City of San Fernando, Pampanga
|Region||Central Luzon (Region III)|
|Mayor||Oscar Samson Rodriguez (Lakas-CMD)|
|Area|| 67.74 km²|
|Total (2000)|| 221,857|
The City of San Fernando, (Kapampangan: Lakanbalen ning San Fernando/Siudad ning San Fernando; Filipino: Lungsod ng San Fernando) is a 2nd class city in the province of Pampanga, Philippines. It is the capital city of Pampanga and the regional center of Central Luzon (Region III). The city is well known for its giant lanterns and it is also popularly known as the "Christmas Capital of the Philippines." In fact, an annual Giant Lantern Festival is held every December in the city.
According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 221,857 people in 43,649 households. It is located 67 kilometers north of Manila, 50 kilometers east of Subic Bay in Zambales province, and 16 kilometers south of Clark Field in Angeles City. The city is positioned at the crossroads of Central Luzon. The city is named after Fernando VI and placed under the patronage of San Fernando III, King of Castile and Leon in Spain, whose feast is celebrated on May 30.
The town of San Fernando was created in 1754 from the towns of Bacolor and Mexico. The first church was built in 1755 with wooden walls and nipa roofing. Later in the year, the municipal tribunal was erected in front of the plaza using durable materials and thatched nipa roofing. Don Vidal de Arrozal served as its first gobernadorcillo that year.
In 1796, after serving as gobernadorcillo the previous year, Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda retires to Barrio Saguin, from where he starts setting up his hacienda in Barrio Culiat. The barrio is separated from San Fernando on the December 8, 1829 as the new town of Angeles, with the Los Santos Angeles Custodios as titular patrons.
An expediente requesting the transfer of the provincial capital of Pampanga to San Fernando is signed on the August 6, 1852. Real Cedula 745 approving the transfer of the provincial capital of Pampanga from Bacolor to San Fernando is signed on the September 11, 1881. The said transfer would not materialize.
In 1878, moves were made to create the town of Calulut. This new town would be composed of Calulut and the neighboring barrios of Bulaun, Malpitic, Sindalan, La Paz, Lara, Saguin, Telabastagan, Balete, Malinao, Pulung Bulu, Panipuan, Macabacle and the caserio of Pau in San Fernando, and Panipuan, Acle, Suclaban and the sitio of Gandus in Mexico. This plan did not materialize due to strong opposition from the parish priest of San Fernando.
Governor-General Eulogio Despujol and Manila Archbishop Bernardino Nozaleda inaugurate the San Fernando railroad station on February 23, 1892 together with the Bagbag-Mabalacat stretch of the Manila-Dagupan Railroad. The station ranked second to Manila in revenues that year, and thus was the most important provincial station of the Manila-Dagupan Railroad. In the same year, national Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal stops over in the town on June 27 as part of his mission to recruit members to the La Liga Filipina.
On September 1, 1896 the town is declared in a state of war despite the peaceful situation. Brigadier General Diego de los Rios arrives in the town on December 2 to calm the revolution that started in Manila on August 30. General Ruiz Serralde takes over the post of General Rios on June 26, 1897 to maintain the peace in San Fernando. The revolution was not yet at its height with occasional exchanges of fire in some places in Pampanga.
On June 26, 1898 representatives from all Pampanga towns, except Macabebe, gather in San Fernando to swear allegiance to Gen. Maximino Hizon who was the provincial military governor and representative of General Emilio Aguinaldo. On October 9, General Emilio Aguinaldo together with his cabinet visits the town and was welcomed with so much applause and enthusiastic cheering from the public. He proceeded to the convento which was serving as the military headquarters at that time.
Philippine Revolutionary troops led by General Antonio Luna burn the casa municipal, the town church and several houses on May 4, 1899 to render them useless to the approaching American forces. On June 16, due to the strategic location of the town, President Aguinaldo himself leads Filipino forces in the Battle for San Fernando. The plan to retake the town proved unsuccessful. Calulut falls to American forces on August 9.
By virtue of Act No. 1204 signed on July 22, 1904 the Pampanga provincial government is finally transferred to San Fernando from Bacolor on 15 August. This is done during the term of Governor Macario Arnedo and Municipal President Juan Sengson. The town of Minalin became part of San Fernando the same year. It will later regain its political independence in 1909. The town of Santo Tomas is consolidated with San Fernando on January 2, 1905 by virtue of Act 1208, after the officials take their oath.
