PAMPANGA is a province rich in history and endowed with natural and man-made sites.

It is one of the eight provinces that led the revolt against Spanish colonialism. Moreover, it has also produced several illustrious patriots, such as Gen. Mariano Hizon, Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, Pedro Abad Santos, Cesar Basa and President Diosdado P. Macapagal.

Furthermore, several Kapampangans have contributed a lot to the development of the country’s rich cultural heritage, such as Rogelio de la Rosa, Rodolfo Vera Quizon (a.k.a. Dolphy), Vilma Santos, Brilliante Mendoza and Claude Tayag, among others.

Pampanga is also quite famous as “The Culinary Center of the Philippines”. Kapampangans are widely known to be passionate on their cuisine that has produced several prominent dishes.

San Fernando, the capital of Pampanga, is famous among foreign visitors for its yearly Easter reenactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. During the Christmas season, lanterns made by skilled Kapampangans are much in demand from buyers.

Megaworld recognizes the rich potential of Pampanga in business and culture. The decision to develop Capital Town in San Fernando signifies the company’s confidence in the potential of the province.

Pampanga is going to be a major focus of property colossus Megaworld Corp. in its development foray in Central Luzon in the next 10 years. The company, founded by Dr. Andrew Tan, is known for being a successful developer of master-planned townships. With a passion for building complete communities, Megaworld will now bring the same zeal in establishing Capital Town to boost San Fernando’s status as a major business hub.

“With this upcoming investment of Megaworld Corp. in this city, we want to provide an avenue where you can master and showcase the rich culture and skills that are distinctive of the Kapampangans,” said Eugene Lozano, first vice president for sales and marketing, of Megaworld Corp, during a recent news briefing held in San Fernando City, Pampanga.

Lozano said the development of Capital Town seeks to support the strong, innate entrepreneurial spirit of Kapampangans by providing them with a venue to amplify craftsmanship, creativity and passion. Furthermore, he said Megaworld saw a massive supply of talents for the business-process outsourcing (BPO) industry. With the current government’s plan of an aggressive infrastructure push toward the region, he said the company has received numerous inquiries from top BPO companies interested to set up operations here in the township.

Lozano said 50 percent of the business space will be allotted to BPOs. “This will generate around 250,000 direct and indirect jobs in the BPO, transport, retail, food and construction sectors, among others, all for the people of Pampanga. Pampanga’s location, which is at the heart of Region 3 bounded by Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Bataan and Zambales, strategically made it as the gateway to Central Luzon, and is easily accessible via land or air transportation,” Lozano pointed out.

Capital Town is accessible via the North Luzon Expressway, just around five minutes away using the San Fernando exit. From Metro Manila, it will only take an hour, while it’s just 20 minutes away from the Clark International Airport.

He said Megaworld takes a cue from the historic Pampanga Sugar Development Co. (Pasudeco) in providing employment to thousands of people from Pampanga during its heydays. Through the Capital Town, Lozano said Megaworld foresees San Fernando to become the North’s booming central business district that will again provide careers and multiple jobs to enhance the living standards of the people of Pampanga, and the neighboring towns as it was before.

“Capital Town shall rise to be Megaworld’s first integrated urban township in the North, the 21st in its portfolio, as we continue to build visions and self-sustaining communities that embody our signature lifestyle concept of Live, Work, Play and Learn in one vibrant location after another. For 27 years and counting—carrying the vision of Dr. Andrew L. Tan for Megaworld,” Lozano explained.

The 35.6-hectare, 10-year development plan will integrate residential, office, commercial, retail and institutional components. The main township road, to be called San Fernando Boulevard, will be 30-meters wide, or equivalent to six lanes, traversing from Capitol Boulevard all the way to Jose Abad Santos Avenue (Olongapo, Gapan Road).

Lozano said the land development is set to begin this year. Moreover, Capital Town will also help encourage those who found jobs in Metro Manila to go back to their provinces because there are already opportunities that await them back there.

“This way, we also help decongest Manila as we spread the economic opportunities to the provinces. This is what we call ‘reverse migration’, and this is what we are advocating as we continue to build townships around the country.”

With its adaptive reuse of Pasudeco’s historical artifacts, he said Capital Town will have a rainwater park, museum, sculptures and tribute statues of different Kapampangan iconic personalities. Lozano said 25 percent of the entire township will be allotted for much-needed greenery and environmental escape, which will feature landscaped open spaces, pocket gardens, water features, fountains, small parks, including functional road networks and trails for leisure walks, jogging, or biking activities.

Shophouse, the first product in the township, will be selling commercial spaces to be called the Shophouse District at Capital Town. It will have 1950s theme, post-World War II era, when the local economy of Pampanga experienced a boom, thanks to the patronage of locals, tourists and American soldiers who remained in the district during the post-colonial era of the Philippines, inspired by Neoclassical architecture with Art Deco details. He said the Shophouse district shall showcase the best products of Pampanga in support of the Kapampangans’s entrepreneurial spirit.

“The Shophouse District at Capital Town will highlight all the best of Pampanga in a nutshell. The Shophouse district will also have central features designed to make it historic, interesting and beautiful. We will be growing local trees, such as salibongbong and alibangbang, within this district to have our own version of Japan’s beautiful cherry blossoms. We will also be preserving Pasudeco’s important artifacts, such as bull gears, century-old bricks and local Kapampangan materials and place them as points of interest. Pampanga’s local heroes and artists will also be given tribute in the Shophouse District,” Lozano said.

To provide Kapampangan arts and culture, an amphitheater will also be provided for people who want to showcase their talent. “From concerts to local cultural performances, Capital Town will be the perfect venue for the Kapampangan excellence,” he said.

By developing Capital Town, San Fernando City will emerge as the next central business district of the North. Lozano said the project is Megaworld’s contribution to promote development in the countryside, at the same time, preserve traditions and values.