Minalin, officially the Municipality of Minalin, is a 4th class municipality in the province of Pampanga, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 47,713 people.
Originally known as Minalis, it has a land area of about 48.27 km2 (18.64 sq mi), and it is located south-west of the capital city of San Fernando.
The town is known for its 400-year-old church, the Santa Monica Parish Church, with its unique design that incorporates pre-colonial architectural motif alongside its European Catholic iconography. Minalin is also known for its “Aguman Sanduk” New Year’s Celebration, where in which the town’s straight men dress up as beauty queens and ride through town on festive floats. The town is also referred to as the “Egg Basket of Central Luzon” because of its large-scale production of eggs and chickens, prompting the town to put up the Philippines’ first egg festival in 2008.
Pansomun (grandson of Prince Balagtas, the ruler of the Kapampangan empire and Luzon), in his will, claimed to be a cousin of Rajah Soliman and Lakandula, the chieftains of Manila and Tondo in 1571 (conquest by Spain). Pansomun, as Christian convert Fernando Malang Balagtas signed in 1589 a will on the Kapampangan territory. Pansomun/Balagtas stated that he was born in Tabungao (Sta. Maria, the old location of Minalin).
The legend of Minalin’s name came from “minalis la ding dutung, minalis ya ing pisamban” (the lumber moved, and so must the church). Lumber stocks at Sta. Maria for the church construction were carried by floods to a hilly Burol. Capitan Diego Tolentino wrote “minalis”, thus, the name Minalin evolved.
A Malayan settlement of Kahn Bulaun, Prince Balagtas’ descendant, also found in the place, beautiful women. The Spaniards called the sitio, “mina linda de las mujerers” (a mine of beautiful women), which could also be the source of the town’s name. Subsequently, Chinese traders abbreviated the words to “Minalin”.
Minalin’s name might have originated also from “minalis” (“to move to”). “Mina” means mine, a word written on a rock left at the sitio in 1700 by a Spaniard José Espeleta, and “Lin”, the founder’s name.
Gobernadorcillo (Mayor) Diego Tolentino wrote Minalin in lieu of Minalis and the Calendario Manual y Guia de Forasteros, 1839 to 1841, spelled Minalin, thus Minalin.
In 1860 Minalin was a producer of rice, corn, sugar cane, cacao, indigo (añil) and fruits, including dye, nipa wine, vinegar and mats (petates).
Minalin is politically subdivided into 15 barangays.
- San Francisco Javier
- San Francisco de Asisi
- San Isidro
- San Nicolas (Poblacion)
- San Pedro
- Santa Catalina
- Santa Maria
- Santa Rita
- Santo Domingo
- Santo Rosario