click to view (movie presentation): History of Santa Cruz

SANTA CRUZ, My Golden Town

            Have you ever been to Santa Cruz, my golden town? If you haven't yet, why not to come and take a look. It is in the northernmost tip of Zambales around 270 kilometers away from Manila, the capital city of Philippines.
            Sta. Cruz which one of the oldest towns in the province having been founded by the Spanish in the year 1612 is indeed a real gift of nature to mankind. Just by its panorama, one can already sense of beauty of nature. This verdant Zambales mountain align in the eastern side and the blue China Sea with its sandy seashores in the west. Between the mountain ranges and deep blue sea are fertile plains abound the golden grains on palay and the golden heart of mangoes, blooming almost whole year round. Thanks for the government officials for being kind enough to construct dams and producers of mango fruit sprayer for making our paly and mangoes more productive.
            Try strolling along the sandy sand beaches of Bolitoc, Sabang, Pagatpat, Lipay or Masaysay Park late afternoon, and you will witness the golden sunset of Sta. Cruz Bay. The three islands west of the China Sea make the Sta. Cruz panorama more enticing to everybody. And much more if you visit the Familia Sagrada Cave in Lomboy and Baloc-baloc falls somewhere else in Lupa.
            Job opportunities seem easy in Sta. Cruz for no wonder people flock in his town. It has now a population of more than 45,000 with migrants comimg from the provinces of Ilocos and Panasina, the others from Visayas and Mindanao. They now occupy certain barangays in Sta. Cruz as the Ilocanos portion in Guisguis, Guinabon, Babuyan, middle portion of Lipay and a pat of Bolitoc. The Pangasinense are mostly found in the Poblacion South particularly near the Public Market while the Visayans in norhtweast portion of Lipay. The real Zambals of course occupy majority of the 25 barangays.
            The big population does not bother the economy of the town anyway. Inspite they contribute to the good income of the municipality. Now, Sta. Cruz is first class municipality with the following landmarks of progress: five banking institutions, 1 suffucient public market, three big shopping center, five barangay high schools, one private high school, 25 complete elementary elementary schools, one private elementary school, seven big drugstores, telephone and cellphone site services, one ice plant and several small business firms with varueties of merchandise.
            Hence, the Sta. Cruz is not just an agricultural and fishing community. It is also a commercial center in Zambales North.
            Now, who would claim say that Sta. Cruz is a golden town with palays, mangoes, sunset and to include further the gold fish caught by the Visayan divers for local and international market. (NCES, The Gems 2002)

Barangay of Santa Cruz
Poblacion North
Poblacion South
San Fernando
Bolitoc (Longos)
Lucapon North (Calibungan)
Lucapon South
Tubo-tubo North (Lupa)
Tubo-tubo South

Town and *City of Zambales
Santa Cruz
San Felipe
San Narciso
San Antonio
San Marcelino

History of Zambales
            The history of Zambales unfolds in 1572 when famous Spanish conquistador Juan de Salcedo responded to proposed invitation of the people from the undulating mountain ranges, then still thick with vegation, which knifed accross the vast lap of virgin land. The earliest towns established in 1607, 1611, and 1612 were Masinloc, Iba, and Sta. Cruz, respectively. Masinloc was the first capital of the province. At the various points of history, capital shifted from each of the three towns earlier named. Iba, howevern in view of its strategic location, finally became the permanent seat of the provincial government.
            Zambales, which covers an area of 361,110 hectares, shares common boundaries with Pangasinan in the north, Tarlac and Pampanga in the east and Bataan in the south. The entire stretch in the west is rimmed by the crystal-clear waters of vast China Sea. The 13 sprawling towns dolting the province from north to south, most of them along the shoreline are: Sta. Cruz, Candelaria, Masinloc, Palauig, Iba, Botolan, Cabanggan, San Felipe, San Narciso, San Antonio, San Marcelino, Castillejos and Subic. Olongapo, until it became a chatered city, was the 14th town.
            The name "Zambales" or the Hispanized term form "Zambal", is derived from the spoken dialect from the spoken dialect and ethnic site of the early Malay inhibitants of the place. It is alleged that term was given currency on account of the fact that the Spanish conquistadores found these people highly supertitious who worship the spirits of their departed ancestors. Now, the closer equivalent of the worship is "Samba" in dialect hence term "Zambales".ņ
            The Zambaleņos, believed to have originally comes from the Celebes, pushed the aborigines, the kinky-haired, drawfish Negritoes or Aetas, to the hinterlands and established villages which were to become the nuclei of such municipalities as Sta. Cruz, Candelaria, Masinloc, Palauig, Iba, Botolan, Cabangan, and San Felipe, most them in the northern portion of the province. They can be found likewise in Infanta, Baleng-Kageng (now Mabini), Alaminos, Agno, Burgos, Bani, Anda, and Bolinao, all within the Province of Pangasinan. These eight town was originally part of Zambales and it was in view of physical difficulties in administration that they were ceded to Pangasinan.
            While the northern part of Zambales has long been occupied, the great plains in the south for sometime remained covered by impenetrable forest, thereby allowing migration of two distinct group much later. The Tagalogs formed the fishig villages at the southernmost tip of the province which later became Subic and Olongapo. The Ilocanos, on other hand, started the settlements that subsequently grew into what are now agricultural towns of Castillejos, San Marcelino, San Antonio, and the agrofishing towns of San Felipe, Cabangan, and the southern part of Botolan. These great people from Ilocos region in exodus, known their visions and courage, their industry and tenacity, were to carve out flourishing communities from were nurtured the sons and daughters who enormously contributed to the socio-economic, political and cultural life of the people all over the country, let alone the province of Zambales, since then.

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