(Filipino: Tarlak) is a landlocked province of the Philippines located in the Luzon island. Its capital is Tarlac City. Tarlac borders Pampanga to the south, Nueva Ecija to the east, Pangasinan to the north, and Zambales to the west. It is a part of Central Luzon, which is composed of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales.
||1st to 3rd districts of Tarlac
||Kapampangan, Tagalog, Ilocano, Pangasinan, English
Eastern Tarlac is a plain, while Western Tarlac is hilly to mountainous. Because of this, the province owns a large portion of mountains like Mt. Telakawa, which is the highest mountain in the province located at Capas, Tarlac. Mt. Bueno is located also in Capas. The other mountains are Mt. Dueg and Mt. Maasin, found in the municipality of San Clemente. Also noted are Mt. Papaac, Bacsay, Cayasan and Birbira of Camiling. The whole of Mayantoc and San Jose are mountainous so it is suitable for the highest natural resources and forest products in the province such as coal, iron, copper, vegetables, fruits, log fires, sand, rocks and forest animals such as wild boar, deer etc.
Tarlac's name is a Hispanized derivation from a talahib weed called in Ilokano word "Malatarlak". Tarlac was originally a part of the provinces of Pampanga and Pangasinan. It was the last Central Luzon province to be organized under the Spanish administration in 1874.
During the Philippine Revolution of 1896, Tarlac was one of the first eight provinces to rise in arms against Spain. It became the new seat of the first Philippine Republic in March 1899 when Emilio Aguinaldo abandoned the former capital, Malolos, Bulacan. This lasted only for a month, as the seat was moved to Nueva Ecija in Aguinaldo's attempt to elude the pursuing Americans.
On October 23, 1899, Gregorio Aglipay, military vicar general of the revolutionary forces, called the Filipino clergy to a conference in Paniqui. There, they drafted the constitution of the Philippine Independent Church. They called for the Filipinization of the clergy, which eventually led to a schism in the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines.
Tarlac was captured by American forces in November 1899. A civil government was established in the province in 1901.
During the World War II, Camp O'Donnell in Capas became the terminal point of the infamous "Bataan Death March", involving Filipino and American soldiers who surrendered in Bataan on April 9, 1942. The camp was so overcrowded that many allied prisoners who survived the grueling march died here of hunger and disease.
In the beginning of 1945, American & Filipino forces with the Filipino guerillas liberated Camp O'Donnell. The Raid at Capas resulted in the rescue of American, Filipino and other allied Prisoners of War.
On January 20, 1945, Tarlac was recaptured by combined Filipino and American troops together with the guerrilla fighters against the Japanese Imperial forces during the liberation.
In the early 1950s, Tarlac was the hotbed of the Huks, a local communist movement. It was suppressed at first but had resurgence in 1965.
Tarlac is the home province of Corazon C. Aquino (1933-2009), President of the Philippines (1986-1992) and her husband, former Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., whose assassination at the Manila International Airport in 1983 started the protest movement against the Marcos dictatorship, which culminated in the People Power Revolution of 1986. Former President Aquino was a member of the Cojuangco family, one of the richest in the country.
Tarlac is also the home province of Benigno S. Aquino III, who is the President-elect of the Philippines who will be taking office on June 30, 2010.
Tarlac is also the home province of General Carlos P. Romulo (from the town of Camiling), who served as president of the University of the Philippines, Philippine ambassador to the United Nations, president of the General Assembly and chairman of the Security Council.
Tarlac is also the home province of Onofre D. Corpuz, also from the town of Camiling, who served as president of the University of the Philippines and secretary of education. It is also the home province of actress-turned-politician, Vilma Santos, who is the incumbent governor of Batangas province.
The province is situated at the center of the central plains of Luzon, landlocked by four provinces: Pampanga on the south, Nueva Ecija on the east, Pangasinan on the north, and Zambales on the west. Approximately 75% of the province is plain while the rest is hilly to mountainous.
Like the rest of Central Luzon, the province has two distinct seasons: dry from November to April and wet for the rest of the year.
The economy of Tarlac is dominantly agricultural. Principal crops are rice and sugarcane. Other major crops are corn and coconut; vegetables such as eggplant, garlic, and onion; and fruit trees like mango, banana, and calamansi.
Because the province is landlocked, its fish production is limited to fishponds. On the boundary with Zambales in the west, forest lands provide timber for the logging industry. Mineral reserves such as manganese and iron can also be found along the western section.
Tarlac has its own rice and corn mills as well as sawmills and logging outfits. It has three sugar centrals. Other firms service agricultural needs such as fertilizer. Among its cottage industries, ceramics making has become important because of the abundant supply of clay. Some of the major industries here are the making of the delicious and famous Chicharon and Iniruban in the municipality of Camiling, Ylang Ylang products of Anao and the Muscovado sugar products of Victoria. Besides those products, the province also boosts its sugar products in the Philippines. It is next to Negros Occidental which is the nation's sugar capital. Tilapia is also improving in Tarlac and it will soon be the Tilapia capital of the Philippines.