Last updated on September 30, 2019
San Pablo’s earliest historical record dates back to pre-Spanish times when four large barrios bounded by Mount Makiling composed “Sampalok” .And one of the richest cities in the Philippines. In 1571, the first Spanish troops under Captain Juan de Salcedo arrived in the upland village of Sampaloc, which became a parish in 1586, and then a municipality in 1647, and was renamed “San Pablo de Los Montes” in honor of Saint Paul the First Hermit. In 1756 it was placed under the jurisdiction of Batangas province but was returned in 1883 to Laguna.
In 1899, a municipal government was established, with Atty Innocente Martinez as municipal president. Marcos Paulino was elected municipal president in 1902 when the civil government was set up. From 1926 to 1940, the people of San Pablo worked for its independence from the province of Laguna. On May 7, 1940, the Charter Bill sponsored by Assemblyman Tomas D. Dizon was approved by president Manuel L. Quezon. The bill became known as the City Charter of San Pablo or Commonwealth Act No. 520 – approved by president Manuel L. Quezon.
The city was inaugurated on March 30, 1941, with Dr. Potenciano Malvar, a former governor of Laguna, as the city mayor appointed by president Manuel L. Quezon. Succeeding him 1941 as an appointed mayor was Dr. Manuel Quisumbing, in turn followed by Tomas D. Dizon in 1943 as an appointed mayor. The succeeding mayors were elected after 1955.