Northwestern Pampanga Development Caucus/Group

 

 

 

Composition

 

Bacolor (Pop as of 2000: 16,147), Floridablanca (2005: 100,364), Guagua (2005: 106,939), Lubao (2005: 132,049),  Mabalacat (2000: 171,045), Magalang (2005: 85,000), Porac (2005: 89,702), Sta. Rita (2000: 32,780), Sasmuan (2000: 23,359).

 

 

Significance of the Area

 

The towns generally lie within the lahar-affected areas of Pampanga and along the Subic-Clark developmental corridor.  The member municipalities generally constitute areas in Pampanga that can accommodate more industrial investments and commercial activities that are complementary to the growth of Subic and Clark.

 

The area is critical for various concerns of the national government that include:

 

1.      Growth strategy and programs along and around the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and the Western section of the Gapan-Olongapo Road;

2.      Continuing rehabilitation and alternative use of the lahar-affected agricultural land;

3.      Flood mitigation and environmental management in the lahar-affected areas of Pampanga;

4.      Alternative food terminals and food processing centers between Metropolitan Manila and the Northern Luzon provinces;

5.      Tourism that is anchored to the development of Subic and Clark as alternative international flight hubs.

 

Objectives of the Caucus/Group

 

  1. To promote and live fully the spirit of the Local Government Code that mandates the local government units to be active partners in national development and implementers of programs and projects within their areas of jurisdiction and responsibility.
  2. To promote cooperation and establish effective coordination among member local government units in addressing mutual cross-border concerns.
  3. To build and beef up capabilities of member local government units to plan and implement projects in relation to the above-mentioned concerns.

 

Capability Building

 

To pursue its declared objectives, the Northwestern Pampanga Development Caucus/Group will line up local projects for funding by the national government.  These projects will be characterized by conscious and continuous build up of individual and collective capabilities that will enable member local government units implement component projects of national programs.

 

The more important points regarding these undertakings shall be:

 

1.      the local government units themselves will implement the projects;

2.      the involved government units will assist each other as may be needed in order to carry out the projects well;

3.      and the projects will be considered and assessed as collective accomplishment of the Northwestern Pampanga Development Caucus/Group.

 

Member Municipalities

 

1. BACOLORMap of Pampanga showing the location of Bacolor

 

During the Philippine Revolution against Spain, then President Emilio Aguinaldo declared Bacolor the capital of the Philippines. It only became capital for at least two months, when it was stripped of the title, being given to nearby City of San Fernando.

Barangays

Bacolor is politically subdivided into 21 barangays.

  • Balas
  • Cabalantian
  • Cabambangan (Pob.)
  • Cabetican
  • Calibutbut
  • Concepcion
  • Dolores
  • Duat
  • Macabacle
  • Magliman
  • Maliwalu
  • Mesalipit
  • Parulog
  • Potrero
  • San Antonio
  • San Isidro
  • San Vicente
  • Santa Barbara
  • Santa Ines
  • Talba
  • Tinajero

Bacolor, known also as Baculud, the Athens of Pampanga, was the capital of the Philippines during the British occupation of Manila in 1762-63 when the Spaniards under Simon de Anda retreated in this town. It was also the original provincial capital and remained as the seat of provincial government for more than three hundred years. The Spaniards founded the oldest Philippine trade school in Bacolor which was the forerunner of Don Honorio Ventura College of Arts and Trades.

Historical records show that Bacolor has been in existence as a prosperous settlement as early as 1571. When the Spaniards under the leadership of Ferdinand Blumentrit arrived that found "Baculud",  its original name meaning high level ground.

The first settlers of Bacolor were believed to be Malayans that came from Atjeth Sumatra led by Panday Pira. It is believed to have been founded by Monmon, first cousin and sister-in-law of Malangsic, a son of Prince Balagtas.  However, historians recorded the official foundation of Bacolor to have occurred in 1574 through a landlord named Guillermo Manabat, whose palatial house and resting place is now the site of the San Guillermo Church, hence the church’s name.

The name Baculud was changed to Bacolor when the Spaniards came to the place. It was recorded to have been the first capital of Pampanga for two centuries (1698-1904) before San Fernando was declared the capital town of the province in July 1904. In 1757, the provincial building, Casa Real, was constructed at the place where the Bacolor Elementary School is located.

In the year 1762 after the fall of Manila to the English invaders, Governor General Simon de Anda retreated and made Bacolor the seat of the Spanish Government. It was the seat of government from October 6, 1762 to May 30, 1764 and practically served as the Capital of the Philippines. Thru, a decree of the King of Spain on November 9, 1765, Bacolor became "Villa de Bacolor", one of the only three villas in the Philippines and was granted a Special Coat of Arms. Simon de Anda organized an army of natives with which he finally recaptured Manila from the British invaders.

The coming of the American colonizers broke up the military form of government and instead political and economic reforms were introduced. A civil form of government was organized and was inaugurated on February 13, 1901 by Commodore William H. Taft which took place in the old "Escuela de Artes y Officios de Bacolor", (formerly named Pampanga School of Arts and Trade) now known as the Don Honorio Ventura College of Arts and Trade. The first Provincial Civil Governor was Don Ceferino Joven and the first Municipal President of Bacolor was Don Estanislao Santos.

Pampanga was acknowledged as the first province to have organized civil government in the Philippines by General Grant, the then President of the United States of America.

Bacolor’s festivity is celebrated every 10th day of February and the La Naval Fiesta is being held every 3rd Sunday of November.

2. FLORIDABLANCA

 

The town is located on the western part of Pampanga along the Zambales mountain ranges and is bounded by the municipalities of Porac on the north, Lubao on the south, Guagua on the east, Dinalupihan, Bataan on the west. It is approximately 23 kilometers from the town of San Fernando and 90 kilometers from Manila. The town has an elevation of 12 feet above the sea level.

