So the place became famous in the tongues of many that whenever one goes to this place they call it “BALUNGAO” derived from the word “BALUN-UGAW” in honor of the early settler, a lady of beauty whose forebears came from the Ilocos Region.
Balungao was officially founded in the year 181S. The town was formerly a part of Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija. But due to its geographical location, it was deemed proper to make it a separate town. In the latter part of the 18th century, it was separated from the mother town of Cuyapo and was annexed to the Municipality of Rosales sometime in the early of the 19th century.
The historical event that took place in the municipality dates back during the time when the locality was segregated from the township of Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija where many of the political personages were involved. Revolution broke out in the municipality in the year 1896. During the time of Raymundo Laureta as the Cabeza de Barangay, he organized the Katipuneros. After the revolution, the town was again ceded to the Municipality of Rosales; it was named formerly as “Panaclaban”. However, by virtue of the Spanish Royal Family Decree, Balungao became again a town and one Don Pascual Dasil was appointed as the first Municipal President. During the American Regime, Don Calixto Soliven was appointed by the Americans as the first Municipal President of the municipality. History also tells that during the early part of the Spanish Regime, the north western portion of the plaza (where the municipal auditorium is now located) was the municipal cemetery, and the southwestern portion (where the basketball court is now situated) rose the Spanish Catholic Church.
Apparently, long before the outbreak ofWorld War II, the town plaza was totally covered with thick “talahibs”, “amorsico”, and cogon grass. It was then inhabited by astray animals like carabaos, cows, goats, sheep, pigs which were then roaming around day and night. In other words, it was a “paradise and a playground” to animals; for that matter it was then an eye sore especially to visitors.
But time has changed marvelously the area. During the liberation period, the town plaza was made as an Army Camp by the American forces. The 341st Ordinance Depot was stationed in the municipality for a year and during their sojourn it was leveled and filled with sand and gravel.
Due to the laboriousness of the founding fathers and the fertility of the soil, the first 1OO years of the municipality was marked with growth and progress. These people who were rooted to the bondage of the soil optimized the use of the land into agricultural purpose which became the backbone and the principal source of Balungao’ s economy up to the present.
The ethnic origin of the people was not clearly known or identified. Based however from the stories of the living centenarians, the aborigines or the early settlers of Balungao forebears came from the town of San Fabian, Pangasinan and from the Ilocos Region. These people were leading a nomadic life at that time and in their search for a promising land where they could settle, they came across the small town of Balungao. Finding the place peaceful and abundant of agricultural produce they mastered the development and full utilization of the land. To this date, Balungao being inhibited by people from the Ilocos Region during the early days, is now one of the Ilocano-speaking towns in the Pangasinan province.
As the early settlers were farmers, early settlements were made in areas where their farms are located. As years went on, roads, irrigation and other infrastructure projects were constructed in the settled areas and areas leading to the old settlements. Today, most settlements are found lying along municipal and barangay roads.