From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the Philippine province. For other uses, see Zambales (disambiguation).
Provincial Capitol in Iba, decorated for the Mango Festival
Provincial Capitol in Iba, decorated for the Mango Festival
Flag of Zambales
Official seal of Zambales
Nickname(s): Mango Capital of the Philippines, Chromite Capital of the Philippines, Wreck Diving Capital of the Philippines
Motto: Sulong Zambales! Arangkada Zambaleño
Location within the Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 15°20′N 120°10′E / 15.333°N 120.167°E / 15.333; 120.167Coordinates: 15°20′N 120°10′E / 15.333°N 120.167°E / 15.333; 120.167
Country Philippines
Region Central Luzon (Region III)
Founded 1578
Capital Iba
 • Type Province of the Philippines
 • Governor Hermogenes Ebdane (Sulong Zambales Party)
 • Vice Governor Ramon G. Lacbain II (Sulong Zambales Party)
 • Total 3,830.83 km2 (1,479.09 sq mi)
Area rank 36th out of 80
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 534,443
 • Rank 37th out of 80
 • Density 140/km2 (360/sq mi)
 • Density rank 43rd out of 80
  Population (including Olongapo City): 755,621
 • Independent cities 1
 • Component cities 0
 • Municipalities 13
 • Barangays 230
including independent cities: 247
 • Districts 1st and 2nd districts of Zambales (shared with Olongapo City)
 • Ethnic groups Tagalog (42%), Ilocano (28%), Sambal (27%), Others (3%)
 • Languages Tagalog, Ilocano, Sambal, Pangasinan, Kapampangan, English
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 2200 to 2213
Dialing code 47
ISO 3166 code PH-ZMB

Zambales is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Luzon region in the island of Luzon. Its capital is Iba. Zambales borders Pangasinan to the north, Tarlac and Pampanga to the east, Bataan to the south and the South China Sea to the west. With a land area of 3,830.83 km2, Zambales is the second largest among the seven provinces of Central Luzon. The province is noted for its mangoes, which are abundant from January to April.

Zambales does not have a functional airport - the closest airport is Clark International airport. Subic Bay International Airport, which is located in Cubi Point in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone is no longer functional for international or domestic flights.[3]

The Freeport Zone (SBMA) is host to many tourist attractions which include casinos, beach resorts, parks, beachside huts and cottages and historical sites.


The province's name came from the word zambal, which is a Hispanized term for Sambali. Zambal refers to the language spoken by the early Austronesian inhabitants of the place. A contending version states that the name was derived from the word samba, meaning worship, because the Spanish supposedly found the native inhabitants to be highly superstitious; worshiping the spirits of their ancestors.[4]


The area now occupied by Zambales was first explored by the Spanish in 1572, led by Juan de Salcedo.[4] Among the earliest towns founded were Subic (1572), Botolan (1572), Masinloc (1607), Iba (1611), and Santa Cruz (1612).[5] Masinloc became the province's first capital. However, the capital was moved among the last three towns above during its history before settling in Iba, due to its strategic location. Seven of the province's original northern towns, which included Bolinao, Infanta and Alaminos were later transferred under the jurisdiction of Pangasinan because of their distance from the capital.[4] The first civil governor of Zambales during the American era was Potenciano Lesaca from 1901-1903.

Zambales Day is celebrated every August 30.



Zambales lies on the western shores of Luzon island along the South China Sea. Its shoreline is ragged and features many coves and inlets. The Zambales Mountains in the eastern part of the province occupies about 60% of the total land area of Zambales. Subic Bay, at the southern end of the province, provides a natural harbor, and was the location of the U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay until its closure in 1992.[4]

Several coves such as this in San Antonio feature the western coastline of the province.
The Zambales Mountains as viewed from San Antonio.

The summit and crater lake of Mount Pinatubo lies within Botolan municipality in Zambales, near the tripoint of Zambales, Pampanga, and Tarlac provinces.[6] This volcano, once considered dormant, erupted violently in 1991. The former summit of the volcano was obliterated by the eruption and replaced by a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) wide caldera, within which Lake Pinatubo is situated. With an average depth of 800 m (2,600 ft), Lake Pinatubo is the deepest lake in the Philippines. The highest point of the caldera rim is 1,485 m (4,872 ft) above sea level, some 260 m (850 ft) lower than the pre-eruption summit. A vast portion of the Zambales province acquired desert-like features in 1991,[4] after being buried by more than 20 feet (6.1 m) of lahar.


