Long before the arrival of the Americans in 1898, the place was a thick jungle wherein people used to hunt wild animals and birds. The Aetas were the only inhabitants of the place.

Historically speaking, Santiago was a sitio under barrio Ayson in the southwestern part and barrio Calayaan on the northwestern part. This place was often called “Cabatuan” meaning stony, because small pieces of stones are found everywhere in the place. Still another name was given to the place which other people called “Cabalanguyan”, which was named after Balanggay, a Palm tree which grew in abundance in the place. In spite of the name given to the place, people of nearby places were confused in determining the direction. It was for this reason that the people there struggled to have the place independent from Calayaan and Ayson. They named the place Santiago in honor of Don Basilio Santiago, a rich landowner of the place who later became the Municipal President of Gerona. It was the people’s choice to name the barrio Santiago because most of them are tenants of Don Basilio Santiago. This became the permanent name of the barrio.

The people were led by Raymundo Manayan and Juan Valete. Their successful work led to the establishment of the barrio of 70 to 80 families on January 15, 1926.