Before the Spaniards came, Mabalacat was a barrio of Bambang (now Bamban. Tarlac). Former inhabitants were the Negritos, known as aetas or baluga. In 1792, it became a town and was named after the balacat tree (Ziziphus talanai), a fourth class timber tree whose bark has been proven to have antimicrobial properties.

In 1853 Mabalacat had a population of 2,611 and four barangays, namely, Babangdapu, Duquit, Malabni, and Paglimbunan. In 1903 its population increased to 7,049 and already had 19 barangays. These were Bical, Bundagul, Dapdap, Dau, Dolores, Iba, Mabiga, Mamatitang, Mangalit, Matas, Mawaque, Paralayunan, Poblacion, Quitangil, San Joaquin, Santa Ines, Santa Maria, Sapang Balen, and Sapang Biabas. In 1948, its barangays increased to 20 with the addition of Fort Stotsenburg. Barangay Quitangil was renamed San Francisco.

In 1860 a military command was established by the Spanish authorities due to lawlessness and depredations perpetrated by the negritos (also known as balugas or aetas). The Pampanga towns of Bamban, Capas, Concepcion, Victoria, Tarlac, Magalang, Porac, and Floridablanca and the city of Mabalacat were created into what was called a “Commandancia Militar”. However, in 1873 the Military Command returned Mabalacat together with the towns of Magalang, Floridablanca, and Porac to the mother province, Pampanga.

It became a city after the president signed the Republic Act 10164 and winning the yes votes held on a plebiscite last July 21, 2012.

Population/ Language/ Area
As of 2010, Mabalacat City recorded a population of 215,610. It is consist of 2,447 in business industries and 43,122 households.

Products and Services
Mabalacat City’s average annual income of PhP 56,698,280.87 derived from municipal license fees, land tax, Internal Revenue allotment, roads and bridges fund. In 1997, there were 2,447 business establishments registered in the city. These business institutions are consist of 79 manufacturers mostly involved in sash factory, iron works, ceramics, bakery and 1,806 trading companies. The financial needs are served by eleven banks, mostly concentrated in Dau.

Public utilities include the Mabalacat Water System, Pampanga Electric Corporation II (PELCO II), three telephone companies namely, Datelcom Corporation (DATELCOM), Smart Communications (SMART) and Digital Telecommunications Philippines, Incorporated (DIGITEL) and one cable television network (PRO-SAT) which runs solely for Mabalacat.

Festivals and Celebrations
Pastorella – also known as Misa de Pastores in honor of the shepherds at the birth of Jesus Christ. This is a set of Latin hymns of te 9-day Christmas Masses. Pampangan towns ceased on doing but in Mabalacat, pastorella still live on.
Caragan Festival – this is held every 3d week of February as part of the month-long celebration of the town fiesta of Mabalacat, Pampanga. This is named after chieftain of Mabalacat town who is a native Aeta married to a Mabalaquena named Laureana Tolentino. Highlight of the event is the celebration of the traditional Aeta culture.

Source: www.philippinescities.com/mabalacat-city-pampanga