Santiago City (Isabela) History, Tourist Spots, Festivals

Santiago City is a 1st class independent component city of Isabela Province in Cagayan Valley Region.

Santiago City Hall
Santiago City Hall

Profile of Santiago City (Geography)
Location –> Isabela Province, Cagayan Valley Region, Northern Luzon, Philippines (See map below)
*Distance from Manila –> 358 Kilometers to the north
Neighboring Towns –> Ramon, San Isidro, Echague, Jones, and Cordon
Area –> 255.50 km2 (98.65 sq mi)
Population –> 134,830 (2015 Census)
Terrain –> Flat with mountains on the western side
Industries –> Agriculture, Trading, Tourism
Major Products –> Rice, Vegetables, Poultry, Handicraft, Home-made Food Items
People/Language –> Ilocanos, Ifugaos, Gaddangs, Ibanags, Tagalog, English
No. of Barangays –> 37
Revenue (2016) –> 1,285,450,458.16

City Government Officials
Go here to see the elected government officials of Santiago City.


Santiago was a village originally called Carig from the Carig River now Diadi River that runs nearby. On May 4, 1743, Spanish missionaries founded a settlement which they called Pueblo Santiago Apostol de Carig in honor of Saint James the Apostle. It was only in the 1950s that the name was shortened to just Santiago.

Before the Villa Verde Trail that connected Cagayan Valley to Central Luzon was built, most goods sold in the locality came from nearby Echague which is located along the shores of the mighty Cagayan River, the main transport route of boats coming all the way from Aparri, Cagayan Province. When the trail was built, Santiago became the focal point of trade and its growth was faster than Echague and other towns of Isabela.

Santiago was converted into a city after Republic Act 7720 was approved in a plebiscite held on May 5, 1994, becoming the first city in Cagayan Valley.

Famous People from Santiago City
Joseph S. Tan – Mayor
Alvin N. Abaya – Vice Mayor
Amelita Navarro – Former Mayor
Jose “Pempe” C. Miranda – Former Mayor
Heherson Turingan Alvarez – Former senator and Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources
Karina Bautista – Pinoy Big Brother Big-4

Economy, Business and Investment

Agriculture is the main economic driver of the city but more and more people are engaged in trading and other services. Industrial activities are limited to rice mills, small scale furniture production and repair, manufacturing of tricycles, automotive repair, bread making, tailoring and handicraft making.

Rice, corn, vegetables, and root crops are the main agricultural products.

The city is home to some branches of Manila-based malls and real estate companies.

Tourist Spots

Balay na Santiago – a museum featuring the history of Santiago City and Isabela Province
St. James Church
Apolinario Mabini Shrine
Chapel of Transfiguration
Via Crusis – a favorite destination during Holy week


Balamban Dance Festival
Feast of St. James the Apostle
Pattaradday Festival
RELATED: Profile of Cauayan City, Ilagan City, Tuguegarao City
See also: List of Philippine Cities by Region and Province

Map of Santiago City

Santiago Downtown
Santiago City Donwtown


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