Santa Maria, Bulacan, is a municipality ripe with history, bustling with the energy of progress while retaining its unique cultural heritage. Located in the heart of Bulacan, Philippines, it serves as a bridge between the past and the present, offering a glimpse into the traditional Filipino way of life, while simultaneously advancing towards modernization.

History of Santa Maria, Bulacan

Before the arrival of the Spaniards in the Philippines, Santa Maria lay as a vast wilderness, home to wild animals and dense rainforests. Aetas and Dumagats were known to have lived in the area long ago.

The history of Santa Maria dates back to 1647 when it was still a village under Bocaue. It was during this time that the Dominicans established the expansive Hacienda de Lolomboy, stretching from the Angat River to the north, the Bocaue River to the west, the Marilao River to the south, and the Pulo River (Pulong Buhangin) to the east.

Santa Maria was formally founded as an independent town by Franciscan Fray Francisco Dominguez Javier on November 26, 1793. The construction of the church, initiated by him, was completed in the early 1800s by Fray Tomas Marti. This church served as the focal point of the religious mission in the region, converting locals to Christianity and attracting more settlers. The appointment of the first Capitan del Barrio, Andres dela Cruz, marked the beginning of civil governance, leading to the establishment of Poblacion. Initially, people rented land and paid the friars in the present-day Sta. Clara barangay. Nearby residents also paid rent in this vicinity. Santa Maria was formerly known as “Santa Maria de Pandi,” where land was eventually acquired through payments to the friars, transforming it into “Lupang Tagalog.”

During the Spanish colonial period from 1793 to 1899, 82 presidents served the administration. With the advent of American rule, the title “captain” was replaced by “presidente.” Maximo Evidente served as the first presidente from 1899 to 1900. Notable figures among the 12 successors include Agustin Morales (1928–34) and Fortunato F. Halili (1934–37). Morales oversaw the construction of the town’s initial water system, while Halili, who refused his salary, later became the Governor of Bulacan. During his governorship, the Capitol building in Malolos sustained heavy damage after World War II. Halili revived Casa Real de Malolos as a temporary office while restoring the Capitol to its original state.

Throughout the Japanese Occupation, Dr. Teofilo Santiago, known as Dr. Kamoteng Kahoy for his campaign to cultivate cassava among the townspeople, served as mayor of Santa Maria. Santiago also spearheaded the poultry industry, earning the town the moniker “The Egg Basket of the Philippines” and establishing the Santa Maria Dairy Plant. Following the Liberation, Capitan Ireneo Hermogenes assumed the role of Municipal Mayor from March 20, 1945, to October 1945, succeeded by Marciano Bautista.

From the American colonial era to the post-World War II restoration period, Santa Maria was governed by 12 Presidents from 1899 to 1937 and 4 Alcaldes from 1938 to 1947.


  • Location: Santa Maria is strategically located in the eastern part of Bulacan, bordered by the municipalities of Bocaue, Balagtas, and Marilao. It serves as a gateway to the rest of the province, connecting to Metro Manila via the North Luzon Expressway.
  • Climate: The climate in Santa Maria is characterized by two seasons: the wet and dry seasons. The wet season begins in June and ends in November, while the dry season spans from December to May, allowing for year-round agricultural productivity and outdoor activities.
  • Topography: The municipality boasts a diverse topography, with flat plains ideal for agriculture in the lowlands and rolling hills in the outskirts. This variety supports a range of agricultural activities, including rice and vegetable farming.


  • Population: As of the latest census, Santa Maria has a population of over 250,000 residents, making it one of the most populous municipalities in Bulacan.
  • Language and Ethnicity: Tagalog is the primary language spoken in Santa Maria, reflecting its stature as part of the Tagalog-speaking region of the Philippines. The population is predominantly of Tagalog ethnicity, interspersed with residents from other parts of the country.
  • Religion: Catholicism is the predominant religion, evident in the numerous church festivals and religious observances that play a central role in the community’s social life.