Cagayan Valley

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Region II
Cagayan Valley Region
Lambak ng Cagayan
The Caving Adventure Capital of the Philippines
Tilapia Capital of the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 17°37′00″N 121°43′00″E / 17.616666666667°N 121.71666666667°E / 17.616666666667; 121.71666666667Coordinates: 17°37′00″N 121°43′00″E / 17.616666666667°N 121.71666666667°E / 17.616666666667; 121.71666666667
Country Philippines
Island group Luzon
Regional center Tuguegarao
 • Total 31,159 km2 (12,031 sq mi)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 3,229,163
 • Density 100/km2 (270/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ISO 3166 code PH-02
Provinces 5
Cities 4
Municipalities 89?
Barangays 2,311
Cong. districts 10
Languages Ilokano, Ibanag, Irraya, Ivatan, Itawis, Gaddang, Yogad, Isinay, Ilongot, Tagalog, English, others

Cagayan Valley (Filipino: Lambak ng Cagayan, Ibanag: Tana' nak Cagayan, Ilokano: Tanap ti Cagayan, Itawis: Tanap yo Cagayan, Malaueg: Ga-dang yo Cagayan) (designated as Region II or Region 02) is an administrative region in the Philippines located in the northeastern portion of Luzon. It is composed of five provinces: Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino. The region has four cities: industrial center Cauayan, its regional center Tuguegarao, its primary growth center and investment hub Ilagan and its premier city Santiago.

Most of the region lies in a large valley in northeastern Luzon, between the Cordilleras and the Sierra Madre mountain ranges. The eponymous Cagayan River, the country's longest, runs through its center and flows out from its source in the Caraballo Mountains in the south to the Luzon Strait in the north, in the town of Aparri, Cagayan. The Babuyan and Batanes island groups that lie in the Luzon Strait belong to the region.

Cagayan Valley is the second largest region of the Philippines in terms of land area.[2]


Cagayan Valley is the large mass of land in the northeastern region of Luzon, comprising today the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and the Batanes group of islands. It is bounded to the west by the Cordillera Mountain Range, to the east by the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, to the south by the Caraballo Mountains, and to the north by the Luzon Strait, where the waters of the Pacific Ocean in the east and the South China Sea in the west, meet.

Cagayan Valley, contains two landlocked provinces, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya. The two provinces are relatively small in size (3057 km2 for Quirino, 4081 km2 for Nueva Vizcaya) and population (147,000 and 365,000, respectively, by the 2000 census). They 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. They are ethnically and linguistically diverse, with a substrate of Agtas, Negritos who are food-gatherers with no fixed abodes, overlaid by Ilongots and others in a number of tribes, some of whom were fierce head-hunters (they have given up the practice), with the latest but largest element of the population being Ilokano.

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. They 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.


Archaeology indicates that the Cagayan museum has been inhabited for half a million years, though no human remains of any such antiquity have yet appeared. The earliest inhabitants are the Agta, or Atta, food-gatherers who roam the forests without fixed abodes. 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 Indians, Malays, Chinese, and Japanese. In the nineteenth century the prosperity found in tobacco cultivation caused many Ilokano 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.

During Spanish times Cagayan Valley had a larger territory than what it has today. It included the territories of the above-mentioned provinces and the eastern parts of the Cordillera provinces of Apayao, Kalinga, Ifugao and Benguet. As the historian and missionary Jose Burgues, said, "The old Cagayan Valley comprises the province of Cagayan, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya as well as the military Districts of Apayao, Itaves, Quiangan, Cayapa and Bintangan, plus the area of the Sierra Madre to the Pacific Ocean in the said trajectory."[3]

At Balete Pass in Nueva Vizcaya the retreating Japanese under General Tomoyuki Yamashita dug in and held on for three months against the American 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.


