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Cordillera Administrative Region
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Cordillera Administrative Region

The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is a region in the Philippines composed of the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province, as well as Baguio City, the regional center. The Cordillera Administrative Region encompasses most of the areas within the Cordillera Central mountains of Luzon, the largest mountain range in the country. It is the country's only land-locked region. The region is home to numerous indigenous tribes collectively called the Igorot.


CAR Provinces and Population

CAR is subdivided into 6 provinces and one chartered city, Baguio.

Province/City Capital Population
(km )
Pop. density
(per km )
20px Abra Bangued 234,733 3,975.6 59.0
Apayao Kabugao 112,636 3,927.9 28.7
Benguet La Trinidad 403,944 2,599.4 155.4
Ifugao Lagawe 191,078 2,517.8 75.9
20px Kalinga Tabuk City 201,613 3,119.7 64.6
Mountain Province Bontoc 154,187 2,097.3 73.5
Baguio City 318,676 57.5 5,542.2

Baguio City is a highly urbanized city; figures are excluded from Benguet Province.

History of regional formation

On June 18, 1966, Republic Act No. 4695[2] was enacted to split Mountain Province into four separate and independent provinces of Mountain Province, Benguet, Ifugao and Kalinga-Apayao.

Prior to the formal creation of Cordillera Administrative Region, as a consequence of the constitutional mandate under the 1987 Philippine Constitution, the former four provinces was loosely under Cagayan Valley Region while the fifth province Abra was grouped under Ilocos Region.

On July 15, 1987, President Corazon C. Aquino issued Executive Oder No. 220 which created the Cordillera Administrative Region, that included Mountain Province, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and annexed the province of Abra as part of the Cordillera Administrative Region, giving the region formal autonomy as part of her political compromise to the Cordillera People's Liberation Army, a rebel group operating in the mountain region.

On February 14, 1995, Kalinga-Apayao, one of the five provinces of the region was split into two separate and independent provinces of Apayao ankd Kalinga with the enactment of Republic Act No. 7878[3].

Several attempts at legalizing autonomy in the Cordillera region have failed in two separate plebiscites. An affirmative vote for the law on regional autonomy is a precondition by the 1987 Philippine Constitution to give the region autonomy in self-governance much like the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao in southern Philippines. The first law Republic Act No. 6766, took effect on October 23, 1989 but failed to muster a majority vote in the plebiscite on January 30, 1990[4]. The second law, Republic Act No. 8438 passed by Congress of the Philippines on December 22, 1997, also failed to pass the approval of the Cordillera peoples in a region-wide referendum on March 7, 1998.

At present, a third organic act of the Cordillera is in the offing supported by the Cordillera Regional Development Council.

Regional economy

Regional economy of the Cordilleras is diverse; mining, agriculture, export processing zone, tourism are among economic activities in the different provinces of the region.

The region is abundant with mineral reserves. These include metallic ores such as gold, copper, silver, zinc, and non-metallic minerals like sand, gravel and sulfur. Mineral reserves are found in all the provinces. However, mining is concentrated in Benguet.

Its timber resources has dwindled since the introduction of slash-and-burn method of farming in all parts of the Cordillera mountain range.

Vegetable crop production is well developed in Benguet, rice production in Ifugao and Abra, corn production in Mountain Province, and Kalinga.

Baguio City and La Trinidad are considered as the industrial centers in the region. Baguio City hosts Baguio Export Processing Zone where operations of big companies like Texas Instruments, and MOOG are located. The city also hosts offshore and outsourcing companies operating call centers.

The primary growth centers of the region are Metro Baguio and the Eastern Cordillera Growth Corridor.

Tourist attractions

Tourist attractions in the region include the world-famous Banaue Rice Terraces in the province of Ifugao. Nations around the world boast of their own self-proclaimed "eighth wonder of the world." The Philippines considers Banaue Rice Terraces as its "Eighth Wonder of the World." The Banaue terraces, ancient sprawling man-made structures from 2,000 to 6,000 years old, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are part of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, widely found in the provinces of Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province.

Natural attractions of the region include the Sumaguing Cave in Sagada and the mummy caves of Benguet and Mt. Province. There are four National Parks: Cassamata Hill, Mount Pulag, the highest mountain in Luzon, and second highest mountain in the Philippines, following Mount Apo of Davao, with an elevation of 2,922 meters above mean sea level, Mt. Data, and Balbalasang-Balbalan, located in the province of Kalinga. Kalinga also offers world-class white water rafting along the Chico River. The summer capital of the Philippines is Baguio, within the Cordillera Administrative Region. Political map of Cordillera Administrative Region

Ethnic peoples in the Cordilleras

Cordillera is home to many ethnic tribes living on the Corillera mountain range[5]. They are commonly referred to as Igorot.

