Nueva Vizcaya

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This article is about the Philippine province. For other uses, see Nueva Vizcaya (disambiguation).
Nueva Vizcaya
Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Capitol
Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Capitol
Flag of Nueva Vizcaya
Official seal of Nueva Vizcaya
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 16°29′N 121°09′E / 16.483°N 121.150°E / 16.483; 121.150Coordinates: 16°29′N 121°09′E / 16.483°N 121.150°E / 16.483; 121.150
Country  Philippines
Region Cagayan Valley (Region II)
Founded 1839
Capital Bayombong
 • Governor Ruth Padilla (NP)
 • Vice Governor Lambert Galima (NP)
 • Total 3,975.67 km2 (1,535.01 sq mi)
Area rank 34th out of 81
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 421,355
 • Rank 61/81
 • Density 110/km2 (270/sq mi)
 • Density rank 68th out of 81
Demonym(s) Novo Vizcayano
 • Independent cities 0
 • Component cities 0
 • Municipalities 15
 • Barangays 275
 • Districts Lone district of Nueva Vizcaya
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 3700 to 3714
Dialing code 78
ISO 3166 code PH-NUV
Spoken languages Ilocano, Pangasinan, Tagalog, Gaddang, Isinai, English

Nueva Vizcaya (English: New Biscay) is a province of the Philippines located in Cagayan Valley region in Luzon. Its capital is Bayombong. It is bordered by Benguet to the west, Ifugao to the north, Isabela to the northeast, Quirino to the east, Aurora to the southeast, Nueva Ecija to the south, and Pangasinan to the southwest. The province is located in the center of Luzon.


The name Nueva Vizcaya may have been derived from the name given at the time to the western Basque territories of Spain, or from the province of Biscay (called Vizcaya in Spanish) itself.


Spanish period[edit]

The areas of present-day Nueva Vizcaya used to be a territory of the vast Provincia de Cagayan,[3] which was once an integral political unit with one governor. The history of organized religion in the province of Nueva Vizcaya dates back to the year 1607 when the Dominican Order arrived at the hinterlands of the province to preach their beliefs. It was not until 1609, however, that the first settlement of a religious order was established in the southern half of the province. In 1702, a convent was erected in Burubur at the foot of the Caraballo Mountains in Santa Clara, which is now a barangay in the town of Aritao. It was on this site that the first mass in Nueva Vizcaya was celebrated and the first baptism of a Christian convert was held. In 1839, upon the advice of the alcalde mayor of Cagayan,[4] then-Governor Luis Lardizabal issued an order creating the politico-military province of Nueva Vizcaya.[3] The order was approved by a Royal Decree on April 10, 1841. The original province covered the areas of present-day Nueva Vizcaya, Mountain Province and a large portion of Isabela.[3] Civil government was established in the province by the Philippine Commission in 1902.[4]

Gateway Arch near Dalton Pass

The territories of Nueva Vizcaya were greatly reduced as a result of the formal creation of the province of Isabela in May 1865, wherein a large portion of its northern territory was ceded to the newly-born province.[3][4]

American period[edit]

In 1908, the northwestern territory of Nueva Vizcaya was annexed to the newly organized sub-province of Ifugao.[3] The survey executed by the Bureau of Lands in 1914 further caused the diminution of its area and reduced again upon the enactment of the Administrative Code of 1917.[4]

World War II[edit]

During the Second World War, Balete Pass was the scene of a major battle between the Japanese and American forces, with the Americans gaining the victory on 31 May 1945.[3][5]:510,535

An old map showing
the province and its original boundaries

Post-war era[edit]

In 1971, with the passage of Republic Act No. 6394, Quirino, which was then a sub-province of Nueva Vizcaya, was separated from its mother province and made into a regular province.[3][4][6][7]

Since Nueva Vizcaya's birth as a province, traces of the culture and customs of its early settlers—the Ilongots (Bugkalot), Igorots, Ifugaos, Isinais, and the Gaddangs—can still be seen. The influx of civilization and the infusion of modern technology to the life stream of the province induced many immigrants from adjacent provinces to migrate to this province.

