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Monday, September 28, 2015

Fort San Felipe

Fort San Felipe is an old structure dating back to 1609, when the Spaniards built it to protect part of the growing city back then. The structure is made of granite blocks, with walls approximately 30 feet high. A wide stairway leads to the top of the port where a concrete house can be found. Naval memorabilia including antique cannons decorate the lawns. It is at present managed by the Philippine Navy. Visits can be arranged with prior coordination with the Philippine Navy Headquarters.

The fort is dedicated to San Felipe Neri in the 16th century. The area used to be a shipping capital of the Philippines during the Spanish rule. The fort was used as a fortress of the Spanish Navy, also called as the Spanish Armada. Many transactions during the Spanish period was done in the area such as trading, stevedoring, and cargo/freight services by the Spanish merchants and shippers.

Galleon Trade is one of the common business trading in the area, from Manila to Acapulco and vice versa. The name changed to reflect the city that the ship was sailing from. The trade route was inaugurated in 1565 with the discovery of the ocean passage by Andrés de Urdaneta, and continued until 1815 when the Mexican War of Independence put a permanent stop to the galleon trade route.

Fort San Felipe Today

No doubt that the site is beautiful. Tourists can sense the history because it is really detectable in the area. Today, Fort San Felipe is a major tourist attraction in the province of Cavite. Inside the fort, a small museum can be seen. It contains memorable materials during the Spanish period, especially the wartime relics like guns, weapons, cannonballs, and shells. Tourists can also feel the refreshing breeze of the ocean.

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