Tarlac City
City of Tarlac
Tarlac City 1.JPG
09320jfSan Roque Vicente Street Poblacion Tarlac Cityfvf 13.JPG
FvfTSU0081 20.JPG
FvfTarlacPark0001 05.JPG
From top, left to right: Welcome arch, Poblacion, San Sebastian Cathedral, Aquino Center and Museum, Tarlac City Plazuela
Flag of Tarlac City
Official seal of Tarlac City
Magkaisa: Bawat Oras, Sama-Sama
Map of Tarlac with Tarlac City highlighted
Map of Tarlac with Tarlac City highlighted
Tarlac City is located in Philippines
Tarlac City
Tarlac City
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 15°29′13″N 120°35′24″E / 15.4869°N 120.59°E / 15.4869; 120.59
RegionCentral Luzon
District 2nd district
CityhoodApril 18, 1998
Barangays76 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Panlungsod
 • MayorMaria Cristina C. Angeles
 • Vice MayorGenaro M. Mendoza
 • RepresentativeChristian Tell A. Yap
 • City Council
 • Electorate213,784 voters (2022)
 • Total274.66 km2 (106.05 sq mi)
61 m (200 ft)
Highest elevation
490 m (1,610 ft)
Lowest elevation
14 m (46 ft)
 (2020 census)[3]
 • Total385,398
 • Density1,400/km2 (3,600/sq mi)
 • Households
Demonym(s)Tarlaqueño (Male),
Tarlaqueña (Female),
 • Income class1st city income class
 • Poverty incidence
% (2018)[4]
 • Revenue₱ 2,064 million (2020)
 • Assets₱ 4,710 million (2020)
 • Expenditure₱ 1,663 million (2020)
 • Liabilities₱ 856.5 million (2020)
Service provider
 • ElectricityTarlac Electric Incorporated (TEI)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)45
Native languagesKapampangan

Tarlac City, officially the City of Tarlac (Kapampangan: Lakanbalen ning Tarlac; Pangasinan: Siyudad na Tarlac; Ilocano: Siudad ti Tarlac; Filipino: Lungsod ng Tarlac [tɐɾˈlak]), is a 1st class component city and capital of the province of Tarlac, Philippines. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 385,398 people.[3]


Aerial view of Tarlac, circa 1930s
Aerial view of Tarlac, circa 1930s
Historical marker of José Rizal's stay in "Tarlak" in 1892
Historical marker of José Rizal's stay in "Tarlak" in 1892

Tarlac's first settlers came from Bacolor, Pampanga. They cleared the area, fertilised the soil, and then established their settlement here in 1788. This small community of settlers experienced rapid population growth, as settlers from Bataan, Pampanga and Zambales moved into the area. The Kapampangan language, which is the dialect of Pampanga, became the native language of this town. Roads and barrios were built over the following decades through hard work of its residents. Following the foundation of the province of Tarlac in 1872, Tarlac was designated as the capital of the new province.


Main article: Cities of the Philippines

On June 21, 1969, President Ferdinand Marcos signed and approved the Republic Act 5907, converting this municipality into a city. However, its plebiscite was unsuccessful, showing their voters rejected cityhood.

On April 21, 1990, the barangays of Burgos, David, Iba, Labney, Lawacamulag, Lubigan, Maamot, Mababanaba, Moriones, Pao, San Juan de Valdez, Sula, and Villa Aglipay, originally part of the then-municipality of Tarlac, separated and formed to be the part of San Jose. Tarlac now retains its 274.66 km2 (106.05 sq mi) area.

Finally, on March 12, 1998, Republic Act 8593 was signed by President Fidel V. Ramos, making Tarlac as the component city of the province of Tarlac. On April 18, 1998, its residents approved the conversion of the municipality into a city. Tarlac was proclaimed as the component city by COMELEC on the next day, on April 19, 1998.

Highly urbanized city

On October 27, 2005, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed the Proclamation No. 940, making Tarlac City into a highly urbanized city (HUC) in the province.[5] However, the provincial government opposed the city's campaign for conversion into HUC.[6] The majority of voters rejected the conversion in the plebiscite on February 11, 2006.


The city is situated at the centre of the province of Tarlac, along the Tarlac River. To its north is Gerona and Santa Ignacia, west is San Jose, south is Capas and Concepcion and eastern boundaries are Victoria and La Paz. Tarlac City is located 58 kilometres (36 mi) north of Central Luzon's regional center San Fernando, Pampanga, and 124 kilometres (77 mi) north of Manila.

Tarlac City is approximately 24 metres (79 ft) above sea level on some parts but reaching even 50 metres (160 ft) on large western portions. Tarlac City was historically a part of what is now Porac, Pampanga. Parts of Tarlac City are claimed to be among the few portions of land in the province which was not created by ancient eruptions from Mount Pinatubo.


Tarlac City is politically subdivided into 77 barangays.[7] Each barangay consists of puroks and some have sitios.


