Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Santiago City


The origin of Santiago can be traced out to the first native settlement near the bank (now the area between Brgy. Ambalatungan and Brgy. Buenavista) of the Carig River (now Diadi River) from which its name was derived. The first inhabitants were the Ibanags and Gaddangs.

Before the Spanish evangelizers gained foothold on the frontiers of this place, it was alredy known as "Carig". Carig means "tall and straight trees". These were abundant in the area in those early days. During the Spanish Era, it was founded as a political pueblo on May 4, 1743 with Santiago Apostol as Patron Saint. Then in 1746, it was transferred to the site of Patul. It was called Carig, Santiago de Carig, Pueblo de Carig of Santiago Apostol de Carig. On October 12, 1903, during the American Occupation, Carig and Cordon were combined with the Municipality of Echague. It was part of the strategic move by the Americans to reduce the number of municipalities. From 1903 to 1909, Carig had been annexed to Echague. Until on January 01, 1910, during the municipal reorganization, the Americans issued Executive Order No. 02 making Carig a municipality but was baptized with a new name SANTIAGO. Note that the Apostol de Carig was deleted from its original name Santiago Apostol de Carig. It was Kapitan Vicente Carreon, who was then the Municipal President of the town that time, who changed the name Carig into Santiago, in honor to St. James the Apostle, the Patron Saint of the town.

Santiago remained as a municipality for 84 years. Until on May 5, 1994, by virtue of RA 7720, the Municipality was converted into an independent component Santiago CIty.


Cityhood for the town of Santiago is an enduring popular progress, which Mayor Jose "Pempe" C. Miranda turned out of the earlier dream of his predecessors.

The march to cityhood has been long and tedious, yet dramatically shows that when people unite and work together for a common desire, they can achieve monumental results. During his second term in office, Mayor "Pempe" Miranda took with characteristic boldness the preparatory steps towards the realization of cityhood for the town of his birth.

In 1992, he issued Executive Order No. 92-05, which created and tasked an ad hoc committee to conduct a thorough study and submit recommendations on the conversion of Santiago into a city. The committee was headed by MLGOO Carlos L. Hernal. It was at once found out that the town's population was not yet large enough to qualify for cityhood. However, the acute legalistic mind of Fiscal Valentin Pelayo saw the possibility of cityhood as contained in the Local Government Code which provides that a municipality may be converted into a city as long as one of the two requirements - number of population and volume of revenue - is met.

Being now sure that Santiago had the qualification for cityhood, Mayor Miranda right away geared for an intelligent attempt at earning urban distinction for Santiago. On February 15, 1993, he signed Executive Order No. 93-03, which created a joint Executive-Legislative Committee on Cityhood. The fired up Mayor himself headed the committee whose members included all members of the Sangguniang Bayan, all the heads of municipal government offices, and Fiscal Pelayo.

On February 19, 1993, Santiago municipal government officials visited and toured the cities of San Jose and Cabanatuan in Nueva Ecija, San Carlos in Pangasinan, and Angeles in Pampanga. Immediately afterwards, consultations and dialogues regarding cityhood were conducted to get the people's pulse.

On March 04, 1993, a significant step towards cityhood had been taken when the Sangguniang Bayan approved Executive Resolution No. 93-29, which was subsequently endorsed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Isabela under the leadership of Gov. Benjamin Dy and Vice Gov. Manuel Binag. In this resolution, authored by all of the members of the Sangguniang Bayan, Rep. Antonio Abaya was asked to sponsor a bill providing for the conversion of the Municipality of Santiago into a city. The Honorable Congressman obliged and House Bill No. 8817 was filed at the Lower House under his sponsorship and those of Reps. Albano, Respicio, and Dy, Jr. On November 25, 1993, the bill was discussed extensively in a public hearing conducted by the House of Representatives Committee on Local Government, chaired by Rep. Ciriaco Alfelor of Camarines Sur.

On December 17, 1993, the bill converting Santiago into an independent component city was approved by the Lower House.

On February 23, 1994, Senate Bill No. 1243, which had been sponsored jointly by Sens. Roco and Romulo, the Senate majority Floor Leader, was presented for public hearing. It was approved on March 14, 1994 after another public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Local Government, chaired by Sen. Sotto III.

