Welcome to Santa Cruz, Laguna, a first class municipality and the capital of the province of Laguna in the Philippines. With a population of 123,574 people according to the 2020 census, Santa Cruz is situated on the banks of the Santa Cruz River which flows into the eastern part of Laguna de Bay. The town is bounded by the Bay on the north, by Lumban and Pagsanjan towns in the east, Pagsanjan and Magdalena towns in the south, and Pila in the west. It is 88 kilometres (55 mi) from Manila via Calamba and Los Baños, making it accessible by land from Metro Manila passing through Rizal Province via Manila East Road or via South Luzon Expressway. Santa Cruz is considered as the service and commercial center on the eastern part of the province.
The town is composed of five barangays in the Poblacion area and 21 classified urban barangays. Although relatively far from the immediate urbanizing influence of Metropolitan Manila, Santa Cruz continues to progress. It is now classified as a first class municipality. The present administration is headed by the Mayor Egay San Luis Sr.. Santa Cruz is also the seat of the provincial government since 1885, giving the municipality an additional administrative function over the entire province. It also functions as the service center for transportation, commerce, health, education, and other social services for the predominantly rural north-eastern municipalities of the province.
Boosting the economy of the municipality are the incipient and fast-growing agribusiness industries such as livestock raising, horticulture, and aquaculture. The town is composed of twenty-six (26) urban barangays. All barangays are being classified as urban. The development of Santa Cruz as the administrative, commercial, and service center of Laguna makes it accessible for all private/public vehicles going to nearby places particularly Pagsanjan, Lake Caliraya, Liliw, Paete, and Nagcarlan.
During the last decade of the 16th century, Santa Cruz was once a well-populated barrio of the present municipality of Lumban, as well as other contemporary towns like Pagsanjan, Cavinti, Paete, and Pangil. On September 6, 1602, Santa Cruz separated from Lumban and became a pueblo with its church and local government. Since its foundation in 1602, the town had been ravaged by calamitous forces such as fires, typhoons, floods, and human vandalism during the Philippine Revolution of 1896–1899, the war of the Philippine Independence (1899–1902), Battle of Santa Cruz, the assault of the Tulisanes (bandits) during the Spanish times. The Filipino troops of the pre-war 4th and 42nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and recognized guerrillas also came from the town and were involved in the Second Battle of Santa Cruz on January 26, 1945.
Situated at the central portion of Laguna province along the south-eastern coast of Laguna de Bay, Santa Cruz lies 87 kilometres (54 mi) southeast of Metro Manila via Calamba and is geographically located at approximately 14 degrees 17 latitude and 121 degrees 25 longitude. The municipality is bounded on the north and north-west by Laguna de Bay, on the north-east by Lumban, on the east by Pagsanjan, on the southeast by Magdalena, on the south by Liliw, and on the south-west by Pila. It has 26 barangays and covers approximate land area of 3860 hectares which comprises about 2% of the total land area of Laguna Province.
Like most areas in the province of Laguna, the climate of Santa Cruz is characterized by two pronounced seasons: dry from January to April and wet during the rest of the year. The municipality has an annual temperature of 27.2 degree Celsius and annual rainfall of 1962.7mm. Northeasterly winds with an average wind speed of 9 knots prevail in the municipality.
Points of Interest:
Santa Cruz may not have natural tourist spots and no wide areas to develop, but one thing the townsmen of Santa Cruz are proud of are the local foods available in the town. Santa Cruz boasts of the famous white cheese or kesong puti, freshly made from carabaos milk. Other points of interest include the Immaculate Concepcion Parish Church, Emilio Jacinto Shrine Burial Site, Villa Valenzuela, Santa Cruz Town Plaza, Provincial Capitol of Laguna, and Aglipayan Cathedral with our Lady of Maulawin shrine.
Santa Cruz hosted the Palarong Pambansa from May 4–10, 2014. Festivals include the Kesong Puti Festival in April and the Anilag Festival in March.
Santa Cruz has a number of schools, including the Laguna State Polytechnic University, Santa Cruz Campus, and the Laguna College of Business and Arts.
Santa Cruz has several hospitals, including the Laguna Medical Center, Santa Cruz Laguna Polymedic, Inc., Laguna Doctors Hospital, Laguna Holy Family Hospital, and Jesus the Saviour Hospital.
Notable people from Santa Cruz include Gen. Juan Cailles, Gen. Agueda Kahabagan, Pedro Guevara, Eduardo Quisumbing, Emil Q. Javier, Nena Saguil, Socorro Ramos, Carmina Villarroel, Gov. Felicisimo T. San Luis, Jacinto Vallenzuela, Ariel Magcalas, Rodolfo S. San Luis, Henry Bautista, and Domingo G. Panganiban.
Come and visit Santa Cruz, Laguna, and experience the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of this charming town in the Philippines.