Luzon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Northern Luzon)
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the Philippine island. For other uses, see Luzon (disambiguation).
Luzon
Luzon Island Red.png
Luzon mainland in red;
its associated islands in maroon
Northern Philippines (Luzon).jpg
Geography
Location South East Asia
Archipelago Philippine islands
Major islands Luzon and Mindoro
Area 109,965 km2 (42,458 sq mi)
Area rank 15th
Highest elevation 2,922 m (9,587 ft)
Highest point Pulag
Country
Philippines
Regions National Capital Region, Bicol, Cagayan Valley, CALABARZON, Central Luzon, Cordillera, Ilocos
Largest settlement Quezon City (pop. 2,761,720[1])
Demographics
Population 48,520,774[1][2] (as of 2010)
Density 441 /km2 (1,142 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Aeta, Bicolano, Ibanag, Igorot, Ilokano, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Tagalog

Luzon /lˈzɒn/ is the largest and most populous island in the Philippines. Located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, it is the economic and political center of the nation, being home to the country's capital city, Manila. With a population of 48 million as of 2010,[1] it is the fourth most populous island in the world after Java, Honshu and Great Britain.

Luzon may also refer to one of the three primary island groups in the country. As such, it includes the Luzon mainland, the Batanes and Babuyan groups of islands to the north, Polillo Islands to the east, and the outlying islands of Catanduanes, Marinduque, Masbate, Romblon, Mindoro, and Palawan, among others, to the south.[3]

Etymology[edit]

The name Luzon is thought to be derived from the Tagalog word lusong, which is a large wooden mortar used in dehusking rice.[4][5]

History[edit]

Main article: History of Luzon

Luzon was once split among Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms, Muslim principalities, and ethnoreligious tribes, who had trading connections with Borneo, Malaya, Java, Indochina, India, Okinawa, Korea, Japan and China before the Spanish established their rule. From just before the first millennium, the Tagalog and Kapampangan peoples of south and central Luzon had established several Indianized kingdoms, notably among them those of Tundok, Namayan and Maynila. The Laguna Copperplate Inscription, the first Philippine document written in 900AD, names places in and around Manila Bay as well as Medan in Indonesia.[6] These kingdoms were based on leases between village rulers (Datu) and landlords (Lakan) or Rajahs, to whom tributes and taxes were levied. These kingdoms were coastal thalassocracies based on trade with neighboring Asian political entities at that time. Some of these Indianized kingdoms, Maynila and Tondo especially, became Islamized when the Sultanate of Brunei expanded it realms from Borneo to the Philippines.[7] In addition, other kingdoms like the Huangdom of Ma-i and the Huangdom of Pangasinan had become tributary states to China and were largely Sinified kingdoms.[8]


According to sources at the time, the trade in large native Ruson-tsukuri (literally Luzon made in Japanese: or 呂宋つくり) clay jars used for storing green tea and rice wine with Japan flourished in the 12th century, and local Tagalog and Kapampangan potters had marked each jar with Baybayin letters denoting the particular urn used and the kiln the jars were manufactured in. Certain kilns were renowned over others and prices depended on the reputation of the kiln.[9][10] Of this flourishing trade, the Burnay jars of Ilocos are the only large clay jar manufactured in Luzon today with origins from this time.

The Yongle Emperor instituted a Chinese Governor on Luzon during Zheng He's voyages and appointed Ko Ch'a-lao to that position in 1405.[11][12] China also had vassals among the leaders in the archipelago.[13][14] China attained ascendancy in trade with the area in Yongle's reign.[15]

The Portuguese were the first European explorers who recorded it in their charts as Luçonia or Luçon and inhabitants were called Luçoes.[16] Edmund Roberts, who visited Luzon in the early 19th century, wrote that Luzon was "discovered" in 1521.[5] Many people from Luzon had active-employment in Portuguese Malacca. Lucoes such as the Luzon spice trader Regimo de Raja, based in Malacca, was highly influential and the Portuguese appointed him as Temenggong (Sea Lord) or a governor and police-chief general responsible for overseeing of maritime trade, at Malacca. His father and wife carried on his maritime trading business after his death. Another important Malacca trader was Curia de Raja who also hailed from Luzon. The "surname" of "de Raja" or "diraja" could indicate that Regimo and Curia, and their families, were of noble or royal descent as the term is an abbreviation of Sanskrit adiraja.[17]

The Spanish arrival in the 16th century saw the breaking up of these kingdoms and the establishment of the Philippines with its capital Cebu, which was moved to Manila following the defeat of the local Rajah Sulayman in 1570. Under Spain, Luzon also came to be known as the Nueva Castilla or the New Castile.

