History of Barangay Sto. Niño
There is no existing record of the formal beginning of the barrio that it was presumed that in the year 1667 the Jesuit crossed the river from Jesus dela Pena, to search for a suitable place for the construction of a new church due to
the increasing number of Christian inhabitance and because of the influence of the turbulent Marikina River. The areas that they chosen was across the river and was named after the patron saint, Sto. Niño. The original name of the place was “Halang”, so
called because of the orientation of the position of the town which is perpendicular to the rising sun. It was still a wilderness when the Jesuit priest came in 1630. However, it is believed that people have settled along the river banks of the same barrio
from the time of Malay migration. Coming as they were at the mouth of Pasig River, moving up the river and then starting to farm the fertile area on both sides, they came to be known as “Taga Ilog” and later on were derived to be known as “Tagalog”. And as
year’s passes and as population increase other portions of place have been inhabited. During the time, the boundaries of Sto. Niño were the following: on the North it was bounded by the City of Malanday, and on the East the City of Apongao, Cupang and Mayamot,
on the South, the Municipality of Sta. Elena and on the West the beautiful but turbulent Marikina River. Originally the Marikina River had its banks along the present J.P. Rizal St. but as years passed by the subtler portion valley yield to the present site
of Marikina River leaving the bank a very fertile farm that came to be known as “Tumana”. From such farms were produced the famous Lucio’s vegetables such as Kamatis, Pakwan and other vegetables which became very famous for their sizes and tastes.
The town of Marikina in the year 1912 was owned wholly by the Tuazon family, except for the narrow streets of land on both sides of J.P. Rizal which were known as “Lupang Tagalog”. They came to be known as such because the owners living on both sides of the street refused to yield to the Tuazon and even came to the extent of threatening to revolt against the owners if such lands will not be given to them. In order to avoid trouble, the Tuazon family agreed to donate the lands to the original owners in order to pacify the areas. Since then, it came to be known as the only “Lupang Tagalog” and the rest was owned by the Tuazon family. Subsequently all the land were purchased by the government and subdivided among the occupants. It will be of great interest to the people of Marikina to know originally the people of Sto. Niño were fishermen, farmers, and shoemakers, and across the river were vast extensive field of sugarcane plantation. As far as informants are concerned they are called the owners of this plantation who were converting the jute into sugar known as molasses during the time.
Presently, Sto. Niño has a population 36,865. Because of it’s accessibility to Manila many people from different province came and settled here. This resulted in the establishment of different subdivision all over the area that has now reached up to the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountain. So then, fronting the subdivision and the people there, it is of importance to know that Sto. Niño will play a very important role in the development of the city of Marikina.
The history of Sto. Niño will not be completed if we will not note down the contributions of the different religions in the development of the sitio. The first church constructed in Sto. Niño was the Catholic Chapel with the patron saint child Jesus. It was located opposite the old building known as kababayan. The lot was formerly owned by Domingo Bautista as Inggong Bato. It was destroyed during World War II and new building was built other place where it stand J.P. Rizal St., Lot 3 from the river stream. The first “Aglipayan” chapel on other hand was built in 1903 in a place adjacent to where the new Marikina Bridge is. The lot was formerly owned by a certain Mariang Suwahe. In 1908, a big fire gutted the chapel and a big portion of the town of Marikina was damaged.