The City of Sta. Rosa, Laguna
Santa Rosa is a city in the province of Laguna, Philippines. The city, predominantly a suburban residential community of Metro Manila, lies 38 kilometres (24 mi) south of Manila via the South Luzon Expressway. Santa Rosa is also the exit point along the expressway to go to Tagaytay. According to the 2015 census, the city has a population of 353,767 inhabitants, making it the second largest local government unit in Laguna after Calamba. Santa Rosa was initially known for the Coca-Cola and Toyota manufacturing plants in its industrial estates. Recently, it has also become popular for being the site of Enchanted Kingdom, a local theme park, as well as several housing developments. This city contains the 3rd largest complex in Laguna, Paseo de Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa became a city by virtue of Republic Act No. 9264, which was ratified by its residents on July 10, 2004. Santa Rosa's land area is approximately 54.13 square kilometers (5413 hectares). It is in the western section of Laguna de Bay. The western portion of the city occupies the numerous commercial, industrial, and business establishments, while the northern portion is primarily composed of residential areas and subdivisions, schools, industrial zones and various business establishments. In 1571, Spanish conquistador Juan de Salcedo, the grandson of Miguel López de Legazpi, founded the town of Biñan which was annexed as a barrio to Tabuco (now, Cabuyao) while exploring the region of Laguna de Bay. In 1688, Biñan, together with Barrio Bukol (Santa Rosa, before separation from Biñan) separated from Cabuyao. After a series of renaming, separation of barrios to become independent towns, Barrio Bukol was politically emancipated as the municipality of Santa Rosa. The town was renamed after Saint Rose of Lima.
The municipality of Santa Rosa was founded on January 18, 1792. During the revolutionary period in 1898, the town was instrumental in the proclamation of Philippine independence from Spain when it signed the Act of Independence on June 12, 1898. Later on the town's local revolutionaries fought alongside the forces of Pío del Pilar during the Philippine–American War. On February 5, 1945, the town was left abandoned by the Japanese soldiers when the local guerrilla resistance movement, with support from the American and Filipino military contingent, entered the town proper, where skirmishes, torture, and deaths occurred. During the post-war era, until the 1970s, the townspeople were largely dependent on basic agriculture and family-owned enterprises for livelihood. The influence of industrialization slowly took shape in the 1980s with the entry of local and foreign investors who were instrumental in the fast-pace economic and social transformation of the town and the province. Some inhabitants of Santa Rosa today erroneously refer to themselves as "Rosanians". But since Santa Rosa is a Spanish name, the correct demonym should be "Roseños". Like other places in Metro Manila, the original settlers are Tagalogs. Throughout the centuries, there has been constant migration of Spaniards, Visayans, Bikolanos, Ilokanos, Chinese and Americans. The main language is Filipino, which is based on Tagalog. In addition, due to continuous development of the city, English language is used in education, business and information technology.
The majority of the people are Roman Catholics. Other religious groups represented include the Church of God International, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Jesus Is Lord Church, Baptist and Fundamental Bible churches. Santa Rosa is the premier city and hub of South Luzon. It is the Makati of the South in terms of economic activity. Santa Rosa is also known as the Lion City of South Luzon. According to the 2013 COA AFR report,the city has an annual income of 2.3 billion pesos, surpassing the income of Calamba City and Batangas City. Santa Rosa is now the richest city in South Luzon in terms of annual income. Major commercial banks in the Philippines operate in the city. At this time, there are 68 banking institutions that offers banking services to businesses and residents. Most of these are concentrated in Barangay Balibago, Don Jose, Macabling, Pulong Santa Cruz, and Tagapo. A number of car brands have put up dealerships in Santa Rosa. The list of prominent car dealerships include Chevrolet, Ford (Borromeo), Foton, Honda (ANC), Hyundai, JMC, Kia, Mazda (Borromeo), Mitsubishi (Ancar), and Subaru (ANC). Further, the Borromeo's Ford and Mazda have recently put up shop while two of the six ANC Group brands, namely Honda and Subaru, have branches in Santa Rosa.
Modern shopping malls are scattered in the city. Here are the list of the city's shopping malls and community malls. Paseo De Santa Rosa, is Santa Rosa's premiere lifestyle center situated in the master-planned community Greenfield City. It has long been a haven for outlet stores in the southern part of the Metro. Dubbed as the "Motor City of the Philippines" or "Detroit City of the Philippines", Santa Rosa is host to multinational automotive giants Nissan Motors Co., Ltd., Toyota Motor Corporation, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi – all contributing 95 percent of the country’s automotive production. It is also the location for the headquarters of Santarosa Motor Works, Inc. Food giant, Monde Nissin Corporation, which manufactures industry leader Lucky Me Noodles and Monde biscuits, has a plant here in its sprawling 14-hectare manufacturing facility. Santa Rosa is also home to the largest plant of The Coca-Cola Company in the Philippines, which is situated right across the Santa Rosa Exit of the South Luzon Expressway. Santa Rosa is also looking to be the next hub for the BPO industry. It is currently ranked 82nd in the world for its competitiveness in the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing services (IT-BPO) by the leading strategic advisory firm, THOLONS. BPO companies present in Santa Rosa are Convergys, KGB, Teletech, IBM and Concentrix. Also in Santa Rosa is the Philippine subsidiary of French video game development company Ubisoft, which opened on March 28, 2016. Santa Rosa City is accessible via South Luzon Expressway. Two exits are available namely, Santa Rosa Exit (KM 38) and Greenfield City - ETON City - ABI Exit (KM 42). A four-lane national highway from Alabang, Muntinlupa City up to Pagsanjan, Laguna passes through the city. Another road, Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road, acts as the main route for people going up to Tagaytay from Metro Manila, especially on weekends and vacation periods. Public transportation within the city, like in most of the urban areas in the Philippines, is facilitated mostly using inexpensive jeepneys and buses. Tricycles are used for short distances. In Laguna Bel Air, residents uses exclusive multicab shuttles within the village complex.