 

The area is part of the inter-mountainous area of the Central Plains of Luzon, which is almost level plain only a few meters above sea level.

Deposits of non-metallic minerals like construction materials and other metallic minerals are found in Floridablanca, Pumice with a volume of 1,500,000 metric tons is known to exist in barangay Pabanlag. C.M. Dizon gold mines and Kalahi Investment Incorporated identifies gold (38.38 short ton), a very precious metal, to exist in Pabanlag with 0.056 grade or analysis (oz.An/St.)

 

Abundant supply of boulders, gravel and sand abound in the riverbeds of Porac, Gumain and Caulaman rivers. These quarry sites are believed to be supplying significant volume of the construction needs of the province and other projects in the region and Metro-Manila.

Floridablanca has 33 barangays.

  • Anon
  • Apalit
  • Basa Air Base
  • Benedicto
  • Bodega
  • Cabangcalan
  • Calantas
  • Carmencita
  • Consuelo
  • Dampe
  • Del Carmen
  • Fortuna
  • Gutad
  • Mabical
  • Malabo
  • Maligaya
  • Nabuclod
  • Pabanlag
  • Paguiruan
  • Palmayo
  • Pandaguirig
  • Poblacion
  • San Antonio
  • San Isidro
  • San Jose
  • San Nicolas
  • San Pedro
  • San Ramon
  • San Roque
  • Santa Monica
  • Solib
  • Valdez
  • Mawacat

 

 

Floridablanca has a total land area of 17,548 hectares. It has thirty-three (33) barangays composing of 31 lowland and 2 upland barangays. It has four cultural minorities settlements; namely Nabuclod, Mawacat, Malabni and Camatchiles. The Department of Interior and Local Government (DlLG) recognizes only Nabuclod and Mawacat as Barangays due to technicalities when Malabni and Camatchiles failed to field candidates and therefore participate in the 1982 barangay elections.

 

According to the Bureau of Soils in San Fernando, Pampanga the soil series in Floridablanca are composed of Angeles Coarse soil, Angeles Fine Soil, Angeles Soil Undifferentiated, and La Paz Silt Loam.

 

The soils of the Angeles series consist of pale brownish gray or ash gray to nearly whitish gray in the surface layer. The subsoil is brownish-gray to light reddish-brown sand with gravel. These soils have been developed from the continual deposition of soil materials from the surrounding hills and uplands by flowing rivers like the Porac Caulaman and Gumain Rivers. The relief ranges from nearly level to slightly level to slightly undulation and the natural drainage condition is good.

 

Angeles fine sand and Angeles coarse sand consist the Angeles series. The soils of the La Paz series are quite extensive, covering the vicinities of Lubao, Floridablanca, between Porac and Sta. Rita, Angeles and San Fernando. The surface soil is brownish gray and a pale-gray to yellowish-gray porous, loose and friable sandy subsoil. La Paz fine sand, La Paz silt loam was mapped.

 

The Porac-Gumain-Caulaman Rivers constitute a network of irrigation systems on the area and provide irrigation water to the farm and some of the out-lying municipalities. These also serve as the drainage of Floridablanca with the inclusion of numerous rivers, streams and creeks. There are 3 known creeks in Floridablanca; the Santo/ creek, Sapang Bayabas creek and the San Ramon or Tugtugan creek.

 

A study of the artesian aquifers in Floridablanca showed that the aquifers were sand deposits which ranged in size from very fine to very coarse, with granule sand pebbles up to one cm. generally sub-angular to rounded, of quarts, adesite, decite, feldspar, chet and hornblendes and these aquifers cropped out along the eastern slopes of the Zambales mountains.

 

The most important climatic factor in Floridablanca is rainfall, It is well known that the amount of rainfall at any given place and time is dependent upon several factors. These factors include exposure, topography, altitude, prevailing winds, ocean currents and latitude effects. During the months of December, January, February, March and April rain fall in the municipality is almost negligible. It has two distinct seasons. One season is characterized by being relatively dry from December to April and wet during the rest of the year.

 

As per result of the survey done by the enumerators hired by the Municipal Government of Floridablanca to gather data in the preparation of a Comprehensive Land Use Plan, Floridablanca has a total population of 84,052. About 53.11 % of this is accounted for in the urban areas while those living in the rural barangays comprise 46.89% of the total population of Floridablanca.

 

From 1990 to 1995, Floridablanca registered an annual growth rate of3.57%. In 1995, Barangay Pabanlag, Palmayo, Cabangcalan, San Pedro, and Sta. Monica registered lower growth rates primarily because of migration of residents to other barangays or to resettlement areas after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991. Barangay Apalit is the most thickly populated, but in

1995 a very low population count was registered because of Mt. Pinatubo victims who transferred to resettlement centers. The Floridablanca Resettlement Center, Barangays Anon, Mawacat and Nabuclod showed quite abnormal increases in population in the same year as compared to other barangays due to the integration of Sitio Culubasa (Sto. Nino) to Barangay Anon, from Sitio Camachiles to barangay Nabuclod and Sitio Malabni to barangay Mawacat.

 

In the result of 1999 Surveys, Barangays Pabanlag, Palmayo and Sta. Monica registered higher growth rates because of the BALIK BARANGAY PROGRAM which was in preparation for the May 2000 Census of Housing and Population.

 

Although the Municipality of Floridablanca is still predominantly rural some 3.11 % or 44,636 persons are residing in the urban area. Its rural population constitutes 46.89% or about 39,416 persons.

