Pilar, Bataan

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Municipal Town Hall of Pilar
Municipal Town Hall of Pilar
Official seal of Pilar
Map of Bataan showing the location of Pilar
Map of Bataan showing the location of Pilar
Pilar is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 14°40′N 120°34′E / 14.667°N 120.567°E / 14.667; 120.567Coordinates: 14°40′N 120°34′E / 14.667°N 120.567°E / 14.667; 120.567
Country  Philippines
Region Central Luzon (Region III)
Province Bataan
Legislative district 2nd District of Bataan
Founded April 6, 1917
Barangays 19
 • Mayor Alice D. Pizarro (National Unity)
 • Vice Mayor Marino Caguimbal (National Unity)
 • Total 37.60 km2 (14.52 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 39,787
 • Density 1,100/km2 (2,700/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 2101
Income class 3rd class
Website pilar-bataan.com

Pilar is a third class municipality in the province of Bataan, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 39,787 people.[3] The historic Mount Samat (Dambana ng Kagitingan) is found in Barangay Diwa, Pilar. The Bataan Government Center is also located in Pilar in Barangay Ala-uli.

Etymology and history[edit]

One of the oldest towns of Bataan, Pilar was previously part of Pampanga. Spaniards in the galleon landed in a sitio of Balanga and were greeted by the natives. The place was named in the honor of the image of the Our Lady of the Pillar, hence the town was called “Pilar”. Captain Francisco Paguio and Teniente Sotero dela Rosa were the first officials of Pilar which produced notables like Don Pablo R. Roman, the Father of Bataan.

Municipal government and politics[edit]

Pursuant to the Local government in the Philippines",[4][5] the political seat of the municipal government is located at the Municipal Town Hall. In the History of the Philippines (1521–1898), the Gobernadorcillo is the Chief Executive who holds office in the Presidencia. During the American rule (1898–1946) (History of the Philippines (1898-1946)), the elected Mayor and local officials, including the appointed ones hold office at the Municipal Town Hall. The legislative and executive departments perform their functions in the Sangguniang Bayan (Session Hall) and Municipal Trial Court, respectively, and are located in the Town Hall.

Pilar, Bataan's elected officials are Mayor Alice D. Pizarro (National Unity) and Vice Mayor Marino Caguimbal (National Unity).

The eight Sangguniang Bayan Members led by the Vice-Mayor hold office at the Pilar Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall.


Pilar is politically subdivided into 19 barangays.[2]

  • Ala-uli
  • Bagumbayan
  • Balut I
  • Balut II
  • Bantan Munti
  • Burgos
  • Del Rosario (Pob.)
  • Diwa
  • Landing
  • Liyang
  • Nagwaling
  • Panilao
  • Pantingan
  • Poblacion
  • Rizal (Pob.)
  • Sta.Rosa
  • Wakas North
  • Wakas South
  • Wawa


Population census of Pilar
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 25,244 —    
1995 28,207 +2.10%
2000 32,368 +2.99%
2007 43,213 +4.07%
2010 39,787 −2.96%
Source: National Statistics Office[3]

Local attractions[edit]

Mount Samat National Shrine

Landmarks and festivals of Pilar include:

  • Mt. Samat Zipline - Longest zipline in Luzon[6]
  • Veterans Park in Poblacion, Piazza Della Virgen del Pilar
  • Mount Samat National Shrine - 92-meter-high War Memorial Cross some 555 meters above sea level.[7]
  • Liyang and Pantingan - stop and see spots
  • The Flaming Sword - located at Panilao, Pilar, is an eye-catching landmark that depicts a hand holding a flaming sword up in the air. This landmark became the symbol of the Filipino patriots' courage and gallantry as they face the adversary and threats to their democracy and freedom. The ESPADA was inaugurated on April 8, 1967.
  • Dunsulan Falls
  • Araw ng Kagitingan - April 9

Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church[edit]

Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church

The 1801 Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church (Nuestra Señora del Pilar Parish Church,[8] Parish Priest, Padre Ernesto B. de Leon, Rev. Fr. Robert G. Tayao Parochial Vicar, Rev. Fr. Jimmy O. Tablan[9][10][11] - Coordinates: 14°39'57"N 120°33'30"E, Our Lady of the Pillar Titular, Our Lady of the Pillar), belongs to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Balanga[12][13][14] (Dioecesis Balangensis) Suffragan of San Fernando, Pampanga Created: March 17, 1975. Canonically Erected: November 7, 1975. Comprises the whole civil province of Bataan).[15]

Pilar is one of the twelve towns of Bataan, also known as the Civil Province and Peninsula of Bataan. It was organized in 1754 as a province by Don Pedro Manuel Arandia, the governor-general in the Philippines. The moniker, “Last Bastion of Filipino and American Courage and Bravery”, is owned by Pilar until this day. Its Feast day is 9 April, the Araw ng Kagitingan.

The 7th town and parish founded by the Dominican Fathers after Abucay (1588), Samal (1596), Orion (1667), Orani (1714), Balanga (1739) and Hermosa (1757), Pilar was made an independent vicariate on March 10, 1801. The Secular clergy replaced all regular Spanish religious missionaries including Bataan.

On April 10, 1801, Pilar was declared an independent municipality. Fr. Damaso Salvador Lintag, the first Filipino secular assigned in Pilar proclaimed Our Lady of the Pilar its Patroness, hence the town’s name Pilar.

Made of wood with nipa roofing, the first chapel in Poblacion was used by the succeeding priest Fr. Felipe Gabino (1827-1833) and by the first returning Dominican priest Fr. Juan de Buenaventura (1833) who worked for the acceptance of the parish to the Dominican Order in its Provincial Chapter of 1833.

In 1834, Fr. Jesus Minaño, a Dominican constructed the stone church (with pilasters and stone walls). Fr. Jose Diego (1851-1864) took over the administration of the parish, July 26, 1851 completed the second row of windows. Fr. Francisco Govea (1864-1867) constructed the church’s walls. Fr. Miguel Vasquez (1882-1886) galvanized the roofs in 1885.

Local revolutionaries, in the Philippine rebellion burned the church, including the rectory on May 28, 1898; the image of Nuestra Señora del Pilar survived.

A temporary church was built. Fr. Fermin de San Julian, the last Dominican priest in 1901 stayed as the parish priest until 1931, building a new stone church. Fr. Anastacio Silvestre (1961-1968) and Fr. Esteban David (1968-1977).

Fr. Renato Manansala (1977-1979) built the still standing old rectory. Fr. Romeo Banaban (1979-1992) put a big crucifix at the center of the sanctuary. Fr. Maximo Omaña (1982-1988) and Fr. Florencio Braga (1988-1996) added some physical improvements. The late Fr. Roberto Tayao (1996-2003), having in mind the Parish Bicentennial celebration, initiated the renovation of the sanctuary with stained glass windows and the entire church with new flooring.

On March 4, 2001, the church was consecrated with solemn rites by Ricardo Cardinal J. Vidal. Fr. Leonardo Peña (2003-2005), with the assistance of the Bicentennial Committee started, but left unfinished the construction of a new parish rectory. Fathers Tayao and Peña both died while in their office as Pilar’s parish priest in June 21, 2002 and in June 22, 2005 respectively.[8]

On March 10, 2001, the Church's Solemn Dedication marker was installed and on October 7. 2009, a marker was placed for the renovation of main altar and sanctuary.

Notable people from Pilar[edit]

Image gallery[edit]


External links[edit]