The municipality of Bugallon was formerly called “Salasa” (meaning floor joist in the dialect, a part of a wooden house where the floor is attached to). In the Spanish colonial era, the Spanish authorities established the town center in Poblacion (now Barangay Salasa). Because of the 1914 massive flooding and erosion, the town center was later transferred to Barrio Anagao (became Barangay Poblacion) but the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, one of the oldest churches in the country, could not be transferred (every time someone attempts, he dies). A new Catholic church was created in the Poblacion, the Saint Andrew Catholic Church. This is the reason why Bugallon has two Catholic Churches (one in Salasa and the other in Anagao).
Fr. Antonio Perez. founded Salasa (1714-1747) In 1720, Poblacion was in Barangay Polong’s Don Francisco Valencerina yard, later transferred later to Baranggay Salasa on January 24, 1734 by Fr. Fernando Garcia. The Plaza, Presedencia, the church and convent, were engineered by the Frayle (surrounded by parallel calles). Doña Milagros Klar, wife of the late manager of Pantranco (Philtranco) donated in 1935, the Our Lady of Lourdes statue to Salasa Shrine.
The town was named after the town’s hero Major Jose Torres Bugallon who fought together with Gen. Antonio Luna during thePhilippine–American War in 1899. February 5, 1899, at the Battle of La Loma, Bugallon faced Gen. Arthur MacArthur. Bugallon suffered a shot to the thigh during the battle. Later that day, in the arms of Antonio Luna, Bugallon died from excessive loss of blood.
In 1921, the town of Salasa was renamed to Bugallon. Mr. Antonio S. Canullas founded the Jose Torres Bugallonas association and a monument was erected in the plaza, wherein the bones of General Bugallon were interred thereat on January 12, 1958.
The act of changing Salasa an old town to a new one, Bugallon, required a congressional approval sponsored by the Congressman Mauro Navarro, first district of Pangasinan, and obtained congressional approval in changing Salasa to Bugallon. Hence, Salasa became a mere barangay but remains the seat of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish (11 barangays) and the other is Bugallon’s St. Andrew the Apostle (14 barangay).