The town of Sariaya had its simple beginning almost four hundred years
ago in a place near the sea that is now called the Barangay of Castañas.
The first inhabitants of the place where the hardy and brown fishermen
and who upon the arrival of the Franciscan Friars were the first converts.With
the help of the early inhabitants, who are mostly fishermen, the Franciscan
Missionaries were able to build a church, entrusted under the patronage of St.
Francis of Assisi.
Because the fishing village was often attacked by the Moros,
the people moved northward of Castañas and settled in this place. About
three kilometers from this second site,the people once again settled in another
place which at present bear the name known as Barangay Tumbaga,also known as
A church and convent were erected at Tumbaga as a proof of their
religious interest and filial regard to their spiritual mentors, the Franciscan
A devout Spaniards was able to secure an image of Christ Crucified from
Burgos,Spain and brought it forth to the church at Tumbaga. The inhabitants
celebrated at the arrival of the Image and since the next is the feast of
Exaltation of the Cross, the people celebrated a feast in honor of the Image.
Years passed and the Moros again and again attacked the town. In one of
their raids, they mercilessly burned the houses including the church and convent
and held the inhabitants as captive. They took down the Holy Image of Christ
Crucified and carried it to the church’s patio and piled dry leaves and
branches over it, then set out their daring profanity by burning the image.
In the meantime, the inhabitants fled to the mountain. After some days,
when the Moros had deserted the town, a certain Señora Recamadora went to the
church site and saw among the ashes the Holy Image of Christ Crucified intact
without the least scratch and sign of being charred. She started spreading the
news and committed to the people that it is a great miracle.
In the course of its history, the town was often visited not only by Moro
attacks but even calamities and disasters - they have the eruption of Mt.
Banahaw, the earthquake of 1753, the pestilence and epidemic both for people and
their working animals and the number of fire incidence that hit the place, the
people once again decided to move northward carrying with them miraculous image,
believing that the image is delivering them from the different pestilence and
Words of the great ancestors has a tale that on the inhabitants’ way to
find another settlement, they rested under a tree and laid down the Image of
Christ as they were already tired. Much to their astonishment, when they were
already lifting the image, they could no longer do so as it is already very
heavy. They finally decided to erect a church on the same spot where they laid
down the image believing that it is God’s Will. This spot is the present
location of the existing Catholic church and being very religious people, the
inhabitants finally made their settlements near the church in the present place
of the poblacion.
The town was originally named “SADYAYA”, was later pronounced
“SARYAYA” and now spelled “SARIAYA” (in foreign language).
Legends have it that it was named after an illiterate woman named “Saria”,
who inqquired by the first Spanish conquerors as to the name of the place, not
understanding the question, the woman gave her name instead. From that time on,
the word “YA” was affixed to her name calling the place Sariaya.