Zarraga was once a nameless jungle or a no man’s land with an abundance of big trees, talahib, cogon and wild grasses so tall and thick, it was a place good only for hunters. Luckily, the pioneers who first discovered Zarraga, headed by Marcelino Poblador, Fulgencio Pinuela, Eugenio Pedro Zarraga and Marcelino Pinuela formed the town in 1853. The town of Zarraga was named after Pedro Zarraga, then Alcalde Mayor of Irong-Irong (now Iloilo City). He served for eight years until his death in August 26, 1882. When the Americans finally allowed the Filipinos to establish their own civil government, Fruto Gregorios and Petre Gustilo ran for the position of Presidente Municipal but came out in deadlock. Instead, the elected Vice President, Calixto Gustilo, became the Presidente Municipal of Zarraga.
Like many other municipalities established during Spanish era, Zarraga had undergone the days of trial and humiliation. In the early part of 1904, it became the arrabal of the municipality of Sta. Barbara, much to the chagrin of its people. It remained as such up to the year 1940. When by virtue of Executive Order No. 295, by them President Manuel L. Quezon, it again became a municipality. Emelio Gregorius became its first municipal mayor. Mayor Porferio Pinuela was the first elected mayor, followed by Jovito Arimas. Following the death of Arimas, his vice-mayor, Emiliano Lacson succeeded him as municipal mayor.
During the next election, Mayor Silveo Jr. was elected mayor and remained as such until the EDSA revolution in 1986 when he had to relinquish his post following the orders of the Aquino administration. Mayor Orlando replaced him. In the 1995 elections, Mayor Silveo was elected mayor and remains as such to the present.