communities, which are continuing to grow until this day. Industrial developments are also leading its growing economy, with factories moving to industrial parks scattered in the province. The province is also rich with history as one of the provinces which led the Philippine Revolution against the Spaniards. Cavite is the location where the independence of the Philippines was born, so the province was named the historical capital.
Cavite is divided into 7 cities and 16 municipalities, but for convenience, we divide the province into three possible regions:
- Northwestern Cavite (Cavite City, Kawit, Noveleta, Rosario) - Coastal communities with a colorful history.
- Northern Cavite (Bacoor, Carmona, Dasmariñas, General Mariano Alvarez, General Trias, Imus, Tanza and Trece Martires) - A bustling suburban area, with its many problems like traffic jams and uncontrolled development.
- Southern Cavite (Alfonso, Amadeo, General Emilio Aguinaldo, Indang, Magallanes, Maragondon, Mendez, Naic, Silang, Tagaytay and Ternate) - The touristic part of Cavite, with many natural attractions, inland resorts and small towns.
- 1 Bacoor - site of one of many major battles during the Philippine Revolution, it is now a sprawling suburb of Metro Manila.
- 2 Cavite City
- 3 Dasmariñas
- General Trias
- 4 Imus - another sprawling suburb, it is the location of another major battle in the Philippine Revolution, the Battle of Alapan.
- Indang - municipality in the interior of Cavite, home to various inland resorts and heritage churches.
- 5 Kawit - birthplace of Emilio Aguinaldo
- 6 Tagaytay - the second "Summer Capital" of the Philippines, with its cool highland climate and views of Taal Lake and Volcano.
- Trece Martires - capital of Cavite
- 1 Corregidor Island
- Mount Palay-Palay–Mataas na Gulod Protected Landscape - Mountain range, one of the last patches of lowland rainforest in Luzon.
Mount Palay-Palay-Mataas na Gulod Protected Landscape occupies over 4,000 ha (9,900 acres) of western Cavite, and also straddles the boundary with Batangas; we do not have an article for it, but is covered at Ternate (Cavite).
Cavite is known for its rich history and a large number of national heroes, including the first president Emilio Aguinaldo (though some historians dispute this claim). The province is one of the eight provinces that led the Philippine Revolution, and is a site of many important events during the rebellion. It is sometimes called "Land of the Brave" or the History Capital of the Philippines. Those who live in Cavite are called Caviteños.
Cavite is bordered by Metro Manila in the north, Laguna in the east, Batangas in the south and by South China Sea (or West Philippine Sea , at the wake of the Spratly Islands dispute)on the west. Being just south of Metro Manila, Cavite is seeing a rise in suburban development since the 1970s and 1980s, especially residential subdivisions and industrial parks. Bacoor and Imus, two principal cities not far from the boundary with Metro Manila, have became bustling extensions of the vast metropolis in the north, and are bedroom communities for daily commuters who leave to work or study in Metro Manila.
Caviteños can be easily understood because the majority of the population understand English but their native language is Tagalog. Spanish might somehow be understood as this was a home before to a Chavacano, a Spanish-based creole language.
Common means of transportation from Manila to Cavite by bus and jeepney. It takes an hour or less.
One main entry point to Cavite is the Manila-Cavite Expressway. They also name this road as Coastal Road (name of the road from north end of the road to Bacoor exit) since it is near the coastline of Manila Bay. The Manila-Cavite Expressway has two exit points: the Longos Flyover in barangay Talaba in Bacoor and Cavite Exit located at Binakayan Diversion Road and Tirona Highway in barangay Binakayan, Kawit.
Another entry point to Cavite is the South Luzon Expressway. Common exit points are Carmona, which takes you to Governor's Drive, the main east-west corridor, and Santa Rosa, which leads you to Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road, which becomes snagged during weekends and holidays with many travelers heading to Tagaytay.
MRS Super Shuttle operates ferries to Cavite City from SM Mall of Asia.
