Jump to content

Mountain Province

Coordinates: 17°05′N 121°10′E / 17.08°N 121.17°E / 17.08; 121.17
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mountain Province
Lalawigang Bulubundukin
(from top: left to right) Maligcong Rice Terraces in Bontoc, Bontoc, Chico River, Sagada rice terraces, Sagada and Chico River in Bontoc.
Flag of Mountain Province
Official seal of Mountain Province
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 17°05′N 121°10′E / 17.08°N 121.17°E / 17.08; 121.17
RegionCordillera Administrative Region
Largest MunicipalityBauko
 • TypeSangguniang Panlalawigan
 • GovernorBonifacio C. Lacwasan Jr. (PDP-Laban)
 • Vice GovernorFrancis O. Taulif (PDP-Laban)
 • RepresentativeMaximo Y. Dalug Jr. (NP)
 • LegislatureMountain Province Provincial Board
 • Total2,157.38 km2 (832.97 sq mi)
 • Rank58th out of 81
Highest elevation2,702 m (8,865 ft)
 (2020 census)[2]
 • Total158,200
 • Rank76th out of 81
 • Density73/km2 (190/sq mi)
  • Rank75th out of 81
 • Independent cities0
 • Component cities0
 • Municipalities
 • Barangays144
 • DistrictsLegislative district of Mountain Province
Time zoneUTC+8 (PHT)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)74
ISO 3166 codePH-MOU
Spoken languages

Mountain Province (Filipino: Lalawigang Bulubundukin[3]) is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Its capital is Bontoc. Mountain Province was formerly referred to as Mountain in some foreign references. The name is usually shortened by locals to Mt. 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 Philippine Commission in 1908,[4][5][6] and was later split in 1966 into Mountain Province, Benguet, Kalinga-Apayao and Ifugao.[7][8][9]

The province is also known for its mummy caves, which contain naturally mummified bodies, and for its hanging coffins.[7]



Spanish colonial era


The area of the Cordillera mountains proved difficult to control by the Spaniards. During the long Spanish rule, not much was done to bring the province under control. From 1566 to 1665, they sent expeditions to conquer the land but the rugged terrain and hostile indigenous population at the time were major obstacles to complete subjugation.[10] The first serious effort to subjugate them was made in 1785 when soldiers were sent from Cagayan to put down a revolt of the Kalingas. A famous Spanish explorer, Guillermo Galvez, conducted more than 40 forays to the mountainous region.[11]

Formerly called La Montañosa by the Spanish colonizers due to its mountainous terrain,[7][12] the area was subdivided into 6 comandancias politico-militar.[13]

The 6 former Comandancias Politico-Militar of La Montañosa [13]
Comandancia Year established Comandancia Year established
Benguet 1846 Amburayan 1889
Lepanto 1852 Kayapa 1891
Bontoc 1859 Cabugaoan 1891

American colonial era

Mountain province in 1918
Bontoc sub-province in 1918, which roughly covers the territory of modern day Mountain province

On August 19, 1908, during the American rule, the Philippine Commission enacted Act No. 1876, which organized the entire area of the Cordilleras into one large province, named Mountain Province.[4][6][7][14]

The first governor was Samuel Kane, and the town of Bontoc was made the capital. It was originally composed of the sub-provinces of Amburayan, Apayao, Benguet, Lepanto-Bontoc, Ifugao and Kalinga.[6][12] Amburayan was later abolished in 1920 and its corresponding territories were transferred to the provinces of Ilocos Sur and La Union. Lepanto was also reduced in size and its towns were integrated into the sub-provinces of Bontoc and Benguet, and to the province of Ilocos Sur.[10][15] [16]

Historical sub-provinces of Mountain Province under Act No. 1876[4][6][13][16]
Sub-province Abolished? Notes
Amburayan Yes, in 1920 Territories annexed to Ilocos Sur and La Union[6][16]
Apayao No
Benguet No Eastern towns annexed to Ilocos Sur and La Union in 1920[16]
Ifugao No
Kalinga No
Lepanto-Bontoc Yes, in 1920 Territories annexed to Ilocos Sur, Bontoc and Benguet[6][16]

Philippine independence


Effective on April 7, 1967, Republic Act No. 4695 abolished the old Mountain Province, converting its sub-provinces into 4 independent provinces: Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and Mountain Province (corresponding to the former Bontoc sub-province).[7][9][12]

