Thursday, May 1, 2008

Getting Lost With Names – Sta. / Santa Maria

This topic started with this article

Santa Maria Santissima! Hehehe there are 7 towns. Moreover, there is also a town named just “Maria” and even another town named just “Santa” – which we better add at the end part of this article.

Our first Santa Maria is a town in Ilocos Sur. This is just a town apart (that’s Narvacan in between them) south of that other locality named just “Santa”. So take note of that. If you are coming from Manila, you should first reach Santa Maria, then Narvacan, then Santa. Gosh! Oh while there are beaches and waterfalls in Santa Maria Ilocos Sur, this town is best remembered for its church that has been listed in the United Nation’s World Heritage List. Don’t ya ever miss the views out to the south china sea (West Philippine Sea) from that church named Asunta Parish!

Second in our list is the town of Santa Maria, far down in another “sur” (Davao Del Sur province, Region 11) just some four or five towns south of Digos City. Ah the beaches in this town beckon. Most are white sand but they also have their share of black sand beaches! Some cliffs, stones, crags and what havyas also by the shore are equally interesting!

The two towns above are officially called “Santa” Maria on the government’s books. And the rest below bear the abbreviated “Sta.” Whether that is in error or an arbitrary abbreviation, I do not wish to care.

Let’s go back up to the Ilocandia and our third town is Sta. Maria in the province of Pangasinan (Region 1). This is that big town before you reach Tayug on the eastern portion of the province. In fact, this Sta. Maria was even formerly a barrio of Tayug. I love the part of Agno river that passes by this town. People can still swim and bath, even wash their clothes and kitchen utensils there! Hey, not too many know that the full real name of this town was actually Santa Maria De Pila. How’s that? Ah go ask a local (not many of them know too)!

In the province of Isabela (Region 2) there is another town named Sta. Maria. This one sits on the northwest corner of the province in its border with Cagayan. A farming community generally and like the previous town above, this one also sits by a big river.

Our fifth is the town of Sta. Maria in the nearby province of Bulacan (Region 3). This is another big town in terms of area and economy and it’s a suburb just near to San Jose City and Meycauayan. Its original name was Sta. Maria De Pandi, thus their old church being usually referred to as ‘Church of Pandi’ even if it is not in the (next) town of Pandi hehe. What comes to mind when you hear something like “Casa Burgos”? Well try finding that out in this town! Nice place! Do you remember Huseng Batute? Yep the poet dubbed as ‘King of Balagtasan’? Or do you even know what “Balagtasan” means? Well, he grew up in this town. And so was certain Dr. Kamoteng Kahoy! Yeah yeah, Dr. Cassava! Okay, fans of Darna, the modern day version that is, she comes from this town too! This probably is the most urbanized of our 7 towns named Sta. Maria. Ah, when there, you must try the “tuge”!

Then there is another town named Sta. Maria in the province of Laguna (Region 4A). This is another big town and the northernmost of the province situated at the borders with the provinces of Rizal and Quezon. And its waterfalls are a must see! Oh, this one was originally Sta. Maria De Caboan. You must try “tuklapin” and “sipsipin” as they are abundantly cheap in this town. What are those? Well, go find out and you wont regret it! I just wish you know how to properly eat it hehe.

The 7th Sta. Maria is a town in the island of Tablas, province of Romblon (Region 4B) and quite a small town compared to others above. But it is coastal and has a beach aside from also having a waterfalls. This is a young town created originally under the name Imelda in 1982 which was renamed into Sta. Maria after 4 years when the overzealous folks under Cory went on a renaming spree to erase anything Marcos!

So there we are, the 7 towns named Santa or Sta. Maria!

Okay, there is also a town in the island province of Siquijor (Region 7) named just Maria. Ah remember Salagdoong? Its in the town of Maria. So are Aloha, Princesa Bulakna and Mango Tree Beach Resort. My my what uncommon names their resorts have hehe! This town may have omitted the “Santa” in its full name but just the same, it refers to the Dear Mother.

Now, the town of “Santa” in Ilocos Sur? It does not after all refer to Mama Mary. It was formerly named “Santa Catalina De Alexandria Virgin y Martir”. After a killer flood in the 1800s, people there believed they should rename the town to avoid any more bad luck. So they decided to cut it into just “Santa Catalina De Alexandria”. Then came another deadly flood in 1905, and people still believed they should again rename their town to avoid bad luck. So they dropped the rest of the words and just retained “Santa”. Gosh, let’s pray for this town that no other such flood or any disaster ever comes again. For nothing will remain if that happens – probably literally and figuratively hehe. Simba ko!

Let’s jump to another female saint in my next installment, aight?!

1 comment :

  1. The best name for Santa Maria is Immaculada derived from its patron saint, Immaculate Conception. It is unique and original. No other Immaculada town also in the Philippines. Its olden name is Imelda, Concepcion and Cagbagacay in chronological order from latest to oldest.

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