Bayan ng Kawit
|— Municipality —|
|Municipality of Kawit|
|Nickname(s): The Birthplace of Philippine Independence|
|Region||CALABARZON (Region IV-A)|
|Districts||1st District of Cavite|
|• Mayor||Reynaldo B. Aguinaldo (Liberal)|
|• Vice Mayor||Gilbert V. Gandia (Nacionalista)|
|• Total||22.86 km2 (8.83 sq mi)|
|• Density||3,342/km2 (8,660/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+8)|
The Municipality of Kawit (formerly Cavite El Viejo; Filipino: Bayan ng Kawit) is a first class urban municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 78,209 people in a land area of 22.86 square kilometers.
Kawit is the birthplace of Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the Republic of the Philippines. It is also the location of his home, the Aguinaldo Shrine, where independence from Spain was declared on June 12, 1898.
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 "cawite," 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.
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.
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 300 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 Retablo or Altar 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 Reynaldo "Tik" Aguinaldo, who 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).]
Kawit is politically subdivided into 23 barangays.
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Kawit, Cavite|
- Municipality of Kawit Website
- Official Website of the Provincial Government of Cavite
- Philippine Standard Geographic Code
- 2010 Philippine Census Information