Balangiga, Eastern Samar

Balangiga (IPA: [ˌbalaŋˈhɪga]), officially the Municipality of Balangiga, is a 4th class municipality in the province of Eastern Samar, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 14,085 people.[3]

Municipality of Balangiga
Balangiga Church
Map of Eastern Samar with Balangiga highlighted
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 11°06′35″N 125°23′15″E
Country Philippines
RegionEastern Visayas (Region VIII)
ProvinceEastern Samar
DistrictLone District
Barangays13 (see Barangays)
  TypeSangguniang Bayan
  MayorRandy D. Graza
  Vice MayorSamuel A. Enciso
  CongressmanMaria Fe R. Abunda
  Electorate10,501 voters (2019)
  Total190.05 km2 (73.38 sq mi)
 (2015 census)[3]
  Density74/km2 (190/sq mi)
  Income class4th municipal income class
  Poverty incidence39.65% (2015)[4]
  Revenue (₱)70,096,358.23 (2016)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63(0)55
Climate typetropical rainforest climate
Native languagesWaray

Balangiga is the site of the Balangiga massacre in 1901, which remains one of the longest-running and most controversial issues of the Philippine–American War.


Balangiga Massacre and Bells

On 28 September 1901, a group of Filipino villagers from Balangiga ambushed Company C of the 9th U.S. Infantry Regiment while they were at breakfast, killing 48 and wounding 22 of the 78 men of the unit, with only four escaping unhurt and four missing in action. The villagers captured about 100 rifles and 25,000 rounds of ammunition. An estimated 20 to 25 of them died in the fighting, with a similar number of wounded.[5]

In reprisal, General Jacob H. Smith ordered that Samar be turned into a "howling wilderness" and that they shoot any Filipino male above ten years of age[5] who was capable of bearing arms. The American soldiers seized three church bells from the town church and moved them back to the United States as war trophies. The 9th Infantry Regiment maintained that the single bell in their possession was presented to the regiment by villagers when the unit left Balangiga on 9 April 1902. The bell had been actually given to them by the 11th Infantry Regiment, which had taken all three bells when they left Balangiga for Tacloban on 18 October 1901.[7]

Smith and his primary subordinate, Major Littleton Waller of the United States Marine Corps, were both court-martialled for illegal vengeance against the civilian population of Samar. Waller was acquitted of the charges. Smith was found guilty, admonished and retired from service, but charges were dropped shortly after. He was later hailed as a war hero.[8]

Second World War and Japanese Occupation

At the height of World War II before the Allied Liberation, the 3rd Samar Company of the Philippine Constabulary was constituted of all combined military forces from Basey, Balangiga, Guiuan, and Salcedo, was integrated into the Imperial Japanese Army, and was operating in the Samar Island. The mainly general headquarters of the Philippine Constabulary 3rd Samar Company including the 10 infantry divisions under the 9th Military Area of the Philippine Commonwealth Army were based in Balangiga and around the two provinces in Leyte and Samar began the occupation conflicts against the enemy.

Began on September 18, 1944, the constable troops of the Philippine Constabulary 3rd Samar Company were ambushed in Barrio Cansumangkay the pursuing attack by the Imperial Japanese Army on their way to Balangiga to disarm the company members and constable soldiers on loyal to the U.S. liberation forces and adding them to ongoing soldiers of the Philippine Commonwealth Army units was going in the town and began the battling siege. Almost 31 Japanese and 2 Filipinos died in this battle.

On October 28, 1944, the general headquarters of the Philippine Constabulary 3rd Samar Company was become the establishment of the constable 9th Constabulary Regiment among the provincial companies in Leyte and Samar, constabulary battalions, infantry battalions and military-police battalions, was military stationed in this municipal town of Balangiga was start the Allied Liberation of the Philippines and they operates of the local constabulary soldiers around liberate area in two provinces of Samar and Leyte was added by combined Filipino and American troops under the Philippine Commonwealth Army and United States Army including the recognized guerrillas was fought against the Imperial Japanese troops until the end of the Second World War.


Balangiga is located on the southern coast of the island of Samar facing Leyte Gulf, and sits at the mouth of the Balangiga River. To the west lies the municipality of Lawaan, to the north is Llorente, and to the east are the municipalities of Quinapondan and Giporlos.


Balangiga is politically subdivided into 13 barangays.[2]

  • Bacjao
  • Cag-olango
  • Cansumangcay
  • Guinmaayohan
  • Poblacion I
  • Poblacion II
  • Poblacion III
  • Poblacion IV
  • Poblacion V
  • Poblacion VI
  • San Miguel
  • Santa Rosa
  • Maybunga


Population census of Balangiga
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 4,914    
1918 10,125+4.94%
1939 19,858+3.26%
1948 21,621+0.95%
1960 8,215−7.75%
1970 9,538+1.50%
1975 8,474−2.34%
1980 9,559+2.44%
1990 9,565+0.01%
1995 11,100+2.83%
2000 10,662−0.86%
2007 12,428+2.14%
2010 12,756+0.95%
2015 14,085+1.90%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][9][10][11]

In the 2015 census, the population of Balangiga, Eastern Samar, was 14,085 people,[3] with a density of 74 inhabitants per square kilometre or 190 inhabitants per square mile.


Climate data for Balangiga, Eastern Samar
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28
Average low °C (°F) 22
Average precipitation mm (inches) 90
Average rainy days 17.0 13.5 16.0 16.5 20.6 24.3 26.0 25.4 25.2 26.4 23.0 21.1 255
Source: Meteoblue [12]


Balangiga can be reached through public utility vans and buses from Tacloban City. Pedicabs (potpot), tricycles, and habal-habal by the means of inner town transportation.


Balangiga has 9 public elementary schools, namely:

  • Balangiga Central Elementary School
  • Bacjao Elementary School
  • Bangon Elementary School
  • Cag-olango Elementary School
  • Cansumangkay Elementary School
  • Guinmaayohan Elementary School
  • Maybunga Elementary School
  • San Miguel Elementary School
  • Santa Rosa Elementary School

Has 1 public secondary school:

  • Southern Samar National Comprehensive High School

Has 1 private secondary school:

  • MSH Sisters Academy Balangiga

Daughter Towns

The municipalities of Lawaan, Giporlos, and Quinapondan were former barangays of the municipality of Balangiga.

See also


  1. "Municipality". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  2. "Province: Eastern Samar". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. Census of Population (2015). "Region VIII (Eastern Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. "PSA releases the 2015 Municipal and City Level Poverty Estimates". Quezon City, Philippines. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  5. Bautista, Veltisezar. "The Balangiga, Samar, Massacre". Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2008.
  6. Dobson, G. B. "Fort D. A. Russell Photos". Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  7. Robson, Seth (7 July 2004). "Book casts doubt on bell's history". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 21 March 2008.
  8. "Philippine Insurrection, 1899-1902: A Working Bibliography". Retrieved 20 March 2008.
  9. Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region VIII (Eastern Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  10. Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Region VIII (Eastern Visayas)". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
  11. "Province of Eastern Samar". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  12. "Balangiga, Eastern Samar : Average Temperatures and Rainfall". Meteoblue. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
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