SANTIAGO CITY is the first component- independent city in the Cagayan Valley Region. Historically, the city was called “El Pueblo de Carig” by the Spanish Dominican Friars who started colonizing and christianizing the natives of the pueblo in 1597.
The earliest reference to the existence of Santiago de Carig was contained in the documents found in the Dominican Archives of the University of Sto. Tomas that mentioned the Iyogads as contemporaries of Santiago de Carig’s early population which consisted mainly of Ibanags and Gaddangs.
Another favorable point confirming the existence of Santiago de Carig before 1743 was the DECREE of request issued on October 30, 1713 which required the inhabitants of Carig, together with those of Cordon, Diffun and Sta. Barbara de Lappao to give rice and money to the missionaries of the Holy Rosary in the province run by the Sacred Order of Preachers with headquarters in Ituy and Paniqui.
The term Pueblo ascribed to Santiago de Carig in the foregoing statement refers to the pre 1743 status as a mission pueblo and not as a Spanish name of “Santiago de Carig” in honor of St. James the Apostle whose feast day is celebrated July 25, back in 1743 and most probably earlier than that.
Further, historical records show that the Municipality of Santiago was officially created by Royal Decree on May 1743.
Santiago became the first city in the region through the enactment of RA No. 7720 on May 5, 1994 converting the then municipality of Santiago into independent-component city. Considered as the “Trade and Commercial Center of Cagayan Valley Region”, its strategic location makes it an important destination for businessmen or would-be investors and tourists.
Santiago City is 328 kilometers from Metro Manila and is accessible by land from any point in Luzon. The city is strategically located and considered a melting pot, all roads in the four provinces of Cagayan Valley Region lead to and out of it. And the influx of people and goods make the city the center of trade and commerce in the region.
Year 2000 census showed that Santiago City had a population of 110,531, half of which are living in the urban areas. The city has an annual growth rate of 2.5 percent. The city covers an area of 255 square kilometers with 37 barangays.
1. CALVARY HILLS and the CHAPEL OF TRANSFIGURATION – located at Dariok Hills, Barangay Balintokatok in Santiago City. The place offers a pilgrimage venue for the Holy Week where life-size Stations of the Cross are presented from the foot of the hill going all the way up to the top where a Chapel was so designed to face the rising sun. The Chapel of Transfiguration offers pilgrims a commanding silence befitting a place of worship and can also be utilized for masses and retreat venues.
2. BALAY NA SANTIAGO – houses the remnants of the present day urban glory that is Santiago City. The museum showcases a collection of the ethno-linguistic lifestyle of those who made Santiago the melting pot of culture that it is today. It shows a glimpse of the past customs and traditions that have united the multi-race Santiagueños. Balay na Santiago is located at the heart of the city along Miranda Street and can be reached at (078) 682-4930.