US Secretary of War William H. Taft visits the town on August 12, 1904 to get first hand information and gather ideas for the governance of Pampanga. Due to the short notice, a bamboo pavilion was hastily constructed for his visit where he was welcomed with a banquet for 200 people. Taft would later be elected President of the United States.
The Pampanga Sugar Development Company (PASUDECO) sugar central begins operations in 1921. The company was formed in 1918 by large-scale planters such as Jose de Leon, Augusto Gonzales, Francisco Liongson, Tomas Lazatin, Tomas Consunji, Francisco Hizon, Jose Henson, and Manuel Urquico in the San Fernando residence of Governor Honorio Ventura as part of a plan to construct a locally financed central.
The Socialist Party of the Philippines is founded by Pedro Abad Santos in 1932. Two years later, he creates and heads the Aguman Ding Madlang Talapagobra (AMT). The Abad Santos compound in Barangay San Jose becomes the focal point of the peasant movement.
President Manuel L. Quezon proclaims his social justice program on February 14, 1939 before a gathering of farmers in front of the Municipal Government building.
In 1941, forces of the Japanese Imperial Army occupy the town and place the municipal government under its supervision. The next year, thousands of Filipino and American POWs walk from Bataan to the San Fernando Train Station in what will be know as the Bataan Death March.
In 1952, the town of Santo Tomas is separated from San Fernando.
Mayor Paterno Guevarra is sworn in as officer-in-charge of the town following the successful People Power Revolution in 1986 that topples the Marcos dictatorship. He is later elected municipal mayor.
President Corazon C. Aquino inaugurates Paskuhan Village in 1990, the first Christmas village in Asia and the third of its kind in the world. The next year, Mount Pinatubo erupts after over 600 years of dormancy hurling a layer of ash and volcanic debris on the town.
Typhoon Mameng strikes on October 1, 1995 unleashing floodwaters and mudflows from Mount Pinatubo into the town. The Barangays of Sto. Nino, San Juan, San Pedro Cutud and Magliman are severely damaged by lahar. The citizens of San Fernando rally to save the town by raising funds to build the St. Ferdinand People's Dike. The Megadike is constructed the next year, thus preventing further damage to the town. 
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
Mayor Rey B. Aquino and Senator Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo launch the campaign for cityhood on January 6, 1997. On April 27, Rep. Oscar Rodriguez files House Bill No. 9267 creating the City of San Fernando. In 2000, House Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella and Senate President Aquilino Q. Pimintel signed the approved city charter of San Fernando on December 4 and 13 respectively.
The town officially became a component city on February 4, 2001 following the ratification of Republic Act 8990 authored by Rep. Oscar Rodriguez in a plebiscite from the previous day. Dr. Rey B. Aquino becomes the city's first mayor. The ratification of Republic Act 8990 made the City of San Fernando the 99th city of the Republic of the Philippines.asa
The City of San Fernando is politically subdivided into 35 barangays.
Strategically located at the heart of the province, the City of San Fernando is home to two public markets, thirty nine banks, forty eight lending institutions (investors), thirty eight pawnshops, seventeen gasoline stations, three movie houses, thirty nine public and private schools, seven hospitals, thirteen dental offices, nine hotels, twenty eight drug stores, seven disco clubs, six foreign exchange firms, fifteen garment factories, twenty four groceries, seven supermarkets, forty two insurance companies, sixteen security agencies and seventy restaurants and fast food chains such as Jollibee, McDonald's, Mr. Donut, Greenwich, Shakey’s, and Chowking. In addition to being the Provincial Capital of Pampanga, almost all Philippine banking institutions, military and governmental agencies have regional offices in San Fernando. 
San Fernando serves as one of the agricultural processing center of Central Luzon. It is a major rice-producing region and an important sugar-producing area. The Pampanga Sugar Development Company (PASUDECO), was once the largest private employer in Pampanga. It is a major sugar processing plant in the region. Other manufacturing companies with offices in the city include Universal Robina Corporation, Zuellig Pharma Corporation, Nestle Philippines, Petrophil, Mondragon Industries, Asia Brewery, and Del Monte Corporation. Major bottling companies such as the San Miguel Corporation Complex, Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola and Cosmos are located within the city.
Every year during the Christmas season, the city becomes the hub of a thriving industry centered on handcrafted lanterns called parols. What distinguish the San Fernando lantern from the ordinary parol are the intricate designs and the illusion of dancing lights, which focuses on the vibrant colors of the lantern.
