In the 19th century during the Spanish Colonial Period, Dasmariñas was originally called Tampus meaning "end of the forest." In the beginning stages, it was a part of its mother town of Imus (now City of Imus). It was once a part of a vast Recollect Hacienda that supported all the various missionary activities of the Recollects in the Philippines and in Spain.

 On April 9, 1864, a council composed of the Archbishop of Manila, the politico military governor of Cavite, the Prior Provincial of the Augustinian Recollect Order and the parish priest of Imus met to discuss the creation of the new town and parish separated from Imus. At that time, there were only 643 inhabitants in Tampus, the heart of the community. After thorough discussions, the Gobierno Civil Superior of the Islands approved the creation of the new town on May 12, 1864 with Don Juan Ramirez elected as gobernadorcillo.

An ensemble of nipa houses in the other barrios of the hacienda like Malinta, Nancaan, Salacay, Paliparan, Malagasang and Salitran were grouped and migrated into a reduccion (reduction) in Tampus in 1866. Reduccion originally meant the religious and civic aspects of missionary activities. Later it came to mean the process of resettling and unifying a community, thereby creating a newly organized town. For the Spanish missionaries and friars, this process was advantageous not only for evangelization but also for bringing people under the Spanish rule. A new town called Tampus was formed. From that time on, the people of Tampus built their houses within the hearing distance of the church bells – "bajo las toques de campana". The new town could be reached through a good network of roads and bridges built by the best architects and engineers of the Recollect Order.

 In the same year, the new town was rechristened Perez-Dasmariñas to honor the 7th Governor General of the Philippines, Don Gómez Pérez Dasmariñas (1590–1593). Governor Dasmariñas, a Knight of Santiago, was a native of Galicia, Spain and a former magistrate of Murcia and Cartagena, Spain who brought a lot of economic improvements during the early days of colonization.

 Toward the end of 1866, the new town Perez-Dasmariñas had complied with the requirements of a typical Philippine town. A spacious town plaza at the center of the town with the church and the convent made of stone and bricks, a casa tribunal (courthouse) made of wood and nipa, a primary school for children and various houses made of nipa were built in designated areas. A cemetery was located around 200 yards away from the church and surrounded with wooden fence.

 The foundation of the town Perez-Dasmariñas was unique from most other towns of Cavite. For the first time, a town was created not by a preceding petition of the barrio people and its local officials as required by legal procedures and custom at that time. Instead, high ranking church officials and the Cavite politico military governor were the prime initiators of its foundation.

 For the sake of the people of the growing town and for their own interest, the Recollects sent a petition to Madrid for the creation of a new parish of Dasmariñas, independent from Imus. Queen Isabella II signed the Royal Order creating the new parish of Perez-Dasmariñas on October 21, 1866. The following year, the construction of the stone parish church of Dasmariñas dedicated to the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Immaculate Conception was started.


The old town of Perez-Dasmariñas was made up of several barrios. Salitran was considered the most important and famous during the Spanish regime because it was the site of the Recollect casa hacienda (estate house). Salitran came from the Tagalog word "sal-it" meaning "people from another town". It was also once named as Bayanan because of the large concentration of people there. Since it was a part of the Recollect Hacienda de Imus, there were many people from different provinces who lived there working as farmhands. Layong Iloko, a place in Salitran, strengthens the belief that there were Ilocanos who settled there. Pasong Santol in Salitran got its name because of the abundance of santol trees.

 Tampus, the center of the newly formed town was located at the end of the deep forest in contrast with one of the sitios which was called "Pintong Gubat" or "gate of the forest". Sometimes, the name of a barrio is taken from its location, as in the case of Barrio Burol which suggests the high location of the barrio. Sabang on the other hand means "crossroad" or "crossing". Barrio Salawag is believed to be the old barrio Salacay. The word "salawag" refers to long bamboo poles to which nipa roofing are tied up. Salawag is sometimes also called "crossing" because it serves as a crossroad between Paliparan and Salitran.

 Nancaan, now called Langkaan, was derived from the Tagalog word "langka" (jackfruit). It is the biggest fruit tree in the Philippines which was reportedly brought from India to Malaysia and found its way to our country. The presence of lot of jackfruit trees may be the reason it was called Nancaan.

