Balangiga is politically subdivided into 13 barangays.
- Balangiga Massacre
The Balangiga massacre, as it is known in the Philippines, or the Balangiga affair, as it is known in the United States, was an incident in 1901 during the Philippine-American War where more than forty American soldiers were killed in a surprise guerrilla attack in the town of Balangiga on Samar island. This incident was described as the United States Army‘s worst defeat since the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.
The subsequent retaliation by American troops resulted in the killing of 2000–3000 Filipinos on Samar, the majority of whom were civilians. The heavy-handed reprisal earned a court-martial for Gen. Jacob H. Smith, who had ordered the killing of everyone ten years old and over. Reprimanded but not formally punished, Smith was forced into retirement from the service because of his conduct.
The attack and the subsequent retaliation remains one of the longest-running and most controversial issues between the Philippines and the United States. Conflicting records from both American and Filipino historians have confused the issue. Demands for the return of the bells of the church at Balangiga, taken by the Americans as war booty and collectively known as the Balangiga bells, remain an outstanding issue of contention related to the war. One church bell remains in the possession of the 9th Infantry Regiment at their base in Camp Red Cloud, South Korea, while two others are on a former base of the 11th Infantry Regiment at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
- Balangiga Bells
The Balangiga bells are three church bells taken by the United States Army from the town church of Balangiga, Eastern Samar in the Philippines as war booty after reprisals following the Balangiga incident in 1901 during the Philippine-American War. One church bell is in the possession of the 9th Infantry Regiment at Camp Red Cloud, their base in South Korea, while two others are on a former base of the 11th Infantry Regiment at F. E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. At least one of the bells had tolled to signal the surprise attack by the Filipinos while the Americans were eating breakfast. The attack claimed the lives of more than forty soldiers of the US garrison posted in the town.
Balangiga, which became a parish on September 27, 1859, may have taken four years to raise the funds needed to acquire their first church bell. This is believed to be the large 1863 bell now in Wyoming. It bears what is probably an Augustinian emblem and has a mouth diameter of 31¼ inches and height of 30 inches. The name inscribed on the bell, “R. San Francisco”, it is believed, belonged to the parish priest at that time.
The town probably acquired its second bell in 1889. The medium-sized bell, inscribed with the name of Fr. Agustin Delgado in Latin – “Augustin Delcado“, is also in Wyoming. It bears a Franciscan emblem and has a mouth diameter of 27¾ inches and height of 27½ inches.
The third and smallest bell may have been acquired in 1895, through the initiative of Fr. Bernardo Aparecio. This is the bell now kept by the 9th U.S. Infantry Regiment in Camp Red Cloud, South Korea. Estimates of its size deduce a 23-24 inch height and a mouth diameter of about 20 inches. It also bears the Franciscan emblem.
The bells at F.E. Warren Air Force Base are kept in its Trophy Park, hung from a crescent-shaped monument of brick. A glass case nearby houses the 400-year-old British Falcon cannon that was also taken from the village along with the bells and brought to Wyoming by the 11th Infantry Regiment in 1904. This seven-foot cannon is described in F.E. Warren Air Force Base’s fact sheets as a Queen Mary Tudor cannon forged in 1557. The bell in the possession of the 9th U.S. Infantry Regiment is kept at the 2nd Infantry Division Museum in Camp Red Cloud, Uijeongbu, South Korea. It had previously been displayed at the unit’s Camp Hovey headquarters