HomeGeneral InformationAbout Zamboanga CityPolitical BoundariesBy NameSta. Barbara

Sta. Barbara


Distance from the City Proper 0.35 km, a mere 3-minute walk from City Hall
Political District District I
Historical Background

Much of the terrain of Barrio Sta. Barbara is near the coastline.  It is covered by swamps and surrounded by nipa shingles, pagadpad trees and mangroves.

In the year 1905, upon the formation of the para-military under the United States of America, Father Murphy, a US-Cavalry chaplain had recognized and baptized the barrio as Sta. Barbara which was taken from his native place in California, in a region so broken by mountains as reflected in Zamboanga.

The rainfall varies in different areas.  It is  not rare for one area to be without rain for several weeks while other enjoy showers for days.  The barrio is so well protected by adjacent islands.  Barrio Sta. Barbara was a patron of light and fires.  It is also the former sanctuary of many types and different kinds of birds and the like.  Its rivers and streams are short and shallow, navigable only for limited distances and the water offshore is usually shallow.  Among the main streams is what we call the "draga" and the river connection from Sucabon passing through the barrio to the end point of Rio Hondo.

The Fort Pilar fortress lies nearly to the sea coastline and is a fortified place or building for military defense against the the Moro pirates.  Numerous inhabitants have fled to the nearby mountains to enable them to live a civilized and Christian life, while Moro attacks brought about the birth of interior towns leading to the consolidation of coastal areas with the interior settlements.

In the year 1945, upon the liberation from World War II, some of the war veterans were largely propelled by hopes of finding a better life in the frontiers of barrio Sta. Barbara.  Having no capital but their labor, their common means of land acquisition was the clearing of swamps for small scale agriculture and residential.  The American military government period was hardly dent on the land or agricultural development issue.

The first American official to make a concerted effort to address these related issues was Sir William Cameron Forbes, Governor General of the Philippine Islands from 1909-1913.  Forbes writing on the issue of land and agricultural development stated "no measure would make for better citizenship, economic progress and contentment on the part of the people that which would give them clear documentary titles, guaranteed by the government, to the land they, and in the most cases their ancestors, had cultivated, improved and considered their own."

His ardent campaign for land registration further rationalized the breakdown of the pre-colonial native norms on land control rooted on property rights.

Development of barrio Sta. Barbara was attributed by some inhabitants and war veterans in the aspiration of respect to individual rights regardless of what tribe and religion you belong.

It was in this community that the first market of Zamboanga was created with the support of the different clans and families such as Algoso, Diaz, Castillo, Fernandez, Bahoy, Campus, Burnos, Barraca, Beliran, Mendoza, Cabil, Belisario, Macasinag, Mala, Trota, Tacurian, and the Dimarunsing clan working in unity and progress of the barrio.

It is also surrounded by acacia trees covering the area from Petitt Barracks, Fort Pilar and the vicinity of Hotel Bayot, now called Lantaka Hotel by the Sea.

Presently, Barangay Sta. Barbara is a highly urbanized community located within the 1.5 kilometer radius of the city.  The community, in relation to a dynamic society, is well-formed with sound symbiotic relationship of both Christian and Muslim inhabitants.

Barangay Fiesta Fiestas are not celebrated since the inhabitants are predominantly Muslims.  Instead, festivities are observed during Hariraya Ei'dil Fitri as the culmination of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Total Population (2007 Census) 7,197
Number of Households 1,123
Punong Barangay Abdulhamid S. Irin
Barangay Kagawad Junaid M. Musa
Abdulmukim M. Nuddin
Bennajar Hadji T. Hairal
Aliakbar S. Ada
Sintim I. Tunggal
Dagami U. Sali
Hasbi A. Sahi