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This article is about the Philippine province. For other uses, see Tarlac (disambiguation).
Flag of Tarlac
Official seal of Tarlac
Nickname(s): Melting Pot Of Central Luzon
Sugar Capital Of Luzon
Map of the Philippines with Tarlac highlighted
Map of the Philippines with Tarlac highlighted
Coordinates: 15°30′N 120°30′E / 15.500°N 120.500°E / 15.500; 120.500Coordinates: 15°30′N 120°30′E / 15.500°N 120.500°E / 15.500; 120.500
Country  Philippines
Region Central Luzon (Region III)
Founded 1872
Capital Tarlac City
 • Type Province of the Philippines
 • Governor Victor A. Yap (NPC)
 • Vice Governor Enrique "Kit" Cojuangco, Jr. (NPC)
 • Total 3,053.60 km2 (1,179.00 sq mi)
Area rank 47th out of 80
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 1,273,240
 • Rank 22nd out of 80
 • Density 420/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
 • Density rank 14th out of 80
 • Independent cities 0
 • Component cities 1
 • Municipalities 17
 • Barangays 511
 • Districts 1st to 3rd districts of Tarlac
 • Ethnic groups Kapampangan (50%), Ilocano (41%), Tagalog (9%)
 • Languages Kapampangan, Ilocano, Tagalog, Pangasinan, English
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 2300 – 2318
Dialing code 45
ISO 3166 code PH-TAR

Tarlac is a landlocked province of the Philippines located in Central Luzon. Its capital is Tarlac City. Tarlac borders Pampanga to the south, Nueva Ecija to the east, Pangasinan to the north, and Zambales to the west. It is a part of Central Luzon Region, which is also composed of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Zambales.


Tarlac's name is a Hispanized derivation from a talahib weed called "Malatarlak". Tarlac was originally a part of the provinces of Pampanga and Pangasinan. It was the last province in Central Luzon to be organized under the Spanish administration in 1874.

During the Philippine Revolution of 1896, Tarlac was among the first eight provinces to rise against Spain. It became the new seat of the first Philippine Republic on March 1899 when General Emilio Aguinaldo abandoned the former capital, Malolos, Bulacan. This lasted only for a month before the seat was moved to Nueva Ecija in Aguinaldo's attempt to elude the pursuing Americans.

On October 23, 1899, Gregorio Aglipay, military vicar general of the revolutionary forces, called the Filipino clergy to a conference in Paniqui. There, they drafted the constitution of the Philippine Independent Church. They called for the Filipinization of the clergy, which eventually led to a separation from the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines.

Tarlac was captured by American forces on November 1899. A civil government was established in the province in 1901.

During World War II, Camp O'Donnell in Capas became the terminal point of the infamous Bataan Death March of Filipino and American soldiers who surrendered at Bataan on April 9, 1942. Many prisoners died of hunger or execution. The general headquarters of the Philippine Commonwealth Army was established from 1942 to 1946 and the 3rd Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary was founding again from 1944 to 1946 and military stationed in the province of Tarlac and some parts in Central Luzon due to Japanese Occupation. Local troops of the Philippine Commonwealth Army units has sending the clearing military operations in the province of Tarlac and Central Luzon from 1942 to 1945 and aided them by the recognized guerrilla groups including Hukbalahap Communist fighters and attacking Japanese Imperial forces. But in the aftermath, some local guerrilla resistance fighters and Hukbahalap groups are became retreating Imperial Japanese troops around the province and before the liberation from the Allied forces.

In early 1945, combined American and Filipino military forces with the recognized Aringay Command guerillas liberated Camp O'Donnell. The Raid at Capas resulted in the rescue of American, Filipino and other allied Prisoners of War.

From January 20, 1945 to August 15, 1945, Tarlac was recaptured by combined Filipino and American troops together with the recognized guerrilla fighters against the Japanese Imperial forces during the liberation and beginning for the Battle of Tarlac.

In the early 1950s, Tarlac became a hotbed for the Hukbalahap, a local communist movement headed by Benigno Aquino, Sr., father of the late Ninoy Aquino. It was initially suppressed but resurfaced in 1965.


The province is situated at the center of the central plains of Luzon, landlocked by four provinces: Pampanga on the south, Nueva Ecija on the east, Pangasinan on the north, and Zambales on the west. Approximately 75% of the province is plains while the rest is hilly to mountainous.

Like the rest of Central Luzon, the province has two distinct seasons: dry from November to April and wet for the rest of the year. It is the coldest province in the region, with an average of 24 °C (75 °F).

Eastern Tarlac is a plain, while Western Tarlac is hilly to mountainous. Because of this, the province includes a large portion of mountains like Mt. Telakawa (Straw Hat Mountain), located at Capas, Tarlac. Mt. Bueno, Mt. Mor-Asia and Mt. Canouman are located also in Capas as well as Mt. Dalin. The other mountains are Mt. Dueg and Mt. Maasin, found in the municipality of San Clemente. Also noted are Mt. Papaac, Bacsay, Cayasan and Birbira of Camiling. The whole of Mayantoc and San Jose are mountainous so it is suitable for the highest natural resources and forest products in the province such as coal, iron, copper, vegetables, fruits, log fires, sand, rocks and forest animals such as wild boar and deer. The main water sources for agriculture include the Tarlac River at Tarlac City, the Lucong and Parua rivers in Concepcion, Tarlac, Sacobia Bamban River in Bamban and the Rio Chico in La Paz.


Tarlac is subdivided into 17 municipalities and 1 city. These divisions are further subdivided into 511 barangays. The province comprises three congressional districts.

