to Bataan Province
Capital - Iba
Population 2010 excluding Olongapo 534443
Economy - Mostly agricultural and mining with tourism playing a vital role
Consisting of 13 municipalities and 1 city, (Olongapo City is autonomous), and includes the contended Scarborough Shoal
Noted for the quality and flavour of it’s mangoes (Jan – Apr) and the annual Mango Festival is held in April in Iba. Named after the original inhabitants dialect – Sambali, to the south of the province lies Subic Bay, to the north Pangasinan province, and to the west the South China Sea, with the provinces of Pampanga and Tarlac over the Zambales Mountains (which cover 60% of the land area) to the east. Mount Pinatubo and crater lake is within Botolan municipality.
Zambales hosts 170 plus kilometers of beaches, with coral reefs, dive sites, surfing in the Capones Islands, resorts and beach huts. The “Fiesta Poon Bato” is held every January, and venerates the Mother of the Sacred Stone – reputed to be the oldest image of the Virgin Mary in Asia, which survived the destruction of Barrio Poon Bato during the lahar flows following the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.
The Capones Island lighthouse dates to the Spanish era, and the Saint Augustine Cathedral is a 17th century Baroque building.
International standard beach resorts include the Palmera Gardens in Iba, Rama International Resort in Botolan, and for surfing in the Capones Islands - Dogs Offsore.