BALANGA CITY is a 5th class city in Bataan, Philippines. The City is located at the eastern part of Bataan and lies in the southwestern part of Central Luzon, bounded by Pilar town in the South, Abucay in the North, the towns of Bagac and Morong in the West and Manila Bay in the East.
Balanga was formerly a visita of Abucay and on April 21, 1714 Dominican missionaries established the place as a provincial chapter. A few years later it was declared a vicariate on April 18, 1739. In 1754, Balanga was made a capital because of its favorable location. The name Balanga was derived from the Tagalog word “Banga” which means clay pot used for cooking or fetching water. During the Spanish era, this pot was often used by the people and Spaniards would ask what they call it, and they would answer, "banga". The Spaniards would repeat the word until they adopt the name of the community. From then on the community was called Balanga.
On December 30, 2000 by virtue of Republic Act 8984, Balanga was inaugurated as a City.
The City has a total land area of 11,163 hectares. The land is nearly level and flat with about 57% of the total land area comprises of plains and lowlands, the other 23% is hilly while the remaining 20% is mountainous. Land use covers residential areas, agricultural land and other agricultural areas, forest, mining or quarrying, grassland pasture, agro-industrial, tourism facilities, mangrove areas, fishpond, among others.
Balanga has a total population of 71,088 people in 14,065 households with an average growth rate of 3.37%. The City ranks second among the highly populated municipalities in the province.
The predominant language used is Tagalog, followed by Pampango and Ilocano. English is used mostly as the medium of transaction in business.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
The City is part of the Industrial Hub of the ’W’ Corridor which has a strategic location for various business investments due to nearby industrial areas like Bataan Export Processing Zone, the Bataan Economic Zone, and the Bataan Technological Park. Balanga promises to be one of the IT investment destinations in the region since it is very much accessible via two major roads: the National Road and the Roman Superhighway; and via sea through the Port of Orion, a ferry service followed by 15 minutes drive from Orion to Balanga.
The proposed Information Technology (IT) Park of the City of Balanga will be located in a 77 hectare area within the New City Center to be developed in Barangay Munting Batangas that will serve as a location for various technologies such as computing, multimedia, telecommunications, microelectronics and their interdependencies. The IT Park would also provide necessary infrastructure and utilities.
Today, the other industry that is also has a major contribution in the City economy is fish processing, cutflower, handicraft and construction.
The city has two distinct seasons, the rainy season which commences on May to October and the dry season from months of November to April.
ARTS & CULTURE
Balanga celebrates various festivities annually such as the Feast Day of the city patron St. Joseph every April 28, and during feast days or “Fiesta” the City showcases fairs, carnivals, a tiangge (flea market), craft exhibits, amateur song and dance contests, musical shows, serenata (brass band) concert or contest at the town plaza, and drum and bugle band marches around the main thoroughfares with the kurakol or kuraldal or sambale (street dancing).
Balanga's resources are mostly agricultural in nature like palay production, sugarcane, corn, coconut, fruits and vegetables, and fish products like milkfish, tilapia, shrimps, prawns, crabs, oysters, and other shelled seafood.
The City has various religious affinities such as Roman Catholic, Iglesia ni Cristo, Protestants, Aglipay & Born-Again Christians.
LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
Balanga City is politically subdivided into 25 barangays:
Munting Batangas (Cadre)
Pto. Rivas Ibaba
Pto. Rivas Itaas
BALANGA CATHOLIC CHURCH BELFRY
The Church was once used a site for the Japanese artillery bombardment of Mt. Samat where Filipino and American forces took their last stand in Bataan.
SURRENDER SITE MARKER
This is situated in the compound of Balanga Elementary School, and the site was the formal surrender of Bataan during World War II.
Philippine Rabbit, Genesis, and Aladdin have buses plying the Manila-Bataan route regularly. Victory Liner serves Bataan from Olongapo. Buses & Jeepneys ply the municipal routes while the local trips within the City are carried out using motorized tricycles. Bus, tricycle and jeepney services are available from the terminal for a moderate fee.
The quickest way to reach Balanga is via one hour ferry ride, from Manila CCP Bay Terminal to Port of Orion, followed by a 10 minute drive from the main port at Orion.