Balasan is a Fourth-Class municipality situated in the northeastern portion of the province. It is 128 kilometers away or almost a three-hour drive north from Iloilo City and is bordered in the north by Carles; in the south by the town of Batad; in the east by Estancia; and in the west by the town of Pilar in the province of Capiz. It has a total land area of 4,100 hectare that is politically subdivided into 23 barangays.

Balasan is populated by 33, 088 (2015 Census on Population) Balasanhons. Market day is every Thursdays and Sundays. It annually celebrates its Religuous Festival every 26th of June in honiur of Sta. Ana.

To get to Balasan, one can take the bus at the New Ceres Terminal in Barangay Camalig in Jaro, Iloilo City.

HISTORY

In 1847, the Military Governor of Capiz, Don Juan Silverio permitted 50 families from the pueblo of Navas in Aklan to resettle in the unpopulated eastern part of the province of Iloilo. The immigrants settled in a place they named Bolo, after a specie of bamboo that grow in the area.

Due to the scarcity of food, the Barrio Teniente, Vicente Navales established a sister settlement that was named Maya, after the Philippine sparrow.

In 1852, Barangay Maya became a barrio but did not take long when the site was once again transferred until it was finally established to the present site of the poblacion of Balasan. The name of the barrio, Balasan was derived from the sand (balas) of the nearby Bangon River. Balasan was then a barrio of Bolokawe (the original settlement of Bolo) which became a pueblo of the town of Carles. Finally in 1894, Balasan became an independent pueblo.

ATTRACTION

SALVACION FALLS belongs to the San Juan Del Monte (Barangays Salvacion, Zarragosa, and Salong) mountain ranges which dominates the south-western side of the municipality. It can be reached on foot going uphill on a normal pace for about 30 minutes.

FESTIVAL

LECHON serves as a kick-off to their Religious Fiesta celebration in honor of their patron Sta. Ana every 24th of July, residents of this town gather on the main street fronting the municipal hall to share a sumptuous feast, the culinary centerpiece is the most revered of all Filipino food, the mouth-watering and flavourful lechon or roast suckling pig.

The lechons are prepared authentically Balasan by cooks who grew up roasting and eating it on this town. As early as 3 a.m. the cooks are already preparing the lechon. The pig is placed on a spit, innards removed, on a large stick and cooking it in a roasting pit filled with charcoal. It is roasted while continuously wiping its skin with brush made of banana leaves with oil and milk. This procedure makes the skin crispy, and repeatedly roasting it over the heat for at least 5 hours until they turn a crispy, red-golden brown.

The entire day creates an aromatic atmosphere that hangs over the festival, leaving a taste you will never forget.

The highlight of this theme-based festival is a mischievous merriment through a no-holds-barred boodle fight open to everybody. By the time the boodle fight starts at noon, the skin will be crispy, with some fat and super tender roast meat. The sumptuous buffet features a whole pig on display. People just sidle up to the table and pluck off whatever they want. When lunch is over, there is nothing but a few bones. Boodle feast bring the community even closer together.