Legendarily, the word Tagaytay came from “TAGA” meaning to cut and “ITAY” which means father. A father and son were said to be on a wild boar chase when the animal they were pursuing suddenly turned and attacked them. Fearing for his father’s safety as the boar violently charged the old man, the son cried out “TAGA, ITAY!” which means “cut him down, father!” The son’s exhortation and shouts reverberated in the valleys of the ridge and were heard by the residents, wood gatherers, hunters and kaingeros in the forests. Thus, the shout and the words “Taga, Itay” became the subject of conversation among the people in the countryside for several days. In time, the place from where the shouts came began to be known as the beautiful southern city of Tagaytay.
During the Philippine Revolution of 1896, Tagaytay became a place of refuge and hideaway for revolutionaries from the nearby provinces of Batangas and Laguna and other neighboring towns of Masilao (now Amadeo), Malabon Grande (now Gen. Trias), Silang, Dasmariñas, Mendez and Indang. Its central location amidst these towns and provinces, the wild preponderance of forests on its ridges and the vast undulating topography of its lands characterized by wide stretches of cogon offered a ready sanctuary and haven from pursuit of the Katipuneros. As a passageway for the revolutionary activities in the said provinces, the natives and revolutionaries described movement to and from the towns via Tagaytay with the word “MANANAGAYTAY,” which means traversing the ridges of Tagaytay.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, the 11th Ariborne Division of Lieutenants General William Krugers 8th Army airdropped military supplies and personnel on the Tagaytay ridge, prior to the Liberation of Manila from the Japanese on February 3, 1945. To commemorate this event, the city officials, in coordination with the Philippine Historical Institute installed a marker at the junction of the Silang-Canlubang-Nasugbu roads.
On June 21, 1938, Tagaytay became a chartered city with the passage and signing by the late President Manuel L. Quezon of Commonwealth Act No. 338, a bill authored by Rep. Justiniano S. Montano of Cavite. Among the city’s past mayors were Arsenio Natividad, Mariano Bondoc, Melchor Benitez, Miguel Taña, Isaac Tolentino, Hilarion Maglabe, Benjamin Erni, and Francis Tolentino. The incumbent City Mayor is Hon. Abraham N. Tolentino.
Today, the City of Tagaytay is identified as one of the priority areas for tourism development of the Department of Tourism. Likewise, the city has been identified in the CALABARZON as a tourist center.