Climate data for Tarlac City
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 30
Average low °C (°F) 19
Average precipitation mm (inches) 5
Average rainy days 2.6 2.5 4.4 8.3 20.9 24.4 27.4 26.9 25.0 18.2 9.2 3.6 173.4
Source: Meteoblue (modeled/calculated data, not measured locally)[8]


Population census of Tarlac City
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 15,044—    
1918 24,460+3.29%
1939 55,682+3.99%
1948 64,597+1.66%
1960 98,285+3.56%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1970 135,128+3.23%
1975 160,595+3.52%
1980 175,691+1.81%
1990 208,722+1.74%
1995 230,459+1.87%
YearPop.±% p.a.
2000 262,481+2.83%
2007 314,155+2.51%
2010 318,332+0.48%
2015 342,493+1.40%
2020 385,398+2.35%
Graphs are temporarily unavailable due to technical issues.
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[9][10][11][12]

In the 2020 census, the population of Tarlac City was 385,398 people,[3] with a density of 1,400 inhabitants per square kilometre or 3,600 inhabitants per square mile.


Being at the meeting point of both Kapampangan and Pangasinan languages, cultures, and ethnicities, both languages are predominantly spoken in the city and environs. Ilocano and Tagalog are also used by a few city dwellers, especially those with Ilocano and/or Tagalog ethnicity/ancestry, respectively, with the latter language also serving as a medium for inter-ethnic communications.


According to statistics compiled by the Philippine government, the most dominant religion in the city is Christianity. The majority of Christians are Roman Catholics followed by a large concentration of Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ). Other Christian groups belong to various Protestant denominations. There are some being non-Christian such as Muslims, etc.


Shopping malls

There are several shopping malls established within the city. To name a few, there is the SM City Tarlac, which is the first SM Supermall in the Tarlac Province, located along McArthur Highway in San Roque; Plaza Luisita Mall, which is the first shopping center in Central Luzon (now Robinsons Luisita); the Magic Star Mall along Romulo Blvd. in Barangay Cut-cut; My MetroTown Mall in Barangay Sto Cristo; Palm Plaza Mall located along McArthur Highway corner F. Tanedo St. Barangay Matatalaib; CityWalk also located in Barangay San Roque and CityMall located in Barangay San Rafael.


As the educational center of Tarlac, Tarlac City houses the main campus of Tarlac State University, as well as other higher educational institutions.

The Tarlac City Schools Division of the Department of Education operates 87 elementary schools and 13 high schools as of 2013.

Some private schools in Tarlac City are the Don Bosco Technical Institute, College of the Holy Spirit, Kian Tiak School, and the Ecumenical Christian College.



The Malatarlak Festival, celebrated every January in Tarlac City, is one of the most remarkable festivals in the province. In 2011, the City Mayor then changed the name of the festival to Melting Pot Festival, but it is still remembered by its former name. The festival is a commemoration to the first people who built civilization in the province, the Aetas. The names and themes of the festivals in Tarlac City have changed over the years depending on the city's leadership. For the current administration (since July 2016), the local fiesta or festival has been called Kaisa Festival derived from the word magkaisa (to unite).


MacArthur Highway in Tarlac
MacArthur Highway in Tarlac

Tarlac City is the usual bus stop for commuters traveling from the South to the Ilocos Region and Cordillera provinces. Bus companies that take a route through the city include Pangasinan Solid North Transit, Inc., Dagupan Bus Company, Philippine Rabbit, Victory Liner, Five Star, First North Luzon Transit, Luzon Cisco Transport, Genesis, Santrans, Viron Transit, Partas, and many others. Many of the bus companies' rest stops can be found along MacArthur Highway including Siesta and Motorway.

The MacArthur Highway goes from the southern to the northern end of the city. There are a series of roads leading to Zambales and Pangasinan as well as Baguio. Most buses passing through the town of Camiling onwards to Pangasinan usually take the Romulo Highway which forks from MacArthur Highway along Barangay San Roque.

Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) connects with Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEx) and Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEx) within the capital of the province. The 3 expressways serves as an alternate route for motorists going to the other parts of Northern Luzon area such as Cagayan Valley, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, La Union and Baguio while in the Marcos Highway via TPLEX and Kennon Road from McArthur Highway.

Sister cities


  1. ^ City of Tarlac | (DILG)
  2. ^ "2015 Census of Population, Report No. 3 – Population, Land Area, and Population Density" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. Quezon City, Philippines. August 2016. ISSN 0117-1453. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 25, 2021. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Census of Population (2020). "Region III (Central Luzon)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  4. ^ "PSA Releases the 2018 Municipal and City Level Poverty Estimates". Philippine Statistics Authority. December 15, 2021. Retrieved January 22, 2022.
  5. ^ "Proclamation No. 940, s. 2005". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines.
  6. ^ "Several issues pertaining to the conversion of the City of Tarlac from a component city into a highly-urbanized city". Department of the Interior and Local Government.
  7. ^ "An Act Creating Certain, Barrios in the Municipality of Tarlac, Province of Tarlac". LawPH.com. Retrieved April 12, 2011.
  8. ^ "Tarlac City: Average Temperatures and Rainfall". Meteoblue. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  9. ^ Census of Population (2015). "Region III (Central Luzon)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  10. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region III (Central Luzon)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. National Statistics Office. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  11. ^ Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Region III (Central Luzon)". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. National Statistics Office.
  12. ^ "Province of Tarlac". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  13. ^ "Poverty incidence (PI):". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  14. ^ Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  15. ^ Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  16. ^ Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  17. ^ Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  18. ^ Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  19. ^ "PSA Releases the 2018 Municipal and City Level Poverty Estimates". Philippine Statistics Authority. December 15, 2021. Retrieved January 22, 2022.