It is a first class, component city in the Philippine province of Pampanga.
San Fernando is the capital city of Pampanga and the regional center of Central Luzon (Region III). The city is well known for its giant lanterns and is also popularly known as the "Christmas Capital of the Philippines." The annual Giant Lantern Festival is hosted by the city every December.
According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 221,857 people in 43,649 households. It is located 67 kilometers north of Manila
, 50 kilometers east of Subic Bay in the Zambales province, and 16 kilometers south of Clark Field in Angeles City. The city is positioned at the crossroads of Central Luzon. The city is named after Fernando VI of Spain and placed under the patronage of Ferdinand III of Castile, King of Castile and Leon, whose feast is celebrated every 30th of May.
The town of San Fernando was founded in 1754 from the towns of Bacolor
. The first church was built in 1755 with wooden walls and nipa roofing. The municipal tribunal was erected later in the year in front of the town plaza using durable materials and thatched nipa roofing. Don Vidal de Arrozal served as its first gobernadorcillo that year.
In 1796, after serving as gobernadorcillo the previous year, Don Ángel Pantaleon de Miranda retired to Barrio Saguin, from where he started setting up his hacienda in Barrio Culiat. The barrio was separated from San Fernando on the December 8, 1829 as the new town of Angeles, with the Los Santos Ángeles Custodios as titular patrons.