Every last week of May, Nueva Vizcaya celebrates the Ammungan festival (formerly Panagyaman festival), a week-long affair culminating on May 24, the province's foundation day.



Surrounded by North Luzon's three large mountain ranges, Nueva Vizcaya is generally mountainous, varying from steep mountains to rolling hills, with some valleys and plains.[4] It is bordered on the west by the Cordillera mountains, on the east by the Sierra Madre mountains, and on the south by the Caraballo Mountains.[3] The province (and the whole Cagayan Valley) are separated from the Central Luzon plains by the Caraballo Mountains.

The province has a total land area of 3,975.7 square kilometres (1,535.0 sq mi).[1] The southernmost province in the Cagayan Valley region, Nueva Vizcaya lies approximately 268 kilometers north of Metro Manila and can be reached by land via the Cagayan Valley Road (Maharlika Highway).

Administrative divisions[edit]

Nueva Vizcaya is subdivided into 15 municipalities, with Bayombong as the provincial capital and major educational center, Bambang (the agricultural hub) and Solano (the financial district) as the major commercial centers, and Kayapa as the summer capital and "vegetable bowl" of the province. All municipalities are encompassed by a lone legislative district.[8]

Municipality Area
(per km²)
No. of

Alfonso Castañeda 375.4 7,428 19.8 6 3714 1st 15°47′42″N 121°18′02″E / 15.7951°N 121.3005°E / 15.7951; 121.3005 (Alfonso Castañeda)
Ambaguio 156.26 13,452 86.1 8 3701 5th 16°31′52″N 121°01′40″E / 16.5312°N 121.0278°E / 16.5312; 121.0278 (Ambaguio)
Aritao 265.6 37,115 139.7 22 3704 2nd 16°17′48″N 121°02′02″E / 16.2968°N 121.0340°E / 16.2968; 121.0340 (Aritao)
Bagabag 183.9 35,462 192.8 17 3711 2nd 16°36′20″N 121°15′12″E / 16.6055°N 121.2533°E / 16.6055; 121.2533 (Bagabag)
Bambang 345 47,657 138.1 25 3702 1st 16°23′24″N 121°06′22″E / 16.3899°N 121.1061°E / 16.3899; 121.1061 (Bambang)
Bayombong 136 57,416 422.2 25 3700 1st 16°29′03″N 121°08′38″E / 16.4841°N 121.1439°E / 16.4841; 121.1439 (Bayombong)
Diadi 181.2 16,484 91 19 3712 4th 16°39′36″N 121°22′07″E / 16.6599°N 121.3686°E / 16.6599; 121.3686 (Diadi)
Dupax del Norte 347.3 25,697 74 15 3706 3rd 16°18′26″N 121°06′06″E / 16.3073°N 121.1017°E / 16.3073; 121.1017 (Dupax del Norte)
Dupax del Sur 374.7 18,146 48.4 19 3707 2nd 16°17′03″N 121°05′29″E / 16.2842°N 121.0913°E / 16.2842; 121.0913 (Dupax del Sur)
Kasibu 318.8 33,379 104.7 30 3703 3rd 16°18′59″N 121°17′43″E / 16.3165°N 121.2954°E / 16.3165; 121.2954 (Kasibu)
Kayapa 482.9 21,453 44.4 30 3708 3rd 16°21′29″N 120°53′14″E / 16.3580°N 120.8871°E / 16.3580; 120.8871 (Kayapa)
Quezon 187.5 19,385 103.4 12 3713 4th 16°29′25″N 121°15′49″E / 16.4903°N 121.2636°E / 16.4903; 121.2636 (Quezon)
Santa Fe (Imugan) 399.81 14,427 36.1 16 3705 3rd 16°09′27″N 120°56′11″E / 16.1576°N 120.9364°E / 16.1576; 120.9364 (Santa Fe)
Solano 139.8 56,134 401.5 22 3709 1st 16°31′07″N 121°10′54″E / 16.5187°N 121.1818°E / 16.5187; 121.1818 (Solano)
Villaverde (Ibung) 81.5 17,720 217.4 9 3710 5th 16°36′23″N 121°11′01″E / 16.6063°N 121.1837°E / 16.6063; 121.1837 (Villaverde)
 †  Provincial capital
  • Coordinates mark the town center vicinity, and are sorted according to latitude.
  • Italicized names are former names.
Nueva Vizcaya Labelled Map.png


