Araw ng Cavite

Araw ng Cavite or Cavite Day is celebrated in honor of the birth of national hero Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the Republic of the Philippines and a key figure in the struggle for Philippine independence, in the province of Cavite every March 22. So the occasion is also known as Araw ng Kapanganakan ni Emilio Aguinaldo or Emilio Aguinaldo Day.

The date may be declared a holiday by virtue of president proclamations. For example, Proclamation No. 492 made the date a special nonworking holiday in 2024.

Emilio Aguinaldo

Araw ng Cavite is a day dedicated to honor the life, work, and memory of General Emilio Aguinaldo. He was described in a 1964 obituary by The New York Times as “…the first of the great Filipino revolutionaries and a forerunner of the band of Asian patriots who fought in the 20th century to free their countries from colonial domination.”

Emilio Aguinaldo was born the seventh in family of eight children to Carlos Aguinaldo and Trinidad Famy in Kawit, Cavite on March 22, 1869. (The date is the basis of Araw ng Cavite.) Their family lived in a middle-class, Roman Catholic household. He was sent to study at Colegio de San Juan de Letran, but his education was abruptly cut short due to cholera outbreak in 1882.

He and Hilaria del Rosario married in 1896 and they had six children. Four years after Hilaria died, he married his second wife Maria Agoncillo in 1930.

During the time when the Philippines was under Spanish rule, Aguinaldo joined groups fighting for independence. He was a member of the Freemason in 1895 and later the Katipunan, a secret society aiming to free the Philippines through armed resistance. He was a good swordsman and known to be competent with firearms.

He played crucial roles in various battles against the Spanish such as the Battle of Imus and the Battles of Binakayan-Dalahican. He also led successful fights like the Battle of Zapote Bridge and negotiated a temporary peace deal with the Spanish called the Pact of Biak-na-Bato.

During the American colonial period, Emilio Aguinaldo’s commitment to Philippine independence continued. Initially cooperating with the Americans against Spanish rule, he later opposed American colonization. Aguinaldo boldly declared Philippine independence in 1898 and formed the First Philippine Republic. However, the outbreak of the Philippine-American War led to his capture in 1901.

He initially viewed the Japanese as potential liberators from American rule in the outbreak of the Second World War. He met with Japanese officials to discuss the establishment of a pro-Japanese provisional government and he was was appointed to the provisional Council of State. Additionally, he urged Filipino guerrilla fighters to surrender. It is stated that he changed his stance once the true nature of the Japanese occupying forces became apparent.

His life was not without controversies, as he was accused for being involved in the deaths of Andres Bonifacio and Antonio Luna, and his alliance with the Americans. After the return of American forces to the Philippines at the end of the World War II, he went into hiding but was eventually arrested and faced charges of collaboration with the Japanese. These charges were later dropped.

In 1935, his bid to become the President of the Philippine Commonwealth was unsuccessful and lost to Manuel Quezon. In 1949, he became part of a presidential advisory group called the Philippine Council of State.

The last few years of his life was spent in a hospital as he was weak and unable to see and walk. He died from a heart attack at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on October 5, 1962. President Diosdado Macapagal declared a fifteen-day period of mourning from February 6 to 20, 1964. In the same year, his house was declared a national shrine by virtue of Republic Act No. 4039 in June 18, 1964.

Araw ng Cavite Activities

The local government celebrates the day with simple rites such as wreath-laying and a commemorative program at the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine.

How to reach Cavite

Public transport is available from Metro Manila.


Araw ng Cavite Summary

NameAraw ng Cavite
Contact(046) 419 4357
DateMarch 22
Duration1 day
Historical eventBirth of Emilio Aguinaldo
OrganizerCavite Tourism
Other NamesCavite Day, Araw ng Kapanganakan ni Emilio Aguinaldo, Emilio Aguinaldo Day