A very old woman named Dominga Bulones, or Apung Engga, was the resource person on the early history of this barangay. According to her, the place that is now Maria Clara used to be called Tarangao.
Apung Engga recounted that she and her husband were the only occupants in this place, which would soon be called Tarangao. That was many, many years ago; and Tarangao was still densely forested but full of life-giving resources – wild animals and fruits and vegetables and fish.
Tarangao in those days was considered as a sanctuary for those wild animals, the naturally growing plants, and aquatic resources. They were the means for survival of the early settlers that came. Where those settlers hailed Apung Engga did not know; but she recalled that they were led by a certain Andres Santos.
After WW II Santos encouraged people to settle at Tarangao. Those who harkened to hos encouragements included Dominga Lopez and Teofilo Doles both from Nueva Vizcaya.
As days went on, more settlers came, and the local population gradually grew. Agriculture and fishing were their means of sustenance. The planted upland rice, sweet potatoes and gabi (taro) – their staple food. Meat, poultry, and fish were also abundant.
There was a time when a malaria epidemic struck that decimated the settlers. The survivors persevered in developing rice fields and upland farm lots. As a result, more crops were produced; and surplus products had to be transported to the poblacion. That was when roads began to be constructed.
In 1965, the Tarangao leader Dominga Lopez became a Municipal Councilor. He and fellow Councilor Maria Luiza Santiago, a lawyer by profession, passed a resolution creating Tarangao as a full-fledged barangay. The resolution was approved, but the name Tarangao was changed to Maria Clara, in perpetuation of her name Maria Luiza.