 Malinta or Malintaan, on the other hand was derived from the Tagalog word "linta" which means leech. The abundance of leeches in the place accounted for its name.

 On July 18, 1899, three more sitios of Perez-Dasmariñas were raised to the rank of barrios. Barrio Sampaloc owing to the abundance of tamarind trees in the place; barrio Tamban was renamed San Jose and Barrio Lucsuhin became San Agustin.

The 1896 Philippine Revolution

By June 1896, the Spanish authorities in Cavite province had become suspicious of the local elite's activities. There were alleged top hierarchy meetings of the Recollects in the casa hacienda of Salitran and San Nicolas. Included in the meeting were General Bernardo Echaluce and other top military officials. The purpose of the meeting was to determine whether it was just to apprehend the notable elites who were "Masons". At the time, "Masons" were bitter enemies of the church and their liberal ideas coming from their counterpart in Spain were beginning to awaken the natives to fight for their rights and even for their freedom. Fortunately for the elites, no decision was during the meeting. Thus, the local leaders freely but quietly continued their subversive activities.

 As soon as the revolution of 1896 broke out, leaders of Perez-Dasmariñas took no time in taking up arms against the Spanish rule. Don Placido Campos, the gobernadorcillo at the time and Don Francisco Barzaga, the municipal secretary, gathered the people to liberate their town from Spanish control at the beginning of September 1896. They captured the casa tribunal and casa hacienda in Salitran, killing the religious clergies who lived there. Eventually, the town was freed.

 As towns in Cavite fell into the hands of Filipino revolutionaries, the Spanish government in Madrid felt that Governor General Ramon Blanco's offensive against the natives was ineffective. Thus, a more aggressive person took over the command of the islands, Camilo de Polavieja, with Gen. José de Lachambre as the head of the campaign. Gradually, the Spaniards regained the control of the province. After the fall of Silang, the Spaniards turned their eyes to Perez-Dasmariñas. Knowing the strength of resistance he might encounter, Gen. Lechambre decided to surround the whole town. He sent to advance units headed by Brigadier Gen. Jose Molina who went to take the left. The troop under Col. Arutos who had taken Paliparan, went westward to cut the escape of the Filipinos to Imus and Carmona. Gen. Lechambre sent the main force toward the south.

 The Caviteños suffered terrible defeat because of lack of arms and ammunition. As the Spaniards approached the Poblacion, the revolutionaries retreated the stone building of the town. On February 25, 1897, the Spaniards decided to encircle the Poblacion rather go directly to the interior. They started burning all houses except the church. Seeing they were surrounded by fire, some of the rebels went out of hiding but were immediately met by open fire. Those who took refuge at the casa tribunal refused to come out and were all burned alive. Even those who took refuge in the church did eventually yield to the advancing Spanish forces. By March, Perez-Dasmariñas had fallen back into the Spanish hand.

 Then Lechambre returned to Salitran. He was expecting a heavy resistance from the revolutionaries who occupied the casa hacienda but to his great surprise, they were able to take the place without any resistance. They hoisted the red and gold flag of Spain and converted it as their headquarters.

 However, news came that there was a heavy concentration of Filipino rebels at Pasong Santol a short distance beyond Salitran. The Battle of Pasong Santol was one of the most significant in the Caviteños' desire to keep their province under their control. It was the bloodiest battle fought in Cavite. It was during these series of battles in Cavite when Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was elected in absentia as President of the newly formed revolutionary government. While some leaders of Magdalo faction of the Katipunan were busy fighting in Pasong Santol, members of the Magdiwang and Magdalo faction were discussing the form of government and elected its officers in the Tejeros Convention in Rosario, Cavite. In said Convention, Bonifacio was traitorously ousted from the Katipunan leadership by the combined Caviteño revolutionaries. Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were later executed by Aguinaldo's men.

