Region III

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Central Luzon (Template:Lang-pam, Template:Lang-pag, Template:Lang-tgl, Template:Lang-ilo), designated as Region III, is an administrative region in the Philippines, primarily serving to organize the 7 provinces of the vast central plains of the island of Luzon (the largest island), for administrative convenience. The region contains the largest plain in the country and produces most of the country's rice supply, earning itself the nickname "Rice Granary of the Philippines".[1] Its provinces are: Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.[2]


Current name of the region is in reference to its position on the large island of Luzon. The term was coined by American colonialists after the defeat of the First Philippine Republic. There have been proposals to rename the current Central Luzon region into the Luzones region. The proposed name is in reference to the old name of Luzon island, Luções, which was later used to refer to the central area of the island, stretching from Pagasinan in the north, all the way to Pampanga in the south.Template:Cn The term Luções literally translates into Luzones.[3][4]


The region of Central Luzon is located north of Manila, the nation's capital. Bordering it are the regions of Ilocos and Cagayan Valley to the north; National Capital Region, Calabarzon and the waters of Manila Bay to the south; South China Sea to the west; and the Philippine Sea to the east.[5] Pangasinan is historico-culturally and geographically an integral part of this region, but was politically made part of the Ilocos Region by President Ferdinand Marcos on June 22, 1973.[6]

There are fourteen cities in the region: Balanga in Bataan; Malolos, Meycauayan and San Jose del Monte in Bulacan; Cabanatuan, Gapan, Muñoz, Palayan and San Jose in Nueva Ecija; Angeles, Mabalacat and San Fernando in Pampanga; Tarlac in Tarlac; and Olongapo in Zambales. Central Luzon produces the most rice in the whole country. Excess rice is delivered and imported to other regions of the Philippines.[7]

The City of San Fernando, provincial capital of Pampanga, is designated as the regional center. Aurora was transferred from Region IV through Executive Order No. 103 on May 2002.[8]

Administrative divisions

Central Luzon comprises 7 provinces, 2 highly urbanized cities, 12 component cities, 116 municipalities, 3,102 barangays[9]

Province Template:Font Capital Area[10]Cities Municipalities Barangay
Aurora Baler 3,147.32 0 8 151
Bataan Balanga 1,372.98 1 11 237
Bulacan Malolos 2,796.10 3 21 569
Nueva Ecija Palayan 5,751.33 5 27 849
Pampanga San Fernando 2,002.20 2 19 505
Tarlac Tarlac City 3,053.60 1 17 511
Zambales Iba 3,645.83 0 13 230
Angeles 60.27 33
Olongapo 185.00
Total 22,014.63 14 116 3,102

Template:Color box Angeles and Olongapo are highly-urbanized cities; figures are excluded from Pampanga and Zambales respectively.


The Central Luzon Region has fourteen cities. San Jose del Monte is the city with the most population while Angeles is the most densely populated city in the region. Tarlac City is the largest based on land area.


Template:Philippine Census


The native languages of Central Luzon are:

  • Kapampangan, spoken in the entirety of Pampanga and southern Tarlac, as well as southeastern Zambales, northeastern Bataan, western Bulacan, and southwestern Nueva Ecija.
  • Pangasinan, spoken in northern Tarlac, northeastern Zambales, and northwestern Nueva Ecija.
  • Tagalog, spoken in Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Bataan, and Zambales. It is the regional lingua franca.
  • Ilocano, spoken in northern Nueva Ecija and some parts of Tarlac, Zambales, and Aurora.
  • Sambal, spoken in a majority of Zambales and a few scattered areas in Bataan and Pampanga.


Eighty percent of the population of Central Luzon is Roman Catholic. Other religions represented are Protestants (including Evangelicals), Islam, Iglesia ni Cristo, and indigenous religions such as Anitism. There are also other denominations such as Jesus Is Lord, Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ, Ang Dating Daan, Jesus Miracle Crusade, United Methodist Church and others.


See also