Last updated on October 25, 2019
Early accounts on the founding of the city, as gathered from the old people, contend that it was formerly a part of the town of Meycauayan. This is supported by a decree from the Archbishop of Manila dated March 1750 on the creation of new municipalities. The municipality of San Jose del Monte was then officially founded on March 2, 1752.
The decree included the list of families who volunteered to be relocated. These families, most if not all from Lagulo (now Malhacan) in Meycauayan, brought with them rice, wine, nganga and salt from in exchange for the wild pigs, deer, yantok and almasigan of the Itas and Dumagats, the native inhabitants of the area. Solares, including intended lots for main roads, were peacefully distributed to the new occupants after being measured and surveyed.
The town reportedly got its name from Saint Joseph whose statue was found in a veritable forest; the hunters called it “San Jose Del Monte” (lit.
“Saint Joseph of the Mountain”). In all probability, the hunters
reported their find to the parish priest of Meycauayan. It was said that
the priest built a stone church at the site where the town proper is
now located. The statue was installed in the new church. Extant Catholic
Church records reveal that the first parish priest was Father Antonio
de Moral. He took charge of the parish in 1845.
During the revolt against Spain, the town became a battleground between the Katipuneros
and the Spanish forces. The revolutionaries lost and the vengeful
Spanish soldiers burned down the settlement. The town people fled for
their lives to nearby towns. At the advent of the American rule, it was
made a part of Sta. Maria until 1918 when the town was recreated and
Ciriaco Gallardo appointed the first municipal president. Public schools
were opened at the start of the American regime but due to the scarcity
of the population, the highest grade organized was at the fourth grade.
During the Japanese occupation, the town became an ideal hiding
place of the local recognized guerrillas because of the town’s hilly and
wooden terrain. The Japanese Imperial Army
took over the local government of San Jose del Monte from 1942-1943. In
resistance, the municipality formed its own guerrilla unit. San Jose
del Monte experienced large casualties when the Americans bombed the
town center on January 11, 1945 and again on January 14, 1945. When the
combined Filipino and American troops came, peace reigned but not for
At the height of the Hukbalahap Rebellion,
the town was raided on October 10, 1950. The Huks burned down the town
hall. The town was raided for the second time on March 21, 1951. The
Huks did not succeed because of the precautionary measures instituted by
the town officials after which the Huks were gradually eliminated.
On September 10, 2000, San Jose del Monte was proclaimed as a Component City under Republic Act No. 8797. It became the first City in the province of Bulacan and recorded as the 86th chartered city of the Philippines. On December 18, 2003, the City of San Jose became the 1st Lone Congressional District in Bulacan.