The 15 municipalities of the province comprise a total of 275 barangays, with Roxas in Solano as the most populous in 2010, and Santa Rosa in Santa Fe as the least.[8][2]


Nueva Vizcaya has one congressional district, although there has been a longtime proposal to divide the province into two congressional districts: "North District," comprising the northern municipalities; and "South District," composed of the southern towns.


Ilongot tribe from Oyao in Nueva Vizcaya
Population census of
Nueva Vizcaya
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 301,179 —    
1995 334,965 +2.01%
2000 366,962 +1.98%
2007 397,837 +1.12%
2010 421,355 +2.11%
Source: National Statistics Office[10][11]


Large percentage of Roman Catholic by about 70% reflects the province's strong Catholic influence in cultural and political aspects. Other faiths are divided among Aglipayan Church which has a large minority about 20%, Baptist, Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church of Christ of latter Day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventist and other Evangelical Christians as well as Muslims.


Tilapia, St Peter's Fish
SM Wood City Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya soon

Agriculture is the main industry in the province, together with rice, corn, fruits and vegetables as major crops.[12] Nueva Vizcaya is a major producer of citrus crops in the country, principally pomelo, ponkan and oranges. Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal in Bambang supply the demand of neighboring provinces and to Metro Manila. There is a mining industry in the province which added to the province income.[13][14]

According to the Bureau of Mines and Geo-Sciences, deposits of metallic minerals which were discovered in the province are copper, gold, molybdenum and pyrite. Non-metallic deposits include red clay, white clay and limestone. Sand and gravel are the most abundant deposits in the province.

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. Also, Nueva Vizcaya Gov. Luisa Lloren Cuaresma also entered into similar aquaculture endeavors in addition to tilapia production.[15]


Nueva Vizcaya has two universities.



  • Aldersgate College (in Solano)
  • Fuzeko Polytechnic College (in Solano)
  • King's College of the Philippines (formerly: Eastern Luzon Colleges) (in Bambang)
  • Northern Luzon Technical Institute (in Bayombong)
  • Nueva Vizcaya Caregiver Academy (in Solano)
  • Nueva Vizcaya Institute (in Aritao)
  • PLT College Inc. (in Bayombong)
  • Saint Mary's University (in Bayombong)
  • Sierra College (in Bayombong)
  • Solano Institute of Technology (in Solano)
  • Vizcaya Institute of Computer Science (in Bayombong)


  1. ^ a b "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h 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. 118, 48, 49, 84. ISBN 971-630-037-9. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Provincial Profile". Province of Nueva Vizcaya (official website). Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Smith, R.R., 2005, Triumph in the Philippines, Honolulu: University Press of the Pacific, ISBN 1410224953
  6. ^ "Republic Act No. 4734 - An Act Creating the Subprovince of Quirino in the Province of Nueva Vizcaya". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Brief History of Quirino". Province of Quirino (official website). Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Province: Nueva Vizcaya". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority - National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  9. ^ "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010 (Cagayan Valley)" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  10. ^ name=NSO10
  11. ^ "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 26 August 2013. 
  12. ^ name=FastFactsPhilProv
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Abs-Cbn Interactive, Cagayan Valley country’s tilapia capital

External links[edit]