Central Luzon (or "Gitnang Luzon" in Filipino), also known as Region III (or Region 3), is an administrative division or region of the Republic of the Philippines, primarily serve to organize the 7 provinces (lalawigan) of the vast central plain of the island of Luzon (the largest island), for administrative convenience. The Region contains the largest plain in the country. The Region produces most of the country's rice supply. That is why it is called the "Rice Bowl" of the Philippines. Its provinces are: Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.
There are thirteen cities which include: Balaga in Bataan; Cabanatuan, Gapan, Muñoz, Palayan and San Jose in Nueva Ecija; Olongapo in Zambales; Angeles and San Fernando in Pampanga; San Jose del Monte, Meycauayan and Malolos in Bulacan; and Tarlac in Tarlac.
The City of San Fernando, in Pampanga, is the regional center. Aurora was transferred from Region IV by Executive Order No. 103.
The Subic Bay Leisure Zone, a 37,000-acre virgin triple-canopy
rainforest with wildlife and rare marine life, is a destination one
should not miss. The former US Navy facility was vacated in 1992 and is
now among Asia's emerging tourist destination.
Trekking through the tropical rainforest on foot or on horseback accompanied by native guides is both a challenge and delight. One can enjoy the numerous beaches, or go camping, or just take a tour around the zone.
At the end of an adventurous day, one can recharge in a comfortable air-conditioned hotel room, or go all the way by spending the night inside a tent in the wild.
Similar to Subic, the Clark Special Economic Zone was a former US Air Force Base and has long been the principal aviation center of the Philippines. Aside from the popular Fontana and Mimosa Leisure Parks, duty-free shops, and excellent golf courses, Clark also hosts one of the largest annual hot-air balloon festivals in Asia.
Accommodation at Subic Bay Leisure Zone includes world-class hotels and resorts, residential units for larger family groups, and campsites for the outdoors-type. Choose from a wide selection of delectable cuisine guaranteed to satisfy the most discriminating palate - a marvelous blend of East and West, exotic and subdued - to suit your every mood.
Apart from a jungle tour, there's a complete selection of aqua sports, including yachting, water skiing, windsurfing, sailboarding, coral & shipwreck diving, jetskiing, fishing, and more.
A grand prix race track offering driving lessons is available for the brave and the daring. For those who want to try their luck, Subic has a host of casinos. First class videoke clubs are available for those who just want to sit back and sing to their heart's content.
Value for money shopping is offered at Subic Bay's duty free shops and malls whether you're looking for famous international brand names in jewelry, clothing, liquor, electronics, home decors, sports gear, luxury goods, or even food items at bargain prices.
Hot Air Balloon
The Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clarkfield is an annual tournament of balloonists from various countries held during the month of February.