 The Filipino casualties was enormous according to Lachambre. There were 150 men inside the "tribunal" or town hall when Spaniards set fire to the building and all 150 were killed. Others took refuge in the convent. This also was set on fire and the men were shot as they emerged. Others had shut themselves up in the church. With the church surrounded, the mountain artillery was brought up into position and from a distance of 35 meters, the strong doors of the church were bombarded and the troops went in through the breach. At the height of the Battle of Perez Dasmarinas, Gen. Flaviano Yengko, Gen. Crispulo Aguinaldo, Lucas Camerino, Arturo Reyes and many more revolutionaries lost their lives fighting for their motherland.

The American (Commonwealth) Colonial Era

With the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898 (ratified Washington on February 6, 1899), the Philippines was ceded to America by Spain. The American regime brought to Dasmariñas, as it did to other parts of the country, several fundamental changes in the system of government, in language, and in educational system.

 In the month of February 1899, the Philippine-American War began. General Henry Ware Lawton's brigade operated south of Manila including the province of Cavite in the middle of June 1899. The Americans could not land directly at Bacoor because Zapote river was defended by the Filipino revolutionists who built trenches as tactical defenses forming three sides of an angle which made the Filipinos hardly visible. The American's 14th Infantry Battalion swam across the during the Battle of Zapote River and under the cover of military artillery, charged against the Filipinos who then retreated to the woods.

 Moving southward, the Americans encountered more Filipino revolutionists in the town of Bacoor, Imus and Perez-Dasmariñas, a battalion of infantry narrowly escaped annihilation. News had been brought to the American camp that the Filipino soldiers had evacuated the town and that the native mayor was disposed to surrender it formally to the Americans. The battalion thus went there to take possession, but before reaching the place, the Filipino revolutionists closed in on all sides, and a heavy firefight went on for hours. The Americans were saved from destruction by a desperate bayonet charge when they were rescued by General Weaton's brigade.

 Placido Campos, who sided with General Emilio Aguinaldo since the beginning of the Filipino-American war in 1899, was captured together with his nephew Guillermo Campos. They were imprisoned at the Provost Political Prison on Postigo St., Intramuros, Manila where they were kept for six months.

 The Americans established the Military Government in 1900. By order of the Colonel of the American Battalion stationed in Perez-Dasmariñas, the residents of the town nominated a president and a vice-president. Elected through the raising of hands were Francisco Barzaga as president and Conrado Malihan as vice-president. They served their office until the civil government was established by the Americans in 1901.

 On January 31, 1901, in accordance with President McKinley's instructions that the Filipinos be allowed to manage their own municipal governments, the Second Philippine Commission enacted the Act Number 82, the new Municipal Code, placing each municipal government under the following officials: the municipal president, the vice-president, and the municipal council, who were elected by qualified voters every two years. In line with this, Placido Campos was again elected as the head of the municipality of Perez-Dasmariñas in October 1901. Francisco Barzaga then became the Treasurer of Dasmariñas. The two were re-elected in 1903.

 In 1903, the American government made the first census in the Philippines. Francisco Barzaga and the secretary, Esteban Quique, made census enumerators for Perez-Dasmariñas under the leadership of Placido Campos. When the census was finished, the total population of the town was only 3,500. Before the revolution of 1898, the population was 12,000. (There were 20 Cabezas de Barangay (barangay head) and each of which had 200 persons with ages ranging from 18 to 59 years, men and women, the number of children estimated at 6,000 giving a total of 12,000.) Comparing the population prior to the revolution with that of 1948, there has been a decrease in the population of Perez-Dasmariñas. The 1948 census accounted to only 9,700 while that of the pre-revolutionary period totaled 12,000.

 From 1905 to 1916, the law which was passed in 1901 took effect. It combined the municipalities of Imus, Perez-Dasmariñas and Bacoor into one, with the seat of government located at Imus. Consequently, on January 5, 1905, Perez-Dasmariñas became a part of Imus. The reason for this was to punish the insurrectos for not surrendering. Besides, the inability of the people to work outside from fear of being suspected by the Constabulary greatly decrease the income of the municipalities to the detriment of the employees and the policemen.

