Travel in the Philippines
In the province of Pampanga, the people known as Kapampangans live, as well as in some surrounding areas such as Tarlac and Bataan. This is an area known for its style of life by the river. In addition to Tarlac and Bataan, it is surrounded by Zambales, Manila Bay and Nueva Ecija. When the populations of all these areas are combined, the total is more than 1.6 million.
Local and Regional Resources
Tarlac, one of the main provinces, lies in the middle of Luzon Island’s Central Plains. Despite that fact, it is landlocked by Zambales, Pampanga, Pangasinan and Neuva Ecija and it is home to one of the most vibrant communities in the Philippines. It also covers a rather large area, approximately 305,000 hectares. There are three districts comprised of one major city and an additional 17 smaller towns. There are also 510 barangays.
Another major area is Pampanga. The area is comprised of more than 218,000 hectares. Much of the area is used for fishing, forestry and crop growth. There are a lot of skilled laborers in the region, including lantern makers (San Fernando), blacksmiths (Apalit), clay potters (Sto. Tomas) and woodcarvers (Guagua). There is also a lot of development that involves industry. As a matter of fact, San Fernando is an industrial hub, as are places like Bulaon, Mabalacat, Camatchile, Madapdap, Mawaque and Porac. In addition, there is a major industrial area called the Angeles Livelihood Village. There are plenty of investment opportunities in the area, as well. The area also boasts no less than five ports that can be used as municipal piers.
The total amount of forest land measures approximately 120,370 hectares. This involves a little over 39 percent of the entire area. There are a number of major waterways there as well, including the Camiling River, the Tarlac River, the Bulsa River located in San Jose and the O’Dannell River in Capas.
As previously mentioned, there are a number of crops that are planted in Tarlac. These include mango, cassava, sweet potatoes, corn, sugar cane and rice, as well as a number of other vegetables. The forested areas are frequently harvested for hardwood. There are also a number of mineral deposits there, including rock aggregate, silica quartz, limestone, pumice stone, clay, manganese, chromite, copper and gold. The entire province continues to grow rapidly.
Many of the beliefs in the area are centered around things like the birth of a child, as well as baptisms, marriage and burial. For instance, the dress worn during a baptism is usually framed and then hung in the family’s house. When it comes to marriage, the young man goes to the woman’s house and the families agree on courtship, followed by marriage. The ritual used when a person dies lasts for three days and then the body is interred. Others who were close to the deceased mourn for a period of nine days after the person dies. Furthermore, a huge meal is shared on the first anniversary of the death. An observance of prayer is also held.
Many beliefs have survived and are still practiced in modern times. Examples include the belief in those who are capable of separating their bodies from their heads (Magkukutud), giants that roam at night (Kapre), a spirit that appears as a man (Dwende), evil spirits in the forest (Tianaka), people that have evil powers (Mangkukulam), and elderly men that live in mounds (Nunu).
Tarlac is considered to be something of a melting pot. There is a great deal of cultural diversity there. San Fernando is the capital and is also known for the different styles of lanterns that are made there. The highlight is at Christmas when everyone shows off their giant lanterns. Pampanga is also famous for this, as well as for its food. For the most part, meats, snacks and sweets are the main staples in the area.
It is evident that the entire area is different from almost every other part of the world. That is what makes this region so special.