Pambujan is politically subdivided into 26 barangays.
The name “Pambujan” has developed from the term “Pambubuhan” which means a place in which crabs are abundant and catching crabs is prevalent. It originated from the Waray word “bubo” which refers to “bamboo crab pots” or a traditional crab catching device. During the rediscovery of the Philippines by Fernando de Magallanes on March 16, 1521, Magallanes was surprised that Samar Island has a civilization of their own and its inhabitants living on well-organized independent villages called barangays (Plasencia: 174).
“Pambubuhan”, at that time, was a well-organized independent village. A name it has adapted because of the abundance of crabs along its rivers.
Pambujan is originally founded in Barangay Genulgan (also referred to as Binongtoan) by Malays, particularly by the “second wave migrants” who arrived here from 100 A.D. To the 13th Century (Zaide, Zaide: 29).
During the onset of the Spanish Rule in the Philippines, the Spaniards saw the fierce refusal of early Pambujanons to become subjects of the Spanish Crown. The most notable of them was “Pituding” whose ardent resistance against the conquistadores in 1674, 25 years after the famous Sumuroy Revolution in Palapag in 1649, placed him in the annals of Pambujan’s local history although he vanished into the limbo of unrecorded heroes’ exploits..
The frequent raids of Moro pirates (1752–1754) also took its toll against the early Pambujanons. After several battles against the Spanish Colonial Regime, they were eventually subjugated and introduced to Christianity. They became subjects of the Spanish Crown and adopted Spanish surnames. Brave and prominent townsfolk of Pambujan: Dagohoy Siervo, Lucio Lovino, Captain Josef Adonis, Gallego, brothers Jose and Domingo Catangcas, Francisco Atencio, Turino Jazmin, Urtilano Morales, Casimiro Merino, Albino Bomitivo and Felino Luna, among others, inspired their fellow Pambujanons to bind themselves together against the pirates. Thereafter, they moved to the present site of Pambujan town. It was approximately during this period that the foundations of the new existing Roman Catholic Church were laid. The takeover of the Franciscan Missionaries in the religious affairs of the pueblo from the Jesuit Missionaries in 1768, ensured the completion of the church. It was however razed into ashes during the Spanish-American War.
On August 4, 1863, the Vatican declared Pambujan a full-fledged Parish District. In 1763 and 1887, large earthquakes left huge cracks on Pambujan’s ground which until now can be found two kilometers southeast from the town’s center.
The brave men of Pambujan actively fought for freedom in the The Philippine-American War (1898–1912) led by prominent townsfolk Captain Restituto Jazmin, Daniel Siervo, Licerio Sosing, Ponciano Marcial and Vicente Obieta. The local insurrectos devoted their efforts in manufacturing gun powders and war weaponry such as explosives and rifles patterned after the “mauser” which they had deposited in their “armoria” at Sitio Gunudhud in Barrio Coroconog and Sitio Mapanas in Barrio Genulgan. All of these were used against the Americans by the forces of General Lukban who was then headquarters in Matuguinao. The surrender of the “insurrectos” under Captain Restituto Jazmin in 1903 marked the beginning of its relative peacefulness.
From this period, Pambujan underwent considerable changes. However, a big fire in 1918 razed many commercial and residential buildings.
In 1925, local parties “KUSOG SAN KAUSWAGAN” headed by Tomas Dela Cruz and the “TINGOG SAN KABLASANON” headed by Sixto Balanquit, Sr. were organized and institutionalized.
During the incumbency of Mayor Ramon Siervo (1955–1963) and Atty. Alfredo Dela Cruz (1963–1967), residents of the barrios of Lao-angan and Suba clamored for the conversion of these barrios into towns independent from Pambujan by seeking assistance from Congressman Eladio T. Balite, then representative of the lone district of Samar.
Thus, years later, Barrio Lao-angan became the Municipality of San Roque named after the catholic martyr Saint Roche; while barrio Suba became the Municipality of Silvino Lobos, named after the donor of its site, former Municipal Councilor and Barrio Teniente of Suba, Mr. Silvino Lubos.
In the 1970s, Pambujan was the hotbed of the Communist insurgency. It suffered loss of innocent lives and livelihoods. It was generally believed to be more disastrous than what it suffered in World War II. However, during these period, it gained both national and worldwide recognition when the NALUCABAN KIDS under the helm of Nestor Tingzon and Franco Mendiola, won five National Open Championship trophies in the Little League Baseball National Championships (1975,1976,1978,1979,1980). They represented the Philippines in the World Little League Baseball Tournaments.
On October 2008, The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Northern Samar, presided by Vice Governor Atty. Antonio P. Lucero, declared the St. John The Baptist Church of Pambujan as a historical landmark of the Province of Northern Samar