Main article: Battle of Luzon
U.S. Navy ships under attack while entering Lingayen Gulf, January 1945

In World War II, the Philippines were considered to be of great strategic importance because their capture by Japan would pose a significant threat to the U.S. As a result, 135,000 troops and 227 aircraft were stationed in the Philippines by October 1941. Luzon was captured by Imperial Japanese forces in 1942 during their campaign to capture the Philippines. General Douglas MacArthur—who was in charge of the defense of the Philippines at the time—was ordered to Australia, and the remaining U.S. forces retreated to the Bataan Peninsula.[18]

A few months after this, MacArthur expressed his belief that an attempt to recapture the Philippines was necessary. The U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Chester Nimitz and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Ernest King both opposed this idea, arguing that it must wait until victory was certain. MacArthur had to wait two years for his wish; it was 1944 before a campaign to recapture the Philippines was launched. The island of Leyte was the first objective of the campaign, which was captured by the end of December 1944. This was followed by the attack on Mindoro and later, Luzon.[18]

Geography[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Geography of the Philippines § Luzon.

Luzon has an area of 109,964.9 square kilometres (42,457.7 sq mi),[19] making it the world's 15th largest island. It is bordered on the west by the South China Sea (Luzon Sea in Philippine territorial waters), on the east by the Philippine Sea, and on the north by the Luzon Strait containing the Babuyan Channel and Balintang Channel. The mainland is roughly rectangular in shape and has the long Bicol Peninsula protruding to the southeast.

Luzon is roughly divided into four sections; Northern, Central and Southern Luzon, and the National Capital Region.

Section Regions covered
Northern Luzon Ilocos Region
Cagayan Valley
Cordillera Administrative Region
Central Luzon Central Luzon
Southern Luzon CALABARZON
Bicol Region
MIMAROPA
National Capital Region National Capital Region

Physical[edit]

Northern mountains and the Cagayan Valley[edit]

The northwestern portion of the island, which encompasses most of the Ilocos Region, is characterized by a flat terrain extending east from the coastline toward the Cordillera Central mountains.

The Sierra Madre mountains as viewed from Cabagan

The Cordillera mountain range, which feature the island's north-central section, is covered in a mixture of tropical pine forests and montane rainforests, and is the site of the island's highest mountain, Mount Pulag, rising at 2,922 metres. The range provides the upland headwaters of the Agno River, which stretches from the slopes of Mount Data, and meanders along the southern Cordillera mountains before reaching the plains of Pangasinan.

The northeastern section of Luzon is generally mountainous, with the Sierra Madre, the longest mountain range in the country, abruptly rising a few miles from the coastline. Located in between the Sierra Madre and the Cordillera Central mountain ranges is the large Cagayan Valley. This region, which is known for being the second largest producer of rice and the country's top corn-producer, serves as the basin for the Cagayan River, the longest in the Philippines.

Along the southern limits of the Cordillera Central lies the lesser-known Caraballo Mountains. These mountains form a link between the Cordillera Central and the Sierra Madre mountain ranges, separating the Cagayan Valley from the Central Luzon plains.[20]

Central plains and the Zambales Mountains[edit]

The Central Luzon plain with Mount Arayat in the background

The central section of Luzon is characterized by a flat terrain, known as the Central Luzon plain, the largest in the island in terms of land area. The plain, approximately 11,000 km² in size, is the country's largest producer of rice, and is irrigated by two major rivers; the Cagayan to the north, and the Pampanga to the south. In the middle of the plain rises the solitary Mount Arayat.

The western coasts of Central Luzon are typically flat extending east from the coastline to the Zambales Mountains, the site of Mount Pinatubo, made famous because of its enormous 1991 eruption. These mountains extend to the sea in the north, forming the Lingayen Gulf, and to the south, forming the Bataan Peninsula. The peninsula encloses the Manila Bay, a natural harbor considered to be one of the best natural ports in East Asia, due to its size and strategic geographical location.

The Sierra Madre mountain range continues to stretch across the western section of Central Luzon, snaking southwards into the Bicol Peninsula.

Southern lakes and the Bicol Peninsula[edit]

The northern section of Southern Luzon is dominated by the Laguna de Bay (Old Spanish, "Lake of Bay town"), the largest lake in both the country and in Southeast Asia. The 949 km² lake is drained into Manila Bay by the Pasig River, one of the most important rivers in the country due to its historical significance and because it runs through the center of Metro Manila.

The nearly perfectly shaped Mayon Volcano in Albay province

Located 20 km southwest of Laguna de Bay is Taal Lake, a crater lake containing the Taal Volcano, the smallest in the country. The environs of the lake form the upland Tagaytay Ridge, which was once part of a massive prehistoric volcano that covered the southern portion of the province of Cavite, Tagaytay City and the whole of Batangas province.

South of Laguna Lake are two solitary mountains, Mount Makiling in Laguna province, and Mount Banahaw, the highest in the region of CALABARZON.

The southeastern portion of Luzon is dominated by the Bicol Peninsula, a mountainous and narrow region extending approximately 150 km southeast from the Tayabas Isthmus in Quezon province to the San Bernardino Strait along the coasts of Sorsogon. The area is home to several volcanoes, the most famous of which is the 2,460 m high symmetrically shaped Mayon Volcano in Albay province. The Sierra Madre range has its southern limits at Quezon province. Ultra-prominent mountains dot the landscape, which include Mount Isarog and Mount Iriga in Camarines Sur, and Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon.

The peninsula's coastline features several smaller peninsulas, gulfs and bays, which include Lamon Bay, San Miguel Bay, Lagonoy Gulf, Ragay Gulf, and Sorsogon Bay.

Outlying islands[edit]

Several outlying islands near mainland Luzon are considered part of the Luzon island group. The largest include Palawan, Mindoro, Masbate, Catanduanes, Marinduque, Romblon and Polillo.

Administrative divisions[edit]

The island is covered by 7 administrative regions, 30 provinces and, as of 2014, 68 cities (8 regions, 38 provinces and 71 cities if associated islands are included).

A map of Luzon color-coded by regions.
  Bicol
  Cagayan Valley
  CALABARZON
  Central Luzon
  Cordillera
  Ilocos
  Metro Manila
  MIMAROPA
The Philippine Regions covered by Luzon
Region
(Regional
designation)
Population
(2010)[1]
Land area
(km2)
Regional center No. of provinces
(including associated islands*)
No. of cities
(including associated islands*)
Ph fil ilocos.png Ilocos Region
(Region I)
4,748,372 13,055 San Fernando
(La Union)
Ph fil cagayan valley.png Cagayan Valley
(Region II)
3,229,163 31,159 Tuguegarao
Ph fil central luzon.png Central Luzon
(Region III)
10,137,737 21,543 San Fernando
(Pampanga)
Ph fil calabarzon.png CALABARZON
(Region IV-A)
12,609,803 16,368.12 Calamba
Ph fil mimaropa.png MIMAROPA*
(Region IV-B)
2,744,671 29,621 Calapan
Ph fil bicol.png Bicol Region
(Region V)
5,420,411 18,054.3 Legazpi
Ph fil car.png Cordillera
Administrative
Region

(CAR)
1,616,867 19,294 Baguio
Ph fil ncr.png National
Capital
Region

(NCR)
11,855,975 638.55 Manila N/A
Region Population
(2010)
Land area
(km2)
Regional center Provinces Cities

*Island provinces of Batanes, Catanduanes, Masbate, and all MIMAROPA provinces (Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, and Palawan and Romblon) are separate islands and/or island groups themselves, but are included under the island group of Luzon.