The City of San Fernando has four TV stations - KTV Channel 12, Infomax Channel 8, CLTV 36 and ABS-CBN 46. There are also two radio stations, the 5 Kilowatt DWRW 95.1 FM of the Radio World Broadcasting Corporation of the Philippines and the 2.5 kilowatt DWCL 92.7 FM of the Love Radio Network. Several local newspapers are published in the city which includes SunStar Pampanga, The Probe, Coffee Punch, Pampanga Times and the Observer. 
The tourism industry of the city is fueled by two major events, the annual Good Friday Lenten rites in San Pedro Cutud and the Giant Lantern Festival in December. Both events draw thousands of tourists from around the country and the world.
Colleges and universities
- The University of the Philippines Extension Program in San Fernando (formerly located at Capitol Boulevard, Sto. Nino, San Fernando). The institution can now be found in Clark Field, Angeles City. The former site was devastated by lahar during the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
- University of the Assumption, the first and only Catholic Archdiocesan University in the Philippines and in Asia.
- East Central Colleges, formerly the Toledano Vocational School of San Fernando, was established by the late Ciriaco Toledano in the 1940s. The first establishment was located at the B. Mendoza street and later, another branch was built in Mexico to house the high school students. As of today, East Central Colleges has two branches. One near the Iglesia ni Cristo for college students and one in Mexico, Pampanga for the high school students. The two are being managed and administered by the children of Ciriaco Toledano.
- Data College, Formerly known as RM DATA CENTER Located at Capitol Blvd, Sto Nino City of San Fernando Pampanga.
- Mother of Good Counsel Seminary
- Systems Plus Computer College
- St. Scholastica's Academy
- San Lorenzo Ruiz Center of Studies and Schools
- University of the Assumption
- Pampanga High School
- Sindalan High School
Festivals and Local Events
- January 31 - Pedro Abad Santos Day
- February 4 - Cityhood Anniversary
- Good Friday - San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites
- May 7 - Jose Abad Santos Day
- First Saturday of May - El Circulo Fernandino
- May 30 - San Fernando Town Fiesta
- September 10 - San Fernando Women's Day
- First Week of October - Piestang Tugak San Fernando Frog Festival
- First Week of December - Sinukwan Festival
- December 11 - Aldo ning Kapampangan
- Saturday before Christmas Eve - Giant Lantern Festival
Places of interest
WOW Philippines Hilaga
Formerly known as the Paskuhan Village.
- Located at the mouth of the San Fernando Toll Exit along the North Luzon Expressway, North Philippines Hilaga was transformed into a cultural, historical, tourism, trade, and entertainment village by former Secretary Richard J. Gordon in 2003. Its design and concept make it a virtual window to the cultural and historical heritage of the four regions of the North Philippines as well as a showcase for their indigenous products, and arts and crafts. The star-shaped pavilions at the center pays tribute to the skilled lantern makers of San Fernando, Pampanga which produces the biggest lanterns in the world. The complex features a 1,000-seat capacity air-conditioned pavilion for conventions and special events, an open-air ampitheater for outdoor activities, air-conditioned exhibit halls, trade booths, garden restos and an 60-seat capacity conference hall.
Archdiocesian Museum and Archives
- The Archdiocesian Museum and Archives at the University of the Assumption houses antiques and exquisite works of art depicting Pampanga’s rich cultural heritage. It contains numerous ecclesiastical artifacts ranging from a huge churchbell to paintings; ivory and wooden statues of all shapes and sizes, vestments worn by priests during Mass and chalices, monstrances, reliquaries and ciboriums made of gold, silver and precious gems, some dating back to the 17th century.