City/Municipality District Population 2010[3]
Tarlac City 2nd District
Concepcion 3rd District
Capas 3rd District
Paniqui 1st District
Gerona 2nd District
Camiling 1st District
Bamban 3rd District
La Paz 3rd District
Victoria 2nd District
Moncada 1st District
Santa Ignacia 1st District
San Jose 2nd District
Mayantoc 1st District
San Manuel 1st District
Pura 1st District
Ramos 1st District
San Clemente 1st District
Anao 1st District


Population census of Tarlac
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 859,708 —    
1995 945,810 +1.80%
2000 1,068,783 +2.65%
2007 1,243,449 +2.11%
2010 1,273,240 +0.87%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]

As of the 2010 census, Tarlac has a population of 1,273,240.[2] Its population density is 417/km2 (1,080/sq mi).

In the city of Tarlac and the towns of Concepcion, Bamban, Capas, and parts of La Paz, Kapampangan is the spoken language whereas Ilocano and Pangasinan are used in the rest of the province. Tagalog is widely understood throughout the province.


The economy of Tarlac is predominantly agricultural. Principal crops are rice and sugarcane. Other major crops are corn and coconut; vegetables such as eggplant, garlic, and onion; and fruit trees like mango, banana, and calamansi. It is among the biggest producers of rice and sugarcane.

Because the province is landlocked, its fish production is limited to fishponds but it has vast river systems and irrigation. On the Zambales boundary to its west, forest land provides timber for the logging industry. Mineral reserves such as manganese and iron can also be found along the western section.

Tarlac has its own rice and corn mills, sawmills and logging outfits. It has three sugar centrals. Other firms service agricultural needs such as fertilizer. Among its cottage industries, ceramics has become available because of the abundant supply of clay. Some of the major industries here involve making Chicharon and Iniruban in the municipality of Camiling, Ylang Ylang / Ilang-Ilang products of Anao and the Muscovado sugar products of Victoria. The province also boosts of sugar products in the Philippines. Tilapia production is also improving in Tarlac and is aiming to be the Tilapia capital of the Philippines.


Chicharon and Iniruban festival - a.k.a. Tarlac's best. In the town of Camiling. Celebrated during the last week of October for the preparations for All Saints day and a thanks giving celebration for good harvest particularly (Iniruban) and good quality of meat products particularly the Chicharon or Bagnet. It also features the exotic but unique, delicious rice cakes the Ilocano called Iniruban. The fiesta's highlights are the street dancing competition, Miss Iniruban beauty pageant and the municipality's agri trade. It is the oldest cultural celebration in the province since 2000.

Tarlac Military Testing Ground[edit]

US and Philippine troops during a military exercise in Crow Valley, Tarlac

Recently, the Philippine Army has used Crow Valley in the borders of Barangay Patling and Sta. Lucia in Capas, Tarlac as a testing ground for both Philippine forces and allies. Many of the Philippine military testings were done on March 17, 2006 [1] most likely as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines.

Belenismo sa Tarlac[edit]

“Belenismo sa Tarlac” (project to transform it to “Belen capital” of the Philippines) was launched by Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay, sister of former Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., president of the Tarlac Heritage Foundation. 2007 Belen Festival began in September, with the first Belen-making workshop to Dec. 16. Sen. Loren Legarda led the awarding of 16 winners in 5 categories—personal, grand, monumental, municipal and diorama. The Tarlac police office Belen, built by at least 24 policemen, won the first prize; Asiaten Hotel was second and restaurant Coconut Grill was third.[4]


There are ten main shopping malls in Tarlac City; SM City Tarlac, which is the first SM Supermall in the province of Tarlac, is located on McArthur Highway, Brgy. San Roque, Tarlac City. The mall has a total floor area of 103,340 square meters on a 34,385 square meter land area. SM City Tarlac was opened to the public on April 30, 2010.

Other shopping centers/Supermarkets in the city are J-Mart, Robinsons Luisita (formerly Plaza Luisita Mall), Luisita Center, San Miguel, Tarlac, Robinsons Supermarket - Metrotown; Robinsons Supermarket - F. Tanedo; Robinsons Easymart - San Sebastian; Robinsons Easymart - San Vicente; Robinsons Easymart - Ligtasan; RCS - Tarlac City (u/c); Super 8 - San Nicolas; EZ City Center (5); Uniwide-Tarlac Central Mall; My Metro Town Mall; C&S Shopping Complex; Cindy's Family Plaza; Magic Star Mall - Cut-cut, Tarlac City; Magic Star Supermarket - Matatalaib, Tarlac City; Puregold-Tarlac Downtown Market; Puregold Jr. - Palm Plaza; Puregold Jr. - Citywalk; City Walk Mall; Palm Plaza Mall and The Market City (u/c)

Provincial Malls & Supermarket: Savemore Market - Camiling, Tarlac; Puregold - Capas, Tarlac; Robinsons Easymart - Concepcion, Tarlac; Paniqui Mall - Paniqui, Tarlac; Sun Plaza - Camiling 1, Tarlac; Sun Plaza - Camiling 2, Tarlac; Sun Plaza - Gerona, Tarlac; Sun Plaza - Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac; Savewise - Camiling, Tarlac; Savewise - Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac; RCS - Capas, Tarlac; Red Camia Supermarket - Paniqui, Tarlac; Red Camia Supermarket - Concepcion, Tarlac; Chuzon Supermarket - Gerona, Tarlac;

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities". 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  3. ^ http://www.census.gov.ph/sites/default/files/attachments/hsd/pressrelease/Central%20Luzon.pdf
  4. ^ Inquirer.net, Tarlac aims to become ‘Belen’ capital of RP

External links[edit]