San Fernando, Pampanga—The province of Pampanga will celebrate its 447th founding anniversary on Dec. 11 (Tuesday) as a special non-working public holiday in its 19 municipalities, one independ, nt city and two component cities.
The foundation day will culminate with a Mass at the Capitol headed by Gov. Lilia Pineda, Vice Gov. Dennis Pineda, members of the Sanggunian Panlalawigan, provincial employees and their guests.
Some activities include a trade show, a cultural fair, a beauty contest, and the awarding ceremony of the Most Outstanding Kapampangan who made a difference in their respective fields of expertise.
Pampanga was founded by Spaniards on Dec. 11, 1571. They named it Pampanga because its early inhabitants lived along the river bank, called “pampang” in the local dialect.
Former President Ferdinand Marcos declared a public holiday in the province on Dec. 11 every year as contained in Proclamation No. 2226 dated July 27, 1982.
The declaration also called for honoring its sons and daughters who distinguished themselves in different areas of endeavors.
Since the holiday falls on a working day, the regional office of the Department of Labor in Central Luzon said the rule of “no work, no pay” will apply to affected employees.
However, if employees will work out for at least eight hours during the holiday, they will receive 30 percent more of their daily rate, and 100 percent for those who will render work in excess of eight hours.
The ancient territory of Pampanga included the modern-day provinces of Tarlac, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, and Bulacan, but the Spanish reorganized its present political set-up for better administration and tax collection on Dec 11, 1571.
Politically, Gov. Lilia Pineda is sliding down in favor of her son Dennis in the coming midterm elections. Lilia is running unopposed for the vice governorship while her son is up against incumbent Bacolor Mayor Jose Maria O. Hizon of the famed tocino producer Pampanga’s Best.
The gubernatorial race may be influenced by the silent majority of the province and the independent voters of the 3rd district, composed of the city of San Fernando and the municipalities of Arayat, Bacolor, Mexico, and Santa Ana, pundits have said.
Pampanga is also called the culinary capital of the Philippines because of its variety of food like “Duman” (rice cake) of Sta. Rita, “Binulu” (bamboo-cooked meals) of Porac, and “Kamaru” (mole cricket) of Magalang, among others.
Some outstanding Kapampangans are former President Diosdado Macapagal (1961-1964), his daughter and 14th President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (2001-2010) – who is currently the House Speaker – former Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, his brother Pedro Abad Santos (founder of the Socialist Party of the Philippines), wartime insurgent Luis Taruc of the Hukbalahap, and former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza.
Other famous Pampanga natives are Rufino Jiao Santos, the first Filipino Cardinal and former Archbishop of Manila; sculptor and playwright Aurelio Tolentino; and Felix Manalo, founder of the religious organization Iglesia ni Cristo.
Sports luminaries from the province include billiards legend Efren “Bata” Reyes, former basketball star Ato Agustin (now a councilor of the City of San Fernando), and basketball coach Yeng Guiao.