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Tarlac Province, Philippines

History | Creation | Cultural/ Religious Attractions
Natural Tourist Attractions


The terrain formerly belonging to Pangasinan and Pampanga makes the territory of what is now the Tarlac province. This Central Luzon province was the last to be organized under the Spanish Regime. In 1874, its nuclei were the towns of Concepcion, Capas, Bamban, Mabalacat, Magalang, Porac, Floridablanca, Victoria and Tarlac (now City) which constituted the military "Commandancia".

Some of these municipalities were returned to Pampanga but the rest were incorporated into the new province of Tarlac, together with municipalities from the province of Pangasinan.

Tarlac became briefly the seat of the Philippine Republic headed by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo when he abandoned Malolos, Bulacan in the face of the advancing American Forces. Pacification was considered complete when civil government was instituted by the Americans in the whole Archipelago on February 18, 1901.

It was in Tarlac that President Aguinaldo issued the now famous "Rosena Verdica de la Revolucion Fajardo. This was the first history of the revolution ever published, and it gained significance because it contained an indictment against the abuses of the American Expeditionary Forces in the country.

It was in this province that Apolinario Mabini was appointed Foreign Minister of the Philippines, and on the same year, Msgr. Gregorio Aglipay , protesting against the abuses of the Friar Church, established a local church that was to become the Philippine Independent Church.

Likewise, the first paper money and the first coins of the Independent regime were issued in Tarlac.

The province was again much in the public eye in 1942 when thousands of wounded, sick and starved American and Filipino soldiers marched on foot after their surrender in Bataan across rough, sun-drenched roads resulting in the death of hundreds on their way to Capas. Camp O’Donnell became so overcrowded that many Allied prisoners died of hunger and disease. The infamous "Death March" of World War II ranks high among the most inhuman acts committed by the Japanese Imperial Army.

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May 28, 1873

Early in the dawn, of history,what come to be know as Tarlac today once a thickly-forested area, people by roving tribes of nomadic Aetas said to be the aboriginal settlers of the Philippines.The name 'Tarlac' was derived from a 'Talahib'like weed called by by the Aetas"Matarlac". Along the year, the word 'MALA' was removed and shotened to 'TARLAC'

Tarlac was the last province in Central Luzon created by Spanish Colonial Goverment.Tarlac started as a Spanish Commandancia Militar(establish in Tarlac town in 1860} which policed the towns of Mabalacat,Porac,Magalang, Florida Blanca, Bamban, Concepcion, Capas, Tarlac and Victoria, all town of Pampanga, In 1871, ny virtue of a royal decree,the above named town were grouped together to form newly created province of Tarlac. In 1873, further reorganization was made.Mabalacat, Porac, Magalang and Florida Blanca were separated from Tarlac Province and returned to mother provincce Pampanga.On the other hand,then the Pangasinan town of Anao, Gerona, Camiling and Paniqui were transferred to Tarlac.On May 28,1873, Tarlac was inaugurated as an 'ALCALDIA' or a regular province Philippines

In Beweeb the year 1874 and 1874 a margin of 23 years Sta Ignacia and Mayantoc and San Clemente, all barios of Camiling, became independent towns, O'Donnell and Murcia, from Capas, Moriones of the town of )'Donell, Pura of Gerona, Moncada of Paniqui, nad Lapaz of Tarlac.These added to the existing nine towns. The new set-up did not last long.On recommendation of the Philippines Commision 0f 1902 (American Administration{ the smaller town were turned barios to be made integral parts of town close to them.With this reconversion, important record and documnets of the respective towns were turned over to town they were attached.

In 1907 and 1922, San Manuel (bario of Moncada)and Ramos (of Paniqui) became towns, respectively. With the exception of O'Donell. Moriones, and Murcia, all towns reconverted into barios by the Philippines Commision of 1902 were to regain their township.

In January 05 1990, by the virtue of Republic Act. No. 6842 The Municipality of San Jose was created. The province was subsequently divided into three congressional district.

In April 1998, by virtue of R.A. No. 8593, the capital town of Tarlac was converted into a componnet City. Thus, the Province has the "Melting Pot of Central Luzon"

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CULTURAL/RELIGIOUS ATTRACTIONS (Churches, Museum, and the like)

The Museo de Tarlac (Romulo Blvd): Contemporary Art, Occasional Exhibits.

The Museo de Tarlac (Capas): Exhibits on World War II

The Museo de Fuerzas Armadas, St. Michael’s Park, San Miguel, Tarlac City. Exhibits: Military History/Armaments, etc.

Church: O’Donnell Catholic Church. The Spanish façade/lining of centuries old acacia trees of this former Recollect mission (1857-1898) still visible).

Ancestral House: Tañedos of Gerona. Don Lazaro Tañedo was a captain in the revolutionary army and a close friend of Gen. Antonio Luna. The captain house, which is adjacent to the church of Gerona, was used by the general during his sojourn in Tarlac.

Ancestral House: Velascos of Victoria. Don Geronimo Velasco was a prominent figure in Tarlac revolutionary history, i.e., in the Makabulos provisional government, in local politics in Victoria, and in the revolutionary struggle. He was also a friend of Gen. Luna and it was said that it was in this house where the general stayed prior to his fateful trip in Cabanatuan on June 4, 1899.

Ancestral House: Morales of Moncada. Don Luis Morales was one of the early Governors and Senators of Tarlac province during the American period.

Cemetery: The camposanto municipio of O’Donnell (Patling) Capas still preserves its Spanish colonial period identity.

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Bamban Hills: Site of the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Mt. Pinatubo: Tarlac portion, via Bamban and Capas

Sacobia River – Lake: a by-product of the Pinatubo erruption.

Telatau (man-shaped):a massive totem-shaped rock in Sta. Juliana, Capas, Tarlac, within sight of the Pinatubo Mountain.

Crow Valley, in Sta. Juliana-Maruglo, Capas, Tarlac: site of the former Target range of the U.S. Air Force.

Labney, Mayantoc, Tarlac: the forest/mountain refuge of Gen. Makabulos.

Dolores Hot Spring in O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac.

Kalaw Forest/Falls –Dueg, San Clemente and Mayantoc, Tarlac.

Lake Canarem, in Victoria, Tarlac.

Chico River, on the boundary of La Paz, Tarlac and Zaragosa, Nueva Ecija: with the makeshift stalls of ihawan on the road adjacent to the river banks.

Digos Padi – a pristine picnic ground of the Bolsa River in Moriones, San Jose, Tarlac. Meaning "priest’s bath" in Ilokano it was a favorite spot of the Spaniards friars who have evangelized the area on the 18th century.

Kamikaze memorial Shrine at Tarlac-Mabalacat Border.

Japanese Tunnels and Caves in Brgy. San Vicente, Bamban on the western side near the Zambales border.

Anao Quina Buntok Creek, Anao, Tarlac.

Bueno Hot Spring, Capas, Tarlac

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  Map of Tarlac Province
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