Province of Pampanga
Capital: City of San Fernando
No. of Towns: 22 (including Angeles City)
Estimated Land Area: 191,401 has. (Source: DENR Statistical Report, January 2004)
Date founded: 1571
Location: Pampanga is located in the central part of Region III. It is bounded on the north by Tarlac and Nueva Ecija, on the east by Bulacan, southeast by Manila Bay, on the southwest by Bataan and west by Zambales. Its terrain is relatively flat with only one district, Mt. Arayat.
Brief History: Pampanga derived its name from the Kapampangan words "Pangpang ilog" meaning "riverside" where the early Malayan settlements were concentrated along the Rio Grande de la Pampanga. Kapampangan men are known for their gallantry and leadership while Kapampangan women are famous for their beauty and skill in culinary arts.
Ancient Pampanga’s territorial area used to include portions of the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac and Zambales in the big Island of Luzon of the Philippine Archipelago. The province derived its name from the Kapampangan words “Pangpang ilog” meaning “riverside” where the early Malayan settlements were concentrated along the Rio Grande de la Pampanga (Great Pampanga River) until such time the adventurous Malayan settlers expanded their domain into the hinterlands of the Kapampangan region.
Pampanga was the first province in the island of Luzon inaugurated by the Spaniards. It was founded on December 11, 1571 in the same year the City of Manila was established by Spanish Governor Miguel Lopez de Legaspi as the seat of national government. For governmental control and taxation purposes, the Spanish authorities subdivided the province into towns (pueblos), which were further subdivided into districts (barrios) and in some cases into royal and private estates.
In a report of Philippine encomiendas on June 20, 1591, Spanish Governor
Gomez Perez Dasmarinas reported to the King of Spain that La Pampanga’s
encomiendas were Batan, Bitis y Lubao, Macabebe, Candava, Apali, Calompit,
Malolos, Binto, Guiguinto, Caluya, Bulacan and Mecabayan. The encomiendas of
La Pampanga at that time had eighteen thousand six hundred and eighty whole
tributes, or seventy-four thousand seven hundred and twenty souls.
The historic province of Bataan, which was founded in 1754 under the administration of Spanish Governor General Pedro Manuel Arandia, absorbed from the province of Pampanga the municipalities of Abucay, Balanga, Dinalupihan, Llana Hermosa, Orani, Orion, Pilar, and Samal. The old Pampanga towns of Aliaga, Cabiao, Gapan, San Antonio and San Isidro were ceded to the province of Nueva Ecija in 1848 during the term of Spanish Governor-General Narciso Claveria y Zaldua. Claveria was best remembered for issuing memorable decrees during his incumbency. One of Claveria’s history-making decrees was issued on August 16, 1844, which ordered that Tuesday, December 31, 1844 should be officially considered as Wednesday, January 1, 1845 thus eliminating December 31, 1844 from the Philippine calendar. There were neither births nor deaths officially registered in the Philippines on that date.
On November 11, 1849, Claveria issued a decree to systematize the selection and registration of names of the Filipino people. The decree called for Filipinos to have first names and surnames. It should be recalled that the early Filipinos usually have only one name like Lakandula, Soliman, Lapulapu, Humabon. The decree included a list of Spanish surnames, which were adopted by some Filipinos while others opted for Filipino last names instead. Today, many Filipinos have Spanish family names like Arnedo, Bonifacio, David, Escaler, Fausto, Gonzalez, Gutierrez, Hernandez, Ibarra, Inventor, Joven, Lopez, Lorenzo, Marquez, Mercado, Navarro, Pineda, Regala, Reyes, Rodriguez, Ronquillo, Ventura, Simon, Torres, Vargas, Vergara, Zuniga, etc.
The municipality of San Miguel de Mayumo of Pampanga was yielded to the province of Bulacan in the same provincial boundary configuration in 1848.
In 1860, the northern towns of Bamban, Capas, Concepcion, Victoria, Tarlac, Mabalacat, Magalang, Porac and Floridablanca were separated from Pampanga and were placed under the jurisdiction of a military command called Comandancia Militar de Tarlac. However, in 1873, the four latter towns were returned to Pampanga and the other five towns became municipalities of the newly created Province of Tarlac.
Geography: The province is a part of the great plain extending from Manila Bay, north of the gulf of Lingayen, Pangasinan. Most of this area is only a few meters above sea level. The mountainous areas are near the Pampanga-Zambales border. These areas are covered by Mountainous Pinatubo Region. The general slope is south and southeast towards Manila bay and Rio Grande. In the northwestern part of the province, however, the land slope is going downward towards Mt. Arayat. Not far from the base is the Pampanga River which channels floodwaters into the wide Candaba Swamp, then to tributaries, rivulets, creeks and finally to Manila Bay.
There was only a slight increase in the built-up areas between the pre-Pinatubo period up to 1996. The wide populated area devastated by lahar was quickly replaced by resettlement centers in various places within the province.
The settlement/built-up areas comprises 14.42% which are either pure residential, combination of residential commercial or a mixture-industrial and residential.
Political Subdivisions: Pampanga is composed of twenty (20) municipalities and two (2) cities, namely: Angeles City and City of San Fernando. It is subdivided into four political districts: 1st District : Municipalities of Mabalacat and Magalang including Angeles City; 2nd District: Municipalities of Lubao, Guagua, Floridablanca, Porac, Sta. Rita, and Sexmoan; 3rd District: Municipalities of San Fernando, Arayat, Mexico, Bacolor, and Sta. Ana; and the 4th District: Municipalities of Candaba, Apalit, Macabebe, Masantol, Minalin, Sto. Tomas, San Luis, and San Simon.
Climate: The Climate Pampanga has two distinct climates, a rainy season and a dry season. The rainy or wet season normally starts in May and runs through October and the rest of the year is the dry season. The warmest period of the year is from March to April while the coldest period is from December through February of the following year.
Language/Dialect: The majority (89.6 percent) of the total household population spoke Kapampangan during early childhod. The remaining 10.4 percent spoke Tagalog (8.1 percent), Ilokano (0.5 percent), Bikol (0.4 percent) and other dialects (1.4 percent).
Major Industries: Pampanga is taking center stage as the country shifts into industrial high gear. The province has always been a net exporter of food products like rice, sugar, vegetables and fruits as well as poultry, livestock and inland fish products. It is also richly blessed with a highly skilled and highly educated resource pool of manpower, who have a tradition of industrial pursuit especially in the fields of woodcraft, food processing, ceramics, metalworking and decorative crafts. An excellent network of good roads covers the entire province and connects to the main arterial highway to Manila and Olongapo City. An international airport is located within the Clark Special Economic Zone, while other utilities such as power, telecommunications and potable and irrigated water extensively cover the entire province and are readily available for industries and businesses. In spite of the destruction caused by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 and the continuous threat of lahar over vast swathes of the province, agriculture remains a viable area of opportunity. With ready and accessible markets capable of absorbing production, shifting to high value crops and agricultural production is promising. Vegetable, fruit and cut flower production are some of the potential fields of development. The province also boasts of a tradition of food preparation and with a good source of raw materials, food processing will thrive within the province.