Ternate is a municipality in Cavite, at the boundary with Batangas. Its name derives from the island of Ternate, one of the Spice Islands (present day Maluku in Indonesia). Some of the Christianized natives from that island settled here after volunteering with the Spanish, who immediately left their garrison on Ternate.
Nearby Maragondon is a small town just about 2 km (1.2 mi) away. Ternate used to be one of its barrios (today called barangays), but despite its historical contributions, Maragondon is nowadays overshadowed by Ternate, with its many beach resorts and bus terminal. Wikivoyage treats Maragondon as part of Ternate although it is governed separately, as their town centers are in close proximity.
It is very obvious how this town got its name from the island in present-day Indonesia. The Portuguese who were seeking for the Spice Islands, subjugated the Sultanate of Ternate and the Jesuits converted the Islamized natives into Catholicism. The Spaniards captured Ternate island, which they turned into a garrison against the Dutch seeking for the other Spice Islands, but they were forced to leave when the Chinese pirate Koxinga planned an invasion to pillage Manila. Some of the natives helped the Spaniards, and they were given a settlement near the Maragondon River estuary, first named Bahra. Koxinga died and the invasion failed, and the Ternate natives integrated into the local Tagalog population, but they are able to keep the Spanish creole they have, which survives as Bahra Chabacano.
Adjacent Maragondon has its name from Tagalog madagundong, meaning "full of rumbles". During the Philippine Revolution, it was the site of Andres Bonifacio's show trial under Emilio Aguinaldo, the leader of the rival Katipunan faction, Magdalo, in 1897, and his following execution at the foot of Mount Buntis. This event has been the root of a lingering historical debate whether Bonifacio or Aguinaldo is the first president of the Philippines.
Many bus companies have trips to and from Ternate from Manila. Most trips are on companies like Erjohn and Almark, Saulog, and Saint Anthony of Padua, with departures from Parañaque bus station, but there are small players as well; see Parañaque#Provincial buses for a comprehensive list.
- Saulog (Beside the Saint Anthony of Padua terminal.).
Both town centers are small enough to be explored by foot, and between them, there are jeepneys and tricycles plying Governor's Drive.
The mountains southwest of Maragondon town center are quite off the beaten track, so it's useful you have a car. This can be true also to access the resorts around Puerto Azul. It's possible to ride a tricycle for both, but be prepared for an extortionate fare unless you haggle it down to something tolerable.
- Andres Bonifacio Shrine, Mt. Nagpatong. The site where the two Bonifacio brothers, including Andres Bonifacio, were executed by the Emilio Aguinaldo administration after a show trial that ruled they have committed treason, amidst his contribution to the downfall of the Spanish colonization. The neglected shrine is reachable through a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) drive on unpaved roads, used mostly by trucks quarrying the nearby mountains. There is parking at the end of the winding road to the site, where you will trek 1.4 km (0.87 mi) through pasture to the shrine at the foot of Mount Nagpatong.
- Fort Drum ("Concrete battleship", originally known as El Fraile Island) (at the mouth of Manila Bay, off the coast of Ternate). A heavily fortified sea fort, shaped like a battleship, built by the United States in 1909 as one of the harbor defenses at the wider South Channel entrance to the bay during the American colonial period. It was unique among forts built by the United States between the Civil War and early World War II, both as a sea fort and in having turrets. It was captured and occupied by the Japanese during World War II, and was recaptured by the U.S. after igniting petroleum and gasoline within the fort, leaving it permanently out of commission. The now-abandoned fort was named after Brigadier General Richard C. Drum, who served during the Mexican–American War and the American Civil War, and died on October 15, 1909, the year of the fort's construction.
- Mount Pico de Loro (Mount Palay-Palay, "Parrot's Beak") (in Ternate). A dormant volcano. The mountain is one of the ancient volcanic features of Bataan Arc. Pico de Loro was first named by Spanish seafarers as its pointed summit resembles the shape from afar. The summit is commonly used as a signal by seafarers to turn east to get to Manila Bay. The Mt Palay-Palay–Mataas-na-Gulod is a protected landscape.
Hiking and mountaineering
Mount Palay-Palay/Mataas na Gulod Natural Protected Landscape has one of the remaining patches of lowland rainforest in Luzon, and its seven peaks, two of them being extinct volcanoes, receive many hikers and mountaineers from Manila.
- Mount Kalanggaman (Jump-off point near the road to Bonifacio Shrine). It takes about 2 hours to reach the summit of this 585 m (1,919 ft) mountain, the cone of a extinct caldera volcano.
- Mount Palay-palay. There are multiple trails up to this 313 m (1,027 ft) peak, the dried-up cone of a caldera. The shortest trails takes about 45 minutes to a hour to complete. At the summit is a campsite.
Travel down the scenic Ternate–Nasugbu Road and you're in Batangas province. Nasugbu is the nearest large town, with large beach resorts nearby, but there are more beaches south at the towns of Lian and Calatagan.