 In 1917, under Governor General Francis Burton Harrison (1913–1921), Perez-Dasmariñas was again declared a separate municipality. The provincial governor of Cavite, Antero S. Soriano, convened the local leaders, including Placido Campos, Francisco Barzaga, and Felipe Tirona. Together, they agreed to delete the word "Perez" and retain "Dasmariñas" as the new name of the town. For the second time, Placido Campos headed the rechristened town of Dasmariñas.

World War II: The Japanese Occupation and Liberation

The town of Dasmariñas is a town in the province of Cavite that shed blood and has given up many lives for national independence. There were many times when the Japanese conducted zonifications in the town. The barrios of Paliparan and Salawag suffered the most number of deaths. Being remote places and thinking that guerrillas were hiding there, these two barrios were zonified two times giving up several lives. The Japanese Imperial Army made the schools as their garrison.

 Meanwhile, after surviving in the Bataan Death March and released from Capas, Tarlac Concenration Camp, General Mariano Castañeda returned to Cavite and helped organized the resistance movement in Dasmarinas headed by Col. Estanislao Mangubat-Carungcong of the 4th Infantry Regiment (Camp Neneng Dasmarinas) and Col. Emiliano De La Cruz of the 14th Infantry Regiment (Camp Paliparan) Fil-American Cavite Guerilla Forces, with Major Dominador I. Mangubat, MD, head of the Medical Corps, Captain Elpidio Mangubat-Barzaga Sr., Major Maximo Dela Torre, Major Joaquin Crame, Major Rosendo Navarro, Captain Serapio Guevarra, Captain Jose Bautista, Lt. Colonel Jose Medina Carungcong, 1st Lt. Pantaleon Cantimbuhan, 1st Lt. Quirino Clorina, Captain Remigio Carungcong, Capt. Gaudencio Geda, Captain Felicisimo Carungcong MD Dental Corps and (Incumbent Municipal Mayor) Captain Clemente Bautista, Captain Antonio Montoya, Captain Felipe Ilano, Captain Arsenio Sico, Captain Emmanuel Dominguez, 1st Lt. Tiburcio Mendoza, Captain Arturo Sayoto Carungcong, 2nd Lt. Leonardo Campos, 2nd Lt. Hermogenes Beltran, 2nd Lt. Teodoro Sapida, 2nd Lt. Pacifico Menez, S/Sgt. Melecio Veluz, S/Sgt Ruperto Mangubat, Captain Purificacion Medina, 2nd Lt. Filomeno Mantele this unit provided guerilla warfare and prepared to attack with every armed men when the Allied landed on the Batangas Beeches, sabotage missions, cutting off enemy communications and logistics, recoinnaissance missions, protecting civilian people against aggression by the Imperial Japanese Army and provide evacuation plans for them and intensified intelligence reports to the 11th Airborne Division, 187th Glider Infantry Regiment headed by Colonel Harry B. Hildebrand.

 In May 1943, The Imperial Japanese Army have received intelligence reports of the Dasmariñeo guerilla camp of the 4th Infantry regiment in the west side of the town of Dasmariñas, here they positioned 2 long range cannons and fired 30 rounds, damaging rice plantations, crops and killing large amount of cattle, and terrorized the town's Poblacion residence, nevertheless vigilant about the situation the Dasmarineo guerillas, 4th Regiment have narrowly escaped complete annihilation. After the assault, Dasmarinas town became too hot to the Japanese because of the active guerilla activities and headquarters of the guerillas in Neneng Dasmarinas, and because of the Sakdalistas and Makapili (Japanese collaborators) denouncing and reporting all guerilla activities of Col. Estanislao M. Carungcong to the Kempeitai (Japanese Military Police) in exchange for payments and privileges and because of it the Kempeitai made another zonification on July 25, 1943 in the town proper until Dasmariñeo guerilla regimental staff Lt. Col. Jose M. Carungcong, Major Dominador I. Mangubat, Capt. Elpidio Mangubat-Barzaga Sr., Capt. Jovito Evangelista were captured and imprisoned for 2 months in Muntinglupa, Rizal prison camp until they are released except Lt.Col. Jose M. Carungcong who was sentenced to 6 years in prison.

