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 The Region


About Cagayan Valley













Regional Center............................Tuguegarao City, Philippines                                                                                                             


  • Provinces............................5
  • Cities...................................4
  • Municipalities....................89
  • Barangays..........................2,311
  • Congressional Districts....10
  • Languages..........................Ilokano, Ibanag, Ivatan, Itawis, Gaddang, and others.

Cagayan Valley (Lambak ng Cagayan in filipino) is a region of the Philippines, also designated as Region 2. It is composed of 5 provinces namely, Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino. Its regional center is Tuguegarao City. Most of the region lies in a large valley in northeastern Luzon, between the Cordilleras and the Sierra Madre mountain ranges. Cagayan River, the country's longest river runs through its center and flows out to Luzon Strait in the north, in the town of Appari, Cagayan. The Babuyan and Batanes island groups that lie in the Luzon Strait also belong to the region.

Economy - The Cagayan Valley region is defined by the Cagayan River, the largest in the Philippines. The province of Cagayan occupies the lower course of the river, and the northeast corner of the island of Luzon (with a few offshore islets), Cagayan's area is 9,003 square kilometers, its population 952,000 (year 2000 census) in 29 towns, of which Tuguegarao is the capital.

Archaeology indicates that the Cagayan Valley has been inhabited for half a million years, though n human remains of any such antiquity have yet appeared. The earliest inhabitants are the Agta or Atta, food-gatherers who roam the forest without fixed abode. A large tract of land has lately been returned to them. The bulk of the population are of Malay origin. For centuries before the coming of the Spanish, the inhabitants traded with the Indians, Malays, Chinese, and Japanese. In the 19th century the prosperity found in tobacco cultivation caused many Ilocanos to settle here. Tobacco is still a major factor in the economy of Cagayan, though a special economic zone and free port has been created to strengthen and diversify the provincial economy. Cagayan has much to offer visitors: beaches, swimming, snorkeling, skin-diving, fishing in the river and the sea, hiking in primeval forest, mountain-climbing, archaeological sites, the remarkable collection of the provincial museum, the Callao Caves, and many fine churches. Even here there are fortifications built to protect the inhabitants from raids by the Moros.

The Philippine Republic's Region 2, Cagayan Valley, contains 2 landlocked provinces; Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya. Both are relatively small in size (3,057 square kilometer for Quirino, 4,081 square kilometer for Nueva Vizcaya) and population (147,000 and 365,000 respectively by the year 2000 census). Both are ruggedly mountainous and heavily forested. Nueva Vizcaya is the remnant of the southern province created when Cagayan Province was divided in two in 1839. Both are ethnically and linguistically diverse, with a substrate of Agtas, Negritos who are food-gatherers with no fixed abode; overlaid by Ilonggos and others in a number of tribes, some of whom were fierce head-hunters until recently (we are firmly assured that they have given up the practice), with the latest but largest element of the population being Ilocanos. Nueva Vizcaya comprises 15 towns; Bayombong is the capital. Agriculture in both has until recently consisted of slash-and-burn cultivation of corn and maize, though more stable cultivation of vegetables and fruits is becoming established. Both also produce logs, and are trying to manage their forest resources so that production can be sustained indefinitely. They have deposits of gold, silver, copper, iron. Nueva Vizcaya has sand and clay. At Balete Pass in Nueva Vizcaya the retreating Japanese under General Yamashita dug in and held on for three months against the Americans and Filipino Forces who eventually drove them out; the pass is now called Dalton Pass in honor of General Dalton, USA who was killed in the fighting.

Nueva Vizcaya was probably named after Vizcaya (English 'Biscay', Basque 'Bizkala') province in northern pain. In this case there is some vexillological relationship between them, as the flag of of New Biscay bears the arms of Biscay impaled on its seal.

Province   Capital
Batanes   Basco
Cagayan   Tuguegarao City
Isabela   Ilagan
Nueva Vizcaya Bayombong
Quirino Cabarroguis