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Diocese of Balanga
Diocese of Balanga

In a land area of 1,373 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the whole civil province of Bataan. Bataan is under Region III Central Luzon.

  • 1st District    City: none    Municipality: Abucay, Dinalupihan, Hermosa, Morong, Orani, and Samal

  • 2nd District    City: Balanga    Municipality: Bagac, Limay, Mariveles, Orion and Pilar

Population

 The total population in the diocesan territory is 747,960 at end of 2018. Most residents are ethnic Aetas.

Language

Languages used in the diocesan territory are English, Kapampangan, Ilokano with Tagalog as the lingua franca.

History

Historically, Bataan is most remembered, along with the island of Corregidor, as the main scene of action in the Philippines during the Second World War. These places are strategic in guarding the entrance to Manila Bay. The surrender of Filipino and American soldiers to overwhelming Japanese forces marked the Fall of Bataan in 1942. A war memorial, Dambana ng Kagitingan, now stands to honor the men who fought and died in that last stand.

The Diocese
The Diocese of Balanga was established in 1975. It comprises the entire civil province of Bataan, the smallest among the provinces of Central Luzon. The province is a peninsula jutting out to sea, with Manila Bay to the east, China Sea to the west, and the province of Zambales to the north.

Bataan was one part of Pampanga until it was made a separate province in 1754. It is divided from north to south by two mountain ridges, the eastern part forming the valley towns of Hermosa, Orani, Samal, Abucay, Pilar, Orion and Limay; to the western section belong the fertile hills and valleys crading the towns of Morong, Bagac and Mariveles.

Thirty-four years since its creation in 1975, the Diocese of Balanga now has jurisdiction over 33 parishes, served by 58 diocesan priests. Some of these priests also head the various diocesan commissions, or are directors of Catholic schools.

Except for one order of contemplative nuns, that of the Poor Clares, religious sisters are active in education and catechesis, among them the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and the Daughters of Charity. The Missionary Catechists of St. Therese are in charge of the catechetical program of the entire diocese, working in close collaboration with the Diocesan Commission on Education Formation. The Sisters of the Divine Shepherd run the Munting Tahanan, an orphanage for street children, and the Buhay Puso, a safehouse for the abandoned and the elderly, in collaboration with Caritas Bataan.

Education

The literacy rate is 95.93 percent according to National Statistics Office.

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