On May 05, 1994, a historic event took place in MalacaƱang Palace, Manila, upon the signing of Republic Act No. 7720 by His Excellency, President Fidel V. Ramos, creating the town of Santiago as an independent component city - the first in Region 2.

On July 06, 1994, a plebiscite ratified R.A. 7720 with positive response to cityhood.



Santiago City, which was chartered as a city on May4, 1994 by virtue of RA 7720, was carved out from the Southern portion of its mother province Isabela. It is bounded on the northwestern part by the municipality of Ramon; on the east, by the municipalities of San Isidro and Echague; on the west, by the municipality of Cordon; and on the south, the territories of Quirino Province. In terms of absolute geographic location, the city is situated between 16o 35' 00" to 16o 47' 30" North Latitude and 121o 25' 00" to 121o 37' 00" East Latitude. It is about 79 kms. south of Ilagan, the capital of Isabela, and about 328 kms. from Metro Manila.


Eighty percent (80%) of the total land area is characterized by vast areas of flat or nearly level land found in the northwestern, eastern and western positions of the city. The vicinity of the city proper and adjacent areas covering 17% of the total area, are gently undulating and moderately rolling areas; the remaining 3% which constitutes steeply undulating and rolling lands are located on the southernmost tip of the city. The Balintocatoc Hills, rising at the height of 173 meters, is the highest point in Santiago.


Considering the basic land features of the area, the flat land is classified as broad alluvial plain, a landform that is the product of stream depositional activities. The rolling topography at the southern part is underlain by unconsolidated sandstone. Beneath the land stone hills in Balintocatoc are crystalline limestone rock formation.


The city is governed by a mayor-council system. the Current mayor is Amelita Navarro. There are 10 City Counselor, the council is the official government body of the city, it is also known as SANGUNIANG PANGLUNGSOD. council agenda normally preceded by the City Vice mayor. No native was ever elected Mayor of Santiago since the Philippine became a Commonwealth and Republic.

During the Miranda Flagship, the city Government adopted the parental AxR Hybrid rice seed production as its flagship program for agriculture, which produces the offspring F1 Hybrid rice seed. This rice variety makes phenomenal yield of 249 per ha. doubling the income of Santiago City farmers per cropping, and is expected to bring Santiago City over 2 billion in income and also additional taxes of 17 million and the national government of 33 million per year.

After the previous leadership, The Navarro Administration added more life in culture and strengthen the livelihood of the people. The Navarros' spearheaded a unique program for farmers in planting on mid-summer and harvest by early September side-by-side in focusing on high-value fruits.

List of the current elected officials

* Mayor Amelita S. Navarro
* Vice-Mayor Alvin Abaya

Sangguniang Panglungsod Members

* Coun. Abegail V. Sable
* Coun. Jose Romeo S. dela Cruz
* Coun. Victorio V. Miranda, Jr.
* Coun. Marcelino C. Cabucana, Jr.
* Coun. Celine Jeanne A. Siquian
* Coun. Augusto B. Sarangaya
* Coun. Orlando T. Chan
* Coun. Brenda Ragsac-Luna
* Coun. Paul S. Silverio
* Coun. Nicasio B. Bautista III


Santiago City is the commercial center of Region 2. As such, many commercial establishments, banking institutions, educational entities, as well as manufacturing companies are present in the city.

SM Prime Holdings, the biggest mall operator in the Philippines, will be building its first SM mall in Cagayan Valley. The mall is set to rise on a five hectare lot in Barangay Malvar to be called the SM Megamall Santiago. Alluad. February 26, 2009. "SM Prime to Build Santiago Megamall". Business Mirror. - SM Prime Holdings.

Vista Land, the biggest real estate developer in the country has already started constructing Camella Fields Isabela. It is also located in Barangay Malvar, adjacent to the multi-million peso Santiago City Integrated Terminal.

