Santo Tomas, officially the Municipality of Santo Tomas, is a 4th class municipality in the province of Pampanga, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 40,475 people.
As the youngest and smallest Pampanga town, Santo Tomas has a total land area of 1,467 hectares. It is a mainly agricultural and fishing community; industry includes casket manufacture, ceramics, and carpentry.
The town’s name is derived from Baliwag (“tardy” in Spanish) a reference to local habit of arriving late for Mass. Baliwag, whose original name was Santo Tomas, had its Patron, St. Thomas the Apostle. He is also called Doubting Thomas or Didymus (meaning “twin,” as does “Thomas” in Aramaic) and was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. The Patronal Feast is celebrated yearly on the 21st of December from the town’s original founding date of 1792.
On September 15, 1792, Santo Tomas was severed from its parent Minalin, Pampanga. On May 4, 1899, the town was under the U.S. Force’s administration. On January 2, 1905, it was ceded to San Fernando, Pampanga until 1905. On October 12, 1951, Executive Order No. 476 (issued by Elpidio Quirino) created Santo Tomas and its five barrios of San Matias, San Vicente, San Bartolome, Sto. Rosario and Sto. Tomas with the seat of government at barrio San Vicente.
On January 11, 1952, the municipality of Sto. Tomas was re-inaugurated. The first municipal hall was temporarily at the house of late Mayor Patricio Gomez, the first municipal mayor.
In 1955, RA 1250, the San Matias seat was transferred to Sto. Tomas. Presidential Decree No. 1441 was issued by President Ferdinand E. Marcos on June 11, 1978, transferring the seat of municipal government from Barangay Sto.Tomas to Barangay San Vicente.
The town became the site of the bloody encounter between Filipino and American forces during Philippine Revolution known as the Battle of Santo Tomas.
Santo Tomas is politically subdivided into seven barangays:
- Moras De La Paz
- Sto. Tomas
- San Bartolome
- San Matias
- San Vicente
- Santo Rosario (Pau)
- Sapa (Santo Niño)