Zambales has two pronounced seasons: dry from October to June, and wet from July to September.


Zambales is subdivided into 13 municipalities and 1 highly urbanized city, which are divided into two legislative districts.[7] Olongapo City is a highly urbanized city and administers itself autonomously from the province. Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal) a Philippine-claimed EEZ, is a designated part of the province.

 †  Provincial capital
     Highly urbanized city
Seal Municipality
or city
(per km2)
No. of
ZIP code Income

Ph seal zambales botolan.png Botolan 2nd 735.28 54,434 74 31 2202 1st Zambales Locator map-Botolan.png
Cabangan Zambales.png Cabangan 2nd 175.29 23,082 130 22 2203 4th Zambales Locator map-Cabangan.png
Candelaria Zambales.png Candelaria 2nd 333.59 25,020 75 16 2212 3rd Zambales Locator map-Candelaria.png
Castillejos Zambales.png Castillejos 1st 92.99 48,845 530 14 2208 1st Zambales Locator map-Castillejos.png
Iba Zambales.png Iba 2nd 153.38 46,761 300 14 2201 2nd Zambales Locator map-Iba.png
Masinloc Zambales.png Masinloc 2nd 331.50 44,342 130 13 2211 1st Zambales Locator map-Masinloc.png
1st 185.00 221,178 1,200 17 2200 1st Zambales Locator map-Olongapo.png
Palauig Zambales.png Palauig 2nd 310.00 33,286 110 19 2210 3rd Zambales Locator map-Palauig.png
SanAntonio,102Zambalesjf.png San Antonio 2nd 188.12 34,217 180 14 2206 2nd Zambales Locator map-San Antonio.png
SanFelipe,Zambalesjf0695 06.JPG San Felipe 2nd 111.60 22,020 200 11 2204 4th Zambales Locator map-San Felipe.png
San Marcelino Zambales.png San Marcelino 1st 416.86 31,879 76 18 2207 1st Zambales Locator map-San Marcelino.png
San Narciso Zambales.png San Narciso 2nd 71.60 26,966 380 17 2205 4th Zambales Locator map-San Narciso.png
Santa Cruz Zambales.png Santa Cruz 2nd 438.46 53,867 120 25 2213 1st Zambales Locator map-Santa Cruz.png
Subic Zambales.png Subic 1st 287.16 89,724 310 16 2209 1st Zambales Locator map-Subic.png
Ph seal zambales.png Zambales
1st - 2nd
3,830.83[1] 751,621 197.24 247 2200 - 2213 2nd[1] Ph locator map zambales.png
A All total figures include the independent city of Olongapo[1]


The 13 municipalities and 1 city of the province comprise a total of 247 barangays, with Santa Rita in Olongapo City as the most populous in 2010, and Owaog-Nibloc in Botolan as the least. If cities are excluded, Calapacuan in Subic has the highest population as of 2010.[7][8]

Further information: List of barangays in Zambales


Population census of Zambales
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 369,665 —    
1995 389,512 +0.98%
2000 433,542 +2.32%
2007 493,085 +1.79%
2010 534,443 +2.97%
Excluding Olongapo City
Source: National Statistics Office[2]

The Aetas of Mount Pinatubo were the earliest inhabitants of what is now the province of Zambales.[4] They were later displaced[4] by the Sambal, an Austronesian people after whom the province is named. Many Sambal still believe in superstitions and mysteries that have been handed down through the generations.

The Tagalogs, the Ilocanos, the Sambal, and the Kapampangans today constitute the four largest ethnic groups in Zambales; these identities may and do, however, overlap with one another due to intermarriage[9] and other factors. Most of the people of southern Zambales are migrants from different parts of the country owing the influx of job opportunities brought on by the U.S Subic Naval Base (San Antonio and Subic) during the American regime of the country. Many people found jobs and permanently settled there. The presence of the Americans greatly influenced the inhabitants in the province, from their tastes in food, clothing, and style.