 

The Survey in 1999 showed a total of 16,422 households. Taking into consideration the annual population growth rate of 1.02 in the municipality, the projected number of households would have been 19,729 by the year 2005.

 

The population density of the municipality in 1995 and 1999 was registered at 408 persons per sq. kilometer and this would have escalated to 586 persons by the year 2005.

 

Like the rest of the country, the young population in Floridablanca exhibited a pyramidal age structure. The population between ages under 1 year old to 14 years accounted for 26,994 or 32.12% of the population aged under 1 year old up to 75 years old and above in 1999. On the other hand, 49,366 or 58.73% belonged to the 15-69 years old age bracket and only 1,795 or 2.14% were in the age bracket of 70 years old and above.

 

As expected, Pampango (Kapampangan) is spoken generally in Floridablanca. The rest of the non-Pampango speaking households readily understand the dialect. Its Kapampangan speaking population has gradually. accommodated the increasing share of the segments of the population speaking other dialects on account of migration.

 

The Roman Catholic religion has remained deeply rooted in the municipality of Floridablanca ever since its propagation in 1823. Per survey in 1999, 90.25% of its total population is Roman Catholics.  Other Christian faiths that have found their way into the municipality with a sizeable group of followers are Iglesia ni Kristo and Protestant / Methodist / Born Again Christian groups.

 

The literacy rate in the municipality of Floridablanca in 1999 was pegged to 98.60%.

 

A breakdown showed that 30.73% completed the 6th grade, 29.85 % were high school graduates, 8.32 % were academic degree holders and a measly 0.01% had post baccalaureate degrees.

 

 In Floridablanca it was assessed that 5,748 households or 35% of the total households fall within the poverty magnitude.

 

The economy of Floridablanca is principally anchored on agriculture. It is estimated that 40% of the total households rely on farming as their means of livelihood. All of the 33 barangays are basically agricultural areas; twenty (20) of these are covered by CARP and represent the Floridablanca Agrarian Reform Community. The Floridablanca ARC is composed of 1,998 farm households.

 

Crops that are predominantly produced are rice, sugarcane, vegetables and root crops. Aside from farming, there are farm families and individuals engaged in agro-based industries such as poultry and livestock raising, fishpond and other related small scale agro-based business endeavors.

 

Since Mt. Pinatubo erupted, quarrying of sand and gravel has also become a major source of income both for the population and the government. There have been at least 31 quarry operators registered in Floridablanca and four (4) stone-crasher enteprises.

 

Other related businesses have included some 18 hollow-block and concrete product manufacturers.

 

Among those who are gainfully employed are seasonal laborers, who dominate in number. Seasonal labor is mainly agricultural in nature, depending on the labor requirements of some agricultural activities such as planting, cultivation and harvest of different types of crops. This type is closely followed by the regular laborers comprising about 17.2%, 14.99% of whom are fanners. There are more than 3,000 business commercial/industrial establishments in the municipality.

 

Floridablanca has a young population with 53.73% of its population belonging to the 1-24 years of age. About 61.71% of its total inhabitants are between the ages of 15 to 60 years old.  These figures represent the potential labor force.

 

The strength and development advantage of Floridablanca lie on its vast agricultural lands suitable for food production.

 

Among the major threats and weaknesses is erosion, undirected mining activities and land grabbing.

 

Floridablanca in terms of area is largely classified as rural based although 53.11 % of its population is residing in the urban barangays. Considered urban barangays are Apalit, Bodega, Basa, Fortuna, Mabical, Paguiruan, Palmayo, Pandaguirig, Poblacion, San Jose, San Nicolas, Solib and Valdez. All the remaining barangays including the four upland barangays/sitios are considered rural areas.

 

Row settlements are located along roads and arterial roads. The main settlements are those clustered around the Poblacion namely barangay Solib, Del Carmen, San Nicolas, Maligaya, Valdez and San Antonio. The second cluster of barangays is those surrounding the Basa Air Base namely: Pandaguirig, Apalit, Palmayo, Consuelo and San Jose. This area experienced a sudden rise in population after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption due to the transfer of Mt. Pinatubo victims in the Floridablanca Resettlement Area. The Floridablanca Resettlement Area is within the boundaries off our (4) barangays: Basa, Palmayo, Pandaguirig and Apalit.

 

The Basa Air Base is the home of the Philippine Air Force in the province of Pampanga. It has an estimated area of 623.1230 hectares and could be regarded as an independent community owing to the presence of basic facilities such as hospital, primary to tertiary class schools and a chapel.

 

There are four (4) existing upland settlements in Floridablanca which are inhabited by Aetas. These are Nabuklod, Mawacat, Camachile and Malabni. These settlements have a total population of 2,037 individuals as of 1999 and are principally located at the hilly portions of Floridablanca.

 

Some barangays were buried by lahar after Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991. These are the barangays along the Caulaman and Gumain River namely: Pabanlag, Carmencita, parts of San Ramon) Nabuklod, Apalit, Pandaguirig, Palmayo, San Jose, Consuelo, Sta. Monica and Cabangcalan. The famous Sitio Palakol resort which was once a natural park and resort was also deeply buried by lahar changing its once lush vegetation into Virtual seashore.

 

The Municipality of Floridablanca is predominantly an agriculture area. Most of the farmers are engaged in planting rice, yellow and green com, root crops, legumes, vegetables and fruit trees, etc. They adopt the modem package of technology especially under MAKAMASA, which results to a bountiful harvest and surplus of harvest for the whole year. Some of the problems are limited number of reliable marketing outlets and the standard price support of different farm products and higher cost of production inputs and fuel.

