Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Zambales is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Luzon region. Its capital is Iba. Zambales borders Pangasinan to the north, Tarlac and Pampanga to the east, and Bataan to the south. The province lies between the South China Sea and the Zambales Mountains.

Province of Zambales

Region: Central Luzon (Region III)
Capital: Iba
Founded: 1578
2000 census—627,802 (39th largest).
Density—169 per km² (49th highest).
Area: 3,714.4 km² (35th largest)
Highly-urbanized Cities—1.
Congressional districts—2.
Languages: Tagalog, Iloko, Zambal
Governor: Vicente P. Magsaysay (2001-2004)

Table of contents
1 People and Culture
2 Economy
3 Geography
4 History
5 Tourist Attractions
6 External Links

People and Culture




Zambales is subdivided into 13 municipalities and 1 city. Olongapo City is a highly-urbanized city and administers itself autonomously from the province.



  • Botolan
  • Cabangan
  • Candelaria
  • Castillejos
  • Iba
  • Masinloc
  • Palauig
  • San Antonio
  • San Felipe
  • San Marcelino
  • San Narciso
  • Santa Cruz
  • Subic


Zambales lies on the western shores of Luzon island between the Zambales Mountains and the South China Sea. It's shoreline is very ragged and features many coves and inlets. Subic Bay, in the southernmost part of the province provides a natural harbor, and was chosen as the location of an American naval base. The peak of Mount Pinatubo lies on the intersection of the boundaries between Zambales, Pampanga, and Tarlac. This volcano, once considered dormant, erupted violently in 1991.


The area now occupied by Zambales was first explored by the Spanish in 1572 through Juan de Salcedo. Among the earliest towns founded were were Masinloc (1607), Iba (1611), and Santa Cruz (1612). Masinloc became the province's first capital. However, the capital was moved among the three towns during its history before settling down currently to Iba, due to its strategic location.

The province's name came from the word “Zambale”, which is a Hispanized term for “Zambal”. Zambal refers to the language spoken by the early Malay inhabitants of the place. A contending version states that the name was derived from the word samba, meaning worship, because the Spanish supposedly found the native inhabitants to be highly superstitious and who worshipped the spirits of their ancestors.

Tourist Attractions

External Links

Central Luzon: Aurora | Bataan | Bulacan | Nueva Ecija | Pampanga | Tarlac | Zambales