Last updated on September 30, 2019
Tarlac’s name is a Hispanized derivation from a talahib weed called Malatarlak. Tarlac was originally divided into two parts: the southern division belonging to Pampanga and the northern division belonging to Pangasinan. It was the last province in Central Luzon to be organized under the Spanish colonial administration in 1874.
During the Philippine Revolution of 1896, Tarlac was among the first eight provinces to rise against Spain, alongside neighbouring Pampanga. It became the new seat of the first Philippine Republic in March 1899 when General Emilio Aguinaldo abandoned the former capital, Malolos, Bulacan. This lasted only for a month before the seat was moved to Nueva Ecija in Aguinaldo’s attempt to elude the pursuing Americans.
On October 23, 1899, Gregorio Aglipay, military vicar general of the revolutionary forces, called the Filipino clergy to a conference in Paniqui. There, they drafted the constitution of the Philippine Independent Church. They called for the Filipinization of the clergy, which eventually led to a separation from the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines.
Tarlac was captured by American forces on November 1899. A civil government was established in the province in 1901.
During World War II, Camp O’Donnell in Capas became the terminal point of the infamous Bataan Death March of Filipino and American soldiers who surrendered at Bataan on April 9, 1942. Many prisoners died of hunger, disease and/or execution. The general headquarters of the Philippine Commonwealth Army was established from January 03, 1942 to June 30, 1946 and the 3rd Constabulary Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary was founding again from October 28, 1944 to June 30, 1946 and military stationed in the province of Tarlac and some parts in Central Luzon due to Japanese Occupation. Local troops of the Philippine Commonwealth Army units has sending the clearing military operations in the province of Tarlac and Central Luzon from 1942 to 1945 and aided them by the recognized guerrilla groups including Hukbalahap Communist fighters and attacking Japanese Imperial forces. But in the aftermath, some local guerrilla resistance fighters and Hukbahalap groups are became retreating Imperial Japanese troops around the province and before the liberation from the Allied forces.
In early 1945, combined American and Filipino military forces with the recognized Aringay Command guerillas liberated Camp O’Donnell. The raid in Capas resulted in the rescue of American, Filipino and other allied Prisoners of War.
From January 20, 1945 to August 15, 1945, Tarlac was recaptured by combined Filipino and American troops together with the recognized guerrilla fighters against the Japanese Imperial forces during the liberation and beginning for the Battle of Tarlac under the Luzon Campaign.