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This article is about the Philippine province. For its capital city, see Tarlac City. For the river, see Tarlac River. For other uses, see Tarlac (disambiguation).
Tarlac Provincial Capitol
Tarlac Provincial Capitol
Flag of Tarlac
Official seal of Tarlac
Nickname(s): Melting Pot of Central Luzon
Sugar Capital of Luzon
Location within the Philippines
Location within the Philippines
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 Philippines
Region Central Luzon (Region III)
Founded 1872
Capital Tarlac City
 • Type Province of the Philippines
 • Governor Victor A. Yap (NPC)
 • Vice Governor Enrique 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
Website visit-tarlac.com

Tarlac is a landlocked province located in the Central Luzon in the Philippines. It is bounded on the north by the province of Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija on the east, Zambales on the west and Pampanga in the southern part. The province is subdivided into 17 municipalities and one city, Tarlac City, which is also the provincial capital. It also comprises three congressional districts.

The province is situated in the heartland of Luzon, in what is known as the Central Plain which comprises the provinces of Region III. Tarlac covers a total land area of 305,345 hectares. It is approximately 125 kilometers northeast of Metro Manila.

Early in history, what came to be known as Tarlac today was once a thickly forested area, peopled by roving tribes of nomadic Aetas who are said to be the aboriginal settlers of the Philippines, and for a lengthy period, it was the remaining hinterland of the Central Plain of Luzon. Tarlac is the most multi-cultural of the provinces in the region for having a mixture of four distinct groups, the Pampangos, Ilocanos, Pangasinense and Tagalogs. It is also known for its fine food and vast sugar and rice plantations.[3]


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 in 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. Damas 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, Sacobia Bamban River in Bamban and the Rio Chico in La Paz


Tarlac is subdivided into 17 municipalities and 1 component city, all of which are divided into three congressional districts. There are a total of 511 barangays comprising the province.

Political map of Tarlac
 †  Provincial capital and component city
or city
(per km2)
No. of
ZIP code Income

Anao 1st 23.87 10,873 455.5 18 2310 5th Tarlac Map Locator-Anao.png
Bamban 3rd 251.98 62,413 247.7 15 2317 2nd Tarlac Map Locator-Bamban.png
Camiling 1st 140.53 80,241 571 61 2306 1st Tarlac Map Locator-Camiling.png
Capas 3rd 376.39 125,852 334.4 20 2315 1st Tarlac Map Locator-Capas.png
Concepcion 3rd 242.99 139,832 575.5 45 2316 1st Tarlac Map Locator-Concepcion.png
Gerona 2nd 128.89 83,084 644.6 44 2302 1st Tarlac Map Locator-Gerona.png
La Paz 3rd 114.33 60,982 533.4 21 2314 2nd Tarlac Map Locator-La Paz.png
Mayantoc 1st 311.42 29,987 96.3 24 2304 3rd Tarlac Map Locator-Mayantoc.png
Moncada 1st 85.75 56,183 655.2 37 2408 1st Tarlac Map Locator-Moncada.png
Paniqui 1st 105.16 87,730 834.3 35 2307 1st Tarlac Map Locator-Paniqui.png
Pura 1st 31.01 22,949 740.1 16 2312 4th Tarlac Map Locator-Pura.png
Ramos 1st 24.40 20,249 829.9 9 2311 5th Tarlac Map Locator-Ramos.png
San Clemente 1st 49.73 12,510 251.6 12 2305 5th Tarlac Map Locator-San Clemente.png
San Jose 2nd 592.81 33,960 57.3 13 2318 3rd Tarlac Map Locator-San Jose.png
San Manuel 1st 42.10 24,289 576.9 15 2309 4th Tarlac Map Locator-San Manuel.png
Santa Ignacia 1st 146.07 43,787 299.8 24 2303 2nd Tarlac Map Locator-Santa Ignacia.png
Tarlac City 2nd 274.66 318,322 1159 76 2300 1st Tarlac Map Locator-Tarlac City.png
Victoria 2nd 111.51 59,987 538 26 2313 2nd Tarlac Map Locator-Victoria.png
Tarlac Total 1st - 3rd
3,053.60[1] 1,273,240 417 511 2300 – 2318 1st class[1] Ph locator map tarlac.png


The 17 municipalities and 1 city of the province comprise a total of 511 barangays, with Cristo Rey in Capas as the most populous in 2010, and Malonzo in Bamban as the least.[4][5]

Further information: List of barangays in Tarlac


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.


Spanish influence is very visible in the province as shown by religious adherence. Roman Catholicism is professed by 83% of the population. Aglipayan is an important minority religion while some other Christian groups are also present. The St. Michael Archangel Parish Church was the oldest religious structure in the entire province until it was burned in 1997.


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 are 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.


Belenismo sa Tarlac[edit]

“Belenismo sa Tarlac” was launched by Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay, sister of former Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., to transform the province into the Belen Capital of the Philippines. The Belen Festival began in September 2007, with the first Belen-making workshop conducted on December 16, 2007. Organizers have intended the festival to become an annual event in the province. Senator Loren Legarda led the awarding of the first Belen-making competition where Tarlac PNP Office Belen, built by at least 24 policemen, won the first prize.

Belenismo in Spanish means the art of making Belen, a representation of the Nativity scene in which the Holy Family (Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus) is visited by the three wise men who came to the manger through the guidance of a star.[6]

Melting Pot Festival[edit]

The Malatarlak Festival, celebrated every January in Tarlac City, is one of the most remarkable festivals in the province. In 2011, the City Mayor then changed the name of the festival to Melting Pot Festival, but it is still remembered by its former name. The festival is a commemoration to the first people who built civilization in the province, the Aetas.[7][better source needed]

Chicharon Iniruban Festival[edit]

It is a festivity that is yearly celebrated in the town of Camiling during the last week of October. It is intended as a preparation for All Saints' Day and a Thanksgiving Celebration for the good harvest and for the good quality of meat products especially the chicharon or Bagnet. It also features the exotic and delicious rice cake Iniruban, as called by Ilocanos. The festival'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 introduced in 2000.

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

Military Testing Ground[edit]

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[8] most likely as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines.

Provincial Capitol[edit]

The highest seat of political power of the province is located at a hill in Brgy. San Vicente, Tarlac City. The present structure was finished in 1909. During the Japanese occupation, the provincial capitol was vacated and used as the provincial headquarters of the Imperial Army. The capitol suffered great damages during the Second World War, but afterwards, in 1946, the United States of America helped rebuild and improve its structure. Because of its historical background, the picture of the capitol façade appears in the current 500 peso bill.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "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" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "History of Tarlac". Tarlac Province Official Portal. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Province: Tarlac". Philippine Statistics Authority - National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "2010 Census of Population and Housing: Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay:as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). National Statistics Office. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Belenismo sa Tarlac". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 30 August 2015. Tarlac aims to become ‘Belen’ capital of RP 
  7. ^ "Melting Pot Festival". Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Tarlac Military Testing Ground". Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Tarlac Provincial Capitol". Retrieved 30 August 2015. 

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External link[edit]