 On June 24, 1944 The Hunters ROTC guerillas headed by Col. Emmanuel De Ocampo, Lt. Col Vic Estacio and Col. Eleuterio Terry Adevoso raided the Muntinlupa New Bilibid Prison and rescued many prisoners of war and a good haul of firearms and ammunition among the prisoners was Dasmariñeo guerilla Lt. Col Jose Carungcong (4th Infantry) who managed a jailbreak during the raids of the prison camp, the Japanese Military authorities immediately issued a P50,000 peso reward in exchange for the head of the Dasmarineo guerilla Lt. Col. Jose Carungcong as wanted to be captured dead or alive.

 On August 25, 1944 with the help Dasmariñeo Guerilla soldiers of the 4th Infantry Regiment of Col. Estanislao M. Carungcong, 114 Filipino military prisoners, 4 American senior officers, Volckmann's guerilla Col. Joseph Ickard, Col. Quintin Gellidon, Col. Dionisio Banting, Col. Guillermo Monfort, Col. Ildefonso De La Conception (ROTC),Col. Pablo De Ynchausti (Markings) and 70 others more made a jail break at the Muntinlupa, Rizal prison camp, the escapee's were in poor health condition and deprived of proper meals and were too skinny from bone to skin, here they were kept and given aid and sustenance and were treated by Major - Dr. Dominador Mangubat for 2 months until their health recovered from malnutrition in Neneng, Dasmarinas.

 On December 17, 1944 at about 01:00 am and lasted at about 18:00 pm around 1,000 Kempeitai (Japanese Military Police) from Fort Santiago conducted another zonification in the town proper and adjacent barrios. The Church was used as their garrison and all suspected male residents involved or coordinating with the guerrilla movement of Col. E.M. Carungcong with the advise of the "Makapili Collaborators" were tortured and 15 active guerilla patriots of the 4th Infantry (Cobra Unit) inside the Church and some others that were brought at the back of the Dasmariñas Elementary School were tortured and bayonetted to death, some were hanged at the old mango tree near the school canteen, whipped, beaten, and tortured and were totally forced to expose and divulge the Dasmariñeo guerilla organization. Women were abducted and raped by the Japanese Soldiers, There were those who experienced the so-called "tinutubig" wherein the head is immersed in a drum of water.

 On January 15, 1945, the day before the FACGF Gen. Castañeda - U.S 11th Airborne Major Jay Vanderpool conference in Neneng Dasmariñas, when local guerrillas ambushed nine Japanese soldiers inside a jitney in Anabu Road Salitran. The next day, Tuesday January 16, Japanese soldiers retaliated by firing indiscriminately on the town's people of Dasmariñas.

 Aside from these, raid after raid were made and male residents were shot to death. Some were killed because they were mistaken as guerrilla members. Some fought face to face, during encounters in Burol, Malinta, Paliparan and Langkaan, others were killed in other towns. Most male residents of Dasmariñas were among those who fought with the Japanese in Bataan and Corregidor island. Sad to state too, there were those who joined the Bataan Death March, some of whom are already dead and some are still living to tell the tale.

 On January 30, 1945 as Allied forces began to land in Nasugbu, Batangas, the Dasmariñeo guerilla force of the 4th Infantry Regiment under Col. Estanislao Mangubat Carungcong plus 1 Battalion under Major Zacarias Santiaguel of the 1st Infantry, Col. Saulog's regiment protected at all costs the National Highway 17 and attacked enemy positions at the national highway from Palapala Road inclusive extending 3000 yards east and west of the National Highway 17 to Salitran Road, and the 14th Infantry Regiment headed by Col. Emiliano De La Cruz protected at all cost the highway between Dasmarinas to Carmona, Cavite to prevent the enemy to rally and counterattack and to clear the path of the main allied forces which were by now being dropped via parachute in Tagaytay City. Enemy military vehicles approaching from the north, west and south side of the Dasmariñeo battle sector were ambushed.