Respect for elders is still observed. Town fiestas honoring patron saints are practiced in each parish, and Zambaleños are very accommodating when it comes to feasts.


The people of Zambales are predominantly Roman Catholic with 80% composition in religious adherence while Aglipayan is a significant minority religious group like in most province in Northern and Central Luzon. The remaining proportions are divided with other Christian groups such as Born Again Christians, Iglesia Ni Cristo, United Methodist Church, Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventist as well as Non Christians which is usually represented by Muslims.


Languages Spoken (2000)[10]
Language Number of speakers

Sambal, Tagalog, and Ilokano are the three main languages of Zambales.[4] Ilokano has 115,337 native speakers, Sambal has 114,637, and Tagalog has 250,637 (plus 24,995 non-native speakers).[11] 119,126 spoke other languages as their mother tongue, such as Kapampangan, including non-Philippine languages such as English.[11] About 75 percent of the population speaks and understands English to varying degrees of fluency, and road signs are written in that language.


There are a number of higher educational institutions in the province. The Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, the first state university in the province can be found in Iba. It has also satellite campuses in the municipalities of Sta. Cruz, Candelaria, Masinloc, Botolan, San Marcelino, Castillejos, and in the city of Olongapo. St. Joseph College-Olongapo, a college run by the Roman Catholic Church can be found in Olongapo City. The Columban College, run by the Catholic Church can be found also in Olongapo. The Magsaysay Memorial College is also run by the Roman Catholic Church and can be found in San Narciso.


Tourism plays a large role in the economy of Zambales. Local and foreign tourist flock its many beaches creating many job opportunities and contributing to the economy. Most of the province is still agricultural but there are considerable industrial zones that provide jobs not just for residents of Zambales but also for neighboring provinces. Mining has recently been booming in Zambales where there is an abundant deposit of Nickel and other minerals.[4]

Tourist attractions[edit]

Zambales has 173 kilometres (107 mi) of beaches, with coral reefs, dive spots, surfing areas, hotels and day-use beach huts. The province is approximately a 3 to 4 hour drive from Manila, depending on traffic.

  • The "Fiesta Poon Bato" (literal translation is Feast of the Sacred Stone), held in January, is a religious festival that attracts over half a million people each year. The festival venerates Ina Poon Bato (literal translation is Mother of the Sacred Stone) also known as Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage), the oldest known image of the Virgin Mary in Asia[citation needed]. The Barrio of Poon Bato located in the Botolan that is host to the image and the fiesta, was completely destroyed during the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption. The icon was saved and moved, along with the barrio inhabitants, to nearby Loob Bunga Resettlement Area.
  • The "Mango Festival" is held in the provincial capital of Iba every April, and the "Domorokdok" (Sambal word for Dance) Festival is held each May in Botolan. These include street dancing, agricultural shows, competitions like sand castle building and "bikini open" beauty pageants.
  • Paynauwen Festival it is the local town Festival In Iba,Zambales. The word Paynauwen Means to Rest.. It Is usually Celebrated after Dinamulag Festival
  • Hermana Menor and Hermana Mayor island in Santa Cruz
  • St.Augustine Cathedral in Iba


  1. ^ a b c d "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "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 13 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Orejas, Tonnette (7 March 2012). "It's more fun than an airport in Subic". Inquirer. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lancion, Jr., Conrado M.; de Guzman, Rey (cartography) (1995). "The Provinces". Fast Facts about Philippine Provinces (The 2000 Millenium ed.). Makati, Metro Manila: Tahanan Books. pp. 162–163. ISBN 971-630-037-9. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Municipalities". Zambales Now, Official Website of Zambales. Retrieved on 2012-05.24.
    ** The year of 1542 in the founding of Subic is a misprint and should be the year 1572 like in Botolan as Salcedo was born in 1549.
  6. ^ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (1955). "Tarlac map". University of Texas in Austin Library. Retrieved on 2012-05-24.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Province: Zambales". Philippine Statistics Authority - National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Iba travel guide
  10. ^ Zambales: Dependency Ratio Down by Five Persons
  11. ^ a b Zambales

Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "PSA-NSCB" defined multiple times with different content
Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "2010Census" defined multiple times with different content

External links[edit]