|Region||Central Luzon (Region III)|
|Area|| 175.48 km²|
|Total (2000)|| 85,394|
Floridablanca is a 1st class municipality in the province of Pampanga, Philippines. It 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, and Dinalupihan, Bataan on the west.
Floridablanca is approximately 23 kilometers from the town of San Fernando and 90 kilometers from Manila. The town has an elevation of 12 feet (4 m) above sea level. Floridablanca has a total land area of 175.48 square kilometres.
According to the 2000 census, Floridablanca has a population of 85,394 people in 16,591 households.
Floridablanca is the second largest producer of rice in the province. It produces rice more than sufficient for its requirement. In 1999, only 37.76% of its produce was used for its own rice requirement resulting in a surplus of 65.24% equivalent to 17,553 metric tons.
Floridablanca is politially subdivided into 33 barangays:
Floridablanca is a Spanish word meaning "white flower".
Floridablanca was first established in 1823 as a settlement, or hacienda, by Spanish friars belonging to the Order of Saint Augustine. The mission was under the Parish of Lubao and supervised by a capellan or a priest. They erected a make-shift hut which served as a chapel and named the place San Jose de Calumpaui in honor of Saint Joseph, who eventually became the town's patron saint. The primary purpose of the Spanish Priests was to convert the Aetas to Christianity and at the same time minister to the spiritual needs of a few Spanish and their Filipino farm workers who settled and cultivated the lands of the town.
Two contending claims exist as to the exact location where the Chapel was built. Some maintain that it was in San Nicolas or Calumpaui, while others insist that it was in San Jose. Both claims could be true because San Nicolas was a former sitio and part of the extensive landholdings of San Jose during that period.
Prior to 1823, no official historical documents that trace the establishment of the town can be found or where the name Floridablanca itself originated. Again, there are two official versions generally accepted by the town people. One is that the name Floridablanca was in honor of a certain Count de Floridablanca whom they believed visited the place and hunted wild games in the early 1800s. But nowhere in the history of the Philippines was a certain Count by that name had ever visited the country. True, there was a certain Count by that name that existed in Spain during that time and his real name was Jose Moñino (1728-1808), a Spanish Statesman and former Chief Minister of Spain (1778-1792), but he never set foot on Philippine soil. The other one is anchored on the existence of the lowly pandacaqui plant (Scientific name: taberra pandacaqui poir) which abound and thrived under the lush forest cover of the town during that period. The plant has plenty of white florescence and may grow up to eight feet (2.5 m) when it reaches maturity. It is valued and is often used for its medicinal efficacy in treating different diseases. It is widely believed that what greeted the Spaniards when they set foot on Floridablanca's soil were myriad of white flowers of pandacaqui, thus the name Floridablanca. It was until not until April 30, 1867, that a parish was formally established in San Jose de Calumpaui by the religious superiors from Lubao, after which it was transferred to its present site today.
The place where it was transferred was formerly called Manggang Punlod because of the presence of a big fallen mango tree. From then on San Jose-was referred to by the elders as Haciendang Melacuan, or the barrio that was left behind.
The reasons for the transfer could be because of the following:
- The resistance of the aetas to be subjugated and Christianized.
- The existence and proximity of the two big rivers, Gumain and Porac, which were used extensively in the transport of commerce.
- The use of the two big rivers as gateways to Lubao and Guagua.
- Two huge towns that serve as nerve center of commerce and trade during that period.
A few of the famous natives of Floridablanca are: