Central Luzon

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Central Luzon

Region III
Baler Bay in Aurora
Sierra Madre in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija
Heritage District in Angeles, Pampanga
Capas National Shrine in Capas, Tarlac
Mount Pinatubo in Botolan, Zambales
Mount Samat National Shrine in Pilar, Bataan
Rice Granary of the Philippines[1]
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 15°28′N 120°45′E / 15.47°N 120.75°E / 15.47; 120.75Coordinates: 15°28′N 120°45′E / 15.47°N 120.75°E / 15.47; 120.75
Country Philippines
Island groupLuzon
Regional centerSan Fernando (Pampanga)[2]
 • Total22,014.63 km2 (8,499.90 sq mi)
 (2015 census) [4]
 • Total11,218,177
 • Density510/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Human Development Index
 • HDI (2018)0.726[5]
high · 4th
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ISO 3166 codePH-03
Independent Cities
Cong. districts20

Central Luzon (Kapampangan: Kalibudtarang Luzon, Pangasinan: Pegley na Luzon, Tagalog: Gitnang Luzon, Ilocano: Tengnga a Luzon), designated as Region III, is an administrative region in the Philippines, primarily serving to organize the 7 provinces of the vast central plains of the island of Luzon (the largest island), for administrative convenience. The region contains the largest plain in the country and produces most of the country's rice supply, earning itself the nickname "Rice Granary of the Philippines".[1] Its provinces are: Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.[6]


Current name of the region is in reference to its position on the large island of Luzon. The term was coined by American colonialists after the defeat of the First Philippine Republic. There have been proposals to rename the current Central Luzon region into the Luzones region. The proposed name is in reference to the old name of Luzon island, Luções, which was later used to refer to the central area of the island, stretching from Pagasinan in the north, all the way to Pampanga in the south. The term Luções literally translates into Luzones.[7][8]


The region of Central Luzon is located north of Manila, the nation's capital. Bordering it are the regions of Ilocos and Cagayan Valley to the north; National Capital Region, Calabarzon and the waters of Manila Bay to the south; South China Sea to the west; and the Philippine Sea to the east.[9] Pangasinan is historico-culturally and geographically an integral part of this region, but was politically made part of the Ilocos Region by President Ferdinand Marcos on June 22, 1973.[10]

There are fourteen cities in the region: Balanga in Bataan; Malolos, Meycauayan and San Jose del Monte in Bulacan; Cabanatuan, Gapan, Muñoz, Palayan and San Jose in Nueva Ecija; Angeles, Mabalacat and San Fernando in Pampanga; Tarlac in Tarlac; and Olongapo in Zambales. Central Luzon produces the most rice in the whole country. Excess rice is delivered and imported to other regions of the Philippines.[11]

The City of San Fernando, provincial capital of Pampanga, is designated as the regional center. Aurora was transferred from Region IV through Executive Order No. 103 on May 2002.[12]


Population census of Central Luzon
YearPop.±% p.a.
1990 6,338,590—    
2000 8,204,742+2.61%
2010 10,137,737+2.14%
2015 11,218,177+1.95%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[13][4]


The native languages of Central Luzon are:

  • Kapampangan, spoken in the entirety of Pampanga and southern Tarlac, as well as southeastern Zambales, northeastern Bataan, western Bulacan, and southwestern Nueva Ecija.
  • Pangasinan, spoken in northern Tarlac, northeastern Zambales, and northwestern Nueva Ecija.
  • Tagalog, spoken in Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Bataan, and Zambales. It is the regional lingua franca.
  • Ilocano, spoken in northern Nueva Ecija and some parts of Tarlac, Zambales, and Aurora.
  • Sambal, spoken in a majority of Zambales and a few scattered areas in Bataan and Pampanga.


Eighty percent of the population of Central Luzon is Roman Catholic. Other religions represented are Protestants (including Evangelicals), Islam, Iglesia Ni Cristo, and indigenous religions such as Anitism. There are also other denominations such as Jesus Is Lord, Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ, Ang Dating Daan, Jesus Miracle Crusade, United Methodist Church and others.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Political map of Central Luzon

Central Luzon comprises 7 provinces, 2 highly urbanized cities, 12 component cities, 116 municipalities, 3,102 barangays[14]

Province or HUC Capital Population (2015)[4] Area[15] Density Cities Muni. Barangay
km2 sq mi /km2 /sq mi
Aurora Baler 1.9% 214,336 3,147.32 1,215.19 68 180 0 8 151
Bataan Balanga 6.8% 760,650 1,372.98 530.11 550 1,400 1 11 237
Bulacan Malolos 29.3% 3,292,071 2,796.10 1,079.58 1,200 3,100 3 21 569
Nueva Ecija Palayan 19.2% 2,151,461 5,751.33 2,220.60 370 960 5 27 849
Pampanga San Fernando 19.6% 2,198,110 2,002.20 773.05 1,100 2,800 2 19 505
Tarlac Tarlac City 12.2% 1,366,027 3,053.60 1,179.00 450 1,200 1 17 511
Zambales Iba 5.3% 590,848 3,645.83 1,407.66 160 410 0 13 230
Angeles 3.7% 411,634 60.27 23.27 6,800 18,000 33
Olongapo 2.1% 233,040 185.00 71.43 1,300 3,400 17
Total 11,218,177 22,014.63 8,499.90 510 1,300 14 116 3,102

 †  Angeles and Olongapo are highly-urbanized cities; figures are excluded from Pampanga and Zambales respectively.


The Central Luzon Region has fourteen cities. San Jose del Monte is the city with the most population while Angeles is the most densely populated city in the region. Tarlac City is the largest based on land area.

  •  †  Regional center


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Edenhofer, Ottmar; Wallacher, Johannes; Lotze-Campen, Hermann; Reder, Michael; Knopf, Brigitte; Müller, Johannes (June 25, 2012). Climate Change, Justice and Sustainability: Linking Climate and Development Policy. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 206. ISBN 9789400745407.
  2. ^ "DILG Region 3 - Regional Management". Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  3. ^ "Highlights of the Philippine Population 2015 Census of Population (Region 3)". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d Census of Population (2015). "Region III (Central Luzon)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  5. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  6. ^ "Central Luzon, Region III, Philippines". flagspot.net.
  7. ^ http://opinion.inquirer.net/95645/change-name-will-good-philippines
  8. ^ http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/06/13/17/should-the-philippines-be-renamed-historian-weighs-in
  9. ^ "Region III, Central Luzon, Geographical Location". evis.net.ph.
  10. ^ "Presidential Decree № 224". Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  11. ^ "REGION III (Central Luzon)". National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  12. ^ "Executive Order No. 103; Dividing Region IV into Region IV-A and Region IV-B, Transferring the Province of Aurora to Region III and for Other Purposes". Philippine Statistics Authority. May 17, 2002. Archived from the original on May 18, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2016. SECTION 4. The Province of Aurora is hereby transferred to and shall form part of Region III.
  13. ^ "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. Philippine Statistics Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  14. ^ "List of Regions". National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  15. ^ "PSGC Interactive; List of Provinces". Philippine Statistics Authority. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  16. ^ "PSGC Interactive; List of Cities". Philippine Statistics Authority. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2016.

External links[edit]