 

Farmers begin to use a combination of two or more compatible practices to minimize pest production to non-destructive level without the use of farm chemical. Establishment of observation stations serve as early detection of the presence of pests and diseases. So farmers use a system known as Integrated Pest Management.

 

Farm Demonstration for production and distribution was done and selection of adapted and high yielding varieties and viable seeds is one factor being considered to increase farm income.

 

Responsibility in the initiation, promotion, organization and supervision is strengthening the cooperative movement. Livestock production and dispersal through loans and grant contributed a lot in the integrated system of farmers which give additional income to clientele.

 

Increase of fishpond areas gave a dynamic increase of farm income.

 

The methods of farming being used by the farmers in the Municipality of Floridablanca are a combination of the traditional and scientific modern way of farming. The total productive agricultural area devoted to crops in 1999 was 6,631 hectares. This is 37.79% of the total land area of Floridablanca which is 17,548 hectares.

 

Palay being the main crop is cultivated both in irrigated and rain-fed fields. The total area devoted to this crop is about 3,780.36. Irrigated fields constitute 3,446.36 hectares while rain-fed fields have 334 hectares for its share. Other secondary agricultural crops having a real share of hectares include root crops, fruit trees and sugarcane with the latter as a basic commercial crop in the municipality. On the other hand, corn and such vegetables as fruit vegetables, legumes, and leafy vegetables are planted extensively in the area on an intercropping basis in between rice planting and harvesting.

 

The total yield I production of palay in 1999 was pegged at 340,250 cavans. The average yield per hectare was then 90 cavans for the irrigated fields and 80 cavans for the rain-fed ones. Likewise, the total yield for all its secondary crops, both regular and rotational, in the same year was 13,205.43 metric tons. In terms of existing irrigation facilities the sources include an irrigation canal (NIA), communal well, rivers, creeks and private deep wells.

 

Fishing is another lucrative industry in the municipality of Floridablanca. The total fishpond area has been about 102.33 hectares. This is .58% of the municipality's total land area.  Total yield in this endeavor in 1999 was pegged at 122.80 metric tons. These included tilapia, hito and dalag

 

Livestock and poultry has been relatively a thriving and promising enterprise in the municipality. The number of livestock in 1999 included carabao with 2,300 heads, cattle with 780 heads, goats and sheep with 2000 and 2,700 heads and hogs with 17,785 heads.

 

Likewise, poultry production in the same year included chicken (broilers and layers) with 362,500 heads, ducks with 3,000 heads and turkey with 500 heads.

 

3. GUAGUA

 

Map of Pampanga showing the location of Guagua"Wawa" which means "mouth of a river" or "alua or bukana" in the vernacular, was the original name of the town of Guagua as first known in the year 1590. Evidently, the town is strategically located along a river which played a vital role in trade and transportation in the early eras.

Guagua was already a prosperous settlement way before the Spaniards came to take control of the town in the year 1561. Indeed, there were archeological artifacts excavated in a nearby town which affirmed a pre-historic community in Guagua.

Early inhabitants opted to stay in the town because it was here that they could engage in barter trade with people from different islands, along with other means of livelihood like fishing and farming. The navigable river with which the town was endowed allowed shipping vessels to transport commodities to and from other chief localities, particularly the imperial Manila. The first cargo boat to arrive in Guagua was the "Doña Dominga" on May 7, 1884. Much later it was followed by the steamships "Kaibigan" and "Kababayan," which anchored at the pier in Bo. Sto. Niño, better known as the Yangco Landing.

In 1892, when the Manila-Mabalacat railroad was inaugurated, Guagua was virtually the port of embarkation to and from Manila that served the province. Commerce was further improved when the San Fernando-Guagua line of the railroad was chartered on November 17, 1907.

The Chinese people have long been part in Guagua's social and economic mainstream. In the 18th century, they sought refuge in the town to escape Spanish atrocity in Manila. After their near total slaughter, the Chinese lived in relative peace while they freely practiced their craft and mingled hand-in-hand with the local residents. The Chinese residents were merchants, masons, woodcarvers, carpenters, agriculturists, and laborers. Their influence on the cultural and economic life of Guagua cannot be overlooked. The town could not have prospered so readily without the Chinese' economic services.

The town took significant part in the revolutionary struggles against the foreign intruders. A house near the catholic church was made a secret cell of the Katipuneros in August 1897. In March 1898, all Spaniards in Guagua were murdered marking the end of Spanish colonialism, and the outset of American rule. Moreover, during the Philippine-American War and the ensuing 2nd World War, Guagua became an important battleground.

At the turn of the 20th century, a new system of education was introduced and made popular and available to the Filipinos. The Guagua Elementary School in Bo. Sta. Filomena, is believed to be the first to be established in the town in the year 1901. Later in that year, an English teacher came to Betis area and opened a primary school which functioned on a regular basis. In 1908, Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus (now St. Mary's Academy in Bo. San Roque) was established in a two-storey building donated by a charitable matron, in downtown Guagua. Later in 1918, Guagua National Institute (now Guagua National Colleges in Bo. Sta. Filomena) was founded at the convent of the catholic church. Further, in 1941, the then parish priest, felt the need for another high school in town, so he opened Saint Michael's College.

At the rebirth of the Philippine democracy in 1986, the local government carried out the "Integrated Approach Towards Sustainable Development" to rectify its destitute state. The program gained several outstanding citations for its momentous achievement. From a mere "third class" standing in 1986, Guagua has grown to become a "first class" municipality. The sound fiscal status and effective governance brought forwards, translated to better and effective public service, and made Guagua a consistent recipient of several "Most Outstanding LGU" awards.

