Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental

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Santa Catalina
Official seal of Santa Catalina
Nickname(s): Santa, Stacata, Tolong
Map of Negros Oriental showing the location of Santa Catalina
Map of Negros Oriental showing the location of Santa Catalina
Santa Catalina is located in Philippines
Santa Catalina
Santa Catalina
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 09°20′N 122°52′E / 9.333°N 122.867°E / 9.333; 122.867Coordinates: 09°20′N 122°52′E / 9.333°N 122.867°E / 9.333; 122.867
Country Philippines
Region Negros Island Region (NIR)
Province Negros Oriental
Congr. district 3rd district of Negros Oriental
Established December 17, 1947
Barangays 22
 • Mayor Nathaniel M. Electona
 • Total 523.10 km2 (201.97 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 73,306
 • Density 140/km2 (360/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6220
Dialing code 35
Income class 1st class

Santa Catalina is a first class municipality in the province of Negros Oriental, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 73,306 people.[3]


The town of Santa Catalina got its name after the supposedly miraculous image of the patron saint, Santa Catalina de Alejandria, installed in the community chapel.


The topography of Santa Catalina is predominantly slightly rolling hills (70% of its area), 25% is flat, and the remainder is steep terrain. There are 8 rivers and 27 springs.


Dry season: November to April
Wet season: May to September
Average temperature: 36 °C (97 °F)


Santa Catalina is politically subdivided into 22 barangays.[2]

Barangay Urban/rural Geographic
Alangilan Rural Coastal/Farm 4346 4361
Amio Rural Hill/Farm 2197 2118
Buenavista Rural Hill/Farm 1270 990
Kabulacan Rural Hill/Farm 2821 2480
Caigangan Rural Hill/Farm 1553 1386
Caranoche Rural Coastal/Farm 3742 3913
Cawitan Rural Coastal/Farm 5602 5809
Fatima Rural Coastal/Farm 1517 1317
Mabuhay Rural Coastal/Farm 1892 1847
Manalongon Rural Coastal/Farm 4319 4842
Mansagomayon Rural Hill/Farm 1421 1011
Milagrosa Rural Hill/Farm 4148 3385
Nagbinlod Rural Hill/Farm 2512 3012
Nagbalaye Rural Coastal/Farm 4941 4957
Obat Rural Hill/Farm 2572 2599
Poblacion Urban Coastal/Farm 11788 12515
San Francisco Rural Coastal/Farm 3940 4052
San Jose Rural Hill/Farm 2490 2539
San Miguel Rural Hill/Farm 939 1282
San Pedro Rural Coastal/Farm 3517 3319
Santo Rosario Rural Hill/Farm 1379 1315
Talalak Rural Hill/Farm 3738 4257


Spanish Regime

The town of Sta. Catalina was formerly named Tolong. In about 1572, Captain Miguel de Laorca, a member of Legaspi’s expedition, sent the first Spanish mission led by Adrien Lajot, a Belgian mercenary (from Provence Liège) in order to take possession of Negros Island. During that period, there existed settlements at Lunsod (now Daan Lunsod), Secopan (now Secopong), and Cawitan ruled by three chieftains. It was said that these warring chieftains were settled and amicably fused by the Spaniards as a single settlement at Daan Lunsod. In the process of settling, the Spaniards referred to the chieftains as “Kamo Tolon”, (a mispronounced phrase for “Kamo Tolo” which means “The Three of You”). Hence, the name TOLON, and then eventually TOLONG.

Santa Catalina Parish Church

According to the Definatorio of June 11, 1580, the beginning of the Christian Organization of Negros Island was due to the Augustinian Friars. Because of the lack of priests, the secular priest of the Diocese of Cebu undertook the spiritual administration of Negros Island. He placed Dumaguete, Siaton, Marabao (now Bacong), and Manalongon (the name of the river) under the Ministry of Tanjay. In 1751, Tolong and the settlements further down south were taken over by the Recollect Friars because of the distance and difficulty of transportation.

Before 1855, the Recollect Friars who took over the mission of Tolong constructed a convent, a church, a cemetery, and a Tribunal House. The church was built of light materials but the convent and the Tribunal House were made of lime and limestone. In that same period, the poblacion of Tolong was moved and resettled from the old site, Daan Lunsod, to a site further down the coast where the church was built, the present location of Sta. Catalina. Even today, a famous landmark can be seen in the form of a balete tree growing on what was left of a portion of a wall of the old Tribunal House, right in the heart of Sta. Catalina, which has become a symbol of the town.

