Cavite - The Historic Church of Kawit

The Church of St. Mary Magdalene, also known as "Kawit Church" is the parish church of the municipality of Kawit in the province of Cavite. First built made of wood in 1638, it is considered as one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. The construction of the current church started in 1737 and was restored in 1990. Located a few meters away from the mansion of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, this is the church where the president of the First Philippine Republic was baptized in 1869.

The historical marker placed in 1990 by the National Historical Institute states:

Simbahan ng Kawit

Unang pinamahalaan ng mga paring Heswita, 1624. Pinatayo ang unang simbahang yari sa kahoy, 1638 sa patronato ni Santa Maria Magdalena, sa tulong ng anim na pamilyang Pilipinong taga Silang at Maragondong. Inilagay ang panukulang bato ng kasalukuyang simbahan, 1737. Winasak ng bagyo ang bubungan, 1831. Inilipat sa pangangasiwa ng mga paring Sekular, 1768 at mga paring Rekoletos, 1849. Sa simbahang ito, bininyagan noong 1869 ang pangulo ng unang Republika ng Pilipinas Heneral Emilio Aguinaldo. Inayos sa tuling ng iba't-ibang samahang panrelihiyon ng Kawit at ng iba pang mga butihing mamamayan ng Cavite, 1990.

The church's facade is simple, it is highlighted with a central niche which enshrines a statue of its patron saint, Saint Mary Magdalene. The arched main door is topped with a seal of the church's patroness represented by two capital letter M's. On the right side of the facade is a 4-story belfry capped by a metal dome topped with a weather vane. If you walk along the sides of the church, you'll see examples of buttresses that are common to old churches in the country.

Its patron saint, St. Mary Magdalene celebrates her feast day every July 22nd, with the yearly "Karakol". It is a religious procession-dance performed during fiesta accompanied by folk music played by live marching band. The image is held on the shoulders by men while dancing the Karakol as part of their devotion to Santa Maria Magdalena.

This church is very close to my heart. Beside it is its parochial school where I studied primary and secondary education. It is where I had my first communion rites in 1988 as well as 3 baccalaureate masses during my kindergarten (1987), elementary (1993) and high school (1997) graduation. It is also where I sing every Monday morning and Saturday evening masses when I was a member of the school choir. This visit brings back a lot of memories of my childhood years.

From Lawton in Manila or Baclaran in ParaƱaque, take an air-conditioned bus bound for Cavite City. It passes by the church in the town of Kawit near the old municipal hall, fare is 30-40 pesos and travel time is around 1 hour depending on traffic condition.

This is part of the "Kawit Tour" we had on December 22, 2012. You may read the other posts from the links below:

More photos on Pinoy AdvenTurista's Facebook Page, click here.


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