Tectonics[edit]

Lake Pinatubo in Zambales province

Luzon is part of the Philippine Mobile Belt, a fast deforming plate boundary zone (Gervasio, 1967) hemmed in between two opposing subduction zones, the west-dipping Philippine Trench-East Luzon Trench subduction zone, and the east-dipping north-south trending Manila Trench-Negros Trench-Cotabato Trench.[21] The Philippine Sea Plate subducts under eastern Luzon along the East Luzon Trench and the Philippine Trench, while the South China Sea basin, part of the Eurasian plate, subducts under western Luzon along the Manila Trench.

The North-Southeastern trending braided left-lateral strike-slip Philippine Fault System traverses Luzon, from Quezon province and Bicol to the northwestern part of the island. This fault system takes up part of the motion due to the subducting plates and produces large earthquakes. Southwest of Luzon is a collision zone where the Palawan micro-block collides with SW Luzon, producing a highly seismic zone near Mindoro island. Southwest Luzon is characterized by a highly volcanic zone, called the Macolod Corridor, a region of crustal thinning and spreading.

Using geologic and structural data, seven principal blocks were identified in Luzon in 1989: the Sierra Madre Oriental, Angat, Zambales, Central Cordillera of Luzon, Bicol, and Catanduanes Island blocks.[22] Using seismic and geodetic data, Luzon was modeled by Galgana et al. (2007) as a series of six micro blocks or micro plates (separated by subduction zones and intra-arc faults), all translating and rotating in different directions, with maximum velocities ~100 mm/yr NW with respect to Sundaland/Eurasia.

Demographics[edit]

Population census of Luzon
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 30,782,432 —    
2000 39,584,158 +2.55%
2010 48,520,774 +2.06%
Source: National Statistics Office[1]

As of the 2010 census, the population of Luzon Island is 48,520,774 people,[1][2] making it the 4th most populated island in the world.

Ethnic groups[edit]

An Ifugao warrior with some of his trophies, Luzon, 1912

Five major Philippine ethnolinguistic groups predominate Luzon. Ilocanos and Pangasinenses dominate northern Luzon, while Kapampangans and Tagalogs abound Central Luzon. Tagalogs dominate the capital and CALABARZON regions, while Bicolanos abound the southern Bicol peninsula.

Other ethnic groups lesser in population include the Aeta of Zambales, the Ibanag of Cagayan, and the Igorot of the Cordilleras.

Due to recent migrations populations of Hindus, Moros, and Chinese have also been present in urban areas. Populations of Spanish, Americans, Japanese, Koreans, Desis, and Filipino mestizos are also visible. Most Americans have settled in Angeles City and Olongapo City due to the former presence of the U.S. air and naval bases in Central Luzon.

Languages[edit]

Tagalog, Ilocano, and Bicolano languages predominate Luzon.

Almost all of the languages of Luzon belong to the Borneo–Philippines group of the Malayo-Polynesian language branch of the Austronesian language family. Major regional languages include: Tagalog, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Bicol, and Pangasinense.

Further information: Languages of the Philippines

English is spoken by many inhabitants. The use of Spanish as an official language declined following the American occupation of the Philippines. Almost inexistent among the general populace, Spanish is still used by the elderly of some families of great tradition (Rizal, Liboro...).

Religion[edit]

Like most of the Philippines, the major religion in Luzon is Christianity, with Roman Catholicism being the major denomination. Other major sects include Protestantism, the Philippine Independent Church, and the Iglesia ni Cristo.[23] Indigenous traditions and rituals, though rare, are also present.

There are also sizable communities of Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims in Metro Manila and in other, especially, urban areas due to the immigration of Moros and Chinese to the island.