Construction of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) extension to Cavite province is ongoing; its private concessionaire is expecting it to be operational by early 2021. The extension project, will give rise to eight new stations; the eight new stops will be the Aseana, MIA, Asia World, Ninoy Aquino and Dr. Santos stations in Parañaque; Las Piñas and Zapote stations in Las Piñas City; and the Niog station in Bacoor.
Much of Cavite, especially the northern urbanized conurbation, is undergoing explosive growth marked by subdivisions, malls, and industrial parks. Most areas of the province are accessible by local public transport, but most new residents in the suburbanized cities prefer buying a car. The major cities in Cavite are plagued by daily traffic jams. Public transport cover well the cities but they are also affected by the congestion.
By bus or jeepney
Most locals commute using the ubiquitous jeepneys. You may hail a jeepney from anywhere, though some cities have jeepney only allowed to stop at designated areas per local ordinances. Most jeepney routes run within the province, but there are several routes running toward Metro Manila (Alabang and Baclaran) or Laguna (Santa Rosa or Calamba).
Buses are a more comfortable and spacious alternative for jeepneys, but they only travel on the most prominent destinations. Most bus routes in Cavite run between Manila (Parañaque Intermodal Transport Exchange/PITX, Pasay) and Batangas (Nasugbu, Balayan, Calatagan).
The common bus operators in Cavite are as follows, with their routes:
- Cavite-Batangas Transport Cooperative
- DLTB (PITX-Nasugbu via Tagaytay or Ternate)
- Erjohn and Almark
- Jasper Jean (Fairview-Palapala via EDSA, Navotas-Palapala via EDSA)
- Kirsteen Transport
- San Agustin
- Saulog (PITX-Cavite City/Ternate)
Travel to coastal Cavite may not be complete without taking the colorful custom-made minibuses (or "baby buses"), which travel between Bacoor and Naic (with some operating from Baclaran and vice versa via CAVITEX). Cavite minibuses can be basically seen as bus-like versions of the jeepney; fares are cheap and the buses have a separate entrance and exit door, but are cramped and uncomfortable to foreigners. Minibuses were planned to be phased out in the early 2010s (and replaced by the usual jeepneys), but the plan was scrapped after it met opposition from lifetime drivers.
Cavite has an immense network of roads, with the Aguinaldo Highway (Route 62, 419, and 410), Antero Soriano Highway (Route 64 and 402) and Governor's Drive (Route 65, 651, 403 and 405) serving as the backbone of the system. Aguinaldo Highway is the most prominent, being a north-south national road serving the largest cities. Governor's Drive is another important highway, from Carmona to Ternate. Antero Soriano Highway is another highway that continues from Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) and serves the coastal communities of Kawit, Noveleta, Rosario, Tanza, and Naic.
Bringing a car can be the best option when visiting areas not adequately served by public transport, especially the inland areas of southern Cavite, but not the best if you visit the sprawl to the north. The major highways, notably Aguinaldo Highway between Bacoor and Dasmariñas, are always congested, even in weekends and holidays, and drivers can be aggressive. The city of Bacoor, from 2016, has implemented a number-coding system in order to reduce congestion, and created a "Friendship Route" modeled after Las Piñas', which is permissive unlike the latter (where a sticker is required). Public transport is the best option when going to the major cities, but can become crowded and inefficient at rush hour.
Its only expressways are the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) in Bacoor and Kawit, and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) through Carmona, but the national government is undertaking the construction of new expressways to decongest its major highways. One ongoing project, the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAEx), which will connect CAVITEx in Kawit with SLEx in Biñan, Laguna, has been under construction since 2018, and is expected to decongest the major national roads once it opens at around 2021. Another expressway, the Cavite-Tagaytay-Nasugbu Expressway, is proposed to served Tagaytay, Mendez and Alfonso.
Motorized tricycles, or simply tricycles are motorbikes with attached sidecar. Tricycles are a common means of public transportation in the Philippines. These public utility vehicles either have a set route or are for-hire, like taxis. The tricycle is the most popular means of transport for short distances of less than a kilometer in small towns and cities, especially in the rural areas.
- Aguinaldo Shrine. The National Shrine of the Philippines, where the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain took place on June 12, 1898.
