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This article is about the Philippine province. For other uses, see Apayao (disambiguation).
Official seal of Apayao
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 17°45′N 121°15′E / 17.750°N 121.250°E / 17.750; 121.250Coordinates: 17°45′N 121°15′E / 17.750°N 121.250°E / 17.750; 121.250
Country Philippines
Region Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
Founded February 14, 1995
Capital Kabugao*
 • Type Province of the Philippines
 • Governor Elias C. Bulut, Jr. (Liberal Party)
 • Congresswoman Eleanor C. Bulut-Begtang (Nationalist People's Coalition)
 • Vice Governor Hector Pascua (Liberal Party)
 • Total 4,413.35 km2 (1,704.00 sq mi)
Area rank 29th out of 81
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 112,636
 • Rank 78th out of 81
 • Density 26/km2 (66/sq mi)
 • Density rank 81st out of 81
 • Independent cities 0
 • Component cities 0
 • Municipalities 7
 • Barangays 133
 • Districts Lone district of Apayao
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 3807 to 3814
Dialing code 74
ISO 3166 code PH-APA
Spoken languages Ilocano, Isnag (Ymandaya, Imallod and Dibagat-kabugao), Tagalog, English
Website www.apayao.gov.ph
* Kabugao is the officially-recognized capital and seat of government, although the province carries out many of its operations in a new government center established in Luna.

Apayao (Ilocano: Probinsya ti Apayao, Tagalog: Lalawigan ng Apayao), is a landlocked province in the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Its capital town is Kabugao.

The province borders Cagayan to the north and east, Abra and Ilocos Norte to the west, and Kalinga to the south. Prior to 1995, Kalinga and Apayao comprised a single province named Kalinga-Apayao, which was partitioned to better service the needs of individual ethnic groups.

With a population of 112,636 (as of 2010)[3] covering an area of 4413.35 square kilometers,[1] Apayao is the least densely-populated province in the Philippines.


Spanish period[edit]

Although Apayao, which was then part of Cagayan,[4] was among the earliest areas penetrated by the Spaniards in the Cordilleras, the region, inhabited by the Isneg tribe, remained largely outside Spanish control until late in the 19th century. As early as 1610, the Dominican friars established a mission in what is now the town of Pudtol. In 1684, the friars again made attempts to convert the people and established a church in what is now Kabugao.

The Spanish authorities were then able to establish in Cagayan the comandancias of Apayao and Cabugaoan in 1891,[4][5][6] which covered the western and eastern portions of what is now Apayao. The comandancias, however, failed to bring total control and the Spanish government only maintained a loose hold over the area.

American period[edit]

The Americans established the Mountain Province on August 13, 1908, with the enactment of Act No. 1876. Apayao, along with Amburayan, Benguet, Bontoc, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Lepanto, became sub-provinces of this new province.[5][6][7]

World War II[edit]

In 1942, Japanese Imperial forces entered Apayao, starting a three-year occupation of the province during the Second World War. Local Filipino troops of the 1st, 2nd, 12th, 15th and 16th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and the military forces of the USAFIP-NL 11th and 66th Infantry Regiment, supported by the Cordilleran guerrillas, drove out the Japanese in 1945.


On June 18, 1966, the huge Mountain Province was split into four provinces with the enactment of Republic Act No. 4695. The four provinces were Benguet, Bontoc (renamed Mountain Province), Kalinga-Apayao and Ifugao.[6][8] Kalinga-Apayao, along with Ifugao, became one of the provinces of the Cagayan Valley region in 1972.[8]

On July 15, 1987, the Cordillera Administrative Region was established and Kalinga-Apayao was made one of its provinces.[6][8][9][10]

Kalinga-Apayao splitting[edit]

Finally, on February 14, 1995, Kalinga-Apayao was split into two distinct provinces with the passage of Republic Act No. 7878.[6][8][11]

The merged outlines of Apayao and Kalinga resemble a bust of a man akin to former President Ferdinand Marcos (looking toward his home province, Ilocos Norte) whom the media called as the "Great Profile" during the Marcos Era.


Dibagat River in Kabugao


The prevailing climate in the province falls under Corona's Type III Classification. It is characterized by relatively dry and wet seasons, from November to April, and wet during the rest of the year. Heaviest rain occurs during December to February while the month of May is the warmest.


Apayao is basically on a mountainous area traversed by many rivers. Region I, II and other provinces assemble its boundaries. Plains and valleys are used for farming. Apayao is basically composed of farmlands.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Apayao is subdivided into 7 municipalities, all encompassed by a lone legislative district.[3][12]

