Camiling is a 1st class municipality in the western part of the province of Tarlac in the Philippines. It is about 150 kilometers north-northwest of Manila, and about 50 kilometers south-southwest of Dagupan City in Pangasinan. It is the commercial center of an area composed of about 8 towns, and borders the province of Pangasinan. It is the gateway to central and western Pangasinan through the Romulo Highway (formerly Highway 13).
According to the 2000 census, Camiling has a population of 71,598 people in 15,324 households. It has a land area of 140.50 square kilometers.
Camiling is politically subdivided into 61 barangays.
The community was originally a vast area of cogon growth interposed with thick forestalls areas stretching into the Zambales mountain ranges. A wide river cut through it. The early inhabitants of the place were the Aetas who make a living by fruit trees, hunting, and fishing. With the coming of the Pangasinenses and Ilocanos from the north, the Aetas who used to roam freely in the wilderness obliged themselves to move in to the interior. The new settlers first occupied the swampy land, now known as "Cacamilingan" on the opposite side of the river. With the passage of time, these settlers moved to the opposite shore in view of the fact that most often disastrous floods are visiting the present site. To this new location, the residents therein built a little church with the villagers taking Saint Michael as the Patron Saint.
The town's name is derived from a tree called "camiring" which grew abundantly in the wilderness. The letter "R" in "camiring" was changed to "L" for its liquid sound. As this settlement progressed, Camiling became a District Commission from 1834 to 1837. It was founded by Don Francisco Soriano, an adventurous barangay leader who became the town's first District Commissioner. In 1838, Camiling became an independent town, formally separated from the mother town of Paniqui and with Don Vicente Galsim, the first Governadorcillo. Thirty-eight others followed him. Don Buenaventura Torres, the last to serve under the Spanish regime and the first Presidente Municipal under the Revolutionary Government by Aguinaldo.
Camiling became a first class municipality on November 20, 2001, by virtue of the latest income class classification initiated by the Department of Finance, the Local Government Unit of Camiling was reclassified from a second class municipality to a first class municipality having attained an annual income of FIFTY MILLION NINE HUNDRED FORTY TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED EIGHT & 51/100 (php50,942,508.51). With an aggregate area of 14,050 hectares (140.50 square kilometers) representing 4.6% of the province’s total land mass. From its establishment as an independent town in 1838 and through the musty and evolutionary pages of its checkered history can be gleaned Camiling’s rich cultural heritage. A solemn retrospection of the distance which the town’s forebears have traveled since the time of its foundation brings to fore notable facets of local history, viz.: Rebuilt in the 1880’s after a major earthquake, the century old Roman Catholic Church and Convent have been declared historical sites by the National Historical Commission in 1994 for having served as concrete testimonies to the unfolding of historical drama during the Spanish Revolution before a conflagration of catastrophic proportions gutted the buildings to the ground in 1997; The Maria Clara Museum which houses remnants of living yet mute testimonies to the love that never was between, Dr. Jose P. Rizal and Leonor Rivera, who was immortalized in his novel Noli Me Tangere in the person of Maria Clara; Birthplace of great luminaries like the late Gen. Paulino Santos, former Chief of Staff, PA, Director of Prisons, Head of Koronadal Settlement and Head of the Bureau of Constabulary during the Japanese Occupation; former Supreme Court Justice Cesar A. Bengzon, who, after retirement served as Justice of the International Court in the United Nations; Onofre D. Corpuz, former Minister of Education, Culture and Sports, U.P. President, aside from being President of the FAPE and DAP; and Carlos P. Romulo, former Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and First Asian President of the United Nations General Assembly.
People from Camiling
- Carlos P. Romulo - former UN President and Foreign Affairs Secretary
- Cesar Bengzon - former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines and first Filipino Justice of the International Court of Justice
- Paulino Santos - founder of Penal Colonies and Chief of Staff of The Philippine Army
- Onofre Corpuz - former President of the University of the Phil., & former Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports.
- Alberto Romulo - former Senator of the Republic of the Phil., Executive Secretary of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
- Pasyalan Tarlac
- Philippine Standard Geographic Code
- 2000 Philippine Census Information (Chinese)
- Municipality of Camiling