 

Guagua is widely known for delectable dishes. Many visitors from different parts of the country, as well as foreigners, take extreme delights in local foods and delicatessen, like tocino, longaniza, crablets (talangka), chicharon, and many others. Local restaurants have gained wide popularity for simple yet sumptuous cuisine.

Other attractions for visitors include the country side in the northwestern region of the town, the remnants of lahar flows, intricate woodcarvings and furniture, and aged-old Catholic buildings.

The Municipality of Guagua is one of the twenty-one towns of the Province of Pampanga, Philippines. Along with the towns of Lubao, Porac, Sta. Rita, Floridablanca and Sasmuan, Guagua belongs to the 2nd District of Pampanga.

Located on the western part of the province, Guagua is about 9.5 kilometers off the City of San Fernando, and approximately 77 kilometers away from Metropolitan Manila. The town is bounded on the north by the towns of Bacolor and Sta. Rita; on the south by the towns of Sasmuan and Lubao; on the east, Macabebe and Sasmuan; and on the west, Porac and Floridablanca.

For political and economic purposes, its 31 barangays are grouped into four (4) sectoral areas:

Poblacion Area
Bancal
Plaza Burgos
San Nicolas 1st
San Pedro
San Rafael
San Roque
Sta. Filomena
Sto. Cristo
Sto. Niño

Pangulo Area
San Vicente
Lambac
Magsaysay
Maquiapo
Natividad
Pulungmasle
Rizal
Ascomo
Jose Abad Santos

Locion Area
San Pablo
San Juan 1st
San Jose
San Matias
San Isidro
San Antonio


Betis Area
San Agustin
San Juan Bautista
San Juan Nepomuceno
San Miguel
San Nicolas 2nd
Sta. Ines
Sta. Ursula


 

The town is almost flat and is suitable to any phase of development; agricultural, industrial, commercial and others. The general slope is south and southeast toward the Pampanga River which drains out into Manila Bay. Further, Guagua is traversed by several creeks and tributaries during rainy days, which collect and convey floodwater to the Guagua river and into the Manila Bay.
 

4. LUBAO

Map of Pampanga showing the location of Lubao

Prior to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in the Philippines in the 16th century, Lubao was one of the three oldest settled communities in Pampanga with advanced culture and civilization. It was then a large territory, which extended to the present boundaries of the provinces of Bataan, Tarlac and Bulacan. Believed to have been founded by Malays, it was once governed by a native chief named Datu Macabulos assisted by a council of elders. Even the famous Rajah Soliman and Rajah Lakan Dula, descendants of the ancient royalty of Brunei were presumed to have loyal Lubenian warriors who fought with them in many wars to repel foreign invaders. As the Lubenians are known for their bravery and valor in battles, the Spaniards had to skirt Lubao when they were colonizing the Pampanga hinterland. In 1572, the power of the Christian cross converted many Lubenians to the Roman Catholic faith and their first church, one of the oldest churches in the Philippines was constructed in barrio Santa Catalina and transferred to its present site thirty years later.

Lubao which was once also called Baras derived its present name from a Kapampangan word meaning "outside of the narrow sea between two isles", is typically rural and it is endowed with fertile land and water resources very rich in marine life. Farming and fishing are the main sources of livelihood of its industrious people. Its current geographical area is situated in the southwestern part of Pampanga bounded in the north by the municipality of Floridablanca, in the east by the municipality of Guagua, in the south by the town of Sasmuan and in the west by the Province of Bataan.

Lubao catapulted to international prominence when one of its favorite sons, President Diosdado P. Macapagal was elected to the presidency of the Republic of the Philippines on November 14, 1961.

His dedication to public service is carried on by his three offsprings namely, former Pampanga Vice Governor Cielo Macapagal-Salgado, former Undersecretary of Finance Diosdado Macapagal, Jr and former Senator and Vice President and now President of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Second to the town of Porac in land area in Pampanga, Lubao covers about 156 square kilometers under its present jurisdiction. Its population of 132,049 (as of 2005) is spread over the following forty-five (45) barangays:

Barangays of Lubao

Balantacan

Remedios

San Nicolas 2nd

Santa Cruz

Bangcal Pugad

San Agustin

San Pablo 1st

Santa Lucia

Bangcal Sinubli

San Antonio

San Pablo 2nd

Santa Maria

Baruya

San Francisco

San Pedro Palcarangan

Santa Monica

Calangain

San Isidro

San Pedro Saug

Santa Rita

Concepcion

San Jose Apunan

San Roque Arbol

Santa Teresa 1st

Del Carmen

San Jose Gumi

San Roque Dau 1st

Santa Teresa 2nd

De la Paz

San Juan

San Roque Dau 2nd

Santiago

Don Ignacio Dimson

San Matias

San Vicente

Santo Cristo

Lourdes

San Miguel

Santa Barbara

Santo Domingo

Prado Siongco

San Nicolas 1st

Santa Catalina

Santo Nino

 

 

 

Santo Tomas

 

This peaceful and prosperous first-class municipality showed its love and human compassion to thousands of Kapampangans who became unwilling victims of the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Lubenians shared their economic wealth and provided these unfortunate and homeless people the shelter they needed until such time they were on their own. This was made possible through the resourcefulness and efficient leadership of then Mayor Lilia G. Pineda who was also the president of the Pampanga and Central Luzon Mayors League at that time.

Lubao has an annual income of more than fifty million pesos to run the municipal government and to finance the town's carefully planned capital projects such as concrete roads, school classrooms, barangay halls, artesian wells and other projects.

 

Map of Pampanga showing the location of Mabalacat5. MABALACAT

 

Mabalacat became a town in 1712. It was named after the balacat tree (Zizyphus Zonulata Balaco), a fourth class timber. Then, a settlement of a negrito tribe, the area was a virtual forest of balacat trees. “Ma-balacat” in the native kapampangan dialect means “full of balacat”.

