Northern Luzon consist of the following regions – Region 1 or Ilocos Region which is in the northwest section of Luzon and faces the South China Sea; Cagayan Valley Region which is in the northeast region of Luzon and the Cordillera Administrative Region which is in the north central part of Luzon.
Ilocos region is in the northwestern coast of Luzon. The region consists of four provinces namely Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte. Ilocos has a total land area of 12,840.2 square kilometers and consists of huge mountains, thinned coastal sections and a dense forest. It is close to other countries like Southern China, Hongkong and Taiwan therefore is expected to boast tourism and export activities.
It comprised three specific cultural groups which are the Ilocanos of the province of Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte as well as some parts of Pangasinan and La Union; Pangasinenses of Pangasinan and Igorots who lives in the mountains in some parts of Ilocos Sur. The administrative center of Ilocos is in San Fernando City, La Union.
Just like any part of the Philippines, its weather is composed of two seasons – the dry and wet season. Rainy or wet season starts May to October while the dry season starts from November to April. Primarily, the area is considered as an agricultural land despite the shortage of land that is suitable for planting crops because of its rough terrain. Its major crops include rice, tobacco and vegetables.
The district is blessed with abundant natural resources like their limestone for cement, forest products like rattan and bamboo, feldspar for ceramics, poultry products, seafood, vegetables and fruits. There are also plenty of mineral that you will find in the area like silica, manganese, iron, chromite, gold and copper.
The major industries in Ilocos are small cottage industries, tourism, fishing, mining and agriculture. The agri-industrial development as well as the tourism industry in the area increases dramatically. Also it is the leading producer of Mango and tobacco which are both for export.
The facilities are quite developed already. All municipalities and Barangays have access to electricity as well as water. Although shortage of supplies of water might happen during dry season and water might be a bit cloudy during the rainy or wet season. Telecommunication services are certainly available both from private and government sector in most areas most especially urban areas.
Go ahead an read further information about Ilocos region and its provinces.
Cagayan Valley Region
Region 2 or known as the Cagayan Valley region rest in the northeast section of Luzon and includes the island of Babuyan and Batanes islands. It is surrounded with the Sierra Madre and Cordillera Central mountains. It is the second largest area when you talk about land area and at the very heart lays the longest river – Cagayan River. The provinces that consists the district are Quirino, Nueva Viscaya, Isabela, Cagayan and Batanes. Its administrative center is Tuguegarao City.
Cagayan Valley district experience varied climate than the other regions in Luzon. The Cagayan province in the northwest part and the Batanes Group of Island experiences type II climate which is heavy rainfall in the months of November to January and does not have any distinct dry season. In the eastern part which is the Sierra Madre has the Type IV climate where rainfall is evenly distributed all through out the year. The rest of the place in Cagayan Valley experiences the type III climate which is rainy from May to October and relatively dry from November to April.
People there are mostly Ilocanos however the original ethnic groups that inhabit the place like the Isnegs, Yogads, Itawis, Ibanags and Gaddangs are still there. Other cultural group that inhabits the area includes the Kalingas, Bontocs, Apayaos, and Ifugaos.
Agriculture is its major industry and its top products are corn and rice. Other agricultural products include banana, coconut, sugarcane, and tobacco. There mountains are blessed with plenty of Lumber and the Babuyan channel is a rich fishing ground. Fishing is the main livelihood of people in the eastern coastal municipalities. While on the southern part specifically Nueva Viscaya has abundant minerals developing mining as a major industry in the province. However this is opposed by most indigenous community in the area. Magat Dam which is considered one of the largest dams in Asia is found there. It provides electricity as well as water for irrigation. Tourism is not yet that develop but it is starting to gain its footing.
Cordillera Administrative Region
The Cordillera administrative region is situated in the north central part of Luzon and it consists of 6 provinces namely – Mountain Province, Kalinga, Ifugao, Benguet, Apayao and Abra. Its land characteristic is mostly mountainous. Its highest peak is Mt. Pulog found in the boundary of Nueva Vscaya and Benguet. It has seventy-five municipalities and two cities. Its administrative regional center is Baguio City.
Upland areas experiences refreshing and cool temperatures while in the lowland they experience warmer temperature. Just like the other regions it experience two seasons the dry which is from November to April and wet season which is May to October.
This space is least populated with only 1.5 million in year 2007. Its population density is only seventy-eight per square kilometer compared to the national population density which is 258. You will find different ethnic groups or cultural groups like the Bontocs in Mountain Province, Ifugaos in the province of Ifugao, Kankanaeys and Ibalois in Benguet, Isneys and Kalingas in Apayao and Kalinga and the Ilocanos and Tingguians in Abra. The largest city in the north which is Baguio City is a mix of various tribe groups from other parts of the country.
Major industry is agriculture with its major product – vegetables, root crops and upland rice. Mining is a major industry in Benguet and its product is copper, silver and gold. You cannot find lots of factories here with exceptions of the factories in the Baguio Export Processing Zone. Most locals are also involved in cottage industries like weaving and wood carving. Tourism is another boasting industry especially in areas like Baguio City, Ifugao, Sagada and Bontoc.
Since the area is abundant with rivers, its major source of electricity is water. The two oldest dams in the country that is Binga and Ambuklao Dams are found there. However, the potential for hydroelectric is largely opposed by the Indigenous people since their livelihood as well as their cultural heritage will be endangered by creation of such dams.
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