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A Brief History of Pilar


Long ago this jurisdiction of the town of Balanga. There were very few inhabitants. One day a Spanish galleon was tossed to its shores by a violent storm. The galleon’s destination was some town where it was to convey the image of a virgin. The Spaniards were greeted by the inhabitants were they landed. The visitors asked for the name of the place and they replied that it has no name. The Spaniards suggested that the place be named in honor of the image they had with them which was that of the “Lady of the Pillar”. The people consented and since that time, the town had been called “Pilar”.


Pilar has a history all of its own tainted with legends, traditions, glory and death. On March 10, 1801, it was separated from Balanga by the Dominican priests under the spiritual ministration of Virgen Nuestra Senora Del Pilar. Since then, Pilar has produced great men. Foremost among them was Don Pablo Roman considered as the father of Bataan.

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With the march of time, the once unknown town has risen to unparalleled popularity here and abroad. This town is noted for the historical landmarks like the Flaming Sword and the Shrine of Valor (Dambana ng Kagitingan). It is visited annually by war veterans from different places on Bataan Day (April 9) to reminisce and honor the past.

The industrial activities in the muni-cipality of Pilar is characterized by small scale industries built around the urban core and its vicinity.


Pilar is found in the southeast portion of the province of Bataan. It is bounded by Orion in the South, Balanga in the North, Bagac in the west and Manila Bay in the East.

It has a total land area of 3,760.00 hectares. Its terrain is gently sloping to undulating, reaching a hilly peak. The highest elevation is 553 meters at Mt. Samat in Barangay Diwa.

As of 1995, the town has a population of 28,207 residing in nineteen (19) barangays.

Pilar produces an ample supply of rice, corn, vegetables, rootcrops and legumes. Chicken, hogs and ducks as well as freshwater fishers are abundant in the area. Bamboo, cogon and different vines can be sourced from hilly portions of Pilar while gravel and sand is abundant in Barangay Nagwaling, Alauli, Pantingan, Diwa and Liyang.


Telecommunication facilities are made available by the local exchange of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) while telegraph facilities are mostly located in Balanga, an adjacent municipality.

The Peninsula Electric Cooperative (PENELCO) provides electricity to 100% of the households in Pilar. Fortunately, Bataan has huge natural watersheds that facilitate the sufficient supply of power in the whole province.

Residents in the town proper and nearby barangays conveniently get sufficient water from the Pilar Homeowner Assn. Water District. Other barangays get their water from deep wells, shallow wells, private pumps and artesian wells.

There are 13 schools, 3 banks and 12 health units in Pilar. A hotel and a shopping arcade are also operating in the Poblacion and Barangay Panilao, respectively.

The Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor), a natural shrine atop Mt. Samat, is a regularly visited historical/tourist spot in Pilar. The Dunsulan Falls, which is located at the foot of Mt. Samat, is being developed into a high land resort and once completed, is expected to draw in more visitors and tourists into the area.


Trading and agri-related enterprises such as poultry and fishpond operation are the dominant business activities in Pilar.


Cutflower production and fruit-tree nursery are two commercial activities identified to have high potential for development and promotion in Pilar. The municipality’s rich landscape, with the mountain ranges providing protection from typhoons, makes it an ideal site for the cultivation of exportable cutflowers like orchids and anthuriums and the establishment of plant nurseries.

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