The town has a land area of 16, 580 hectares - more than double that of Angeles City’s. Roughly four-fifths of the land area of Clark Air Base belong to Mabalacat whose boundary extend up to the Zambales Ranges. The soil is charcoal black and shiny, a sign of fertility, and is suitable for growing rice, sugarcane and other rootcrops. Before 1712 Mabalacat was a barrio (barangay) of Bambang, now Bamban, Tarlac. Like Porac, Santa Rita, Magalang, and Angeles City, this town never gets inundated by floods from heavy rain because it is situated on an elevated plain known as the “Upper Pampanga”.

In 1853 Mabalacat had a population of 2,611 and four barangays, namely, Babangdapu, Duquit, Malabni, and Paglimbunan. In 1903 its population increased to 7, 049 and already had 19 barangays. These were Bical, Bundagul, Dapdap, Dau, Dolores, Iba, Mabiga, Mamatitang, Mangalit, Matas, Mawaque, Paralayunan, Poblacion, Quitangil, San Joaquin, Santa Ines, Santa Maria, Sapang Balen, and Sapang Biabas. In 1948 its barangays increased to 20 with the addition of Fort Stotsenburg. Barangay Quitangil was renamed San Francisco.

Today, a first class municipality, Mabalacat has a population of 129,990, based on the 1995 census, with 25,545 households. It has an annual growth rate of 1.3 per year and a population density of 7.8 persons per hectare. It now has a total of 27 barangays as follows:

Atlu-bola

Bical

Bundagul

Cacutud

Calumpang

Camachiles

Dapdap

Dau

Dolores

Duquit

Lacandula

Mabiga

Macapagal Village

Mamatitang

Mangalit

Marcos Village

Mawaque

Paralayunan

Poblacion

San Francisco

San Joaquin

Santa Ines

Santa Maria

Santo Rosario

Sapang Balen

Sapang Biabas

Tabun

 

The largest barangay is Dau, which became a barrio in 1936 by virtue of Presidential Proclamation Number 1. Dau, now with a population of 46,696 and a business nerve-center whose commercial input and output run parallel to that of downtown's, is categorized by the National Census and Statistics Office as a rural area while San Francisco, the second largest barangay, along with San Joaquin, Santa Ines, Poblacion, Calumpang and other barangays are categorized as urban in view of their proximity to the town proper. Sapang Balen, with a population of 203 persons, is the smallest barangay.

Mabalacat has an average annual income of PhP 56,698,280.87 derived mostly from municipal license fees, land tax, Internal Revenue allotment, roads and bridges fund. In 1997, there were 2,447 business establishments registered in the Municipality of Mabalacat, consisting of 79 manufacturers mostly involved in sash factory, iron works, ceramics, bakery and 1,806 trading companies. The financial needs are served by eleven banks, mostly concentrated in Dau. Public utilities include the Mabalacat Water System, Pampanga Electric Corporation II (PELCO II), three telephone companies namely, Datelcom Corporation (DATELCOM), Smart Communications (SMART) and Digital Telecommunications Philippines, Incorporated (DIGITEL) and one cable television network (PRO-SAT) which runs solely for Mabalacat.

There are thirty educational institutions in Mabalacat composed of one private College, two Secondary public, two private High Schools and twenty five public Elementary schools divided into two districts, Mabalacat North and Mabalacat South.

The people of Mabalacat are peace-loving and God-fearing as well as hardworking and industrious. They speak the Kapampangan dialect which is very rich in vocabulary and culture.

There is no official record on the foundation of Mabalacat, but according to folk tales that were passed through generations, the first settlers were purely negritos (also known as aetas or balugas). A baluga chieftain named Caragan led his tribe in the rich balacat forests and settled themselves within its plentiful resources. Caragan was later married to Laureana Tolentino, from whom he adopted his family name. Laureana became the first Cabeza De Barangay of Mabalacat, a title now equivalent to Barangay Captain.

Attracted by the fertile soil and the abundance of wild animals and fowls, lowlanders however, have driven back the negritos to the nearby mountains and hills and claimed the land for themselves. During the Spanish era, the town's vast agricultural lands were owned by a few families such as the Tiglaos, Dizons, Guecos, Ramoses, Dominguezes and the Castros.

Legend tells us that when the early settlers were clearing the forests, Cabezang Laureana’s workers found, hidden among the bushes, a statue of the Niño Jesus (some say it's the image of the Blessed Virgin).

On February 2, the statue was presented by Caragan as a gift to Padre Maximo Manuguid, the priest of the early Mabalacat Church made of sawali and cogon grass. From then on, the town fiesta was observed on the second of February.

In 1860 a military command was established by the Spanish authorities due to lawlessness and depredations perpetrated by the balugas. The Pampanga towns of Bamban, Capas, Concepcion, Victoria, Tarlac, Mabalacat, Magalang, Porac, and Floridablanca were created into what was called a “Commandancia Militar”. However, in 1873 the Military Command returned Mabalacat together with the towns of Magalang, Floridablanca, and Porac to the mother province, Pampanga.

Clark Special Economic Zone (CZES), said to be a phoenix risen from the ashes of the abandoned U.S. military base, began development during President Fidel V. Ramos' administration. Through CZES, Mayor Marino P. Morales claims that Mabalacat is a component city in the making. Cadastral records and land titles show that 85% of Clark’s land area belongs to Mabalacat.  Morales says the establishment of Clark International Airport coupled with the beehives of multi-national investors at the CSEZ will usher in the town’s progress by leaps and bounds.

