Southwest Pampanga, administratively the 2nd District, is composed of seven municipalities (and their town centers) of the province of Pampanga. They are to the west of San Fernando, the provincial capital.
This article groups together seven municipalities of Pampanga, namely:
- 1 Guagua
(117,000) — Not really the largest municipality, but it is the traditional commercial center, divided into four districts, Poblacion, Betis, Locion, and Pangulu. It has a historic town center and Filipino Chinese heritage.
- 1 Bacolor
(39,500) — Town center and surrounding area badly devastated by the Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1991.
- 1 Floridablanca
(125,000) — Home to Basa Air Base, and some heritage structures in its town center.
- 1 Lubao
— The hometown of former presidents Diosdado Macapagal and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, it has the oldest church in Pampanga, and an annual hot-air balloon festival.
- 1 Porac
(124,000) — Municipality at the foothills of Mount Pinatubo.
- 1 Santa Rita
— An out-of-the-way town, with turrones de casoy being its local delicacy.
- 1 Sasmuan
(28,000) — A fishing town, formerly named Sexmoan, which was infamous due to the “sex-” element being associated with English sex, but the name came out from a Spanish-era transcription of a Kapampangan word for “meeting place”.
The area’s geography is generally flat and low-lying, dominated by rice paddies and fishponds, but the westernmost municipalities have rolling terrain as they encroach Mount Pinatubo. The municipalities along the coast of Manila Bay are mostly alluvial plains formed by the outflow of numerous rivers.
Southwest Pampanga has been settled long before the Spaniards arrived. Many of the town centers date back to the late 16th century, and have streets typically laid out in a rough grid. The barangays forming each municipality vary, many being ribbon developments with side streets emanating from the principal road, while others have street networks, especially those further subdivided into subdivisions or sitios/puroks.