 FACGF Division Commander General Mariano Castañeda from their headquarters in Neneng, Dasmariñas issued the command to liberate the town of Dasmariñas to Colonel Estanislao Mangubat-Carungcong (4th Infantry Regiment Cobra Unit). The combined contingent of the FACGF's 4th Regiment, together with Colonel Lorenzo Saulog's 1st Infantry Regiment and Colonel Maximo Reyes' 11th Infantry Regiment killed 56 Japanese soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army garrisoned in Dasmariñas leading to the total liberation of the municipality of Dasmarinas and after the smoke of the battle have subsided the Filipino and the American flag were raised together by the Dasmariñeo guerilla troops in the Dasmariñas Municipal hall as symbols of the hard earned freedom that was paid by the blood and sacrifices of the Dasmarineo martyrs after years of Japanese oppression and suffering.

 Dasmariñas has a long list of heroes who sacrificed their lives for their homeland during the turbulent period of the Second World War and the period of liberation.

Post-war era and before cityhood

After the war, the Philippines became independent and Dasmariñas started to develop. The population increased because of the mass exodus of families from Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

 The Dasmariñas Bagong Bayan (DBB), also known as Dasmariñas Resettlement Area, was established in 1975 by Letter of Instruction No. 19 issued by the then President Ferdinand Marcos.

 From 1983 onwards Dasmariñas had an economic boom. Different factories and establishments sprouted in the town which gave way for the growth in population. From a sixth-class municipality, the town became a first-class municipality.

 As of 2015, the city has a population in excess of over 650,000. Dasmariñas served as a catalyst for major economic development and sustained growth for the Metro Manila urban area since the 1990s. The influx of industries, academia, and real estate developments is significant of in a town outside of a major financial district. Located at Dasmariñas are the First Cavite Industrial Estate with 81 foreign and domestic corporations employing 20,000,. The city also hosts one of the largest universities in Cavite, the De La Salle University-Dasmariñas campus, which serves more than 25, 000 students.

Post-war era and before cityhood

There have been several attempts to convert Dasmariñas into a city. The first attempt was in 1997, when HB08931 was filed by Congressman Renato P. Dragon with other cityhood bills of Imus (HB 08960) and Bacoor (HB 08959). It was filed last February 11, 1997 and read last February 13, 1997. Committee Report N0. 01361 was submitted on December 17, 1997. It was approved on the third reading by the House last January 10, 1998. It did not push through as a Republic Act and no plebiscite happened.

 The second attempt was in 2000, when HB099883 was filed by Congressman Erineo Maliksi last March 13, 2000. It was first read last March 13, 2000. It was approved on the Second and Third reading of House last March 15, 2000 and March 27, 2000. It was transmitted to the senate on March 28, 2000 and received on March 31, 2009. It did not push through as a Republic Act and no plebiscite happened.

 The idea of converting Dasmariñas into a component city was again proposed for the third time after failure in 1997 and 2000.

 House Bill no. 5258 converting the municipality of Dasmariñas into a component city was filed by Congressman Elpidio F. Barzaga, Jr. last October 3, 2008. It was read last October 6, 2008. It was approved by the House on Second and Third Reading on October 7 and November 17, 2008. It was transmitted and received by the Senate last November 17 and 20, 2008. It was passed by the senate on Second and Third Reading last October 28 and November 5, 2009. It is received by the President of the Philippines last October 14, 2009 and signed as Republic Act 9723 last October 15, 2009.

 COMELEC Resolution No. 8682 in connection with the November 25, 2009 plebiscite to ratify the conversion of the municipality of Dasmariñas province of Cavite into a component city pursuant to Republic Act 9723 dated October 15, 2009.

 Republic Act No. 9723 was ratified by the registered voters of Dasmariñas through a plebiscite conducted last November 25, 2009, converted the municipality of Dasmariñas in the Province of Cavite into a component city to be known as the City of Dasmariñas. There were about 44,000 voters who cast the plebiscite ballot in the town's 1,508 polling precincts. The yes votes won overwhelmingly. The yes votes got 36,559 while the no votes got 8,141.

 Then Mayor Jennifer Austria-Barzaga, elected in 2007, is both the first woman mayor and first city mayor of Dasmariñas since its incorporation as a city. Since 1892, when Don Placido N. Campos became the first mayor, there have been 23 mayors of the city.