Tourism is also a new industry in the city. Many landmarks are being developed to increase tourism activity. Notable tourism establishments include, the Chapel of Transfiguration located in the Balintocatoc Hills, 14 Stations of the Cross, Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, St. James Parish Church, Mabini Circle, Balay na Santiago (House of Santiago), Balay ti Amianan (House of the North), Balay ti Namnama (House of Hope), and scenic views of rice fields and watershed areas. Food establishments are also present such as, McDonalds, Jollibee, Greenwich, Cindys, Chowking, Hen Lin, NE Restaurant and other locally based food entities. The presence of resorts, hotels and restaurants is also eminent.

List of Banks and Financial Institutions:

* Banco de Oro - Maharlika
* Banco de Oro - City Road
* Metro Bank - Maharlika
* Metro Bank - city Road
* Bank of the Philippine Island
* Philippine National Bank
* China Bank
* Land Bank
* Planters Bank
* East West Bank
* Security Bank
* Union Bank
* Westmont Bank
* Fico Bank
* United Coconut Planters Bank
* Banco Filipino
* PR Bank
* Rural Bank of Cauayan
* Rural Bank of Santiago
* Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.
* Insular Life
* Standard Insurance
* Sun Life
* PhilAm Life
* Grepa Life
* Ayala Life
* Coco Life
* PS Bank
* Allied Bank
* Asia Trust Bank
* Banco Agri Cola


Santiago City is politically subdivided into 37 barangays.

* Abra
* Ambalatungan
* Balintocatoc
* Baluarte
* Bannawag Norte
* Batal
* Buenavista
* Cabulay
* Calao East (Pob.)
* Calao West (Pob.)
* Calaocan
* Villa Gonzaga
* Centro East (Pob.)
* Centro West (Pob.)
* Divisoria
* Dubinan East (Pob.)
* Dubinan West
* Luna
* Mabini (Pob.)
* Malvar (Pob.)
* Nabbuan
* Naggasican
* Patul
* Plaridel
* Rizal
* Rosario
* Sagana
* Salvador
* San Andres
* San Isidro
* San Jose
* Sinili
* Sinsayon
* Santa Rosa
* Victory Norte (Pob.)
* Victory Sur
* Villasis (Pob.)

Schools, Colleges and Universities


* University of La Salette
* Northeastern College
* AMA Computer College - Santiago
* Isabela State University - Annex
* Infant Jesus Montessori
* Patria Sable Corpus College
* Southern Isabela Colleges of Arts and Trades(SICAT)
* STI Santiago
* Cagayan Valley Computer and Technology College (CVCITC)
* Metropolitan College of Science and Technology


* University of La Salette - High School Dept.
* Santiago Cultural Institute
* Santiago City National High School
* Cagayan Valley Christian Learning Center
* Children's First School
* North Eastern College - High School Dept.
* Rizal National High School
* Cabulay National High School
* Divisoria National High School
* Patul National High School
* Malini National High School
* Infant Jesus Montessori


* University of La Salette - Grade School
* La Salette Elementary
* United Methodist School
* Santiago Adventist Elementary School(SAES)
* Cagayan Valley Christian Learning Center
* Mother Montessori School
* North Eastern College
* Infant Jesus Montessori
* Children's First School
* Santiago South Central School
* Santiago North Central School
* Victory Norte Elementary School
* Dubinan Elementary School
* Rosario Elementary School
* Calaocan Elementary School
* Patul Elementary School
* Sinsayon Elementary School
* Baluarte Elementary School
* Sagana Elementary School
* Balintocatoc Elementary School
* Bannauag Norte Elementary School
* Luna Elementary School
* Villa Gonzaga Elementary School
* Nabuan Elementary School
* Nagassican Elementary School
* Cabulay Elementary School
* Buenavista Elementary School
* Ambalatungan Elementary School
* Batal Elementary School
* Divisoria Elementary School
* San Andres Elementary School
* Malini Elementary School
* Mabini Elementary School
* Salvador Elementary School
* Sinili Elementary School
* San Jose Elementary School
* Santa Rosa Elementary School
* Baptista Elementary School


