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Written by RJ. Tatlonghari

How Cavinti Got Its Name?

Legends have it that the name Cavinti came from the phrase "KAPIT SA BINTI", which the first Spanish colonizers found very difficult to pronounce. It is said that the very first day these colonizers arrived in this place, a wedding was taking place. The rite, so the story goes, was very unique because it was different from the conventional wedding ceremonies done in churches or civil courts. In that ritual, the Spaniards saw the groom running after the bride. The idea behind the whole thing was to let the groom run after the bride as the witnessing crowd kept watching. Once the bride caught the nuptial was consummated.

So the bride ran uphill and downhill, through clear and wooded areas, on dry swampy paths as the groom kept following behind. Down yonder the pair reached a stream (probably the Cavinti river), which fortunately or unfortunately was at that time swollen due to floodwaters. The unwary bride jumped into it. The groom followed without let up. Suddenly the undercurrent snatched the girl catching her unaware of a coming danger.

Nearby at the river bank the bride's younger sister, who was in the midst of the crowd cried out, "kaka, kapit sa binti", pointing to the groom. She shouted it out on top of her voice in a desperate effort to save her older sister. For sake of her dear life the bride gasping for breath obeyed without hesitation. That very moment the sister's cry of "Kaka, kapit sa binti!" became words of magic. For, it saved not only the bride's life or the wedding tragic ending. It served most especially the town for having a name it can call its own.

The Town of Cavinti was originally a part of Lumban, Laguna. It was only in 1619 when the town gained complete and independent status as a parish by virtue of a papal bull believed to have come directly from Rome. In fact, this was why, again according to the legends, the two Puhawan brothers of Lumban, in search of food in the early 1600, reached Cavinti where they found an image which turned out to be that of El Salvador. They brought the image to their home in Lumban. But in no time, it got lost only to be found again the very same place where it was first discovered. Today on that hallowed grounds stands majestically the centuries-old Catholic Church in honor of San Salvador built by the town's forebears for all the generations to enjoy and cherish.

The church's early structures were made of light materials. For many times they had to rebuild it on account of destruction wrought by natural calamities such as earthquakes, typhoons, and fires.

The ecclesiastical supervision of the church also belonged to Lumban since its founding. Even at the time of the construction of the first stone church in 1621.

The Spanish Period

During this era, Cavinti is one of the least villages of Lumban, Laguna. The population is very low and no significant development was recorded since during that time development was focused on Municipality of Lumban. The town of Cavinti serve that time as hunting ground for hunter.

The American Period

Cavinti became one of the municipalities with high insurgency due to the construction of hydropower dam where several lands were submerged.

Two connected man-made lakes (Lake Lumot and Lake Caliraya) were built by American engineers in 1943 to supply water to the Caliraya Hydroelectric Plant. As the dams were constructed, entrepreneurs with foresight created two adjacent communities which were envisioned to be ecological communities, where one can enjoy the beauty and richness of unspoiled nature. The results were man-made mountain lakes complete with coves and sand bars - Lake Caliraya and Lake Lumot.

The Americans also seeded the lake with Largemouth Black Bass imported from the USA, which continue to proliferate and provide game fishers with year-round weekend excitement.

 In fact, the two lakes are some of the places in the whole country where Philippine anglers can attempt to catch the famed Largemouth Black Bass, one of the top freshwater gamefish of the United States of America.

During this regime, no further economic and infrastructure projects were implemented in the town of Cavinti.

The Japanese Occupation

All over the country, Japanese period was the days of disorder, fear and desolation.  Shortage of food, limited infrastructure, limited medical services and limited educational services were rampant in the whole country.  The Philippines was run by a ‘puppet’ government as it was being governed by the watchful eyes of the Japanese Imperial Army.

During this regime, insurgency become rampant and no further economic and infrastructure were implemented in the town of Cavinti.

The Third Republic

During this period, people in Municipality of Cavinti gave their hope in the new form of government. However, due to effect of war, there was extensive problem in infrastructure specifically roads, bridges and the construction of schools alongside with the problem in pestilence and starvation. Thus, there is no further development for the town of Cavinti during this period.

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