Pampanga was founded by the Spanish conquistador, Martín de Goiti in 1571. The name derived from the native Kapampangan words "pangpang ilog" meaning "riverside" where the early Malayan settlements were concentrated along the Rio Grande de la Pampanga. Kapampangan men are known for their gallantry and leadership while Kapampangan women are famous for their beauty and skill in culinary arts.
Pampanga, one of the richest provinces in the Philippines, was re-organized as a province by the Spaniards on December 11, 1571. For governmental control and taxation purposes, the Spanish authorities subdivided Pampanga into towns (pueblos), which were further subdivided into districts (barrios) and in some cases into royal and private estates (encomiendas).
Due to excessive abuses committed by some grantees of private estates, the King of Spain prohibited in 1574 the awarding of private estates (encomiendas). However, the royal decree was not fully enforced until the year 1620. In a report of Philippine encomiendas on June 20, 1591, Spanish Governor Gomez Perez Dasmarinas reported to the King of Spain that La Pampanga's encomiendas were Bataan, Betis y Lubao, Macabebe, Candava, Apalit, Calumpit, Malolos, Binto, Guiguinto, Caluya, Bulacan and Mecabayan. The encomiendas of La Pampanga at that time had eighteen thousand six hundred and eighty whole tributes.
Ancient Pampanga's territorial area used to include portions of the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac and Zambales in the big Island of Luzon of the Philippine Archipelago.
Pampanga which is about 850 square miles in area and presently inhabited by more than 1.5 million people, had its present borders drawn in 1873. During the Spanish regime it was one of the richest Philippine provinces. Manila and its surrounding region were then primarily dependent on Pampangan agricultural, fishery, and forestry products as well as on the supply of skilled workers. As other Luzon provinces were created due to increases in population, some well-established Pampanga towns were lost to new emerging provinces in Central Luzon.
The historic province of Bataan which was founded in 1754 under the administration of Spanish Governor General Pedro Manuel Arandia, absorbed from the province of Pampanga the municipalities of Abucay, Balanga, Dinalupihan, Llana Hermosa, Orani, Orion, Pilar, and Samal.
The old Pampanga towns of Aliaga, Cabiao, Gapan, San Antonio and San Isidro were ceded to the province of Nueva Ecija in 1848 during the term of Spanish Governor-General Narciso Claveria y Zaldua.
The municipality of San Miguel de Mayumo of Pampanga was yielded to the province of Bulacan in the same provincial boundary configuration in 1848.
In 1860, the northern towns of Bamban, Capas, Concepcion, Victoria, Tarlac, Mabalacat, Magalang, Porac and Floridablanca were separated from Pampanga and were placed under the jurisdiction of a military command called Comandancia Militar de Tarlac. However, in 1873, the four latter towns were returned to Pampanga and the other five towns became municipalities of the newly created Province of Tarlac.
A large number of people have been displaced and whole towns and villages have been submerged in lahar in the aftermath of the Mount Pinatubo eruptions.
Governors of Pampanga
1812-1820 Jose Aviles
1821-1824 Francisco Paula de los Santos and Fulgencio Nuñez
1824-1827 Manuel de Olea
1827-1831 Antonio Chacon y Conde
1831-1836 Juan Garrido
1836-1839 Mariano Valero y Soto
1839-1840 Angel Viniegra
1841-1846 Jose Urbina y Daoiz
1846-1847 Mariano Valero y Soto
1848-1849 Juan Lopéz Cordón
1849-1850 Manuel Gastero Serrano
1850-1852 Fernando Cajigas
1852-1854 José Paez y Lopéz
1854-1855 Jose Sanchez Guerrero
1855-1856 Francisco de Paula Rodriguez
1856-1860 Francisco Hidalgo y Caballero
1860-1862 Jose Maria Barrasa
1862-1864 Ramón Barrueta
1864 Mariano de la Cortina y Oñate
1865-1866 Juan Muñoz y Alvarez
1867 José Bolaños
1867-1869 Mariano de la Cortina y Oñate
1869-1870 Francisco Godínez y Esteban
1873 Jose Dias y Oliver
1873-1874 Jose Feced y Temprado
1875 Emilio Martín Bolaños
1875-1877 Miguel Sanz y Urtasun
1877-1879 Jose Feced y Temprado
1879 Antonio Graciano de Oro
1880-1881 Rafael Manzanares
1881-1883 Antonio Graciano de Oro
1884 Gaspar Castaño
1885-1886 Emilio Martín Bolaños
1887 Luis Goza
1887-1888 A. de Águila
1888-1891 Luis de la Torre Villanueva
1891-1892 José Ignacio Chacón
1892-1893 Joaquin Oliver
1893-1895 Tomás Pérez del Pulgar y O’Lawlor
1895-1898 José Canovas y Vallejo
1898 Mariano Alimurung
1898 Tiburcio T. Hilario
1899 Tomás Mascardo
1900 Francisco Dizon
1900-1901 José M. Alejandrino
U.S. MILITARY GOVERNMENT
1899-1900 Frederick Dent Grant
1900-1901 Arthur MacArthur
1901-1903 Ceferino Jóven
1904-1911 Macario Arnedo
1911 Mariano Lim
1912-1916 Francisco Liongson
1916-1922 Honorio Ventura
1922-1925 Olimpio Guanzon
1925-1931 Sotero Baluyut
1931 Eligio G. Lagman
1931-1937 Pablo Angeles David
1942 Lazaro Yambao
1942-1944 Eligio G. Lagman
1944 Urbano D. Dizon
1944 José Y. David
CIVIL GOVERNORS (cont.)