Mountain Province would have been significantly affected by the Chico River Dam Project during the Marcos administration, as the Marcos regime's project would have flooded the municipalities of Sabangan, Sagada, Sadanga, Bontoc, Bauko, and parts of Barlig.[17] However, the indigenous peoples of Kalinga Province and Mountain Province resisted the project and when hostilities resulted in the murder of Macli-ing Dulag, the project became unpopular and was abandoned before Marcos was ousted by the 1986 People Power Revolution.[18]

On June 15, 1987, the Cordillera Administrative Region was established upon the issuance of Executive Order 220 by then-President Corazon Aquino, and Mountain Province was made one of its provinces.[10][19][20]



Mountain Province covers a total area of 2,157.38 square kilometres (832.97 sq mi)[21] occupying the central section of the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. The province is bordered on the north by Kalinga, east by Isabela, south by Ifugao, southwest by Benguet, west by Ilocos Sur, and northwest by Abra.

Situated within the Cordillera Central, Mountain Province is 83% mountainous while 17% make up hills and levels. The province has many rivers, waterfalls, mountains, and caves. The central and western areas of the province are characterized by rugged mountains and steep cliffs, while the eastern portion has generally sloping terrain.[7][12]

Administrative divisions


Mountain Province comprises ten municipalities, all encompassed by a lone legislative district.[21]

Political divisions



Mountain Province has 144 barangays comprising its 10 municipalities.[23]

As of 2010, the most populous barangay in the province is Poblacion in the municipality of Paracelis, with a total of 5,687 inhabitants. Balintaugan in the municipality of Bauko has the least population with only 144.[23]



The population of Mountain Province in the 2020 census was 158,200 people,[2] with a density of 73 inhabitants per square kilometre or 190 inhabitants per square mile.

Population census of Mountain Province
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 23,441—    
1918 49,055+5.05%
1939 59,138+0.89%
1948 62,003+0.53%
1960 85,866+2.75%
1970 93,112+0.81%
1975 94,096+0.21%
1980 103,052+1.83%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1990 116,535+1.24%
1995 130,755+2.18%
2000 140,439+1.54%
2007 148,661+0.79%
2010 154,187+1.34%
2015 154,590+0.05%
2020 158,200+0.45%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[22][23][24]
Population by ethnicity (2000)[25]
Ethnicity Number
72,694 (51.80%)
Balangao / Baliwon
18,886 (13.46%)
17,234 (12.28%)
6,968 (4.97%)
2,947 (2.10%)
2,510 (1.79%)
2,468 (1.76%)

Other local ethnicity
16,197 (11.54%)
Other foreign ethnicity
22 (0.02%)
Not Reported
413 (0.29%)

Based on the 2000 census survey, Kankana-ey comprised 51.8% (72,694) of the total provincial population of 140,339. Balangao/Baliwon came in second at 13.46% (18,886), and Bontoc at 12.28% (17,234). Other ethnicities were the Ilocano at 4.97% (6,968), Applai at 2.1% (2,947), Binontok at 1.79% (2,510), and Kalinga at 1.76% (2,468).[25]




An Anglican church in Sagada

Anglicanism predominates in the province with approximately 60% adherence to other religions such as Roman Catholicism.[citation needed]



Other groups include Members Church of God International (MCGI), Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Iglesia Filipina Indepiendente, Iglesia ni Cristo and Free Believers in Christ Fellowship. Mountain Province is the only predominantly Protestant province in the Philippines.



Poverty incidence of Mountain Province


Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33]



The province has several rice terraces in seven of its different towns:[12]

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

The mountainous province also offers excellent mountain climbing experiences with two of its mountains among the top 10 highest points in the Philippines:

  • Mount Kalawitan, 2,714+msl - Sabangan
  • Mount Amuyao or Mount Finaroy, 2,702+msl - Barlig
Rice terraces in Barlig



List of recent governors

  • 2001–2004 — Sario M. Malinias
  • 2004–2010 — Maximo B. Dalog
  • 2010–2016 — Leonard G. Mayaen
  • 2016–present — Bonifacio C. Lacwasan Jr.


