Town of San Simon, Pampanga
San Simon, an emerging business haven in Central Luzon particularly in the province of Pampanga had its humble beginnings in 1770 as a farming village when it was founded by Don Mariano del Pilar de los Reyes and named it Barrio Del Pilar. It was located in a productive agricultural area between the towns of San Luis in the North and Apalit in the South. As the population kept on growing in the local community, the leading citizens of the progressive village initiated a petition to consolidate a portion of the southern part of the town of San Luis and a land area from the northern part of the municipality of Apalit to form an independent municipality. Appraised of the economic potential of a new town and confidence in the management capability of the leaders, the Spanish Governor General at the time during his second term as chief administrator of the Philippines, Don Simon de Anda y Salazar approved the official creation of the town on November 15, 1771.
was named in honor of the Spanish Governor General who approved its creation
and of the Apostle Simon Peter, the Patron Saint of the illustrious town
of Apalit. Like any other typical Spanish town (pueblo) it was administered
by a “Capitan del Pueblo” and had a municipal policy making
body called today as Municipal Council. The Catholic Parish Church, the
Public Market, the Town Plaza and homes of prominent families were located
within the proximity of the Municipal Hall. The people of San Simon celebrate
two town fiestas, one in honor of Lady of the Pillar, the patron saint
of the first barrio and the other in honor of the Apostle Simon Peter.
In 1898, the retreating military forces of General Antonio Luna on their
way to Nueva Ecija burned the parish church. In 1979, through the effort
and financial contributions of the Ibanez, Guevarra, Santos, Punsalan,
Pangan and other families, the church was rebuilt and named as Nuestra
Senora Del Pilar.
By the year 1835, the town had eight barrios. However, since the late 1940s, the number of barrios increased to fourteen in a land area of 5,736 hectares and by the early years of the 21st century, the population grew to more than 39,000 people. As of this writing, the barrios in San Simon are the following:
Available records at the Municipal Hall list the following town executives from 1898 to June 2004:
Kapampangan people, residents of San Simon retain their Kapampangan language
and traditional culture and arts brought about by their Malay ancestors
and enriched by Chinese, Spanish, American, Japanese and other ethnic
and foreign cultures. The principal industries in San Simon are farming,
fishing and poultry and swine industries.
Another factor that contributes to the potential economic growth of San Simon in the 21st century is its geographic location. It is strategically located in the central part of the “W” Growth Corridor of Central Luzon and it is accessible from major road networks and arteries coming from the different provinces of Central Luzon and Metro Manila. From the North Luzon Expressway, one can take an exit through the San Simon Toll Plaza, which is about 45 kilometers from Metro Manila and seven kilometers from San Fernando City, Pampanga and approximately 20 kilometers from the Clark Special Economic Zone in Angeles. City.
Taking advantage of the conducive local business environment, tax incentives and availability of skilled workers, many manufacturing and commercial firms have been established or relocated in San Simon. The infusion of private capital investment was about ten billion pesos and expected to increase to more than twenty bullion pesos by the early years of the 21st century. Among these enterprises are the following:
The following prominent Filipinos have/had their heritage or roots in San Simon:
Following the character traits of their ancestors, many residents of San Simon seek better educational and economic opportunities in other towns and cities in the Philippines and in many foreign lands. Wherever they are, they are always grateful and extend their assistance in any way they could to their beloved hometown.
Note: The authors extend their gratitude to Engr. Ma. Stephana G. Dimacali and Ms. Angelica G. Gozum of the Office of the Mayor of San Simon, Pampanga for providing important information used as reference in writing this article.
About the Authors:
Andro and Tess Z. Camiling are conscientious researchers and writers of Kapampangan history, language and culture. They wrote “Pampanga: History and Culture", "Pampanga: Towns and Barangays", "The Province of Pampanga and Its People” and other articles including “Malay Relation With Kapampangan Language and Culture”, "Spanish Relation With Kapampangan Language and Culture", biographies of eighteen (18) famous Kapampangans and the history of the towns of Apalit, Lubao, Masantol, Mexico, Minalin, San Fernando, San Luis, San Simon and Santo Tomas of the Province of Pampanga, Philippines. Andro is a true-blue Kapampangan based in California USA where he was employed and retired as an accounting/financial director at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and practiced his CPA profession as a management and tax consultant. He is a Pampanga High School Centennial Awardee as an Outstanding Alumnus in the Field of Accountancy and a recipient of the City of San Fernando’s 2011 Outstanding Fernandino Award for Culture. His wife and co-author of the aforementioned articles, the former Teresita Manalansan Zuniga of Lubao, Pampanga, Philippines is a retired public school teacher in Pasadena, California. She was honored and awarded with Certificates of Recognition by the California State Assembly and the California State Senate for her outstanding dedication to teaching when she retired in 2003. Andro and Tess are dedicated socio-civic-religious leaders in their community and served as long-term presidents of their town non-profit charitable organizations in the USA.