SANTIAGO CITYis also known as the Queen City of the North in the province of Isabela, Philippines. The city sits on a flat and fertile land in the Cagayan Valley surrounded by mountain ranges such as the Carballo Mountains, Great Sierra Madre, and Cordillera Mountain Range.
The first settlers of Santiago were the Ibanags and Gaddangs natives. The place was then known as “Carig” which means tall and straight trees that were abundant in the settlement. Upon the Spanish colonization, the settlement became a pueblo and the patron saint is Santiago Apostol on May 4, 1743. In 1746, the pueblo was renamed to Carig, Santiago de Carig, and Pueblo de Carig of Santiago Apostol de Carig. Then on October 12, 1903 during the American occupation, Carig and Cordon towns became one municipality of Echague. Until on January 01, 1910, the Americans issued Executive Order No. 02 making Carig a municipality but were baptized with a new name SANTIAGO. The place remained a municipality for 84 years until it was converted into an independent component city on May 5, 1994 under Republic Act No. 7720 signed by President Fidel V. Ramos.
The total land area of Santiago City is 80% flat or nearly level land in the portions of northwestern, eastern and western parts of the city. While adjacent areas have gently undulating and moderately rolling areas, and the remaining areas constitutes steeply undulating and rolling lands. The Balintocatoc Hills is the highest point in the city.
The current population of Santiago City is 110,531 people in 22,401 households. Majority of the population speaks Ilocano, Tagalog and Ibanag. English is the medium of instruction in schools and is generally understood and spoken especially in the business community.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
Santiago City has an agricultural-based economy. Most of the farmlands are planted with palay, corn, root crops and vegetables, and others invest on livestock, poultry and fish production. The local government unit adopted the parental AxR Hybrid rice seed production which yields 249 per ha. and this doubled the income of Santiago City farmers per cropping.
Today the city has 3,401 commercial establishments which includes 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. Santiago City also expanded its City Market, making it one of the biggest distribution centers in the Philippines. Manufacturing business is also present in the city such as manufacturing/repackaging, food processing/factories, iron works, bakeries, furniture and fixtures, rice milling, tailoring and dress shops, printing and welding and machine shops.
The city has a climate having no pronounced wet or dry season. Usually, the city has considerably dry climate with minimum rainfall. The average yearly temperature is measured at 24.9 ºC. Annual and daily temperature variation is minimal. Temperature ranges are usually from 18º C to 35º C.
The dominant religion in the city is Roman Catholic. However, other religions are also present in Santiago such as Iglesia ni Cristo, Methodist and Iglesia Filipina Independiente.
LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
The city has 37 barangays:
Calao East (Pob.)
Calao West (Pob.)
Centro East (Pob.)
ADMINISTRATIVE / GUEST HOUSE
The place is suitable for seminars, conferences and other functions of city government officials and employees, NGOs and civic organizations.
BOY SCOUT’S CAMPSITE
The campsite is located in Balintocatoc Hills and is an excellent venue for camping. Boy scouts annually held their jamborees and district camping in this site.
CHAPEL OF TRANSFIGURATION
The chapel has a unique and modern architecture that is situated on top of the "Holy Hill" as a temple built for Jesus. This is an ideal worship place and for those who seek seclusion place to pray and commune with God.
This is a sanctuary of fishes ranging from tilapia, African catfish, big head carps and other species of fish.
GAWAD KALINGA PAGBABAGO VILLAGE
This is a housing project provided for the poor. The project empowered the people in giving them a role in building their own homes and community, and their own future as well. They are taught and provided means of livelihood, a learning center and health missions.
This is sitiated at the base of Dariok Hills with a life-size sculpted imitation of the Last Supper.
This rotunda is situated in Mabini Barangay featuring the image of Apolinario Mabini, the “Brains of Philippine Revolution.” This site gives honor to the physically challenged empowering them to rise above their disabilities and reach their highest potential like Apolinario Mabini.
MINI FOREST AND NATURE PARK
This park is ideal for picnickers, hikers, and for outdoor activities.
SANTIAGO CITY AGRO-TOURISM AND ECOLOGY CENTER
The City of Santiago embarked on developing the Santigo City Agro-Tourism and Ecology Center as its flagship project area for TOURISM. This is an ecology-friendly habitat nestled in Balintocatoc Hills which covers an area of 209,199 sq. meters and will provide modern tourist amenities and facilities for visitors.
SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF LA SALETTE
The shrine stands on top of the Holy Hill overlooking Santiago City and it symbolizes that Roman Catholic is the dominant religion in the City.
This path stretches from the base to the peak of Dariok Hills featuring the 14 Stations of the Cross.
WATER SHED AREAS
The area has a lagoon with trees and plants in its surrounding and is ideal for relaxation.
Land transportation is the only available mode of transport in the province. Currently, there are at least 18 bus companies and jeepneys plying various routes from Santiago to other parts of the region such as Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Kalinga and Cagayan. The route is served by Nelbusco, Victory Liners, Baliwag transit, Royal Eagle, Auto Bus with terminals in Santiago City that serves daily trips to Manila. Other transportation companies are RGR Express, Maryann Liner, MARIVI and Vizcaya Liner.