Melting Pot Of Central Luzon
Tarlac is the most multicultural of the Central Luzon provinces. A mixture of four district groups, the Pampangos, Ilocanos, Pangasinenses, and Tagalogs, share life in the province.
Tarlac is best known for its fine foods and vast sugar and rice plantations. That it has fine cooking to offer is due largely to the fact that it is the melting pot of Central Luzon. It offers some of the best cuisines from the places of ancestry of its settlers, the provinces of Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pangasinan, and the Ilocos Region.
Historical sites, fine food, vast plantations, a beautifully landscaped golf course, and so many other attractions – all these make the province of Tarlac one of the best of the places to visit in Central Luzon.
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.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
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.
Because the province is landlocked, its fish production is limited to several fishponds. On the boundary with Zambales in the west, forestlands provide 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 as well as sawmills and logging outfits. It has three sugar centrals. Other firms service agricultural needs such as fertilizer. Among its cottage industries, ceramics making has become important because of the abundant supply of clay.
Tarlac was originally a part of the provinces of Pangasinan and Pampanga. It was the last Central Luzon province to be organized under the Spanish regime in 1874.
During the Philippine Revolution of 1896, Tarlac was one of the first eight provinces to rise in arms against Spain. It became the new seat of the first Philippine Republic in March 1899 when Emilio Aguinaldo abandoned the former, Malolos, Bulacan. This lasted only for a month as 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 schism in the Roman Catholic Chuch in the Philippines.
Tarlac was captured by American forces in November 1899. A civil government was established in the province in 1901.
During the World War II, Camp O’Donnell in Capas became the terminal point of the infamous “Death March,” involving Filipino and American soldiers who surrendered in Bataan on April 9, 1942. The camp was so overcrowded that many allied prisoners who survived the grueling march died here of hunger and disease.
In the early 1950s, Tarlac was the hotbed of the Huks, a local communist movement. It was suppressed at first but had resurgence in 1965.
Tarlac is the home province of former Philippine President Corazon C. Aquino and her husband, Benigno Aquino, whose assassination at the Manila International Airport in 1983 started the protest movement against the Marcos dictatorship, which culminated in the EDSA Revolution of 1986.
The province is situated at the center of the Central Plains of Luzon, landlocked by four provinces: Nueva Ecija on the east, Pangasinan on the north, Pampanga o the south, and Zambales on the west. Approximately 75% of the province is plain while the rest is hilly to mountainous.
Tarlac is divided into three congressional districts with 18 towns and an aggregate of 510 barangays.
Tarlac has a population of 859, 222.
Ilocano is spoken by half of the population followed by Pampango spoken by 41%. Everybody understands the Tagalog language.
All buses from Manila going to the Ilocos Region and Baguio City pass through Tarlac. Most of these buses make rest stops along the highway at the town’s many restaurants. Philippine Rabbit in Manila has buses that leave for Tarlac every 10 to 30 minutes.