The City of San Fernando Heritage District
- The City of San Fernando Heritage District covers the historic core of San Fernando, including Barangay Santo Rosario and parts of Barangays San Jose (Panlumacan), Santa Teresita (Baritan), Lourdes (Teopaco), Del Pilar, Santa Lucia and Santo Niño. These important sites are broken down under Heritage Houses, Historic Government Buildings, Schools, and Hospitals, and Historic Industrial Structures and Sites 
Churches and Other Religious Structures
- Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando
- Church of San Vicente Ferrer (Barangay Calulut) – heavily damaged by renovations
- Virgen de los Remedios Church (Barangay Baliti) – damaged by recent renovations
- Jeosay Shinhongkong Temple (Barangay San Jose)
- Hizon-Singian House (A. Consunji Street, Barangay Santo Rosario)
- Henson-Hizon House (V. Tiomico Street, Barangay Santo Rosario)
- Lazatin House (A. Consunji Street, Barangay Santo Rosario)
- Dayrit-Cuyugan House (MacArthur Highway, Barangay Dolores)
- Consunji House (A. Consunji Street, Barangay Santo Rosario)
- Tabacalera House (A. Consunji Street, Barangay Santo Rosario)
- Hizon-Ocampo House (A. Consunji Street, Barangay Santo Rosario)
- Santos-Hizon House (A. Consunji Street, Barangay Santo Rosario)
- Pampanga Hotel (A. Consunji Street, Barangay Santo Rosario)
- Archdiocesan Chancery (A. Consunji Street, Barangay San Jose)
Historic Government Buildings, Schools, and Hospitals
- Municipio of San Fernando (A. Consunji Street, Barangay Santo Rosario)
- Pampanga Provincial Capitol (Capitol Boulevard, Barangay Santo Niño)
- Presidio (Artemio Macalino Street, Barangay Sto. Niño)
- Provincial High School Building (Capitol Boulevard, Barangay Santo Niño)
- Pampanga High School Building (High School Boulevard, Barangay Lourdes)
- San Fernando Elementary School (B. Mendoza Street, Barangay Santo Rosario)
- Old St. Scholastica’s Academy (Pedro Abad Santos Road, Barangay Sta. Teresita)
- Pampanga Provincial Hospital (Barangay Dolores)
- Virgen de los Remedios Hospital (A. Consunji Street, Barangay San Jose)
Industrial Heritage Structures and Sites:
- San Fernando Train Station (Barangay Santo Niño)
- PASUDECO Sugar Central (Capitol Boulevard, Barangay Santo Niño)
- PASUDECO Staff Houses and Commissary (Capitol Boulevard, Barangay Santo Niño)
- San Fernando Water Reservoir (Barangay Lourdes)
- The Sugar Pugons (Greenville Subdivision and Barangay Quebiawan)
- Calulut Train Station (Barangay Calulut) – heavily damaged by informal settlers
- Baluyut Bridge (Gen. Hizon Avenue, Barangay Santo Rosario)
- The Arcaded Shop Buildings of Consunji Street - 1950s (Barangay Santo Rosario)
- Several lantern factories can be visited in Unisite Subdivision, Barangay Del Pilar, as well as in Barangays San Jose and Dolores.
- SM City Pampanga - (its west wing spans in Olongapo-Gapan Road, Barangay San Jose in San Fernando; on the other hand, the eastern wing of the mall lies at the same highway (Olongapo-Gapan Road) this time at the nearby town, particularly at Barangay Lagundi, Mexico, Pampanga.
- Robinsons Starmills Pampanga - located right in front of SM City Pampanga. Its particular location is in Olongapo-Gapan Road, Barangay Lagundi, Mexico, Pampanga.
- Jose Abad Santos, a former Chief Justice (featured in PHP1000 bill)
- Pedro Abad Santos, a former assemblyman and founder of the Socialist Party
- Sotero J. Baluyut, a former senator and cabinet secretary
- Vivencio Cuyugan, first Socialist mayor in the Philippines
- Amando G. Dayrit, a renowned pre-war newspaper columnist
- Conrado Dayrit, a cardiologist and virgin coconut oil proponent
- Nicolasa Dayrit, a revolutionary nurse
- Jamby Madrigal, a senator
- Fernando H. Ocampo, a founder of the UST College of Architecture and Fine Arts
- Honesto N. Ongtioco, bishop of Cubao
- Tony Perez, a playwright
- ^ Henares, Ivan Anthony S. "A Brief History of San Fernando, Pampanga 1754-2004"
- ^ Henares, Ivan Anthony S. "A Brief History of San Fernando, Pampanga 1754-2004"
- ^ Camiling ,Alejandro S. Fernando, Pampanga The Nerve Center of Central Luzon
- ^ Province of Pampanga, A Profile of Region III September, 2001.
- ^ Henares, Ivan Anthony S. "San Fernando: a city rich in architectual heritage"
- City of San Fernando Official Website
- Philippine Standard Geographic Code
- San Ferndando City Wikimap
- 2000 Philippine Census Information
- Philippine Tourism Authority Official Website
- Profile of Mayor Oscar Rodriguez
- eK! - electronic Kabalen: a Kapampangan journal of ideas