Cavite (kävēˈtā) [key], city (1990 pop. 91,641), Cavite prov., SW Luzon, the Philippines. The city, situated on a small peninsula in Manila Bay, has been important as a naval base and trade center since the days of the Spanish. In the Spanish-American War it was captured by Dewey on May 1, 1898. The United States established a major naval base at Sangley Point just opposite the city proper. In World War II this base was bombed (Dec. 10, 1941) by the Japanese and virtually destroyed—a major blow to the defense of the Philippines. In 1971, the United States closed the base. The Philippine government also maintains a naval school center at Cavite.