Population census of Cagayan Valley
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 2,340,545 —    
2000 2,813,159 +1.86%
2010 3,229,163 +1.39%
Source: National Statistics Office[1]


The province of Isabela and the city of Santiago are the richest province and city respectively in Cagayan Valley. Isabela was the Top 10 Richest Province in the Philippines in 2011, being the only province of Northern Luzon to be included in the list.[4] The second biggest mall operator in the country, Robinsons Land opened their first mall in the region which is the Robinsons Place Santiago in Santiago. The company is also set to construct their future malls in the valley which will be located in the city of Tuguegarao.Recently, the largest mall operator in the country, SM Prime opened its first SM Supermall in the region, the SM City Cauayan and soon SM City Tuguegarao and SM Hypermarket Tuguegarao.

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 Mara.

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) is in Santa Ana, Cagayan.

Tilapia industry[edit]

Fishing boat in Claveria

On January 11, 2008, the Cagayan Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) stated that tilapia (species of cichlid fishes from the tilapiine cichlid tribe) production grew and Cagayan Valley is now the Philippinestilapia capital (Saint Peter’s fish). Production supply grew 37.25% since 2003, with 14,000 metric tons (MT) in 2007. The recent aquaculture congress found that the growth of tilapia production was due to government interventions: provision of fast-growing species, accreditation of private hatcheries to ensure supply of quality fingerlings, establishment of demonstration farms, providing free fingerlings to newly constructed fishponds, and the dissemination of tilapia to Nueva Vizcaya (in Diadi town). Former cycling champion Lupo Alava is a multi-awarded tilapia raiser in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya. Chairman Thompson Lantion of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, a retired two-star police general, has fishponds in La Torre, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. Nueva Vizcaya Governor Luisa Lloren Cuaresma entered into similar aquaculture endeavors in addition to tilapia production.[5] Isabela province is the richest in harvest among the other provinces in Region 2.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Cagayan Valley is composed of five provinces, one independent city, three component cities, 89 municipalities, and 2,311 barangays.[6]


Province Capital Area
(per km²)
District(s) Total

Batanes Basco 209.3 16,604 79.3 lone 0 6 29 20°32′24″N 121°58′01″E / 20.540°N 121.967°E / 20.540; 121.967 (Batanes)
(View at OpenStreetMap)
Cagayan Tuguegarao 9,002.0 1,124,773 124.9 1st to 3rd 1 28 820 18°00′00″N 121°50′00″E / 18.0000°N 121.8334°E / 18.0000; 121.8334 (Cagayan)
(View at OpenStreetMap)
Isabela Ilagan 10,409.6 1,489,645 143.1 1st to 4th 3 34 1,055 16°58′58″N 122°00′31″E / 16.9828°N 122.0087°E / 16.9828; 122.0087 (Isabela)
(View at OpenStreetMap)
Nueva Vizcaya Bayombong 3,903.9 421,355 107.9 lone 0 15 275 16°15′53″N 121°07′03″E / 16.2648°N 121.1174°E / 16.2648; 121.1174 (Nueva Vizcaya)
(View at OpenStreetMap)
Quirino Cabarroguis 3,057.2 176,786 57.8 lone 0 6 132 16°17′47″N 121°41′09″E / 16.2964°N 121.6859°E / 16.2964; 121.6859 (Quirino)
(View at OpenStreetMap)
Political map of
Cagayan Valley


Seal City Province City Classification Income Class Population
Official Seal of the City of Cauayan.jpg Cauayan Isabela Component 3rd Class 122,355 336.40
Ph seal Ilagan.png Ilagan Isabela Component 3rd Class 152,496 1,166.26
Tuguegarao City Seal.png Tuguegarao Cagayan Component 1st Class 138,865 144.80
Ph seal isabela santiago city.png Santiago¹ Isabela Independent
1st Class 132,804 275.50

¹ Note: Santiago City is administratively and legally independent from the province of Isabela as stated in Section 25 of the LGC.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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 9 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Cagayan Valley, Department of Tourism - Region 2, retrieved 06-21-2012
  3. ^ Descripcion del Valle de Cagayan, 1897, Jose Burgues
  4. ^ Top 10 Highest earning Philippine province, Nobert Bermosa website, retrieved 06-17-2012.
  5. ^ Abs-Cbn Interactive, Cagayan Valley country’s tilapia capital
  6. ^ "List of Regions". National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 9 January 2011. 
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ "Republic Act No. 7160 LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991". The LawPhil Project. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 

External links[edit]