  1. ^ "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Census of Population (2020). Table B - Population and Annual Growth Rates by Province, City, and Municipality - By Region. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  3. ^ Tamanio-Yraola, Marialita (1979). "Ang Musika Ng Mga Bontok Igorot Sa Sadanga, Lalawigang Bulubundukin: Unang Bahagi". Musika Jornal (in Filipino) (3): 109–111. Retrieved June 29, 2024.
  4. ^ a b c Worcester, Dean C.; Philippine Commission (1908). Seventh Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior to the Philippine Commission for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1908 (Digitized by Google on 23 Nov 2005 (Original file from the University of Michigan)). Manila: U.S. Government Printing Office. pp. 17–19. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  5. ^ Keesing, Felix Maxwell; Keesing, Marie Margaret; Keesing, Marie Martin; Institute of Pacific Relations (contributor); International Research Committee (contributor) (1934). Taming Philippine Headhunters: A Study of Government and of Cultural Change in Northern Luzon. Stanford University Press. p. 69. ISBN 9780804721103. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e f 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. 339. ISBN 9789715425803. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Lancion, Conrado M. Jr.; de Guzman, Rey (cartography) (1995). "The Provinces". Fast Facts about Philippine Provinces (The 2000 Millenium ed.). Makati, Metro Manila: Tahanan Books. pp. 108–109. ISBN 971-630-037-9. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  8. ^ "Natural Attractions found in Atok". Province of Benguet. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Republic Act No. 4695: An Act Creating the Provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao and Kalinga-Apayao". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  10. ^ a b c "Mt. Province". VisitMyPhilippines.com The Ultimate Travel Guide for Tourists. Department of Tourism. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
  11. ^ "Area of Coverage: The Region". ati.da.gov.ph. August 10, 2017. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Facts & Figures: Mountain Province". Philippine Statistics Authority - National Statistical Coordination Board - Cordillera Administrative Region. Archived from the original on September 1, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  13. ^ a b c "Benguet History". Province of Benguet (official website). Archived from the original on October 19, 2014. Retrieved October 22, 2014. Benguet was once part of Mountain Province.
  14. ^ "Act No. 1876". PhilippineLaw.info. August 18, 1908. Archived from the original on October 15, 2014. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  15. ^ Philippines. Census Office; Buencamino, Felipe; Villamor, Ignacio (1920). Census of the Philippine Islands Taken Under the Direction of the Philippine Legislature in the Year 1918, Volume 1. Bureau of printing. p. 68.
  16. ^ a b c d e "Cordillera Administrative Region History". Cordillera Connection (Blogspot). August 14, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  17. ^ "Valley of Sorrow". Asiaweek. September 5, 1980.
  18. ^ Doyo, Ma. Ceres P. (2015). Macli-ing Dulag: Kalinga Chief, Defender of the Cordillera. Diliman, Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. ISBN 978971542772-2.
  19. ^ "Regional Profile: Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)". CountrySTAT Philippines. Archived from the original on October 22, 2014. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  20. ^ "The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)". Department of Agriculture. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  21. ^ a b c "Province: Mountain Province". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  22. ^ a b Census of Population (2015). Highlights of the Philippine Population 2015 Census of Population. Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  23. ^ a b c Census of Population and Housing (2010). Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities (PDF). National Statistics Office. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  24. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)" (PDF). Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. National Statistics Office. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  25. ^ a b "Mountain Province – Home of the Kankanais; Table 4. Household Population by Ethnicity and Sex: Mountain Province, 2000". Philippine Statistics Authority. February 6, 2002. Archived from the original on June 15, 2002. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  26. ^ "Poverty incidence (PI):". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  27. ^ "Estimation of Local Poverty in the Philippines" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. November 29, 2005.
  28. ^ "2009 Official Poverty Statistics of the Philippines" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. February 8, 2011.
  29. ^ "Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold, Poverty Incidence and Magnitude of Poor Population, by Region and Province: 1991, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015". Philippine Statistics Authority. August 27, 2016.
  30. ^ "Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold, Poverty Incidence and Magnitude of Poor Population, by Region and Province: 1991, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015". Philippine Statistics Authority. August 27, 2016.
  31. ^ "Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold, Poverty Incidence and Magnitude of Poor Population, by Region and Province: 1991, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015". Philippine Statistics Authority. August 27, 2016.
  32. ^ "Updated Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold, Poverty Incidence and Magnitude of Poor Population with Measures of Precision, by Region and Province: 2015 and 2018". Philippine Statistics Authority. June 4, 2020.
  33. ^ "2021 Full Year Official Poverty Statistics of the Philippines" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. August 15, 2022. Retrieved April 28, 2024.