Alangalang is a 4th class municipality in the province of Leyte, Philippines. It is a landlocked province with an area of 151 km². It is bounded on the north by Barugo and San Miguel, on the south by Pastrana, on the northeast by Tacloban City, on the east by Santa Fe and on the west by Jaro. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 41,245 people in 8,188 households.
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 Alang-alang was given to the town, from the vernacular word "alang-alang" which means indecision.
Alangalang is politically subdivided into 54 barangays.
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. Alang-alang, with Dulag, was made a "cabicera" of nine towns with Fr. Mateo Sanchez as superior.
In 1600, this 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, Alang-alang became a "visita" of Barugo.
The old town of Alang-alang 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, the 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.
Alang-alang 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, Alang-alang 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, Alang-alang 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. Alang-alang 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. Alang-alang again became one of the bulwarks of the resistance movement with Filemon Pabilona and Elias Macina as leaders. After liberation, a regional high school was opened. The town continues to lead in agriculture.
ceb:Alangalang, Leyte nl:Alangalang war:Alangalang, Leyte