It is said that the name “Balanga” was derived from a kind of pot used for cooking or fetching water. This cooking pot is made of special clay and it is locally known as “banga” or “balanga”. During the Spanish occupation people of this community often use this pot for fetching water and the 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 this place was called Balanga.
Balanga, the capital town of Bataan, was formerly a visita of Abucay before it was established as a mission of the Dominican Order in the Provincial Chapter on April 21, 1714 and later declared a vicariate on April 18, 1739, under the patronage of Saint Joseph.
Balanga is bounded on the north by Abucay; on the east by Manila Bay; on the west by the mountains of Bagac and Morong; and on the south by Pilar, that is separated from it only by the river Talisay, which starts in the mountains of Mariveles and travels from the southwest to the northeast direction. The town is situated on a low plain and during the rainy season.
Despite the ravages of fire, balanga has many large structures. One of the oldest provincial government buildings in the archipelago is found in this town. It was erected in 1729.
Balanga is one of the richest towns in Bataan. Agriculture has always been its chief industry. Fishing also provides a steady source of income, especially for those who lived in barrios near the sea or near the rivers Ogon or Talisay. And this is especially true for Sibacan and Puerto Rivas.
Different establishments have then set up their businesses here. Now, Balanga which will be the host of Arellano Law School is a booming municipality being the center of trade and industry, and the seat of government in Bataan.
Balanga is located 124 kms. Away from Manila and can be reached via 2 major roads – the National Road and roman Superhighway. It can also be reached through the Orion Port via ferry service followed by a 15-minute drive from Orion to Balanga.
Balanga is the capital of Bataan and covers an area of 16,560 hectares and the third largest municipality in the province with 23 barangays.
The town has a total population of 60,760 as of 1995. the municipality has an employment rate of 86.21%
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.
Utilities and Amenities
Peninsula Electric Cooperative (PENELCO) supplies electricity to the whole of Balanga.
Telecommunication facilities are made available by the local exchange of the PLDT and DIGITEL whose lines extend to Abucay in the North and Pilar, Orion, Limay in South. Water is supplied by the Balanga Water District.
Postal and telegraph services are provided by the Philippine Telegraph and Telephone (PT & T), Radio Communications Philippines, Inc. (RCPI), Telefast, DHL, JRS, and LBC.
A total of 15 banks are operating in Balanga, 19 hospitals/clinics, 19 dental laboratories, 3 hotels and 17 restaurants, 4 resorts, and 15 recreational facilities.
Accessibility and strategic location makes Balanga a potential haven for future inverstors. Existing ecozones and industrial estates surrounding the town compliments itsbid to become one of the industrial areas in the region. It also serves as a catch basin for industrial growth areas in the province due to its vast resources and services.