The municipality of Sta. Cruz was an active participant in the making of Mindanao's and Philippines' histories. From the Spanish rule, to American regime, to Japanese occupation, to independence, to Martial Law, to EDSA Revolution, Sta. Cruz' story was intricately interwoven into the country's saga.
More than a century-old municipality, Sta. Cruz was legally created last October 5, 1884 and it is the third oldest town in Mindanao. This gulf was originally called LABO, a Bagobo word meaning marshland. The Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe ruled by Datu Ali were the early settlers in the area.
According to pioneers, Sta. Cruz originated its name way back in 1880 when Spaniards planted a cross under a shelter upon their failure to Christianize the settlers who continued to resist them. Another group of migrants settled adjacent to the cross whcih was near to the present municipal building site, the place came to be know as "SA CRUZ" which means at the cross.
Official records from Manila Archives also described how the town got its name during the Spanish Administration. It was documented that on October 4, 1884, Angel Rodriguez, Spanish Governor General of Mindanao province arrived on board the warship "Garduqui" escorted by a sergeant, corporal and 12 other persons from the capital detachment. They were greeted by both Christian and non-Christian inhabitants bringing with them banners bearing the embroidered word "STA. CRUZ".
The next day (October 5), Rodriguez blessed the town "STA. CRUZ SA MINDANAO". For the succeeding years, the municipality came to be known as STA. CRUZ.
"A center of globally-competitive agri-industries and Mt. Apo watershed conservation and management with empowered, God-loving citizenry and good governance"
"The LGU of Sta. Cruz shall uphold equality, respect for human rights and public accountability in facilitating holistic development of its constituents through proper management of its resources and responsible partnership with all stakeholders"
Land Area: 28,759.7855
Population: 83,949 (As of 2012)
Population Density: 241 Persons/Sq.Km
No. of Barangays: 18
Widely Spoken Dialect: Cebuano
Currency: Philippine Peso
TOPOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
Sta. Cruz is traversed by mountain ranges covering a portion of Mt. Apo with slopes running towards Davao Gulf. It is blessed with a favorable climate all yera round characterized by wet and dry seasons. It is outside the typhoon belt.
Agriculture. Among agricultural crops, coconut leads in production followed by banana and sugarcane. Other major crops are corn, coffee and vegetables. The municipality also produces high value fruits like mango, lanzones and durian. Cattle leads in livestock production.
Fisheries. The 24-kilometer coastline of Sta. Cruz which forms part of Davao Gulf provides a rich fishing grounds and is suitable for aquaculture.
Forestry. Tropical evergreen and other timber cover the vast timberland and forest area. Rattan, bamboo and other vines are also in abundance.
Power Supply. The National Power Corporation through the Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative provides reliable source of power supply for Sta. Cruz. The Mindanao Grid with installed capacity of 150 MW is the main source backed by the Mt. Apo geothermal Power Plant and Hydro Power Plants of Abotiz Power augment the present power capacity and can meet industrial needs.
Telecommunications. The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company provide telecommunication services with access to both local and international lines.
Water Supply. Springs and underground sources provide water in the area suitable for domestic, commercial and industrial uses. The Local Government Unit is operating a Level III Municipal Waterworks System as one of its local economic enterprises and a new Urban Water and Sanitation System is being established which is a joint partnership between the LGU and a private company.
Transportation. Air and water transport is accessible in the area through the international air and sea ports located in Davao City and General Santos City. Travelling overland is catered to by the Sta. Cruz Overland Transport Terminal. Concrete-paved national highway runs along Sta. Cruz connecting Davao City and General Santos and adjacent provinces like South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Davao Occidental.
STA. CRUZ AS AN INVESTMENT DESTINATION
PRIORITY INVESTMENT AREAS
In addition to the national incentives provided by law, Sta. Cruz offers fiscal incentives to registered and qualified enterprises in the forms of Business Tax Holidays and Non-Fiscal Incentives such as One-Stop Information and Assistance, Government Regulation Facilitation and Documentation, Project Launching and Incentive Availment.
STA. CRUZ AS A TOURISM DESTINATION
TOURISM DEVELOPMENT DIRECTION
A famous and competitive tourism destination in Southern Mindanao where eco-cultural and adventure tourism is properly managed and environmental protection is sustained through public-private partnership.
TOURISM DESTINATIONS AND ATTRACTIONS
Sibulan Trail to Mt. Apo. History revealed that year 1880 marked the first successful climb to Mt. Apo through the Sibulan Trail of Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur by a group led by Don Joaquin Rajal. Trekking along the trail will be highlighted with an assault via Boulder Face going to the summit of the country's highest peak.
Sibulan River Water Tubing and Rapelling. Tubing along the rapids of Sibulan River using inflated rubber tires will drive one's adrenalin rush to the limits with the storng water current. A 50-feet adventure rapelling along the vertical cliffs of the river can also be tried.
Tibolo Cultural Village. Learn the unique culture of the indigenous Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe and enjoy the view of Mt. Apo landscape and overlooking sceneryof Davao City and Davao Gulf.
Bato-Tagabuli-Tuban Seascape. Passig islet in Bato and the Tagabuli Sea Rock Garden, as weel as the existing beaches in Tuban offers white sand beaches ideal for island hopping, snorkeling and fishing while giving you a symbiotic relationship of the ecosystem in the highlands down to the coastal ecosystem.
EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
Pista sa Kinaiyahan. A yearly activity conducted every last week of April as a tribute to Mother Nature through tree-growing, clean up activities and the Mt. Apo Boulder Face Challenge.
Araw ng Sta. Cruz. It is celebrated every October 5 in commemoration of the legal creation of the municipality in 1884. Highlight includes parade, field demonstrations, trade fair, carnival and traditional festivities.
RESORTS AND FACILITIES