Sagay City’s Brief History
It all started with a small settlement founded by Tenientes Francisco Rodriguez and Basilio Cordova in the year 1860, situated in the mouth of Bulanon River, which was then called Arguelles.
Through the active leadership of both founders the place thrived and prospered, and eventually became a town.
In 1870, the town was transferred to a bigger settlement near the sea upon orders of the Spanish Governor who renamed it Pueblo de Magallanes, know today as Barangay Old Sagay.
During the reign of Quintin Katalbas as town mayor in 1960, the name of the town was officially changed to Sagay.
Legend has it that Sagay derived its name from the semi-spherical shell called sigay found abundant in the town’s many islets and shores.
After the Second World War, the seat of the Municipal Government was moved to Dalusan.
It was again transferred to its present site in Brgy. Rizal on December 22, 2002.
On June 11, 1996, the Municipality of Sagay was converted into a city, ratified on August 10, 1996 through a plebiscite by virtue of Republic Act 8192. During his visit to the province on August 27, 1996, then President Fidel V. Ramos formally proclaimed Sagay the seventh city of Negros Occidental, citing it as an excellent example for other striving communities.
The late Hon. Joseph G. Marañon was then Sagay’s first City Mayor having been elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2003.
The big leap of the third class municipality of Sagay into a second class city was made possible through the unwavering efforts of its local officials and relentless representation of Former District II Congressman and now Governor of Negros Occidental Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr., who authored the city-hood bill.
Sagay is home to a 32,000 hectare marine reserve that includes Carbin Reef, Panal Reef, Maca Reef and Maca Shoal.
Law Creating The City of Sagay
It has been the undying dream and long-nurtured aspiration of every sagaynon for Sagay to be a city. With the earnest leadership of Former Sagay City Mayor and Negros Occidental Governor, the late Joseph G. Marañon and the late Vice Mayor Fortunato S. Javelosa, the host of challenges did not impede that dream to keep aflame.
These has inspired the now historical authorship of Former Congressman and now the current Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo G. Marañon of House bill No. 6543, “An Act converting the Municipality of Sagay into a component City of Negros Occidental” during the 10th Congress. Passing through the legislation process, a public hearing was held in Sagay City on Feburuary 22 1996.
Again Sagaynons from all walks of life reiterated their overwhelming support for the cityhood.
On May 3, 1996, Sen. Raul Roco sponsored the Senate Bill No. 1191 the Senate version of the cityhood.
A month and 10 Days later, on June 11,1996, Former President Fidel V. Ramos signed into Law RA8192, now the charter of Sagay City.
After the labor pains of its cityhood, the people of Sagay has again reaffirmed its voice through a successful referendum. On August 10, 1996, 24,000 who voted ratified RA8192 and made Sagay, officially Sagay City.
Observers say the unified efforts of the local and national leaders paid off with unseen hands guiding through the conversion process.