Santa-Maria

Santa Maria is a fourth class municipality in the province of Pangasinan, with a population of 33,038 people. It became a town in 1863, but was joined with Tayug because of its inability to maintain financial stability. After a petition by its inhabitants to become independent, Sta. Maria became a separate town again in 1877. Nevertheless, when the Americans arrived in 1903, Santa Maria was fused with Tayug again, owing to financial problems, like before. During the Spanish Regime, a priest came to a village located on a plain where the Agno River ran. With a little effort, he believed the area could be irrigated and developed into a prosperous community. Finding the residents to be hospitable, he chatted with them and, in the course of conversation, he thought of giving the place a name. That day was the Virgin Mary's day, so he called the people of the village to gather and with a simple but solemn ceremony, proclaimed the place as Santa Maria. In the course of time, prominent people improved the locality and transferred the town site from Namagbagan, which is now a barrio of the municipality, to its present site near a clay promontory, where it formed an impregnable defense against the yearly erosion of the Agno. "De Pila" was added to its original name, making Sta. Maria de Pila its final name.

Today, the town primarily functions as a supplier of agricultural products. From its vast plain lands, it produces abundant rice, corn, and vegetables more than enough for the town’s consumption. The surplus is exported to other municipalities that have insufficient supply of these products. Some residents also produce raw materials, such as tobacco, for small and big industries of the municipality, province and region. Numerous industries and activities sprouted in the town with the construction of more roads connecting the town to other municipalities, more developed provinces, and cities.

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