Economy[edit]

EDSA, a major thoroughfare in Metro Manila

The economy of the island is centered in Metro Manila with Makati City serving as the main economic and financial hub. Major companies such as Ayala, Jollibee Foods Corporation, SM Group, and Metrobank are based in the business districts of Makati, Ortigas Center, and Bonifacio Global City. Industry is concentrated in and around the urban areas of Metro Manila while agriculture predominates in the other regions of the island producing crops such as rice, bananas, mangoes, coconuts, pineapple, and coffee.[24] Other sectors include livestock raising, tourism, mining, and fishing.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "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 13 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Figure composed of the 8 administrative regions excluding the island provinces of Batanes, Catanduanes, and Masbate and the region MIMAROPA
  3. ^ Zaide, Sonia M. The Philippines, a Unique Nation. p. 50. 
  4. ^ Keat Gin Ooi (2004). Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor. ABC-CLIO. p. 798. ISBN 978-1-57607-770-2. 
  5. ^ a b Roberts, Edmund (1837). Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 59. 
  6. ^ Laguna Copperplate Inscription – Article in English. Mts.net (2006-07-14). Retrieved on 2010-12-19.
  7. ^ Frans Welman (1 August 2013). Borneo Trilogy Brunei: Vol 1. Booksmango. pp. 8–. ISBN 978-616-222-235-1. 
  8. ^ William Henry Scott (1983). "The fact that Chief Kamayin's name is transliterated by the Chinese characters for "excellent," "horse," and' "silver" led Berthold Laufer in his 1907 "The relations of the Chinese to the Philippines" to list horses and silver among the Pangasinan gifts (Historical Bulletin 1967 reprint, Vol. 11, p. 10); this error was carelessly copied by Wu Ching-hong in his 1962 "The rise and decline of Chuanchou's international trade" (Proceedings of the Second Conference of the International Association of Historians of Asia, p. 477), whence it passed into more than one Philippine text, but was not repeated by Wu himself in his later works.Laufer also refers to a Philippine embassy led by a "high official called Ko-ch'a-lao" whom no other scholar has been able to locate and whom Beyer identifies as a "Chinese governor appointed for the island of Luzon" (op. cit., loc. cit.)." (PDF). Guttenburg Free Online E-books 1: 8. 
  9. ^ Kekai, Paul. (2006-09-05) Quests of the Dragon and Bird Clan: Luzon Jars (Glossary). Sambali.blogspot.com. Retrieved on 2010-12-19.
  10. ^ South East Asia Pottery – Philippines[dead link]. Seapots.com. Retrieved on 2010-12-19.
  11. ^ Ho 2009, p. 33.
  12. ^ Karnow 2010,
  13. ^ Yust 1949, p. 75.
  14. ^ Yust 1954, p. 75.
  15. ^ "Philippine Almanac & Handbook of Facts" 1977, p. 59.
  16. ^ Pires, Tomé, A suma oriental de Tomé Pires e o livro de Francisco Rodriguez: Leitura e notas de Armando Cortesão [1512–1515], translated and edited by Armando Cortesao, Cambridge: Hakluyt Society, 1944.
  17. ^ Junker, 400. http://sambali.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-borneo-route.html
  18. ^ a b "The Philippines". Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  19. ^ "Islands by Land Area". Island Directory Tables. United Nations Environment Programme. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  20. ^ Smith, Robert Ross (1993). Triumph in the Philippines (TRANSCRIBED AND FORMATTED BY JERRY HOLDEN FOR THE HYPERWAR FOUNDATION). Honolulu, HI: University Press of the Pacific. p. 450. ISBN 1410224953. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  21. ^ Hashimoto, M, ed., Accretion Tectonics in the Circum-Pacific Regions, ISBN 90-277-1561-0 p299
  22. ^ Rangin and Pubellier in Tectonics of Circum-Pacific Continental Margins ISBN 90-6764-132-4 p148 fig 4
  23. ^ PHILIPPINES: ADDITIONAL THREE PERSONS PER MINUTE, National Statistics Office. Last revised: July 18, 2003. Retrieved November 27, 2006.
  24. ^ Index of Agriculture and Fishery Statistics[dead link]. Census.gov.ph. Retrieved on 2010-12-19.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 16°00′N 121°00′E / 16.000°N 121.000°E / 16.000; 121.000