Total Population of 2007 Census 126,244

• Abra (1,421)
• Ambalatungan (1,299)
• Balintocatoc (2,891)
• Baluarte (3,866)
• Bannawag Norte (1,113)
• Batal (7,027)
• Buenavista (3,682)
• Cabulay (3,230)
• Calao East (Pob.) (4,753)
• Calao West (Pob.) (1,314)
• Calaocan (5,900)
• Centro East (Pob.) (2,805)
• Centro West (Pob.) (2,697)
• Divisoria (4,497)
• Dubinan East (2,780)
• Dubinan West (3,437)
• Luna (863)
• Mabini (7,744)
• Malvar (3,129)
• Nabbuan (2,737)
• Naggasican (4,554)
• Patul (3,218)
• Plaridel (4,799)
• Rizal (11,736)
• Rosario (10,199)
• Sagana (2,958)
• Salvador (1,792)
• San Andres (1,290)
• San Isidro (762)
• San Jose (795)
• Santa Rosa (564)
• Sinili (1,288)
• Sinsayon (3,142)
• Victory Norte (6,180)
• Victory Sur (2,279)
• Villa Gonzaga (1,410)
• Villasis (2,093)


The City celebrates Pattaraday Festival or dubbed as Araw ng Santiago. Pattaraday is an Ibanag word which means unity. It celebrates the unity of the ethno-linguistic groups that have merged in the city to make it the melting pot of culture of Region II and contributed to the city’s progress and development-unity in action. it is celebrated every May 1- May 6 the founding anniversary of Santiago.

In 2007, The City was given a Presidential Award for the Most Child-Friendly City under the leadership of Mayor Navarro.


There are 70 mother tongues in Santiago City. Majority of the population speaks Ilocano, Tagalog and Ibanag. Both English and Filipino languages are used as medium of instruction in the different schools and institutions.


Roman Catholic is the dominant religion in the city. Other major religions are Iglesia ni Cristo, Methodist and Iglesia Filipina Independiente. There are also several sects founded.

Literacy Rate

Santiago City has a high literacy rate of 94.32%. As per 1995 census, the total household population of 5 years old and over (85,555), only 5.67% had no grade completed and 0.33% not stated.



Basically, Santiago City has an agricultural-based economy. Being a major source of income of its inhabitants (90% of the total population are farmers) agriculture plays a pivotal role in its economic development. A total of 16,607 ha. classified as farmlands are planted with palay, corn, root crops and vegetables. Other potential agricultural sources of income are livestock, poultry and fish production. 84% of the total farmland devoted to rice are irrigated, the rest are either irrigable or non-irrigated.

Commercialization of the F1 Hybrid Seed

The city government adopted the parental AxR Hybrid rice seed production as its flagship program for agriculture, which produces the offspring F1 Hybrid rice seed. This rice variety makes phenomenal yield of 249 per ha. doubling the income of Santiago City farmers per cropping, and is expected to bring Santiago City over 2 billion in income and also additional taxes of 17 million and the national government of 33 million per year. Two years after the initial phase of the program, the same agricultural technology has made China one of the world's biggest rice exporters.

Commerce and Trade

Santiago City has evolved to be the commercial and trading center of the Cagayan Valley. Today, there are 3,401 commercial establishments in Santiago City which include 2,124 wholesalers and retailers combined; 18 insurance companies and 19 insurance agencies; 125 financial institutions including banks, pawnshops, cooperatives and lending investors; 49 real estate lessors and the rest are real estate brokers, estate developers and those engaged in services. many of these enterprises and business establishments offer a variety of goods and services not available in neighboring provinces or towns. Hence, people from these areas flock the bustling Central Business District of the City.

The expansion of the City Market made it one of the biggest distribution centers in the Philippines. Commodities sold in this booming market come from Santiago and the surrounding towns. Other supplies pour in from nearby provinces such as Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao and Mountain Province. Sources of other goods are from manila, Nueva Ecija, Baguio and Pangasinan. Goods include vegetables, fruits, fish/shells, meat, chicken and dried fishes.

Industries engage in either manufacturing or non-manufaturing activities. The construction firms are categorized as non-manufacturing activities. The major manufacturing industries in the city are manufacturing/repackaging, food processing/factories, iron works, bakeries, furnitures and fixtures, rice milling, tailoring and dress shops, printing and welding and machine shops.


SCATEC (Santiago City Agro-Tourism and Ecology Center)

Unperturbed with the lack of natural tourist attractions, the City of Santiago has embarked on its determined goal of developing the Santigo City Agro-Tourism and Ecology Center as its flagship project area for TOURISM.