1945 Gerardo Limlingan
1945 Pablo Angeles David
1946-1947 Pablo Angeles David
1948-1951 José B. Lingad
1952-1959 Rafael Lazatin
1960-1971 Francisco G. Nepomuceno
1972-1976 Brigido Valencia
1976-1980 Juanita L. Nepomuceno
1980-1986 Estelito P. Mendoza
1986-1995 Bren Z. Guiao
1995-2004 Manuel M. Lapid
2004-Present Mark T. Lapid
Jose Abad Santos - was the 5th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. He was appointed acting president by President Quezon with full authority to act on behalf of the President of the Philippines in areas unoccupied by the Japanese. He was killed by Japanese forces during the occupation of the Philippines in World War II.
Rufino Cardinal Santos - was born in Guagua, Pampanga and became Archbishop of Manila from 1953 to 1973. He was the first Filipino to be named Cardinal.
Diosdado Pangan Macapagal - was the 9th President of the Republic of the Philippines and a native of Lubao, Pampanga.
Armando Biliwang - was elected as a municipal councilor and later became municipal mayor of San Fernando. He is well known for his fearless stand against communism during his term as municipal councilor and mayor.
Don Zoilo Hilario - was a famous Kapampangan writer and poet who dedicated his life to the propagation of Kapampangan literature and culture.
Cecilia B. Licad - is one of the world's most famous concert pianists and hails from Lubao.
Gil J. Puyat - was a Senate President of the Philippines from 1967 to 1972.
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo - is the 14th and current President of the Republic of the Philippines. She is the daughter of the 9th President of the Republic Diosdado Macapagal. She is the country's second Female President after Corazon Aquino. She also was the country's first Female Vice President during the tenure of the now Deposed Former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada.
Lea Salonga - is a Tony Award-winning singer and actress who is best known for her portrayal of Kim in the musical Miss Saigon. She spent the first six years of her childhood in Angeles City before moving to Manila.
apl.de.ap (Allen Pineda Lindo) - is a member of the Grammy-award winning group, The Black Eyed Peas, and was born in Sapang Bato, Angeles City. He is famous throughout the Filipino community after the release of his life story of his homeland Philippines in a song called "The Apl Song" found on the Peas' 2003 album Elephunk
Alejandro T. Quiboloy' - kapampangan educator, public servant and Christian minister, born in Lubao, Pampanga on May 3, 1909 to Dionisio and Anastasia Quiboloy.
Vanessa Minnillo - is an American television personality born in Clark Air Base, Angeles City and raised in the US. She was Miss Teen USA 1998 and is currently a host on MTV's Total Request Live.
Cris Judd - is an American actor and popular choreographer to Michael Jackson and Usher, but he is best known for his failed marriage to American actress,
Jennifer Lopez. He was born in Clark Air Base, Angeles City and spent his childhood years there.
Efren ReyesEfren "Bata" Reyes - is referred to as "The Magician" and a very popular Filipino billiards player who hails from Angeles City. He is considered to be one of history's greatest practitioners of billiards.
Apollo Quiboloy - is a Filipino televangelist; although he is known to be from Davao City, he is considered a Kapampangan as he was born to Kapampangan parents.
Melanie Marquez - is a popular beauty queen-turned-actress who hails from Mabalacat. She was Miss International 1979 and was voted as the Most Beautiful Miss International in 2000. She's also a sister of another local actor, Joey Marquez .
Rogelio dela Rosa - was one of the most popular Filipino matinee idols of the 20th century and was elected to the Senate in 1957. He was also the first film actor who was able to parlay his fame into a political career, paving the way for other Filipino entertainers-turned-politicians. He had an equally famous brother,
Jaime dela Rosa, also a matinee idol in the 1950s.
Donita Rose - although she was born in the US, she moved to Angeles City, where her father was designated at the US Clark Air Base, when she was five years old. She went on to become a famous local actress and MTV VJ in Asia.
Jacklyn Jose - is an award-winning actress and graduated at Sto. Rosario Elementary School in Angeles City.
Other famous local personalities known to be Kapampangan or at least to have Kapampangan parents are Sharon Cuneta, Helen Gamboa, Dolphy, Vilma Santos, Kris Aquino, Dong Puno, Lorna Tolentino, Robin Padilla, Randy David, Judy Ann Santos, Nanette Medved, Sarah Geronimo, Glydel Mercado, Abbygale Arenas, Ato Agustin, Liza Lorena, Tonton Gutierrez, Yeng Guiao, Rudy Fernandez, Francisco "Django" Bustamante, Rosal Rosal, Arwind Santos, Jean Garcia, Miriam Quiambao, Rufa Mae Quinto, Senators Francis Pangilinan, Lito Lapid and Manny Villar, Regine Tolentino, Marvin Agustin, Current Philippine Chief Justice Reynato Puno and Christopher de Leon,.
Younger Kapampangan TV personalities are Joseph Bitangcol, Antoinette Taus, Baron Geisler, Arron Villaflor, Tyron Perez, Eliza Pineda, Justin Cuyugan, Gladys Reyes, Vincent Liwanag, Allen Dizon, Ronnie Liang, Aljur Abrenica, Emilio Garcia, Krizzy Jareno, Jay Aquitania, Sheena Halili, Kristel Astor, Raymond Manalo, and Antonio Aquitania.