Kabalikat Malaya Zambales Civic Action Group

NTC Office Order 14-03-93 / SEC Reg No. CN 2006-10991

Promoting Zambales

"I believe that he who has less in life
should have more in law"
— Ramon Magsaysay —
Iba, Zambales (1907-1957)
Third President of the Philippine Republic,

    We, The Kabalikat Malaya Federation, Zambales Chapter Civic Action Group are operating in Zambales and it is only just to promote and give information regarding the beautiful province of Zambales!

 Basic Information

Capital: Iba

Land area: 3,714 sq. km.

Date founded: 1578

Zambales is located at the western coast of Central Luzon. It shares common boundaries with Pangasinan on the north, Tarlac and Pampanga on the east, Olongapo City and Bataan on the south and the China Sea on the west.

Brief History 
Zambales was formerly organized in 1572 after its exploration by Don Juan de Salcedo, the intrepid Spanish explorer. The earliest migrants, the Malays, came from the Celebes and settled in the northern area up to Cape Bolinao of Lingayen Gulf. The Tagalogs who came from the east and south settled at the southern area, while the vast vacant areas between north and south were settled by Ilocanos who came from Northern Luzon. The aborigines, the kinky-haired Negritos or Aetas were thus driven to the hinterlands and replaced by the new-comers who established villages which were the nuclei of the formulation of barangays and towns.

The old province included the coastal towns from Cape Bolinao to Subic Bay. Among the earliest towns are Masinloc, organized in 1607 and it was the first provincial capital. The present capital Iba, was organized in 1611 and Sta. Cruz which is located in the northern tip was formed a year later.

The name of the province was derived from the Malay word "Samba" meaning to worship as the inhabitants were found by the Spaniards to be worshipping "spirit" called Anitos. The inhabitants were then referred to as "Sambali" or the hispanicized "Zambals".

There are two pronounced seasons, dry from November to April, and wet for the rest of the year. The province is not frequented by typhoons because the mountain ranges in the east shield the province from north-easterly winds, but exposed to south west monsoon and cyclonic typhoons.

The inhabitants are composed of three principal ethnic groups, namely: the Ilocano, Tagalogs, and the Zambals.

Tagalog is the common language followed by Ilocano and Zambal. 

Major Industries 
There are three (3) industrial giants of the province namely; the Benguet Consolidated Mining Inc. (BCI) in Coto, Masinloc, the Acoje Mining Co. Inc. in Sta Cruz and the Central Azucarera Refineria de Bataan Inc. in San Juan, Botolan, and BCI Dizon in San Marcelino. These mining companies are engaged in mining metallurgical and refractory chromite and export them to Japan and the United States.

Zambales is predominantly an agricultural province. Chief products are rice, corn, vegetables, and rootcrops. Major industries include farming, fishing and mining. Minor industries are: handicrafts, shellcrafts, bamboo crafts, poultry, and swine production, weaving, rope making, pottery, nipa making and salt making.


"Binabayani" is a war dance that portrays the battle between the Christian and the Aetas in the town of Masinloc. It is a Sambal word that means "bravery". It is usually featured at the town plaza on the 30th day of November for the public to witness.

History of "Binabayani"  
This story had been passed from generation to generation since the time of the Spanish Regime. The late Capitan Florentino Elicano, one of the eldest residents of Masinloc in the year 1621 related to his son, the late Municipal Judge Gererdo Elicano of how this war dance called "Binabayani" come to existence in connection with the feast of the Patron Saint Andrew every 30th day of November.

It was said that in the late 16th century when Legaspi landed in the town of Masinloc, a fisherman discovered statue floating along the shore carried by a big church bell. According to the story, the statue is now existing at the center of the altar of the Roman Catholic Church in Masinloc. When this statue reached the shore of Bani, the bell stopped and refused to move. Many rituals had been done by the forefathers like praying the rosary for 9 days, offering the best harvest, saying etc....., but to no avail. Still the statue could not be moved nor lifted to the shore and refuses to float farther. Then an old man thought of this war dance between the Christians Porfirio Elamparo. However, from time to time, a generous family assumes all expenses for the "Binabayani" and the Aetas called "Binabayani" a Sambal word for "bravery dance". They believed that this was the favorite game of Saint Andrew, the Apostle when he was young. So the group of old men practiced and played the dance. It was only that time that the statue was lightly and easily lifted to the shore, and the place where the St. Andrew Catholic Church was built. Since then, this "Binabayani" is indispensable every feast day of St. Andrew, the Apostle on the 30th day of November. It was believed that when this war dance was not played on the feast day, some calamities would happen like a strong winds/typhoon, fire or poor harvest. Since then this became a tradition which is very unique from other religious festivities of other municipalities of Zambales.

It is composed of an old Aeta couple (husband and wife) and 12 children. Their whole bodies rubbed with charcoal. They are naked waist up and wear short pants and hats made of birds nest in black color. They have bolos and a bamboo drums as their weapons. They also have a tree with beehive as a prop. Whereas, the Christians wear white pants and polo shirts with red or colored band from the shoulder to waist, the head gear were decorated with colored paper. They have bolos and bamboo drums with colored papers as decorations.

It is shown on the afternoon of the 29th of Nov.. It starts from the house of the Elicano to the church which ends on the 9th day of the Novena. The next day, the group of dancers will hear mass and the dance follows thereafter. It is exhibited at the town plaza to open the day's activity. The group goes around the town dancing to the front houses of prominent families who then give some amount for the show.

Source: Mrs. Lydia Marasigan DILG, Iba, Zambales


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