- Malibiclibic Falls, Bailen (at Aguinaldo). A Hidden Falls below the grasslands of Cavite. Malibiclibic Falls is a result of a convergence between three rivers flowing from Magallanes, Aguinaldo, and Maragondon, Cavite. Millions of years of three-river pounding a 100-m high cliff, the water found its way through it; thus creating a waterfall. This river was awarded as the cleanest river during the 2004 National Search for the Clean Inland Bodies of Water – “river category,” in Region IV-A Calabarzon given by Department of Interior and Local Government. The Falls can be accessed by walking through a 1.2-km 4x4 trail from the Maragondon-Aguinaldo national road until you reach a graze land. The entrance to the track is at Barangay Lumipa and 2.64 km before the main Aguinaldo town if you are coming from Maragondon. From the graze land, you need to descend to a slippery soil and moss-covered boulders. The trail down to the falls is not that clear as the falls is seldom accessed by hikers. The trek is about 612 meters and about a hundred meters down.
- Pink Sisters Convent, Holy Spirit Drive in Barangay Maitim (in Tagaytay City). It was established through the Society of Divine Word, Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters and Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, all founded by Saint Arnold Janssen. The nuns’ presence in the chapel gives the place an even more sacred ambiance. A visit is the chance to see nuns praying 24 hours a day — although they can only be seen behind the iron grilles of the altar.
- Taal Lake (Tagaytay). It is in Batangas, and has beautiful landscape with a volcano.
- Rare black-sand beaches (Noveleta). Also found in isolated beaches in Central American countries.
It's a must for every Cavite visitor to visit Tagaytay City. While on your way to the city, you might want to try the boiled sweet corn along Silang by-pass road. You won't miss the sweet corn being cooked on the large cookie bins which serves as hot pots.
Upon arrival to Tagaytay, enjoy the view of the lake and the volcano.
Would you want to do horseback riding? DRive along the Tagaytay Road and see Picnic Grove and enjoy the picnic park. Avoid visiting during holidays because the park might be really crowded.
- Original Digman Halo-Halo - Digman, along the Streets of H. Rubio and C. Gawaran, is a small barangay in the city of Bacoor. It's known for its famous halo-halo which Caviteños have enjoyed through the years.
- Pancit luglug is a very saucy, breakfast version of the Pancit Palabok and Pancit Malabon. The primarily difference is in the noodles used in the recipe. Luglog uses a thicker noodle than the traditional bihon of a pancit palabok. The noodle dish is served with an array of seafood garnish, spring onions, hard boiled eggs in thick rice noodles and eaten with local-made Bibingka rice cake. Luglug eateries are located in Rosario and the local favorite is at Rizal and Gov Pugeda Street.
There are many malls and chain supermarkets in most of suburbanized Cavite, but national mall chains have begun to spring out in the touristic center of Tagaytay. Almost all cities and municipalities will have traditional wet and dry market at the downtown. The municipality of Silang has a designer outlet mall, the European-themed Acienda, whose main catch is an all-year 70% discount for all stores.
Most cities will have at least one or more hotels (especially motels), but the majority are in Tagaytay, the main tourist area. At the coast, there will be beach resorts, often the only option of staying there, but there will hardly be one on the bustling northwest region, where the towns grew into the coastline.
Weather, crime, and aggressive drivers are major safety concerns when travelling in the province. The weather can become unpredictable in the province during the monsoon season, and roads can become slippery or muddy during short rainstorms. If you drive, it is advisable to hire a driver, as driving habits tend to become aggressive. The area does show signs of poverty, and common crimes like pickpockets and hold-ups do occur, so be watchful of your valuables. Do not just flash a classy phone or camera anywhere, so you do not attract thieves. Keep them in your bag or hotel safe if possible.
In Tagaytay, beware of tourist scams, especially involving trips to Taal Volcano in nearby Batangas. Always agree on a price when taking tricycles, and avoid drivers posing that they know you: you might get overcharged if you give in.
- Batangas - Just south, and home to beaches not far from Manila, as well as heritage churches.