Tarlac is a province in Central Luzon. Tarlac is best known for its fine foods and vast sugar and rice plantations, and its fine cooking scene is due to its position as the crossroads of four major cultures. It offers some of the best cuisines from the places of ancestry of its settlers, the provinces of Pampanga, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pangasinan, and the Ilocos Region.
Historical sites, fine food, vast plantations, a beautifully landscaped golf course, and so many other attractions – all these make the province of Tarlac one of the best of the places to visit in Central Luzon.
Cities and towns
As of 2018, the province has one city and 17 towns.
- 1 Tarlac City - the capital city of the province, it is completely landlocked and consists predominantly of plains with the remaining being mountains. Tourism has not really been a big part of Tarlac although it does have some great historical areas, rice, corn and sugar plantations and golf courses for those so inclined.
- 2 Anao
- 3 Bamban
- 4 Camiling - known as the "Chicharon and Iniruban Capital of the Philippines", Camiling is rich in history and culture. Visit the house of the real life Maria Clara.
- 5 Capas - well-known as the northern end of the Bataan Death March during World War II. It now also seconds as the jump-off point for treks to Mount Pinatubo
- 6 Concepcion
- 7 Gerona
- 8 La Paz
- 9 Mayantoc
- 10 Moncada
- 11 Paniqui
- 12 Pura
- 13 Ramos
- 14 San Clemente
- 15 San Jose - Visit the miraculous relic of the cross at the Monasterio De Tarlac at Brgy. Lubigan. It also has a Jesus statue like the one at Rio De Janeiro, only a bit small.
- 16 San Manuel
- 17 Santa Ignacia
- 18 Victoria
Tarlac is the most multicultural of the Central Luzon provinces, with a mixture of four major ethnic groups, the Kapampangan (or Pampangos) in the south, the Ilocanos and the Pangasinan (or Pangasinenses) in the north and northwest, and the Tagalog at the border with Nueva Ecija.
Tarlac is a predominantly flat province, with plains abounding with rice paddies dominating its landscape, except to the west where it is rugged, hilly and mountainous. The local economy is largely dominated by agriculture.
From Manila, Tarlac can be reached in two ways:
- Using the old MacArthur Highway, Tarlac is 2½ to 3 hours away from Manila by car or bus. Take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).to the far end and exit at the Sta. Ines Exit. Take the Mabalacat–Magalang Road to the right and turn right onto MacArthur Highway, proceeding northward towards Tarlac province.
- A seamless ride to Tarlac is possible with the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX). It is 1 hour and 25 minutes away from Manila when taking this expressway to Tarlac. Take Exit 85 (SCTEX Exit) of NLEX. Exit at SCTEX's Mabalacat Interchange and go straight northwards. You can take one of these three exits of SCTEX in Tarlac area: Concepcion Exit, Hacienda Luisita/San Miguel Exit, and Tarlac Exit (which is in the town of La Paz). If taking Tarlac Exit, go left (westward) when going to Tarlac City, or right when going to the downtown of La Paz.
- Since 2014, it's now also seamless to go to the northern part of Tarlac via the Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway. When choosing to go to northern Tarlac, stay at the expressway past Tarlac Exit and exit at any one of the following exits: Victoria, Pura, Ramos, and Anao.
Buses and jeepneys are the best way around, with frequent departures from terminals in Tarlac City. Modern jeepneys go from Tarlac City to serve most towns.
- Trek Mt. Pinatubo: visit the canyons, the Aeta Village, take a dip in the crater lake.
There are various shopping malls:
- Plaza Luisita Center - the first shopping mall in central Luzon owned by the Cojuancos of Tarlac and its located along MacArthur Highway, San Miguel.
- SM City Tarlac - the first SM Supermall in the province and is located along MacArthur Highway, San Roque.
- Robinsons Luisita - the first Robinson mall in the province and its located along MacArthur Highway, San Miguel.
- Paniqui Mall - a mall at Paniqui town.
- Metro Town Mall - a mall at Tarlac City located along MacArthur Highway, Sto. Cristo
- Magic Star Mall - a mall at Tarlac City located along Romulo Blvd, Cut-cut.
- Uniwide - Tarlac Central Mall - a mall at Tarlac City located along Aquino Blvd., San Nicolas.
- EZ City Center - a shopping complex at Tarlac City located along MacArthur Hi-way corner Ligtasan St.