Once a part of the town of Biņan during the Spanish period, Sta. Rosa was then known as Barrio Bukol which literarily means upland. In 1757 when the Spaniards occupied Bukol in order to propagate Christianity, a chapel was built by the Dominican friars. Santo Domingo was Bukol's first patron saint.
When the residents of Bukol made a petition to the Spanish government to convert the barrio into a municipality, it was granted and the barrio of Bukol separated from Biņan on August 30, 1792. It was renamed Santa Rosa after its new patron saint, Sta. Rosa de Lima.
Many of the residents of Sta. Rosa became members of the revolutionary society popularly known as the Katipunan. In 1903, the town had 14 identified barrios. A 15th barrio was formed in 1964 while three more were formed in 1972. The entire municipality is now composed of 18 barangays.
Its proximity to Metro Manila caused the influx of residents to Sta. Rosa. The municipality absorbed most of the overspill population during the early 80s. On the other hand, industrial development was notable in the second half of the 80s. Sta. Rosa became virtually a catchment area whose growth and development depended mostly on the urban policies and situation in the Metropolitan Manila.
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