Before the conquest of Laguna Lake region. Nagcarlan was headed by a valiant datu named Gat Lakilaw. Its conversion to Christianity began in 1578 through the efforts of Fray Juan de Plasencia and Fray Diego Oropesa, both Franciscan missionaries. The community formally became a pueblo in 1583 under Fray Tomas de Miranda, the Spanish priest who held the distinction of having brought to Nagcarlan the first seeds of wheat ever sowed on Philippine soil.

It was in this town that Fray de Plasencia wrote the first “Diccionario Hispano-Tagalog” in 1579. Ten years later, he wrote the manuscript of “Costumbrez de los Tagalog”, which according to Franciscan documents, served as a guide for the Alcaldes Mayores for effective and righteous governance.

In 1595, Don Juan Banol, then Alcalde Mayor of Laguna, visited Nagcarlan and appointed the town’s first Gobernadorcillo in the person of Gaspar Cahupa, a native, who served until 1687.

In 1845, Fray Vicente Belloc, a Franciscan missionary who served as Nagcarlan parish priest for twenty years, led the construction of the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery. The only one of its kind in the country, this cemetery served as a public burial ground from the time it was built, although its underground crypt was reserved for Spanish friars and the town’s influential families. It later served as a secret meeting place of Filipino revolutionaries. The historic “Pact of Biak-na-Bato” was first planned by Pedro Paterno and Gen. Severino Taiño of the “Maluningning” Command during their secret meeting in this cemetery in 1897.

On January 1, 1919, after two unsuccessful attempts, eight barrios, namely, Antipolo, Entablado, Talaga, Maiton, Laguan, Pauli, Tuy and Pook, formally seceded from Nagcarlan, constituting a new municipality that is now known as Rizal, Laguna.