Formerly called “Arranggo”, named after the freshwater shells that were once abundant in the area, the town was established as a municipality in 1898. It was renamed Santo Tomas upon the recommendation of Don Fulgencio Andaya, an influential local at the time. The townsfolk rejected the name San Isidro as several places in the province had already been named San Isidro.
Through the persistence of local leaders such as Don Fernando Mina and Don Antonio Puruganan, the plan to establish Santo Tomas as an independent municipality was initiated. However, the Philippine-American war derailed the process. Not until 10 years later in 1908 that the plan was again forwarded to the provincial government in Lingayen, Pangasinan. Finally, the central government in Manila approved the establishment of Santo Tomas as a municipality separate from the town of Alcala.
Santo Tomas is part of the fifth congressional district. It has a total land area of 1,299 hectares and a population of 14,878 people according to the 2020 census.
An agricultural town, Santo Tomas has a significant part of its land dedicated to its agro-industrial businesses. The town’s main products include palay, yellow corn, coconut, tobacco, poultry, and livestock farming.
Mary Jane Saavedra