Santa Mesa
District of Manila
Aerial view of Santa Mesa
Aerial view of Santa Mesa
Location of Santa Mesa
RegionNational Capital Region
Congressional District6th District
 • Total2.6101 km2 (1.0078 sq mi)
 • Total111,292
 • Density43,000/km2 (110,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+08:00 (Philippine Standard Time)
Zip codes
Area codes2

Santa Mesa is a district in Manila, Philippines. It is surrounded by the Pasig River on the southwestern side, and by the San Juan River on its southern and eastern side. Land borders include the districts of San Miguel to the west and Sampaloc to the north; and to the northeast is Quezon City.

Santa Mesa was formerly a part of the Sampaloc district, from which it was partitioned and separated after it had its own parish in 1911. The parish is now known as Old Sta. Mesa (Poblacion), which extends from Victorino Mapa Street (Calle Santa Mesa) to Magsaysay Boulevard (Santa Mesa Boulevard).[2][3]


The district's name comes from the Jesuits, who christened the area Hermandad de Santa Mesa de la Misericordia (Spanish for "Brotherhood of the Holy Table of Mercy"). The local parish church had for its titular Sacred Heart of Jesus, which formed part of the phrase the "Center of the Table is the Sacred Heart which all Graces and Mercy flowed down." The Tuason family are the landlords of Santa Mesa during the Spanish colonial period offered an obra pía ("pious work"), and provided social services to the people Doña Albina Tuason also donated the Land where the Church is located even right at this modern days.

A more popular folk etymology is that the name is a corruption of the Spanish term Santa Misa ("Holy Mass").[citation needed]


Wounded soldiers during the Philippine–American War.

Santa Mesa was situated in the alluvial deposits at the confluence of Pasig and San Juan Rivers. It was owned by a Jesuits religious order during the Spanish Era, and it is in this period that Santa Mesa got its name. Santa Mesa is better known for its role in the Philippine–American War, in which the area became a battlefield during the Philippine–American War. The conflict started when Pvt. William W. Grayson shot a Filipino soldier in San Juan Bridge between Santa Mesa and San Juan. In late 2003, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines had determined that the conflict did not happen on San Juan Bridge, but at the juncture of Sociego and Silencio Streets.

Up until the early American period, Santa Mesa was just one of the barrios that comprised Sampaloc, which was a town of the defunct province of Manila before it was absorbed by the city of Manila upon its chartering in 1901.[4] In 1911, Santa Mesa became a separate religious district out of Sampaloc when the first and oldest parish in the Philippines in honor of its Titular Patron, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was established. The created parish is now known as the Old Santa Mesa, which extended from V. Mapa to Santa Mesa Boulevard. The neighborhood was composed of wealthy and aristocrats Spanish and Filipino families who built summer houses, examples of which are the Sociego Mansion, formerly home of the Tuason Family, and the Carriedo Mansion (currently known as the Antique House in Pureza), formerly home of Governor General Francisco Carriedo y Peredo who spearheaded the clean water system of the City of Manila. Affluent families where attracted to Santa Mesa's cooler climate and the picturesque streets that were lined with ylang-ylang trees along Santa Mesa Boulevard. The abundance of these trees started a perfume industry in Santa Mesa — flowers were harvested, pressed and the oil were exported in great quantities to perfumeries in France.[2]

The small community became the location of the hospital to treat the wounded during World War II. The town experienced its growth after the war. Santa Mesa was the site of a 1950s suburban development because of its proximity to Central Manila. The Santa Mesa Market was constructed around this period. It was a big shopping complex, and became popular for the selling of Post eXchange or PX Goods from U.S. bases in the Philippines that's why it was called Stop & Shop.[2]

When the Congressional Districts of Manila were created, Sta. Mesa was separated from Sampaloc, falling to the jurisdiction of the 6th District. The national census still considers Santa Mesa as a part of Sampaloc for statistical purposes.


Santa Mesa is located in the eastern section of the City of Manila. It is bounded to the west by Lacson Avenue separating it from San Miguel; by Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard to the north bordering it from Sampaloc. The northeast boundary of Santa Mesa is west of SM City Sta. Mesa shopping mall. Although the mall has "Santa Mesa" on its name, it is located in Quezon City very near the city limits of Manila.[5]

The southwestern side of Santa Mesa is along the Pasig River while the southern and eastern sides are along the San Juan River. Across the San Juan River are the cities of San Juan to the east and a small portion of Mandaluyong to the southeast. Across the Pasig River, are the Manila areas of Santa Ana to the south and Pandacan to the southeast.

The topography of the area is relatively flat as some of the natural variations in elevations have been evened out due to urbanization.