Further more, The town’s legislative body had declared other special economic areas, comprising of six barangays with 800 hectares, strategically located, and contiguous, as possible site for investments. These areas namely Barangays Paralayunan, Bundagul, Santa Maria, Sapang Balen, Mangalit and Atlu-Bola are targetting spillover industries of Clark. Priority projects will include light industries, tourism projects and agro-processing.

Not only Morales but every Mabalaqueño is confident that Mabalacat will become a city in this millenium.

Mapa ning Pampanga papakit ne ing karinan ning Magalang6. MAGALANG

 

Like the inspiring natural beauty of Magalang, the history of Magalang, planned and executed by men and great vision, is also beautiful. As early as 1660, Magalang was one of the 15 towns in Pampanga that had an Augustinian convent.

The same information was given in the 1738 and 1763 reports of the Augustinian Order.

 

In 1660 the peaceful townspeople of Magalang were agitated by Francisco Maniago in his rebellion against the Spaniards and again, in the same year, the people of Magalang were scattered by the coming of the army of Andres Malong led by Melchor de Vega.

 

The clearer historical beginning of Magalang is given in the research work and

the map prepared by the late scholar-historian Mariano A. Henson, published in the Magalang, Centenary Celebration souvenir program in 1963, and in the tablet

prominently located in the Municipal Park (Plaza dela Liberated) which reads thus:

 

Established by the Augustinian Macapsa in 1605. Scene from encounter bet.

The followers of Andres Malong led by Melchor de Vera and the Spaniards troops in 1660. Moved to San Bartolome in 1734. Swepr by the Parua River in the flood of 1863. Re-established in Barrio San Pero on December 13, 1863 by Gobernadorcillo Pablo M. Luciano. The Revolutionary Government took over, 12 June 1898 until 5 November 1899 when the Americans Succeeded. Occupied by the Japanese, 3 January 1942. Liberated by the Americans 1945. Turned over to the Republic of the Philippines, 4 July 1946.

 

According to the testimony of Zoilo Hilario who researched the National Archives in 1938, Barrio San Pedro is the town proper of Magalang prior to December 13, 1963 where it was transferred from Macapsa in1700. When the Parua River was flooded on September 22, 1958, The people already started thinking about their safety. But after the last destructive flood of May 1863, the residents of San Bartolome decided to transfer their homes to the better barrios of the town. A group of families followed the Aquinos, Yumuls, Pinedas, and other and selected for their new home, Magalang Barrio Matandok or Matondo. These families brought with them the mage of the Immaculate Conception and imploring her protection, they started a new town called Concepcion on December 14, 1865.

 

Magalang is located at the Northeast of the province of Pampanga. It is approximately 11 kilometers away from San Fernando, about 92 kilometers north of Manila and nearly 178 kilometers from Baguio City at the south. In its northern boundary lies the town of Concepcion, Tarlac, the town of Arayat at the southeast, the towns of Cabiao, Nueva Ecija on the east and Mabalacat on the west.

 

Magalang has a total land area of 9,731,2576 hectares.  Existing general land use is broken down into:  Agricultural - 7,217.1940 has.; Residential - 506.6034 has.; Commercial - 198.8437 has.; Industrial - 320.3151 has.; Institutional - 1,386.0780 has.; Open Space - 51.9659 has.; Forest (rolling hills) - 50.00 has..

 

Magalang has 27 barangays.

  • Camias
  • Dolores
  • Escaler
  • La Paz
  • Navaling
  • San Agustin
  • San Antonio
  • San Franciso
  • San Ildefonso
  • San Isidro
  • San Jose
  • San Miguel
  • San Nicolas 1st (Pob.)
  • San Nicolas 2nd
  • San Pablo (Pob.)
  • San Pedro I
  • San Pedro II
  • San Roque
  • San Vicente
  • Santa Cruz (Pob.)
  • Santa Lucia
  • Santa Maria
  • Santo Niño
  • Santo Rosario
  • Bucanan
  • Turu
  • Ayala

 

 

 

 

7. PORAC

Map of Pampanga showing the location of Porac

Porac is one of the oldest towns of Pampanga. It is found on land sprawling from the mountains of Pinatubo and Abo which extends up to the border of Zambales. It is bounded on the north by Angeles City and Mabalacat, on the south by Floridablanca and Guagua, on the east by Bacolor and Sta. Rita and on the west by Tarlac and Zambales.

The town’s center is located by the banks of Porac River that trickles through the heartland of the town called Poblacion. Porac river descends from the mountains of Dorst and Cumiro passing through Porac, del Carmen, Floridablanca and Lubao.

Porac is politically subdivided into 29 barangays.

  • Babo Pangulo
  • Babo Sacan
  • Balubad
  • Calzadang Bayu
  • Camias
  • Cangatba
  • Diaz
  • Dolores (Hacienda Dolores)
  • Jalung
  • Mancatian
  • Manibaug Libutad
  • Manibaug Paralaya
  • Manibaug Pasig
  • Manauli
  • Mitla Proper
  • Palat
  • Pias
  • Pio
  • Planas
  • Poblacion
  • Pulong Santol
  • Salu
  • San Jose Mitla
  • Santa Cruz
  • Sepung Bulaun
  • Sinura
  • Villa Maria (Aetas)
  • Inararo (Aetas)
  • Sapang Uwak (Aetas)

 

 

 

 

Map of Pampanga showing the location of Santa Rita8. STA. RITA

 

Sta. Rita is a small town on the fringe of bustling Guagua, the center for Manila-Pampanga-Bataan trade since colonial times (via cascos or barges plying the Manila Bay- Pasig River route).

