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For the mountain chain, see Zambales Mountains. For the ethnic group, see Sambal people.

Zambales is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Luzon region. Its capital is Iba. Zambales borders Pangasinan to the north, Tarlac and Pampanga to the east, and Bataan to the south. The province lies between the South China Sea and the Zambales Mountains. With a land area of 3,700 km, Zambales is the second largest among the sixprovinces of Central Luzon. It has a population density of 170 people per square kilometer², one of the lowest in the country. The province is noted for its mangoes, which are among the sweetest in the world. It is most abundant from January to April.

Province of Zambales
Ph seal zambales.png
[[Image:Ph locator map zambales.png|250px]]
Region Central Luzon (Region III)
Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr.
Barangays 247
Physical characteristics
Area 3,714.4 km²
(35th largest)
Total (2000) 627,802
(39th largest)
Density 169/km²
(49th highest)


Demographics and culture

The Aetas of Mount Pinatubo were the earliest inhabitants of what is now the province of Zambales. They were later displaced by the Sambal, an Austronesian people. Most Sambal still believe in superstitions and mysteries. Respect for older persons are still being observed. Feast day of Patron Saints are still being practiced and hospitable Zambaleños, Sambal or otherwise, are very accommodating when it comes to feasts.

Most of the people of southern Zambales are migrants from different parts of the country. They migrated due to the job opportunities brought by the U.S Subic Naval Base (San Antonio and Subic) during the American time. Many people had their job and permanently reside there. American greatly influenced the habitants, from their taste of food, clothing and style.

Zambales is mainly populated by four major ethnic groups: Sambals, Ilocanos Tagalogs, and Aetas. Filipino is spoken in every town and around 75 percent of the population speak and understand English. Road signs are written in English. Today, the Ilocanos predominate in the province.<ref></ref>


Health & Social Facilities

Ospital ng Sta. Cruz

Candelaria District Hospital

Pres. Ramon Magsaysay Provincial Hospital

San Marcelino District Hospital

James L. Gordon Hospital



Zambales has two pronounced seasons: dry from November to April, and wet from May to October.


Zambales lies on the western shores of Luzon island between the Zambales Mountains and the South China Sea. Its shoreline is very ragged and features many coves and inlets. The mountain ranges on the eastern part occupy about 60% of its total land area. Subic Bay, in the southernmost part of the province provides a natural harbor, and was chosen as the location of an American naval base. The peak of Mount Pinatubo lies on the intersection of the boundaries between Zambales, Pampanga, and Tarlac. This volcano, once considered dormant, erupted violently in 1991.


Zambales is subdivided into 13 municipalities and 1 city. Olongapo City is a highly urbanized city and administers itself autonomously from the province.

* Olongapo

Municipality No. of
Pop. density
(per km²)
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Cabangan <center> <center> <center> <center>
Candelaria <center> <center>
Castillejos <center> <center> <center> <center>
Iba <center> <center> <center> <center>
Masinloc <center> <center> <center> <center>
Palauig <center> <center> <center> <center>
San Antonio <center> <center>
San Felipe <center> <center>
San Marcelino <center> <center>
San Narciso <center> <center>
Santa Cruz <center> <center>
Subic <center> <center>


The area now occupied by Zambales was first explored by the Spanish in 1572 through Juan de Salcedo. Among the earliest towns founded were Masinloc (1607), Iba (1611), and Santa Cruz (1612). Masinloc became the province's first capital. However, the capital was moved among the three towns during its history before settling down currently to Iba, due to its strategic location.

The province's name came from the word zambal, which is a Hispanized term for Sambali. Zambal refers to the language spoken by the early Austronesian inhabitants of the place. A contending version states that the name was derived from the word samba, meaning worship, because the Spanish supposedly found the native inhabitants to be highly superstitious and who worshipped the spirits of their ancestors.

Tourist Attractions

Zambales has 173 kilometers of beautiful beaches owned by a hundred and one different private owners. Zambales enjoys being mothered by these private families who are ilokano in origin and known for their penchant in neatness. Enjoy beach with mountains, or beaches without mountains, beaches with fine black sands or beaches with fine white sands, others have coral reefs, some are dive spots, some have good surf, while other beaches are with nipa huts, some beaches have hotels, while other beaches have airconed huts, while some beaches do not have huts. The list will go on and on. But what you can be guaranteed of is that these beaches are pristine and are only 3 to 4 hours away from Manila. Rule is that: the farther the beaches are from Subic the better and cleaner. Since the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, Zambales have shown remarkable resilience to devastation. It has devoted itself to becoming a major tourist destination. Many resorts were damaged by Mt. Pinatubo have been rebuilt to what is enjoyed now as "bigger and better". Almost every type of accommodation can be found along the beautiful coastline. Major annual attractions include "Fiesta Poon Bato" in January. This is a religious festival that attracts over a half a million people annually. Devotion to the Ina Poon Bato the oldest known Image of the Virgin Mother in Asia (as per Pigafeta's writings) is a must. The actual Barrio of Poon Bato was completely destroyed during the Pinatubo eruption and the Icon was saved and moved to Danac Bunga in Botolan where the Fiesta is held. Since Zambales mangos are the sweetest mangoes in the world (Guinness Book of Records), the "Mango Festival" is held in the provincial capital in Iba every April and the "Domorokdok" festival every May in Botolan. These have all become major attractions with street dancing, agricultural shows, competitions, such as sand castling, bikini open beauty pageant and much more. Pundakit in San Antonio is also a site to behold. nestled in the navel of Zambales coastline is an 1800 Spanish Light House on top of "Islas de Punta Capones" reminiscent of places such as "Sierra Leone". Zambales is also home to the famous Crystal Beach Surf in the quaint town of San Narciso. This surf spot is known as the Surfing Paradise nearest Manila offering surf lessons, board rentals and cozy accommodations.

See also


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External links

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Original Source

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