Sites of interest

The main campus of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, seen from the air.


Churches of Santa Mesa
Name Image Location / GPS Coordinates Denomination Notes
Baptist Bible Church Sociego Street Baptists
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
Old Santa Mesa Street Lutheran
Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall Old Santa Mesa Street Jehovah's Witnesses
Nuestra Señora de Salvacion Parish Church
Anonas Street cor Hipodromo Street Roman Catholic
Our Lady of Fatima Parish Church
Lubiran Street cor. Mag. Jose Abad Santos Street Roman Catholic
Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Church
Old Santa Mesa Street Roman Catholic
Sambahan sa Banal na Hapag (IEMELIF Church)
Magsaysay Boulevard Methodist
Seventh-day Adventist Church Hippodromo Street Adventist
SM Valenzuela (IEMELIF Church) Old Santa Mesa Street Methodist
Abundant Life Ministry Inc. Teresa Street Born Again

Parks and plazas

Parks and plazas in Santa Mesa
Name Image Location / GPS Coordinates Notes
Bacood Park Valenzuela Street
Paraiso ng Batang Maynila Bataan cor. Leyte Streets, Bacood
PUP Lagoon
PUP Mabini Campus, Anonas Street
PUP Linear Park
PUP Mabini Campus, Anonas Street
PUP Nemesio E. Prudente Freedom Park (Freedom Plaza)
PUP Mabini Campus, Anonas Street


Santa Mesa is made up of 51 barangays. For statistical convenience for housing and population, the data for Santa Mesa is grouped with the data of Sampaloc.

Zone/Barangay Land area (km2) Population (2020 census)
Zone 58
Barangay 587 0.07333 km2 2,920
Barangay 587-A 0.02194 km2 1,277
Barangay 588 0.01947 km2 989
Barangay 589 0.03283 km2 660
Barangay 590 0.03619 km2 3,209
Barangay 591 0.06667 km2 2,498
Barangay 592 0.03228 km2 2,371
Barangay 593 0.04383 km2 1,775
Zone 59
Barangay 594 0.03035 km2 636
Barangay 595 0.04867 km2 4,198
Barangay 596 0.02226 km2 2,375
Barangay 597 0.03043 km2 1,672
Barangay 598 0.07679 km2 12,027
Barangay 599 0.03596 km2 4,272
Barangay 600 0.06367 km2 5,892
Barangay 601 0.1163 km2 7,759
Zone 60
Barangay 602 0.1353 km2 2,000
Barangay 603 0.04759 km2 712
Barangay 604 0.02000 km2 1,477
Barangay 605 0.03845 km2 1,751
Barangay 606 0.03072 km2 532
Barangay 610 0.02922 km2 968
Barangay 611 0.03176 km2 808
Barangay 612 0.02191 km2 703
Barangay 613 0.02612 km2 568
Zone 61
Barangay 607 0.04699 km2 1,782
Barangay 608 0.02579 km2 756
Barangay 609 0.02867 km2 1,046
Barangay 614 0.01654 km2 404
Barangay 615 0.02034 km2 1,828
Barangay 616 0.03139 km2 910
Barangay 617 0.03125 km2 921
Barangay 618 0.04016 km2 740
Zone 62
Barangay 619 0.2010 km2 1,283
Barangay 620 0.02244 km2 725
Barangay 621 0.07931 km2 1,787
Barangay 622 0.02481 km2 1,197
Barangay 623 0.02529 km2 954
Barangay 624 0.02421 km2 1,429
Barangay 625 0.03206 km2 1,027
Zone 63
Barangay 626 0.03282 km2 1,285
Barangay 627 0.04027 km2 1,605
Barangay 628 0.1839 km2 15,202
Barangay 629 0.03937 km2 1,633
Barangay 630 0.2551 km2 4,660
Zone 64
Barangay 631 0.04890 km2 1,254
Barangay 632 0.01467 km2 254
Barangay 633 0.01554 km2 447
Barangay 634 0.05924 km2
Barangay 635 0.05317 km2 660
Barangay 636 0.08512 km2 2,135



  1. ^ "Highlights of the Philippine Population 2015 Census of Population". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Alcazaren, Paulo (June 13, 2012). "Sta. Mesa: Manila's northeastern edge". Retrieved December 10, 2021.
  3. ^ "City of Manila, Philippine Islands". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  4. ^ "An act to incorporate the City of Manila". Act No. 183 of July 31, 1901. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  5. ^ "Metro Manila Malls - SM City Sta. Mesa". SM Prime. Retrieved on 2014-11-23.

14°36′N 121°01′E / 14.600°N 121.017°E / 14.600; 121.017