Noveleta, a former barrio of Cavite el Viejo (Kawit), became an independent municipality on January 5,1868 presumably during the Spanish Governor General Jose de la Gandara y Navarro (1866-1869).Another source says Noveleta was founded one year earlier, in 1867.
Isabelo Manalo, one of the earliest inhabitants of the locality, was appointed first capitan de baras of Noveleta.This designation was later changed to gobernadorcillo. The record shows that the following had been gobernadorcillos of Noveleta:
(1) Severino Alvarez, (2) Bonifacio Caganap, (3) Felipe Mediran, (4) Mariano Salud, (5) Ariston Villanueva, (6) Mariano Alvarez, (7) Victoriano Alix, (8) Pascual Alvarez, (9) Alvaro Cafuir, (10) Anacleto Loctoc, (11) Gregorio Dacon, (12) Catalino Angkiko, (13) Mariano Torres, (14) Inocencio Salud, (15) Basillo Salud.
Mariano Alvarez, founder and president of the Sangguniang Bayan Magdiwang at the outbreak of the Revolution, had been governadorcillo before becoming captain municipal, the new title of town heads under the Maura Law of 1893.
Ironically, Noveleta was also formerly referred to by the Spaniards as Tierra Alta, meaning higher hround, because its ground level has higher than that of the neighboring towns of San Roque, Caridad, and cavite la Punta (now Cavite City). Today, as stated earlier, it is frequently inundated, posing the biggest drawback to its industrial and commercial development. Noveleta was also known by the revolutionary name Magdiwang, meaning to celebrate a momentous event, etc.
The Sangguniang Bayan Magdiwang of Noveleta, as distinguished from the Sangguniang Balangay ng Bayang Magtiis (Council Chapter of Magtiis) of san Francisco de Malabon (now General Trias), was coposed of the following: Mariano Alvarez, whose nom de guerre was Mainam (Good), president Pascual Alvarez, Bagong Buhay (New Life), secretary: and Santiago Alvarez, Kidlat ng Apoy (Ligthning Fire), Tranquilino Angkiko and others, members. Later the Magdiwang Council’ was retained, but the headquarters was transferred to San Francisco de Malabon, a much bigger town than Noveleta.
In the beginning Mariano Alvarez was the president of the Magdiwang Council. When Andres Bonifacio, the katipunan Supremo, arrived in San Francisco de Malabon in December 1896, the council was reorganized, and the following came out as the new officers. Bonifacio, Haring Bayan (King); Mariano Alvarez, Pangalawang Haring Bayan (Vice King); Ariston Villanueva, minister of war; Jacinto Labreras, minister of the interior; Diego Mojica, minister of finance; Mariano Trias, minister of grace and justice; Emiliano Riego de Dios, minister of Fomento; (Welfare); and Santiago Alvarez, captain general.
Mariano Alvarez, 65, founder of Magdiwang Council, was replaced by Bonifacio, 33, as head of the organization. Evidently, he gave way to the katipunan chieftain who was about half his age, and husband of this niece, Gregoria de Jesus.
The Magdiwang Council how a much bigger jurisdiction than the Magdalo Council founded by Emilio Aguinaldo. It include the following towns: (1) Cavite (the capital), (2) San Roque, (3) La Caridad, (4) Noveleta, (5) San Fracisco de Malabon, (6) Rosario, (7) Sta. Cruz de Malabon (now Tanza), (8) Naik, (9) maragondon, (10) Ternate, (11) Magallanes, (12) Bailen (now General Aguinaldo), (13) Indang, (14) Alfonso, (15) Mendez, and (16) Amadeo. Later the Magdiwang Council enbraced the Batangas towns of Nasugbu, Tuy, and Looc.
The Magdalo Council, on the other hand, comprised (1) Cavite el Viejo (now Kawit), (2) Bacoor, (3) Imus, (4) Dasmariñas, (5) Silang, and (6) Carmona. Later the Magdiwang towns of Mendez and Amadeo transferred to the Magdalo Council. Although controlling a smaller territory, the Magdalo Council was more militarily active than the Magdiwang Council. The Magdalo Council or goverment had almost daily battles with the Spaniards since the beginning of the Revolution. Consenquently, it produced more battle-tested generals, including emilio Aguinaldo, who became a living legend in Cavite after defeating the best of the Spanish generals. Evidently, Bonifacio was prevailed upon by the Magdiwang leaders to come to Cavite to wrest the leadership of the Revolution from Aguinaldo.
The name Noveleta is said to have originated from Nueva Isla or New Island, a tern frequently used by the spaniards, referring to the locality. In the early years of the Spanish regime visiting priests described the place as Nueva Late (New fate or Fortune). In the course of time these terms Nueva Isla and Nueva Lete involved of Noveleta.
But one legend tells the story of a beautiful maiden named Violeta who was betrothed by her father to a Spanish officer againts her will and despite the fact that she Spaniard, the unhappy girl committed suicide. The officer arrived the next morning and, finding her dead, cried and deep anguish, "Madre de Dios, no Violetal Oh, no Violetal" (Mother of God, no Violetal, Oh, no Violetal). The phase "No Violetal" kept on ringing in the public memory, eventually becoming "Noveleta" - the term used to identify the place.
Noveleta is composed of the following barangays: (1) Poblacion, (2) San Jose, (3) San Antonio, (4) San Juan, (5) Sta. Ana, (6) Salcedo, (7) Magdiwang, (8) San Rafael, and (9) Rafael II.
San Jose, one of the most progressive barangays, used to be known as "Balut-Balut’ because of its dense forest. The name was later change to "Baluk-Balok". Located on the opposite bank of the river Ilang-Ilang, it is also referred to as "Ibayo". Under Municipal Resolution No. 80, dated October 18, 1959, the name of the barrio was change to "San Jose". The former "tenientes del barrio" (barrio lieutenants) of san Jose were: (1) Agapito Mascardo, (2) Pedro Semper, (3) Remigio Semper, (4) Pastor Olaes, (5) Gerardo Cadiang, and (6) Rolando Majillo.
Barangay San Rafel originally started from the site of the Philippines Independent Church in Noveleta to the boundary of Cavite City. Due to its big area and population it was split into halves, namely, San Rafael I and san Rafael II. Barangay San Rafael I is populated mostly by professionals, businessman, and farmers. Both barangay have the same patron saint, St. Raphael.
The patron saint of barangays San Antonio and Sta. Rosa are indicated by their names. Mariano salud was the first cabeza de barangay of San Antonio. On other hand, the original settlers on the barangya Sta. Rosa bore the surnames Montana, Campus-pos, Castro, Saqui, Alix, de leon, and Luna.
Barangay Magdiwang, the latest addition to the barangays Noveleta, was named after the Magdiwang Council of the Katipunan. Barangay Salcedo appears to have named after the spanish conquistador Juan Salcedo. The two most outstanding land-marks of this barangay are the hug Pepsi Cola Bottle Company bodega, and the Love Memorial Park. Finally, barangay Poblacion is right in the center of the town. The municipal hall in the Noveleta, the puericulture center, and the main business establishments are located in this barangay.
TOWN HEADS OF NOVELETA
Noveleta has a complete list of its town heads from the beginning of the American regime to the present. The list which includes also the vice-presidents or vice-mayors, is use follows.
MUNICIPAL PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENTS: (1) Alvarez, municipal president (appointed), 1901-1902; (2) Pascual Alvarez, ditto, 1902-1903; (3) Andres Ner, municipal president, and pascual Alvarez, vice-president (elected), 1904-1905; (4) Benigno Santi and Pascual Alvarez, municipal president and vice-president, respectively (elected), 1906-1907; (5) Andres Villanueva and Inocencio Salud, ditto, 1908-1910;
(6) Andres Giongco and Gregorio Trias, ditto, 1910-1914; (7) Mauricio Sta. Maria, municipal president (appointed), 1911-1912; (8) Felipe Vilanueva and Gavino Mediran, municipal president and vice-president, respectively (elected), 1913-1914; (9) Nicolas Ricafrente, municipal president (appointed), 1914-1915; (10) Diosdado Ricafrente, municipal president, ditto, 1915-1916;
(11) Maximo Alvarez and Eugenio Bartolome, municipal president and vice-president, respectively (elected), 1916-1919; (12) Gavino Mediran and Crispin Villena, ditto, 1919-1922; (13) Crispin Villena and Alberto Bunda, ditto, 1922-1925; (14) Alberto Bunda and Vicente Vallido, ditto, 1925-1928; (15) Antonio Reyes and Pedro Lontoc, ditto, 1928-1931; and (16) Francisco Ballejo, and Delfin Alvarez, ditto, 1931-1934.
MUNICIPAL MAYORS AND VICE MAYORS: (1) Miguel Alvarez and Francisco Vales, municipal mayor and vice-mayor, respectively, 1934-1938; (2) Defin Alvarez and Augusto Sta. maria, ditto, 1939-1940; (3) Defin Alvarez, municipal mayor (elected), 1941-1945; (4) Melencio Sumilang, ditto (appointed), 1945-1946; (5) Ricardo Lontocand Marco Valero, municipal mayor and vice-mayor, respectively (elected), 1949-1952; (6) Ricardo Lontoc and Marcos Valero, ditto, Marcos Valero, minicipal mayor (appointed), 1954-1956;
(8) Librado Reyes and Dr. Jose Salud, municipal amyor and vice-mayor, respectively (elected), 1956-1959; (9) Librado Reyes and Dr. Benjamin Vallido, ditto, 1959-1963; (10) Isabel Alvarez, municipal mayor (elected), 1964-1971; (11) Dr. Jose Salud and Dr. Jose A. Reyes, municipal mayor and vice-mayor, respectively (elected), 1972-1980; and (12) Jose A. Reyes and Benjamin Villarente, municipal mayor and vice-mayor, respectively (elected), 1980-1986; (13) Jose O. Salud, 1988-April 20, 1989; (14) Virgilio L Saqui, 1989.
Source: Saulo & de Ocampo - Cavite History