People of this town had known many stories of how Orion got its name. Some folks say that Udyong was the first name adapted by this town. It came from the words “lu-ad” and “uryong” which meant muddy, because of the fact4 that the place was muddy and swampy during those times.
Another popular story was that during the Spanish regime, some Spanish soldiers happened to pass by this town. They did not know the name of the place so they asked the people they saw in the ricefields. One of the soldiers pointed his finger to the ground and asked “Que es el llama pueblo”. Not understanding Spanish the people thought that the soldier was referring to something he saw on the ground that happens to be a worm. The hurriedly answered “uod yon”, referring to the worm. When the soldiers heard the word, they thought that the citizens were referring to the name of the town, and left the place numbling to themselves. “Uod, uod yon”. Thus, the town was known as Udyong and was later changed to Orion.
The date of official recognition of the municipality of Orion could not be ascertained, however, records showed that this municipality was founded by a Dominican on April 30, 1667. On September 16 , 1852, a strong earthquake shook the whole archipelago and caused the destruction of the parochial church and was later rebuilt by Fr. Ulpiano Herrera, the parish priest of the place at that time. In 1892, forty years later, a big fire practically burned the whole town, that only three houses remained safe. It was Fr. Jose Campomanes who tried to reconstruct the town from the ashes and ruins of the fire and transformed it into a beautiful and prosper one. This was the beginning of the progress.
The town of Orion has contributed a great man to the country in the form of Don Cayetano Arellano, The first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, how was born in this town on March 2, 1847.
Another hero was Francisco Balagtas, greatest Filipino poet and author of the renowed “Florante at Laura”. He married Juana Tiambeng, a pretty lass of Orion, and lived here from July 1842 to February 1862.
It is 132 kilometers from Manila and approximately 31.2 nautical miles across Manila Bay. It is about 8 kilometers from Balanga, the provincial capital, and bounded on the north by Pilar and Limay on the south.
Has a total land area of 6,540 hectares and covers 23 barangays.
As of September 1995, Orion recorded a total population of 39,537. About 65% of these belong the labor force, of which 7,100 are skilled workers and 4,700 are semi-skilled.
Utilities and Amenities
Readily accessible through mini-buses and jeepneys cming from Balanga, and nearby municipalities. It can also be reached through the ferry services coming form the North Harbor in Manila.
The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) services about 70% of the telephone subscribers in Orion while postal services are provided by the Philippine Postal Corporation.
The Penelco Substation is the sole provider of electricity in the municipality.
The Orion Water District supplies sufficient potablBrief History
A group of Spaniards were on their way to this town by boat when their attention was attracted by something floating on the water. With unusual curiosity, they looked at the floating object. Each one of the Spaniards asked the natives who were with them what the name of the floating object was. The native answered “samel”, which meant that it was a covering that is attached to the banca to protect the passengers from the hot sun or from rain. This covering was made of nipa leaves and woven together. The Spaniards repeated, “samel, samel” after the natives. Ever since that time, the town has always been called Samal.
Founded as a municipality on April 20, 1941, under the patron Saint Catherine of Sienna. The town’s colorful share of historical upheavals is best remembered by its gallant heroes that chose to die honorably and courageously for the sake of freedom.
The town has pioneered in different kinds of businesses. The first ice plant was constructed in this town under the management of Joaquin Ma. Joson, a prominent businessman in Bataan. Wooden shoe (“bakya”) making in this province was first started in Samal. Industrialization came with the establishment of the first pulp mills in the country – the Bataan Pulp and Paper Mills, Inc. situated in the scenic slope of Mt. Natib.
Samal is the only town in Bataan which has manufactured arrow root flour through native processes. This flour is made into biscuits/cookies called “araro” which are native delicacies perfect to “pasalubong”
This town is also endowed with rich marine aquatic resources and highly productive farmlands.
To this day, the town remains as serene and as peaceful as it was many years ago, unspoiled by decadent products of uncontrolled commercialization and industrialization and unperturbed by pressures brought about by the ongoing economic crisis.
Samal is located at the eastern side of Bataan, It is bounded on the north by the municipality of Orani, the south by Abucay, on the west by Mt. Natib and Manila Bay on the east. It is 114 kilometers away from Manila.
It is composed largely of uplands and hills covering approximately eighty percent (80%) of its whole area. The lowlands and plains, which comprise approximately twenty percent (20%) of the land area, are generally flat, gently rising towards the hills.
The total population is 24,560 as of 1995 with 4,858 households.
Samal abounds with agricultural produce such as palay, corn, vegetable, fruits rootcrops, coffee and cutflowers. Livestock, poultry and aquatic resources such as shellfish, crabs, prawns, shrimps and different species of fish are also available in the area.
UTILITIES AND AMENITIES
Telephone services are provided by Digitel which have direct distance dialing connecting to local and international lines and modern communication equipment. As for the telecommunication facilities, a telegraphic office and a post office exist in the municipality.
Power distribution is administered by the PENELCO, supplied by NAPOCOR which operates three large plants in the province.
The operation and maintenance of water supply facilities are supervised by the Barangay Water District. Some households particularly those residing in the upland areas get their water from natural springs.
There are 2 banks, 12 schools, 2 recreational facilities and 287 registered business establishments operating in Samal.
Paper manufacturing hoisted by the Bataan Pulp and Paper Mills is a dominant business activity in Samal. Garments manufacturing is also a growing industry in Samal with five (5) firms already engaged in exports.
Food processing particularly the making of araro cookies and banana chips have been identified to have high export potentials in Samal. The Bataan Pulp and Paper Mills is also mulled to engage in large-scale operation for exports.
There are 32 schools and 14 health facilities found in Orion. Other support structures such as banks are located in the adjacent municipalities like Mariveles and Balanga which are only few kilometers away from Orion.
The port of Capinpin located in Barangay Puting Buhangin in Orion is now transformed into a modern port complex that shall feature a berthing facility, roll on- roll off(Ro-RO) ramp, breakwater and attendant structures. It shall cater to large cargo vessels and passenger ferries, promoting trade and tourism in the area.
The consequent influx of tourists resulting from the operation of the port provides a good opportunity for investors to engage in tourist-related activities like the development of resorts, hotels and restaurants.