First records of Sta. Rita were known in 1697. It was stated that Sta. Rita was once a part of the Municipality of Porac. It was formerly a wilderness where gigantic trees grew in abundance. It was first formed by the clearings and settlement made at a place called Gasak, now know as San Isidro, Sta. Rita was separated from Porac and became an independent town in 1770.

The town was also earlier referred to as Sta. Rita de Lele or neighboring Sta. Rita and Sta. Rita de Baculud due to its proximity to the ancient town of Baculud now know as Bacolor. This was due to the nearness of the town to Barangay Sta. Barbara of Bacolor where Sta. Rita residents bought their daily commodity needs. Sometimes, between 1904 and 1907 there was an attempt to annex Sta. Rita to Bacolor but due to the intervention of Don Magno Gosioco and Dr. Basilio Ocampo and the protests made by concerned citizens the move did not materialize.

It is so quiet a town, in fact, that it was another reason why it was called Sta. Rita de Lele (tabi-tabi or peripheral). And yet, it is exactly this seeming insignificance that gives its residents a sense of pride – where continuity is still a virtue and the goodness of community still counts. To put it simply, there is pride of place. It is this persistence of tradition that gave rise to its gastronomic fame: The duman;  or the equally famous turrones de casuy and its incomparable sans rival.

The town of Santa Rita, Pampanga is known for its turrones de casoy, sans rival and other sweets but towards the end of the year, starting in November, everything is eclipsed as the town anticipates the Christmas season with the sweet smell of duman in the air. A delicacy once known only to a few has now caught a lot of attention during the Duman Festival, partly to revive a vanishing tradition and partly to celebrate life after devastation.

Duman is a seasonal rice cereal still produced the old way in our town. This may have been in existence in pre-Hispanic Kapampangan society since duman was already mentioned by Fray Diego Bergaño – “El grano del arroz tierno cerca de madurar” – in Vocabulario de la Lengua Pampanga originally published in the 1700s. It could have happened other towns produced duman in the olden days but Sta. Rita’s is what has endured.

True enough, the tradition of duman-making does seem like a birthright to the citizens of Sta. Rita. There is a long unbroken effort of sustaining the tradition that no matter what, there will be duman come Christmastime. Nowadays, the duman-makers are families in the barrios of Sta. Monica and San Agustin but time was when barrio San Jose and its sitio Dalan Betis also had their paldumanan. It is this sense of a continuing heritage which inspired me to document the process as I said – from the field to the table.

On the cultural side, the now famed Artistang Santa Rita Foundation, or ArtiSta.Rita for short, started some 5 years ago when the local parish choir was gathered together to stage a Christmas eve concert, under the directorial guidance of Andy Alviz (resident choreographer of the Miss Saigon productions in Manila, Singapore and Hong Kong), and the musical directorship of Recy Pineda and Randy del Rosario, all natives of Sta. Rita. The three realized there were a lot of gifted young people in their town, but only a few lucky ones get to hone their talents and get the break they deserve. Most, however, were left undiscovered. From this observation was born the dream to help discover, cultivate and showcase talent, and hopefully pave the way for a child’s bigger dream.

 

Santa Rita is politically subdivided into 10 barangays:

  • Becuran
  • Dila Dila
  • San Agustin
  • San Basilio
  • San Isidro (Gasak)
  • San Jose
  • San Juan
  • San Matias
  • Santa Monica
  • San Vicente

 

 

 

 

Map of Pampanga showing the location of Sasmuan9. SASMUAN

 

The Town of Sasmuan is one of the interesting old communities of the province of Pampanga. It is bounded in the north by the town of

Guagua; in the east by the towns of Masantol and macabebe; in the west by the town of Lubao; and in the south by Manila Bay.

 

At present, it has a population of more or less twenty three thousand (23,000) and with approximately land area of 9,175 hectares. Sasmuan is unique in that it is the only town of Pampanga where one does not find any farm at all. Instead, one finds oneself in the midst of fishponds, rivers and brooks. The main source of livelihood of the people are fishing and aquaculture.

 

Sasmuan is politically subdivided into 12 barangays.

  • Batang 1st
  • Batang 2nd
  • Mabuanbuan
  • Malusac
  • Santa Lucia (Pob.)
  • San Antonio
  • San Nicolas 1st
  • San Nicolas 2nd
  • San Pedro
  • Santa Monica
  • Santo Tomas
  • Sebitanan

 

Long before the coming of the Spaniards in the Philippines, the original name

of the town was Sasmuan which was derived from the old Pampango word sasmo meaning pitabnuan, meaning meeting place.  From the

Spanish regime to the American occupation the name of the town

was changed by usage from Sasmuan to Sexmoan because of mispronunciation by the foreign colonizers.  For obvious reasons, Sasmuan was again used as the town’s official name as soon as its responsible leaders had their chance.

 

After the overthrow of the Spanish colonizers in the Philippines, the government established by the Americans made Sasmuan a barrio of Guagua.  The restoration and recognition of Sasmuan as an independent municipality was attained in 1990 owing to the painstaking efforts and dedication of Don Monico R. Mercado who was then elected first assemblyman of Pampanga.

 

One of the oldest churches of the Philippines was the Sasmuan church that showed Chinese archictectural influence when it was built in 1590 by the Agustinian fathers under the supervision of the famous friar architect, Father Antonio Herrera.  For more than four hundred years the church withstood all calamities including the disastrous earthquake of 1983.

 

Selected as the patron saint of the town by the Augustinian fathers was Santa

Lucia (Lovingly called Apu Lucia) a virgin martyr who was daughter of a religious

and humble peasant family of Syracuse, Italy. Her birthday, December 13, is the date of the town fiesta of Sasmuan. She is presented as holding an olive branch (Palaspas) on the hand and plate with two eyes on the other.

 

 

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