Marinduque Province, Mimaropa Region (IV-B), Luzon Islands, Philippines
The word “Sta. Cruz” is the Spanish translation for “Holy Cross”, the symbol of Christianity. This was a logical choice of the propagators of the Catholic faith who came to settle in this locality sometime during the 17th century. There are no available records to show the exact date when Sta. Cruz was founded. However, the old Catholic church was constructed in the year 1760, based on a marker that was found right at the fašade of that church and hence, the people of this town must have been converted to Christianity much earlier than that date and that would also indicate that years before 1760 AD there were already a number of people living in this place. Legend has it that when a group of seafarers composed of traders and Spanish missionaries were sailing for the Visayas, they passed a channel near Mogpog (now a town of Marinduque) where they encountered a big storm. As fate would have it, a light in the shape of a cross suddenly appeared in the sky that guided them in their tempestuous journey. Mysteriously as it appeared, it also mysteriously disappeared. By dawn of the next day they reached a safe place and they saw again the cross-shaped light above them. They interpreted this incident as God’s wish for them to remain in that place. The missionaries erected a wooden cross in that location where they saw the mysterious light. A thanksgiving mass was then held. Later on, the missionaries were able to convert the inhabitants of that place to embrace Christianity. They then build a church fashioned similar to a cross. The place where the mysterious light was supposed to appear is now known as “Botilao”. According to the report of George A. Malcolm, the original inhabitants of Sta. Cruz were the descendants of mixed Malays, Indonesians and Mangyans who, long before the arrival of the Spanish missionaries, were believed to be an organized group living peaceful lives.
The Municipality of Santa Cruz is the premier town of the island province of Marinduque, a Southern Tagalog province. It is situated in the northeastern part of the province, 13 14’ 15” north latitude and 122 00’ 00” east longitude. It is bounded on the north, by the Municipality of Mogpog; on the south, by the Municipality of Torrijos; on the west, by the Municipality of Boac; and on the east, by a huge body of water that extends to as far as the Bondoc Peninsula and Southern Quezon. Its coastline extends from Barangay Botilao on the northwest and to Barangay Masaguise on the northeast. The coastline features vast areas of the scenic spots ideal for beach resorts. It has fifty-five barangays, five of which are in the poblacion proper and fifty in the rural area. The three island barangays of Polo, Maniwaya and Mongpong have coastlines, which are potential for development of beach resorts. The municipality has a total land area of 287.85 square kilometers representing 30% of the total land area of the province and is the biggest The general feature of the land ranges from flat terrain to undulating and rolling, but some parts are hilly and mountainous. On the western side, is a plateau comprising the barangays of Labo and San Antonio with fringes surrounded by deep ravines and rugged terrain with undetermined mineral deposits formerly mined by Marcopper Mining Corporation. On the northern side is embedded by sharp and irregular cliffs and hilly slopes covered by vast panorama of coconut plantation. Along the national road from barangays Aturan to Taytay consist of semi-flat land ideally planted with palay and other vital crops notably in Napo and Tawiran. On the southern portion are hilly and mountainous areas where wildlife and other useful forest products still abound. On this area, particularly in Tambangan, dots the Bagakawa Falls which is the source of water for irrigation project of the Napo-Tamayo-Tagum-Angas area and of the potable water for the whole poblacion. Its climate is of the fourth type with an average annual rainfall of 76.60 inches and average seasonal temperature of 25 C or 77 F. Transportation facilities in the municipality are provided by Transportation Company which is complemented by small private operators. Water transportation to Lucena City (Quezon) is provided by two passenger boats and numerous cargo boats. Pump boats are the common means of transportation to and from the island barangays and the neighboring towns of Catanauan, General Luna, Mulanay and San Narciso Quezon. The principal means of livelihood of its inhabitants are farming, copra production and fishing. Santa Cruz was then the situs of the huge Marcopper Mining complex, which mines copper deposits and exports the same to foreign countries. Another mining firm is the Marinduque Quick Lime Corporation with lime as its principal product. These two mining firms contributed much to the income of the municipality particularly in realty tax, business tax and excise tax, however, both companies are not operating since 1996. To promote the general well being of the people particularly those whoa re less in life thru implementation of various programs/activities.
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