HISTORY

Early History

The Area of where the modern city of San Pedro is found served as the native settlement of the Tagalogs centuries before Spanish contact. The Laguna de Bay and the San Isidro River gave livelihood and food to the early settlers. The Laguna Copperplate Inscription dated back to 900 AD mentioning the ancient polity of Tondo was found on Lumban, Laguna giving the idea that the area of San Pedro which some independent Ancient Barangays headed by their own Datus are settled was under the influence if not directly under the alliance network of the Lakan of Tondo.

On January 16, 1571, it was announced by Miguel López de Legazpi that a settlement called "Tabuko" which is an old Tagalog term that means "the end part of the river" be converted to an encomienda or a town under the helm of Gaspar Ramirez. A month after Miguel López de Legazpi established Manila as the capital of Spanish East Indies, Legazpi's grandson and conquistador Juan de Salcedo, while exploring the region of Laguna de Bay, founded a settlement in Biñan which was annexed as a barrio to Tabuko, a large town which also then comprised what are now the cities of San Pedro, Santa Rosa, and Cabuyao.

Spanish Period

San Pedro de Tunasán became a town on January 18, 1725, upon the request of San Pedrense Principalía led by Alonzo Magtibay, Francisco Santiago, and Ignacio de Guevarra and approved by the Governor-General and Manila Archbishop Francisco de la Cuesta, King Philip V of Spain decreed that the town formerly known as "Tabuko" be a separate town from "Kabuyaw" (now known as the city of Cabuyao). Francisco Santiago subsequently became the first mayor of the newly formed town.

By virtue of the last will of Philip V of Spain, Rodriguez de Figueroa or "Don Esteban", a group of Augustinian Fathers gained the ownership of the Tunasán Estate. Later on, San Pedro became an hacienda of Colegio de San José, a group of Jesuits friars who took over the property which now is known as "San Pedro Tunasán". Tunasán literally means "a place where there is Tunás" (Nymphaea nouchali), a medicinal plant abundant on shoreline area.

During that period, agriculture, fishing, duck raising, fruit trees, and sampaguita were the main source of income of its residents. This period was highlighted by the growing tenant/landlord dispute. The tenants of Hacienda San Pedro Tunasán fought for their birthrights over their ancestral lands. This struggle took almost 423 years of unsuccessful resistance to Colegio de San José, and in 1938, the government bought the home sites of the San Pedro Tunasán Hacienda from the Colegio for re-sale to its tenants. This event laid to rest the tenants/landlord problem in the town.

During the Philippine Revolution, after the execution of Andres Bonifacio and Procopio Bonifacio at Maragondon, Cavite on 1897, the group of Gregoria de Jesus, the wife of Andres, departed to San Pedro Tunasán to hide. They were welcomed by San Pedro native Gregoria Olivares and settled on the house of Almario Ilmedo on barrio San Roque.

American Period

In the year 1902, the name San Pedro de Tunasán was simplified to San Pedro. A barrio called Tunasancillo became part of the Municipio of Muntinlupa which was a part of the province of Manila when the town of San Pedro Tunasán sold it in 1907 during the American period.From the Spanish time until after the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, the scenario did change a bit.

During World War II, Abelardo Remoquillo (1922-1945), known among his peers, war enemies, and admirers as “Captain Remo”, was a young guerrillero from San Pedro, Laguna who fought against the Japanese Imperial Army. He joined the Hunters ROTC guerilla and fought against the invaders from different fronts of Southern Luzón He also participated in the famous Raid at Los Baños. He died not in San Pedro but in faraway Bay, Laguna while attacking a Japanese garrison. He is now known as a local hero and has a monument on the historic town plaza of San Pedro.

Cotemporary History

On August 30, 1954, President Ramón Magsaysay signed at the historic town plaza the Land Tenancy Act. By virtue of this law, farm lots of the hacienda were bought by the Philippine government to be sold at cost to the tenants or occupants of the farm lots in Bayan-Bayanan under the Narra Settlement Project of the Magsaysay Administration. San Pedro became a resettlement area for families in Metro Manila in 1968 to 1971. Thereon population significantly increased with the rise of several GSIS/SSS housing projects in 1975. Industries sprouted in the succeeding years such as the Aclem Paper Mills, Holiday Hills Golf and Country Club (now KC Filipinas Golf Resort Club), Philippine Tobacco Flu Curing Corporation, Berbacs Chemicals, US Tobacco Corporation, Holland Milk Products, Trinity Lodge Mining Corporation, Kimberly Clark, Cosmos, among others.

The succeeding administration of ex Mayors Felicisimo Vierneza and Calixto Cataquiz brought significant changes in the political, economic and cultural landscape of San Pedro. There were major commercial and industrial developments during the administration of Mayor Vierneza starting 1972 while Mayor Cataquiz's 12- year administration in 1986 focused on residential subdivisions with massive infrastructure projects and beautification programs.

Cityhood

On March 27, 2013, President Benigno Aquino III signed the Republic Act No. 10420 converting the municipality into a new component city of the province of Laguna. The cityhood of San Pedro was ratified through a plebiscite scheduled by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). The date for the ratification is December 28, 2013 after the National Barangay Elections. It became the sixth city of Laguna after the cities of Biñan, Cabuyao, Calamba, San Pablo, and Santa Rosa, and also the third to be a city in the 1st congressional District Laguna - making it the first city district in the province.

COMELEC officially proclaimed the first-class municipality of San Pedro as a component city of Laguna on December 29, 2013. Juanito Icarro, regional director of Calabarzon and Mimaropa, and Marianne Marfori, provincial election supervisor, made the proclamation at the municipal hall after San Pedro residents voted for the cityhood in a plebiscite held on December 28, 2013. "Yes" votes for cityhood totaled 16,996 (which is an additional 50 votes added in some precincts mostly in the San Vicente area to win the "yes" vote), and "no" votes, only 869, in 501 clustered precincts in San Pedro. Only 11% of 165,777 registered voters in San Pedro's 27 barangays took part in the plebiscite.