History of Ternate
Formerly “Barra de Maragondon”, Ternate was originally a sandbar located at the mouth of Maragondon River. It served as a resting place for natives of Maragondon going out to fish in the Manila Bay. The first residents of the place where the seven Merdica families of Bagong Bayan, (near Ermita) Manila. Merdicas or Mardicas means “man of the sea” or “free people”.
Approximately, there were two hundred (200) of them who were transferred to Barra de Maragondon by the Spanish authorities due to the frequent conflicts involving the Tagalog of Ermita. The area was a swampy and densely covered with mangrove.
Noted for their bravery, the Mardicas were Malays from Ternate in the Moluccas Archipelago, who volunteered to come to Manila along with the Spanish Garrison that was pulled out of the island by Spanish Governor General Manrique de Lara in 1662 to reinforce the defenses of Manila in preparation for threatened invasion by the Chinese pirate-patriot Koxinga, after he had conquered Formosa from the Dutch.
Under an agreement with the Spanish Governor-General, the Merdicas were required to provide protection against attack by more pirates, and in return for their services they were taken to the Barra de Maragondon because of frequent Moro raids in that area.
The community built mostly by the Merdica family was named “Ternate” in memory of their ancestral birthplace in Mollucas. They were able to build from their funds a stone church, a casa real (tribunal or municipal building), a schoolhouse in 1850. Ternate became a regular pueblo or town when the leadership of Florencio Ninofranco and Pablo de Leon, a wealthy Merdica, became the first Gobernadorcillo. Reportedly, it was in 1863 that Ternate was separated from Maragondon and became an independent municipality.
People from Ternate speak some kind of Chavacano as one of its dialect which they inherited from their forefathers. The series of revolutions in the Philippines against foreign invaders (1896-1898, 1899-1901) left the population of Cavite province so depleted. This lead to the approval of Public Act No.947 by the Philippine Commission to reduce the municipalities of Cavite to nine on October 15, 1903. Due to this, Ternate was absorbed by Naic until 1916 when the Philippine Senate restored the town to its former status as an independent municipality.