Municipality Area
(per km²)
No. of

Calanasan (Bayag) 1,256.15 11,568 9.2 20 3814 1st 18°15′18″N 121°02′33″E / 18.2549944°N 121.0426034°E / 18.2549944; 121.0426034 (Calanasan)
Conner 694.30 24,811 35.7 21 3807 2nd 17°47′48″N 121°19′23″E / 17.7966047°N 121.3231576°E / 17.7966047; 121.3231576 (Conner)
Flora 324.40 16,743 51.6 16 3810 3rd 18°12′54″N 121°25′08″E / 18.2149028°N 121.4189771°E / 18.2149028; 121.4189771 (Flora)
Kabugao 935.12 16,170 17.3 21 3809 1st 18°01′23″N 121°11′03″E / 18.022963°N 121.1841242°E / 18.022963; 121.1841242 (Kabugao)
Luna (Macatel) 606.04 18,029 29.7 22 3813 3rd 18°19′52″N 121°22′23″E / 18.3312102°N 121.3729788°E / 18.3312102; 121.3729788 (Luna)
Pudtol 401.02 13,305 33.2 22 3812 4th 18°14′17″N 121°22′23″E / 18.2380574°N 121.3731587°E / 18.2380574; 121.3731587 (Pudtol)
Santa Marcela 196.32 12,010 61.2 13 3811 5th 18°17′14″N 121°26′05″E / 18.2872701°N 121.4345975°E / 18.2872701; 121.4345975 (Santa Marcela)
 †  Provincial capital
  • Coordinates mark the town center vicinity, and are sorted according to latitude.
  • Italicized names are former names.
Apayao Labelled Map.png


The 7 municipalities of the province comprise a total of 133 barangays, with Poblacion in Kabugao as the most populous in 2010, and Eleazar in Calanasan as the least.[3][12]

Further information: List of barangays in Apayao


Native Dibagat homes
Population census
of Apayao
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 74,720 —    
1995 83,660 +2.14%
2000 97,129 +3.25%
2007 103,633 +0.90%
2010 112,636 +3.08%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]

Based on the 2000 census survey, half of the population is Ilocano 50.82% and almost 1/3 of the population is Isnag 29.95%. Other ethnic groups living in the province are the Malaueg 3.69%, Isneg 3.48%, Kalinga 3.08%, Ibaloi 1.01%, Kankanaey 1.24% and Bontoc 1.04%.[13]


Apayao is devoted to agricultural production, particularly food and industrial crops such as palay, corn, coffee, root crops and vegetables. Main fruits produce are lanzones, citrus, bananas and pineapples. Rice production totals 42,602 metric tons annually, as food crops totals 96,542 metric tons.

Economic activity is also based on livestock and poultry breeding such as swine, carabao, cattle, goat and sheep. Other additional investment includes manufacturing, food processing, furniture, crafts and house wares making.

Updated records of the Department of Trade and Industry Provincial Office reveal that existing industries in the province are furniture, garment craft, food processing, gifts and house wares, and agricultural support.


Say-Am Festival
festival of Apayao celebrated every February 14, in celebration of the founding anniversary of the province and Isnag’s grandest feast or celebration. A feast featuring and ushering the traditional way of Isnag’s thanksgiving to the Higher Supreme unseen being called “ALAWAGAN” executed and commenced through rituals spiced with pep songs, native chants and dances called the “TALIP and TAD-DO”. The holding and celebration of Say-am in the older days connotes status – that the family is respectable and well-to-do. The Festival highlights the Agro-Tourism and trade fair which showcase the different products and beauty of natures of Apayao, Isnag Indigenous games, sports, street dancing and the Search for Miss Dayag ti Apayao which showcase the Beautiful and intelligent Ladies of Apayao.
Calanasan Annual Town Fiesta/Say-am Capital of Apayao
Celebrated every 3rd week of March. The Festival highlights the Agro-industrial and trade fair which showcase the different products of Calanasan, Isnag Indigenous games, sports, street dancing and the Search for Miss Dam-ag naya Calanasan which showcase the glamorous Ladies of Calanasan.
Pudtol Town Fiesta
Celebrated in Pudtol every last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of May. Features Agro-Trade Fair Pageant and Sports.
Connor Franta
3rd Week of May, cultural presentations, trade fair, pageant and sports activities.
Fruit Harvest Festival
September and October in Kirikitan, Conner. Harvest season of Rambutan, lanzones, durian, oranges and pomelo.
Luna Foundation Day
October in Luna. Showcasing agro-trade fair, pageant and sports fest.
Pudtol Foundation Day
2nd Week of December in Pudtol. Showcasing agro-trade fair, pageant and sports fest.
Balangkoy Festival
Celebrated at the municipality of Santa Marcela


  1. ^ a b "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "2010 Census of Population and Housing: Population Counts - Cordillera Administrative Region" (PDF). National Statistics Office (Philippines), April 4, 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "History". Province of Cagayan (Official Website of the Provincial Government of Cagayan). Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Benguet History". Province of Benguet (official website). Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Historical Background". Provincial Government of Apayao (official website). Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Ingles, Raul Rafael (2008). 1908 :The Way it Really was : Historical Journal for the UP Centennial, 1908-2008. Diliman, Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. p. 330. ISBN 9715425801. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d Lancion, Jr., Conrado M.; de Guzman, Rey (cartography) (1995). "The Provinces". Fast Facts about Philippine Provinces (The 2000 Millenium ed.). Makati, Metro Manila: Tahanan Books. pp. 76, 86, 108. ISBN 971-630-037-9. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Regional Profile: Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)". CountrySTAT Philippines. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)". Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "Republic Act No. 7878 - An Act Converting the Sub-provinces of Kalinga and Apayao into Regular Provinces to be Known as the Province of Kalinga and the Province of Apayao, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 4695". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "Province: Apayao". Philippine Statistics Authority - National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  13. ^ "Apayao: Three Out of Five Academic Degree Holders Were Females". National Statistics Office. 12 July 2002. Archived from the original on 9 June 2006. Retrieved 17 December 2015. 

External links[edit]