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Dasmariņas, Cavite Association
Of Northern California, U.S.A.

HISTORY OF DASMARIŅAS, CAVITE    

According to Agustin de la Cavada in his Historia Geografica, Geologica y Estadistica de Filipinas, this town started as a barrio of Imus and it was made into an independent municipality in 1867. The Spanish government named the town of Perez Dasmariņas in honor of Don Perez Dasmariņas who was the Governor General of the Islands from 1590 to 1593. Chinese oarsmen whom he had hired murdered him. His son, Don Luis Perez Dasmariņas also lost his life in the hands of the Chinese in 1603. Don Gomez Dasmariņas was well remembered because he was the one who ordered complete fortification of Intramuros and the construction of Fort Santiago.

The town of Perez Dasmariņas was founded by the Recollect Fathers in the year 1867 under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception whose feast day is celebrated on December 8. Perez Dasmariņas was formerly a "visita" of Imus that was also founded by the Recollect Fathers in 1795. According to records, the first settlers must have arrived in 1861 and were believed to be the families of Gil Tirona, Vicente Guevarra, Eleuterio Geda and Eustaquio Paulino.

Dasmariņas has a colorful history. On February 25, 1897, the Spanish forces came and brought destruction to the town and its people. Almost fifty percent of the population was wiped out during the attack and almost all buildings were burned down except the Roman Catholic church which remained undamaged. The Spaniards utilized it as their garrison.

At the coming of the American fleet of Admiral Dewey and the famous naval battle of Manila Bay in May 1898, which defeated the Spanish forces under Admiral Montojo, the people of Dasmariņas under the leadership of Placido Campos, fought and drove away the Spaniards occupying the town. Noted Filipino generals like Flaviano Yengko and Crispulo Aguinaldo (elder brother of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo) died in action in Dasmariņas during the encounters.

The people who resettled back thereafter rebuilt the town that was heavily devastated. So sooner was it rehabilitated, then in the late 1800's, the Filipinos were again up in arms, this time against the Americans. Then again, Dasmariņas was annihilated and identity was lost in a heap of rabble. Two years later, the American regime took over and in 1904. The town was again reverted to its former distinction as part of Imus. In 1917, however, Dasmariņas re-gained its recognition as a separate municipality. Consequently, provincial Governor A. Soriano along with leading officials of the town particularly Placido Campos, Francisco Barzaga, Felipe Tirona and many others, convened and voted to drop the name "Perez" and retain "Dasmariņas" as its official name.

Today, Dasmariņas is complemented with over 700,000 population. As one of Cavite's municipalities situated within the Metro Manila urban area, Dasmariņas serves as the main catalyst for a major economic development and sustained growth throughout the 1990's. The influx of industries and real estate developments is unheard of in a town outside of a financial district, attest to the fact that Dasmariņas is way ahead in crossing the bridge to the 21st century.

References: Imus Municipal Library and as reported by the late Dominador A. del Rosario)

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