Tarlac City is a thriving urban center in the heart of Central Luzon, offering a blend of history, culture, and economic opportunities with its strategic location, rich agricultural heritage, and growing infrastructure. With a rich history and a growing population, Tarlac City offers a diverse range of attractions, amenities, and opportunities for residents and visitors alike. The city is also known for its strategic location, situated along major transportation routes– this accessibility makes it a convenient destination for travelers and businesses. Tarlac City also boasts a thriving agricultural sector, with vast rice fields and farms surrounding the urban area.

The song ” Awit ng Tarlac City” expresses the pride and honor felt by the Tarlaqueños. It embodies the deep sense of connection and affection the people have for their city. It aims to celebrate the unique identity and rich heritage of Tarlac City, as well as to promote a sense of unity among its residents. Its acts as a unifying force, reminding the Tarlaqueños of their shared values, aspirations, and the collective strength that comes from being part of a vibrant community.

Tarlac City is the nucleus of the Province of Tarlac. It has a significant share in the history of our nation since it was the last capital of the First Philippine Republic and seat of the Revolutionary Congress convened in San Sebastian Cathedral under General Emilio Aguinaldo from June 1 to November 12, 1899.

Although short-lived and battered by issues during that period the cabecera became a witness to that historical event. It was the home of very significant laws enacted by the Aguinaldo Government.

This town was also the home of the one of the Philippines old universities. When Malolos fell to the Americans, there was a cessation in the education of Filipinos residing in Bulacan. The Universidad Cientifico-Literaria de Filipinas was reestablished in Tarlac as decreed on August 9, 1899, utilizing the San Sebastian Cathedral Convent as its building. It was where the first and last graduation ceremony of the said university was held, where the diplomas were signed by General Emilio Aguinaldo.

On November 12, 1899, General Arthur MacArthur and his troops captured the seat of the Revolutionary Congress, signifying the “beginning of the end’ of the revolution. The capture of President Emilio Aguinaldo by the American forces on March 23, 1901, in Palanan, Isabela, effectively ended the First Republic.

Before this fantastic episode in the History of Tarlac City, the town of Tarlac was made independent through Real Orden of 1788 by Governor-General Felix Berenguer de Marquina. It has been said that this town was formerly a part of Porac, Pampanga.


In stories passed on by word of mouth, the name “Tarlac ” is believed to have originated from an incident when foreigners tried to converse with the Aetas, the early settlers here. They asked the name of the place they were moving in and tried to communicate using sign language. As they pointed on the ground, the Aetas thought they were referring to the grass and answered “tarac” which means “Wild cogon grass”.

Another version of the story says the etas replied “malatarlac” which meant the same. Another Zambal term tal-lac, which means “wooden poles stuck along the river banks to diminish the strong current and was used to facilitate fishing, was also said to be the name’s origin. [4]


Because this heartland was endowed with natural resources, the community rapidly grew with settlers coming from nearby provinces. Due to its location and vast

agricultural lands, it literally became the center of trade in the Province. It also has crossroads to the different provinces in the North, South, East and West.

Investors started to flock in, as centuries passed, and became progressive especially when expressways were built in its peripheries.

Fast-forwarding to 1993, the conversion of the humble municipality into a city began when Resolution No. 316 was passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod: “A resolution requesting the Honorable Congress of the Republic of the Philippines, through honorable Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Tarlac to cause and facilitate the conversion of the Municipality of Tarlac into a component city.”

In May 1997, Governor Jose “Aping” Yap, who was the Representative of the 2nd Congressional District of Tarlac, filed before the House of Representatives House Bill 6863: “An Act converting Municipality of Tarlac into a component City to be known as City of Tarlac.”

After resolutions were passed by different agencies, civic organizations and the seventy-six (76) barangays to support the cityhood bid, the House of Representatives and the Philippine Senate approved the proposal converting the municipality into a component city of the Province.

Former President Fidel V. Ramos signed House Bill 6863 into law (Republic Act No. 8593) in March 1998 followed by a plebiscite on April 18, 1998 which resulted in an overwhelming confirmation of the conversion.

The Commission on Elections proclaimed the cabecera of Tarlac Province as the City of Tarlac on April 19, 1998.