SANTA CRUZ, My Golden Town

Have you ever been to Santa Cruz, my golden town? If you haven’t yet, why not to come and take a look. It is in the northernmost tip of Zambales around 270 kilometers away from Manila, the capital city of Philippines.

Sta. Cruz which one of the oldest towns in the province having been founded by the Spanish in the year 1612 is indeed a real gift of nature to mankind. Just by its panorama, one can already sense of beauty of nature. This verdant Zambales mountain align in the eastern side and the blue China Sea with its sandy seashores in the west. Between the mountain ranges and deep blue sea are fertile plains abound the golden grains on palay and the golden heart of mangoes, blooming almost whole year round. Thanks for the government officials for being kind enough to construct dams and producers of mango fruit sprayer for making our palay and mangoes more productive.

Try strolling along the sandy sand beaches of Bolitoc, Sabang, Pagatpat, Lipay or Masaysay Park late afternoon, and you will witness the golden sunset of Sta. Cruz Bay. The three islands west of the China Sea make the Sta. Cruz panorama more enticing to everybody. And much more if you visit the Familia Sagrada  Cave in Lomboy and Baloc-baloc falls somewhere else in Lupa.

Job opportunities seem easy in Sta. Cruz for no wonder people flock in his town. It has now a population of more than 45,000 with migrants coming from the provinces of Ilocos and Panasina, the others from Visayas and Mindanao. They now occupy certain barangays in Sta. Cruz as the Ilocanos portion in Guisguis, Guinabon, Babuyan, middle portion of Lipay and a pat of Bolitoc. The Pangasinense are mostly found in the Poblacion South particularly near the Public Market while the Visayans in northeast portion of Lipay. The real Zambals of course occupy majority of the 25 barangays.

The big population does not bother the economy of the town anyway. Inspite they contribute to the good income of the municipality. Now, Sta. Cruz is first class municipality with the following landmarks of progress: five banking institutions, 1 sufficient public market, three big shopping center, five barangay high schools, one private high school, 25 complete elementary elementary schools, one private elementary school, seven big drugstores, telephone and cellphone site services, one ice plant and several small business firms with varieties of merchandise.

Hence, the Sta. Cruz is not just an agricultural and fishing community. It is also a commercial center in Zambales North.

Now, who would claim say that Sta. Cruz is a golden town with palays, mangoes, sunset and to include further the gold fish caught by the Visayan divers for local and international market.

(NCES, The Gems 2002)