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Central Luzon, also known as Region III, is located north of Metro Manila
and south of Ilocos and Cagayan Valley
Regions. It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean and on the west by South China Sea. It is made up of 6 provinces.
The central plain of Luzon is found in the region and is the largest plain in the country. It is surrounded by the
Sierra Madre Mountains in the east and by the Caraballo Mountains in the west. Its climate is characterized by two seasons:
dry season from November to April and wet season during the rest of the year.
The plain extends as far as the eye can see.
Rice farms and the Zambales Mountains in the background
Tagalogs, Ilocanos, Kapampangans, Pangasinenses are the major cultural groups in Central Luzon. Other groups
are Aetas and Agtas.
One of the more progressive regions, Central Luzon contributed 8.3% to the national economy in 2007.
Its proximity to Metro Manila has made it a catch basin to the overflow of economic activities in the metropolis. In fact,
this region is a part of the so-called urban beltway that starts from Dagupan City in Pangasinan
Province in the north and extends all the way to Lucena City in Quezon Province in the south.
Moreover, the successful development of the two
former American military bases namely Subic and Clark, into economic zones has made the region an engine of economic
growth for the country. World-class infrastructure such as the freeport of Subic, the international airport of Clark, the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX),
and the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) promise to make the region a logistics hub not only for the country but also for East
Manufacturing is increasingly becoming a major source of employment in the region. One of the largest foreign
investments in the country to date is the Hanjin Shipbuilding plant in Subic, Zambales. Aside from the industrial zones
of Subic and Clark, there is also the Bataan Export Processing zone - the oldest export processing zone in the country,
Limay industrial complex, also in Bataan, where a petroleum refining and a petrochemical complex is found, and the
Luisita industrial zone in Tarlac. Other smaller industrial zones are located in Bulacan.
Still, agriculture is the major economic activity in the other parts of the region. In fact, Central Luzon
is the number one producer of palay in the country. Other agricultural crops are sugarcane, corn, coconut, mango and other
fruits and vegetables. It is also a major producer of chicken, egg, hog, and cattle. Fishery, particularly aquaculture,
is major source of livelihood in Bulacan and Pampanga. Mining is a major industry in Zambales province while tourism is
fast becoming a major industry in many parts of the region.
Economic factsheet of Central Luzon, 2007
|Gross Regional Domestic Product(in billion pesos at current prices)|
| Total ||501.3||100%|
|Electricity, Gas, and Water||23.3||4.65%|
|Employment Data (figure in thousands)|
|Total Employed ||3,396|
|Unemployment Rate ||8.6%|
|Underemployment Rate ||7.5%|
Central Luzon is the site of many big infrastructure projects such as the North Luzon Expressway.
The people of Central Luzon particularly the Kapampangans are well-known for their culinary skills.
Major tourist spots in Central Luzon Region
- Historic Barasoain Church in Malolos City, Bulacan
- Biak-na-Bato National Park - a historical site in San Miguel, Bulacan
- Aurora National Park
- Dicasalarin Cove and Cunayan Falls in Aurora Province
- Mt. Samat and Anvaya Cove in Bataan
- Pantabangan Dam and Palaspoas Falls in Nueva Ecija
- Mt. Pinatubo, Mt Arayat and San Guillermo Church in Pampanga
- Death March Monument and Solores Hot Spring in Tarlac
- Subic Bay and Palauig Beach in Zambales