HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 51 no. 1-4 (2005)

The Historiography of Cavite Province in the Context of National History

Bernardita Reyes Churchill

Discipline: Development, Philippine History



The Province of Cavite, generally regarded as the “heartland of the Revolution” – “pugad ng kagitingan,” in the words of Teodora A. Agoncillo – has played an important role in the history of the country. The province is strategically located, in proximity to the center of power and influence, with the highland and lowland areas that have influenced the nature and character of its growth and development, and a waterfront that played a significant role in the commerce and defense, first of Spanish Manila, and then in the later periods of the nation’s history.


Who/what is a Caviteño? The Caviteño takes extreme pride in being a Caviteño. Caviteños are identifiable by their accent, their Tagalog/Chabacano vocabulary, their well-known fiery temper and fearless reputation, their violent temper which can explode like an angry volcano, and their readiness to redness any grievance or upload honor and name (the Batangueños also share this reputation, as well other ethnic groups). I am inclined to think that there is something about the society and culture of Caviteños that distinguish them from other Filipinos, even among other Tagalog groups. This is a subject that probably needs study to validate.


This paper will survey the historiography of Cavite Province, examining what has been done in the field of its history and culture, and then will look into the gaps that should be filled in the study of the local history of Cavite. More importantly the paper will look at the history of Cavite in the context of national history in order that we may situate the historical developments in the Philippines in totally of Philippine history.


I will look only at he works on the history of Cavite Province as local history, similar to the local histories of other provinces already completed and published. Given the ethno-linguistic-cultural communities that comprise the Philippine nation, and given the archipelagic character of its physical landscape, it is not possible to think in terms of a monolithic history of the Philippines. Hence there is probably a need to write the local history of the many regions of the Philippines. In writing the “national history,” which should be ultimate goal of Filipino historians, it is important to take into considerations the “histories” of various component groups that need to be woven into whole tapestry of national history and culture.