The Aetas of Mount Pinatubo were the earliest inhabitants of what is now the province of Zambales. They were later displaced by the Sambal, an Austronesian people after whom the province is named. Many Sambal still believe in superstitions and mysteries that have been handed down through the generations.
The Sambal, the Tagalogs, the Ilocanos, and the Kapampangans today constitute the four largest ethnic groups in Zambales; these identities may and do, however, overlap with one another due to intermarriage and other factors. Most of the people of southern Zambales are migrants from different parts of the country owing to the influx of job opportunities brought on by the U.S Subic Naval Base (San Antonio and Subic) during the American regime of the country. Many people found jobs and permanently settled there. The presence of the Americans greatly influenced the inhabitants, from their tastes in food, clothing, and style.
Respect for elders is still importantly observed. Feast days of patron saints are still being practiced in the area, and hospitable Zambaleños are very accommodating when it comes to feasts.