An adjacent town, Bayawan, became formally organized in the year 1872.

The occupation of Negros Island increased rapidly, and agriculture progressed in an inconceivable manner. The Spanish government, in order to attain better administration, formed and organized the Province of Negros Oriental in the year 1890, completely independent from the Occidental, Dumaguete was made capital of Negros Oriental and Tolong was next to the last town in the south to be within the Province of Negros Oriental.

American Regime

In the new regime of the American occupation, sometime in the year 1903, the Poblacion of Tolong and Bayawan could not meet the minimum requirement to qualify for a municipality. So the two poblacions were fused together making Bayawan as the main Municipality, calling it Tolong Nuevo, and Tolong was reduced to be a mere Barrio called Tolong Viejo.

Japanese Regime

When world war II broke out, the Japanese occupied Dumaguete on May 26, 1942. Since Tolong was the headquarters of the Guerrilla Movement under the leadership of Col. Abside with Lt. Gonzalo Melodia and some of his Tolong Viejo defenders, the Japanese visited the place with caution, landing only at dawn and back to Dumaguete in the afternoon. The province was liberated on April 26, 1945 by the combined forces of the US Army and the Filipino Guerrillas.

Post World War II

After the war, in 1945, Congressman Enrique Medina, who considered himself as a son of Tolong Viejo, sponsored a move to separate Tolong Viejo from Tolong Nuevo.

On December 17, 1947, President Manuel Roxas issued executive order No. 111, making Sta. Catalina (previously Tolong Nuevo) the 26th municipality of Negros Oriental. After which, Tolong Nuevo immediately passed a resolution to rename their municipality Bayawan reviving the former name. Hence, the name TOLONG immediately disappeared.


Population census of Sta. Catalina
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 53,560 —    
1995 62,526 +2.94%
2000 67,197 +1.56%
2007 72,629 +1.08%
2010 73,306 +0.34%
Source: National Statistics Office[3]


Public Elementary Schools - Santa Catalina North[edit]

Name Name Name
Amio Elementary School Kakha Elementary School San Miguel Elementary School
Avocado Elementary School KanggabokElementary School San Vicente Elementary School
Aw-a Elementary School Manggolod Elementary School Sta. Catalina Central Elementary School
Buenavista Elementary School Mansagomayon Elementary School Sta. Catalina Science Elementary School
CaiganganElementary School Nagbinlod Elementary School Sto. Rosario Elementary School
Caranoche Elementary School Obat Elementary School Sto. Tomas Elementary School
Cawitan Elementary School Omol Elementary School Talalak Elementary School
Danao Elementary School Omoso Elementary School Tamlang Elementary School
Kabulakan Elementary School San Jose Elementary School Tubod Public Sschool

Public Elementary Schools - Santa Catalina South[4][edit]

Name Name Name
Ambrosio M. Ramirez Elementary School Fatima Elementary School Marcelino E. Elligan-Banlas Elementary School
Bago-Bago Elementary School Hingles Elementary School Nagbalaye Elementary School
Baknit Elementary School Jagna Elementary School San Francisco Elementary School
Caniogan Valley Elementary School Mabuhay Elementary School San Isidro Elementary School
Carmen Teves Tia MES Malatubahan Elementary School Elias R. Macias Memorial Elementary School

Public High Schools[5][edit]

Name Name Name
Budlasan High School - Pinamentigan, Budlasan Santa Catalina National High School

List of former mayors[edit]

The former mayors of Sta. Catalina are:

  • 1948–1951: Telesforo Belloso (first appointed Mayor)
  • 1951–1968: Herminio T. Electona (first elected Mayor)
  • 1968–1971: Jose N. Napigkit
  • 1971–1980: Herminio T. Electona
  • 1980–1986: Jose N. Napigkit
  • 1986–1987: Herminio T. Electona (Appointed OIC Mayor)
  • 1987–1998: Jose N. Napigkit
  • 1998–2007: Leon M. Lopez
  • 2007–2010: Ruben O. Melodia
  • 2010 – 2013: Leon M. Lopez
  • 2013 – present : Nataniel Electona


  1. ^ "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: Negros Oriental". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "". Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ "". Retrieved May 10, 2015. 

External links[edit]