Profile of Zambales Province (Geography)
Location –> Central Luzon Region, Philippines (See map below)
Neighboring Provinces –> Pangasinan, Tarlac, Pampanga, and Bataan
Capital –> Iba
Area –> 3,645.83 km2 (1,407.66 sq mi)
Population –> 590,848 (2015 census)
Terrain –> Mountainous with narrow coastal plains
Industries –> Farming, Fishing, Mining, and Tourism
Major Products –> Rice, Fish, Minerals
People/Language –> Ilocano, Tagalog, Kapampangan
City –> Olongapo (part of first legislative district)
Municipalities (Towns) –> (13)
First District –> Castillejos, San Marcelino, Subic
Second District –> Botolan, Cabangan, Candelaria, Iba, Masinloc, Palauig, San Antonio, San Felipe, San Narciso, Santa Cruz
Go here to see the elected provincial officials of Zambales.
The Aetas were the aboriginal people of Zambales. Later, the Ilocanos, Tagalogs, Kapampangans and Pangasinenses arrived and pushed the Aetas to the mountains. It is believed that the named of the province was derived from the word “Samba” which means to worship. When the Spaniards colonized the area, they found the local people worshipping the “Anitos” or unseen spirits that roam around the land.
Zambales was founded in 1572, one of the earliest provinces to be organized by the Spaniards. That time, it included some of the present towns of Pangasinan particularly Alaminos, Bolinao, San Isidro, Infanta, Anda, Bani, and Agno. The town of Masinloc was the original capital of the province.
Iba became the capital of the province when the latter was formalized as a province on August 28, 1901 during the early parts of the American Occupation of the Philippines.
Because of its strategic location and good harbor, Subic Bay became the home of a large United States Naval Base. The base was closed only in 1991 when the military agreement expired and the Philippine Senate refused to extend it.
On June 15, 1991, Mount Pinatubo which is located in the southern part of the province, erupted after being dormant for many centuries. It destroyed many infrastructure and homes and buried many farms in the province.
Watch a video of Mount Pintubo erruption below, courtesy of ABS-CBN Network.
Go here to see all the famous people from Zambales Province.
Go here to see all the candidates and results of the 2019 election in Zambales.
Read the history of Zambales in Tagalog here.
Economy of Zambales Province
Zambales is primarily an agricultural area with rice as the main product. The province is endowed with many minerals and mining companies have operated in the province for many years. However, due to its destructive nature, many residents and government officials opposed the continued operation of these companies. In fact, many former mining areas have beed abandoned and rendered unusable for any human activity due to the presence of toxic materials.
The successful conversion of Subic from a naval base into a freeport has brought economic development to the province. Many large companies now call Olongapo and its environs as their home. The town of Subic is the home of one of the largest shipyards in the world, employing thousands of Filipinos.
In recent years, tourism has become a dynamic component of the provincial economy particularly in the areas around Subic Bay where many hotels and resorts were built.
RELATED: Profile of La Union Province
See also: List of Philippine Provinces and Capital by Region
Map of Zambales Province