Central Luzon (Kapampangan: Kalibudtarang Luzon, Pangasinan: Pegley na Luzon, Tagalog: Gitnang Luzon, Ilokano: Tengnga a Luzon), designated as Region III, is an administrative region in the Philippines, primarily serving to organize the 7 provinces of the vast central plains of the island of Luzon (the largest island), for administrative convenience. The region contains the largest plain in the country and produces most of the country's rice supply, earning itself the nickname "Rice Granary of the Philippines". Its provinces are: Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.
The current name of the region is in reference to its position on Luzon island. The term was coined by American colonialists after the defeat of the First Philippine Republic. There have been proposals to rename the current Central Luzon region into the Luzones region. The proposed name is in reference to the old name of Luzon island, Luções, which was later used to refer to the central area of the island. The term Luções literally translates into Luzones.
Central Luzon Region is located north of Manila, the nation's capital. Bordering it are the regions of Ilocos and Cagayan Valley to the north; National Capital Region, CALABARZON and the waters of Manila Bay to the south; South China Sea to the west; and the Philippine Sea to the east. Pangasinan is historico-culturally and geographically a part of this region, but was politically made part of the Ilocos Region by President Ferdinand Marcos on June 22 of 1973.
There are fourteen cities in the region: Balanga in Bataan; Malolos, Meycauayan and San Jose del Monte in Bulacan; Cabanatuan, Gapan, Muñoz, Palayan and San Jose in Nueva Ecija; Angeles, Mabalacat and San Fernando in Pampanga; Tarlac in Tarlac; and Olongapo in Zambales. Central Luzon produces the most rice in the whole country. Excess rice is delivered and imported to other provinces of the Philippines.
The City of San Fernando, provincial capital of Pampanga, is designated as the regional center. Aurora was transferred from Region IV through Executive Order No. 103 on May 2002