Being an ecology-friendly habitat quietly nestled within the rolling hills of Balintocatoc, covering an area of 209,199 sq. m, the site of the SCATEC was chosen as the most typical pilot area for this integrated project.

The city government has envisioned of showcasing a perfect package and world-class Ecology Park and Agro-tourism destination. It spells out a sustainable tourism development with its multi-tiered components, modern tourist amenities and facilities that lure both foriegn and local visitors.

Chapel of Transfiguration

It embraces a new age of millenium architecture with its modern distinctive and innovative design. Soon it will rise on top of the "Holy Hill" as a temple built for Jesus. It will be the home of common rituals, specila asses, communion, a perfect worship place for those who seek secluded place to pray and commune with God.

Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette

Standing majestically on top of the Holy Hill overlooking the grandeur of Santiago City with its vast green ricefields and built up areas, the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette symbolizes the Roman Catholic as the dominant religion in the City.


Road Networks

The core of Santiago's road network comprises three major roads namely Maharlika Highway, Santiago-Ramon Highway, and Santiago-Saguday Road. Santiago has six provincial roads. The Maharlika Highway, one of the major thoroughfares in the country, serves as the arterial road of the city. The city and barangay roads, the main collector and service roads, are the vital linkages of the farm to market roads and the arterial roads. As of 1999, Santiago City has a total of 351.373 kms. of road network, 18.35 kms. of which are national roads, 285.749 kms. are access or NIA roads. Of the total length of road, 95.94 lms. are concrete -paved, 10 kms. are asphalt-paved, 195.27 kms. are graveled, and 28.37 kms. are earth-filled. In addition, the city has 21 bridges with a total span of 890.05 linear meters, 644.45 meters of which are made of reinforced concrete materials.

Transportation Facilities

As of 1999, there are at least 18 bus companies and jeepneys associations plying various routes from Santiago to other parts of the region such as Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Kalinga and Cagayan. Nelbusco, Victory Liners, Baliwag transit, Royal Eagle, Auto Bus are some of the bus with terminal in Santiago City, offered daily trips to Manila. Nelbusco, which has the biggest number of units, has been operating through out Cagayan Valley and has some units taking regular routes to Baguio. Other transportation companies are RGR Express, Maryann Liner, MARIVI and Vizcaya Liner. The jeepney associations include MARETSCHI, IJODAI, and SITDECO. As of 1999, 42 registered tricycles(motorized vehicles) associations, with at least 7,210 units or 70% of the total number of registered vehicles, have been operating within the city.


The 37 barangays of Santiago City have been energized by the Isabela Electric Cooperative, Inc.(ISELCO 1), a power franchise holder based in Alicia, Isabela, although 73% of the total household population have access to the electricity. The sources of the power supply of th ISELCO 1 are NAPOCOR and the PNOC, a natural gas plant at San Antonio, Echague, Isabela. The two mini hydroelectric plants (Magat A and B) based at Ramon, Isabela with the combined power generation capacity of 2,500 kw., comprises 70% of the total power bought by ISELCO 1 from the NAPOCOR.

Water Supply

The Santiago Water District (SANWAD), with 8 pumping stations capable of generating 7,467.68 cubic meters per day, supply water tob residential consumers, commercial establishments, government institutions. Water supply is above the requirements of the 18 Barangays being served, which requires 3,433.09 cubic meters per day. Water is chlorinated through its hydrochlorinator and drip method to ensure the safety of consumers. Cylinder and jetmatic pumps provide water to the residents of the 19 barangays not covered by the service of the Santiago Water District.

The city government granted the SANWAD a package loan amounting to P1.5M for the installation of additional pump stations in Barangays Mabini and San Andres.

Communications and Mass Media

Excellent communication facilities are available in Santiago City. Giant radio and telecommunication companies provide facsimile, telegram and telex services. Worldwide express delivery companies and international direct dialing systems connect Santiago City with major cities in the country and in the world. Public pay phones can be found in the commercial centers. Landlines are available. Cellular phone has become a craze of fashion among employees, students, businessmen, executives and even teachers.

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