Alangalang, Leyte

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Official seal of Alangalang
Map of Leyte with Alangalang highlighted
Map of Leyte with Alangalang highlighted
Alangalang is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 11°12′N 124°51′E / 11.200°N 124.850°E / 11.200; 124.850Coordinates: 11°12′N 124°51′E / 11.200°N 124.850°E / 11.200; 124.850
Country  Philippines
Region Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)
Province Leyte
District 1st District of Leyte
Barangays 54
 • Mayor Loreto T. Yu
 • Total 150.54 km2 (58.12 sq mi)
Population (2015)[2]
 • Total 55,235
 • Density 370/km2 (950/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6517
Dialing code 53
Income class Partially urban

Alangalang is a second class municipality[1] in the province of Leyte, Philippines. It is a landlocked town with an area of 151 km². It is bounded on the north by Barugo and San Miguel, on the south by Pastrana, on the north-east by Tacloban City, on the east by Santa Fe and on the west by Jaro. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 55,235 people.[2]

On the way to Carigara is a steel bridge spanning the Mainit River. Soon after it is a smaller bridge. There was a time when only footpaths existed and when this river was too wide for a leap and too narrow to wade in, the traveler was undecided what to do. Hence the name Alangalang was given to the town, from the vernacular word alang-alang which means "indecision".


Alangalang is politically subdivided into 54 barangays.[1]

  • Aslum
  • Astorga (Burabod)
  • Bato
  • Binongto-an
  • Binotong
  • Bobonon
  • Borseth
  • Buenavista
  • Bugho
  • Buri
  • Cabadsan
  • Calaasan
  • Cambahanon
  • Cambolao
  • Canvertudes
  • Capiz
  • Cavite
  • Cogon
  • Dapdap
  • Divisoria
  • Ekiran
  • Hinapolon (Baras)
  • Hubang
  • Hupit
  • Langit
  • Lingayon
  • Lourdes
  • Lukay
  • Magsaysay
  • Mudboron
  • P. Barrantes
  • Peñalosa
  • Pepita
  • Salvacion Poblacion
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco East
  • San Francisco West
  • San Isidro
  • San Pedro
  • San Vicente
  • Santiago
  • Santo Niño (Pob.)
  • Santol
  • Tabangohay
  • Tombo
  • Veteranos
  • Blumentritt (Pob.)
  • Holy Child I (Pob.)
  • Holy Child II (Pob.)
  • Milagrosa (Pob.)
  • San Antonio Pob.
  • San Roque (Pob.)
  • Salvacion


When the beginnings of this town were still "rancherias" and barangays in about the year 1596, Fr. Cosme de Flores, a priest-engineer, made it into the fourth "Doctrina." Fr. Tomas de Montaya, a Manila college professor succeeded Fr. Flores who died at the early age of 29. Alangalang, with Dulag, was made a "cabicera" of nine towns with Fr. Mateo Sanchez as superior.

In 1600, the town suffered from the moros raids. A punitive force from Cebu under Capitan Francisco de Pedraza was sent to suppress lawlessness. In 1611, a hurricane swept the whole town and floods became frequent. The 18 or 20 rancherias declined in importance and around December 1628, Alangalang became a "visita" of Barugo.

The old town of Alangalang was founded in 1748 in a site located across the steel bridge at Binongto-an called Bukid Height. This settlement was headed by Francisco Antonis, a courageous leader, together with Pongal, Manamot, Francisco Gariando, Hidalgo Pedrera and Solang Adlao. Antonis was famed for having eaten the liver of a Moro bandit whom he caught during one of the raids. Fr. Baysa, a Franciscan, was at the time their spiritual mentor. The objective of the frequent Moro raids was the gold church bell. During every Moro attack, the inhabitants would take the gold bell with them to the hills. At one time, when the townsfolk were being pursued, they had to drop the gold bell in the Bangka River if only to save it from the invaders but up to now the bell has never been recovered.

Alangalang was made into a parish in 1809 according to a historian named Cousin. Toward the end of the 18th century, the settlement in Bukid grew so large that Fr. Jose Olmo, then Parish priest, transferred the town across the Mainit River where the Provincial Nursery is found at present. The government officials at that time were the Governadorcillo, Teniente Mayor, Teniente Segundo, Cabez a de Barangay or Guinhaopan, Delgado de Rentas and cuadrilleros. Among the lay leaders were Eulogio Barrantes, Santo Pabilona, Eulogio Daroles and Esteban Pedero. By the middle of the 19th century, Alangalang had a rectory and six rural schools; the roads to Palo and Barugo were also opened. The town was noted for its abaca, copra, seeds of "kabalonga", wax, cocoa, tobacco and rice.

A big flood leveled the town in 1883. By November of the same year, the Gobernadorcillo moved the town to its present site. In 1892, when there was rebellion in the country, Alangalang was in the thick of the fight. Leocardio Pabilona overthrew the Spanish rule in the town and became the Jefe or Capitan with a new set of Guinhaopan. When the Americans occupied the town upon orders from Pabilona, the inhabitants evacuated the place. The Americans, angered, set the town on fire. It was the hardship of mountain life which finally made the townsfolk yield to American authority.

From then on, the town's growth was steady. Alangalang is a big producer of copra and rice and lies along the route of the busiest national highway of the province. The town has one of the biggest Spanish-made churches and shortly before the ward had a new concrete municipal building with a swimming pool.

After the fall of Corregidor in May 1942, the municipality became the emergency capital of the province. General MacArthur was reported to have passed an evening in that town. Provincial and national offices and government records were accordingly transferred there for safekeeping. On December 16, 1942, Japanese planes bombed the town. Alangalang again became one of the bulwarks of the resistance movement with Filemon Pabilona and Elias Macina as leaders. In 1944 to 1945, the Filipino forces of the 4th, 9th, 91st, 92nd, 93rd and 95th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army took in the town in Alangalang, Leyte fought the battles against the Japanese forces in World War II. After liberation, a regional high school was opened. The town continues to lead in agriculture.


Population census of Alangalang
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 33,375 —    
1995 38,853 +2.89%
2000 41,245 +1.29%
2007 43,494 +0.73%
2010 46,411 +2.39%
Source: National Statistics Office[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Province: Leyte". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Region VIII (EASTERN VISAYAS)". Census of Population (2015): Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay (Report). PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 

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