Mountain Province

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Mountain Province
Lalawigang Bulubundukin
Flag of Mountain Province
Official seal of Mountain Province
Map of the Philippines with Mountain Province highlighted
Map of the Philippines with Mountain Province highlighted
Coordinates: 17°05′N 121°10′E / 17.083°N 121.167°E / 17.083; 121.167Coordinates: 17°05′N 121°10′E / 17.083°N 121.167°E / 17.083; 121.167
Country Philippines
Region Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
Founded 1908
Capital Bontoc
 • Governor Leonard Mayaen (Independent)
 • Vice Governor Boni Lacwasan (Independent)
 • Total 2,157.38 km2 (832.97 sq mi)
Area rank 58th out of 81
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 154,187
 • Rank 76th out of 81
 • Density 71/km2 (190/sq mi)
 • Density rank 75th out of 81
 • Independent cities 0
 • Component cities 0
 • Municipalities 10
 • Barangays 144
 • Districts Lone district of Mountain Province
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 2616 to 2625
Dialing code 74
ISO 3166 code PH-MOU
Spoken languages Ilocano, Bontoc, Kankana-ey, Pangasinan, Tagalog, English

Mountain Province (Filipino: Lalawigang Bulubundukin), is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Its capital is Bontoc.

Mountain Province is sometimes incorrectly named Mountain in some foreign references. The name is also incorrectly shortened by locals to Mt. Province, which in turn is read by native Anglophones as "Mount Province". The province was named so for being in the Cordillera Central mountain range found in the upper realms of Luzon island.

Mountain Province was also the name of the historical province that included most of the current Cordillera provinces. This old province was established by the Americans in 1908 and was later split in 1966 into Mountain Province, Benguet, Kalinga, Apayao and Ifugao.

Mountain province is known for its mummy caves which contain naturally mummified bodies which probably became so due to the humid atmosphere. The hanging Coffins are also found in the province, these are literally coffins hanging on to the branches of trees, many tourists claim there is no foul odor[citation needed], the bodies were probably mummified by the atmosphere according to theory.


Mountain Province is bounded in the east by Isabela, in the north by the provinces of Kalinga, Apayao, and Abra, in the south of Benguet and Ifugao, and in the west by the province of Ilocos Sur. It has an area of 215,738 hectares (533,100 acres),[1] with 83% mountainous while 17% make up hills and levels. The province has many rivers, waterfalls, mountains, and caves.


Mountain Province is subdivided into ten municipalities.

Municipality Population
No. of
(per km2)
Barlig 5,838 11 228.64 25.5
Bauko 30,172 22 153.00 197.2
Besao 7,818 14 173.62 45
Bontoc (capital) 23,980 16 396.10 60.5
Natonin 10,048 11 252.00 39.9
Paracelis 26,476 9 570.16 46.4
Sabangan 8,741 15 72.04 121.3
Sadanga 9,181 8 83.30 110.2
Sagada 11,244 19 83.32 134.9
Tadian 20,689 19 145.20 142.5
Totals 154,187 144 2157.38 71.5


The area of the Cordillera mountains proved difficult to control by the Spaniards. From 1566 to 1665, they sent expeditions to conquer it but the rugged terrain and hostile indigenous population were major obstacles. The area was divided into politico-military commandancias but the Spaniards never able to fully subjugate it.[5]

During the American rule, the entire area of the Cordilleras was made one large province in 1908, named Mountain Province. The first governor was Samuel Cane, and the town of Bontoc was made the capital. It was originally composed of the subprovinces of Amburayan, Apayao, Benguet, Bontoc, Ifugao, Kalinga and Lepanto. Amburayan and Lepanto were later added to the subprovinces of Bontoc and Benguet.[5]

Effective on April 7, 1967, the subprovinces were converted into 4 independent provinces: Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and Mountain Province (corresponding to the former Bontoc subprovince). On June 15, 1987, Mountain Province became part of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).[5]


Population census of Mountain Province
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 116,535 —    
1995 130,755 +2.18%
2000 140,631 +1.57%
2007 148,661 +0.77%
2010 154,187 +1.34%
Source: National Statistics Office[2][6]
See also: Igorot

Based on the 2000 census survey, 52% of the population are Kankana-ey. Other ethnic groups living in the province are the Balangao 13.6%, Ibontoc 12%, and other ethnicity comprise about 21.6% of the province's population.[7]


Sagada rice terraces

Mountain Province boasts a lot of rice terraces such as the following:

  • Kapayawan Rice Terraces-Bauko
  • Bangen Rice Terraces - Bauko
  • Besao Rice Terraces - Besao
  • Bucas Rice Terraces - Besao
  • Maligcong Rice Terraces - Bontoc
  • Bayyo Rice Terraces - Bontoc
  • Bontoc Poblacion Rice Terraces - Bontoc
  • Dalican Rice Terraces - Bontoc
  • Kiltepan Rice Terraces - Sagada
  • Tanulong Rice Terraces - Sagada
  • Suyo Rice Terraces - Sagada
  • Bulongan Rice Terraces - Sagada
  • Bangaan Rice Terraces - Sagada
  • Ambasing Rice Terraces - Sagada
  • Fidelisan Rice Terraces - Sagada
  • Sadanga Rice Terraces - Sadanga
  • Focong Rice Terraces - Sadanga
  • Natonin Rice Terraces - Natonin
  • Barlig Rice Terraces - Barlig

Opposite the rice terraces, the eastern side of low mountains and hills of Paracelis, boasts of rolling terrains of cornfields with good viewing decks on roadside.


List of former governors:

  • 2001–2004 Sario M. Malinias
  • 2004–2010 Maximo B. Dalog
  • 2010–2016 Leonard G. Mayaen


  1. ^ a b "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "2010 Census of Population and Housing: Population Counts - Cordillera Administrative Region" (PDF). National Statistics Office (Philippines), April 4, 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Province: Mountain Province". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "Mt. Province". The Ultimate Travel Guide for Tourists. Department of Tourism. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities". 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  7. ^

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