The Tingguians are composed of sub-groups known as the Itneg tribes which includes Adasen, Balatok, Banaw, Belwang, Binungan, Gubang, Inlaud, Mabaka, Maeng, Masadiit, and Muyadan or Ammutan [6]. Their places of abode are found in the different municipalities in Abra as follows:

  1. Adasen- Lagayan, San Juan and Tineg
  2. Banaw - Daguioman, Malibcong, also found in Balbanlan
  3. Binungan - Baay-Licuan and Lacub
  4. Balatok - in the villages of Amti, Kilong-olaw, & Danak, all in Boliney
  5. Belwang - in the village of Dao-angan in Boliney
  6. Gubang - Malibcong
  7. Inlaud - Lagangilang and Pe arrubia, in Lumaba village of Villaviciosa, in the villages of Abang and Patoc in Bucay, in Langiden, San Isidro, San Quintin, Danglas (also found in some parts of Nueva Era)
  8. Mabaka - Lacub and Malibcong
  9. Maeng - Luba, Tubo and Villaviciosa, (also found in San Emilio, Ilocos Sur, Banayoyo and other towns in Ilocos Sur)
  10. Masadiit - Sallapadan, Bucloc and in the village of Sapdaan in Manabo, and in barangays Poblacion, Bawiyan, and Dumagas in Boliney
  11. Ammutan a.k.a. Muyadan tribe - in Manabo
  1. Isneg tribe is the dominant among local sub-groups of Igorot people.
  1. Ibaloi
  2. Kankanaey
  1. Ifugao
  1. Kalingan
  2. Banao
  1. Bontoc - Bontoc
  2. Balangao - Natonin
  3. Baliwon - Paracelis

Languages in the Cordilleras

The Cordillera region is the most diversified ethno-liguistic region in the Philippines with its major languages having sub-dialect variations. The topographic formation of the Cordillera mountain range, which has greatly influenced the upstream migration of peoples in the Cordillera into the hinterland, corresponds the various dialects pattern formation. The disparity in linguistic ethnicity however, did not form variation in cultural development as almost every Cordillera people shares similar cultural identity among different tribes.

  • Bontok - spoken in Bontoc
  • Ifugao -
  • Isnag -


The Cordillera region is known for its unique musical instruments including the gangsa kalinga, nose flute, bamboo flute, buzzer, bangibang, tongatong, diwdiw-as, saggeypo, and bamboo zither.

The region also has various festivals. They include:

  • Panagbenga Festival

Panagbenga / Baguio Flower Festival which is celebrated in February. The festival focuses on Baguio as the Flower Garden City of the North. Highlights include flower exhibits, lectures, garden tours, floral competition and a parade of floats.

  • Adivay Festival

Adivay festival in Benguet which means "coming together of people to celebrate" is celebrated every month of November. The month-long activities highlights the Agro-industrial and trade fair which showcase the different products of Benguet.

  • Ullalim Festival

Ullalim Festival/ in Kalinga which is celebrated every February 14. It is in celebration of the founding anniversary of the province and the Peace acts called Bodong. It is the poetic expression of the heroic exploits, romance, joys, successes as well as tribulations, and the way of life of the Kalingas from birth to death. The Festival highlights the weaved clothes (laga) exhibits, world class coffee beans and other products of Kalinga.

  • Lang-ay Festival

Lang-ay Festival in Mountain Province celebrated every April 7. This is a week-long agro-industrial trade, tourism and cultural fair with tribal dances and songs. Lang-ay is a native term which describes the tradition of the people of Mountain Province to celebrate festivities, share happiness, foster family solidarity, hospitality and nurture friendship - all with a toast of home-brewed wine.

Ifugao Festivals Kulpi ad Asipulo (Asipulo, Ifugao - April 16-19) Town Fiesta adopting the ritual term "kulpi", a family thanksgiving after transplanting the rice seedlings.

Tungoh ad Hungduan (Hungduan, Ifugao - April 17-19) Town fiesta adopting the cultural festival term "tungoh", where the community celebrates the end of rice planting season.

Gotad ad Hingyon (Hingyon, Ifugao - April 23-25) Town fiesta adopting the festival term "Gotad" which is culminating activity of a "bimmayah" - a well-to-do.

Kulpi ad Lagawe (Lagawe, Ifugao - April 25-27) same as that of Asipulo

Urpih Bannawar (Banaue, Ifugao - April 26-27) Town fiesta also performing the cultural ritual of the "urpih" by the town mayor. Similar to the kulpi of Lagawe & Asipulo except that Banaue has no "K" in their dialect.

Immbayah (Banaue, Ifugao - April 27-29) A festival celebrated every 3 years. The event title was coined after the term "bumayah" referring to a well-to-do who celebrates his good health or ripe old age with gong-beating and dancing culminating in the feast.

Gotad ad Kiangan (Kiangan, Ifugao - April 30 - May 2) Same as that of Hingyon where the program includes cultural dances, presentation or Contested ethnic songs and games.

Ammong ad Alfonso Lista (Alfonso Lista, Ifugao - May 11) Town fiesta adopting the Ifugao term "ammong" which means a gathering.

  • Matagoan Festival

Tabuk Matagoan Festival which features G-String marathon (runners wear G-String only), cultural dances and songs. The festival showcases the different products of tabuk coming from the different parts of Kalinga such as the aromatic Kalinga coffee.


File:Bontoc Museum in Mountain Province.jpg|The Bontoc Museum, run by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, hosts many of the materials used by the different Ethnic Tribes in the Mountain Province. File:Rice Terraces of Sagada in the Mountain Province.jpg|The Sagada Rice Terraces, one of the main tourist spots of the region.


External links

zh-min-nan:Cordillera H ng-ch ng To -khu bcl:Administratibong Rehiyon Kordilyera ca:Regi Administrativa de la Cordillera ceb:Administratibong Rehiyon sa Cordillera de:Cordillera Administrative Region es:La Cordillera fr:R gion administrative de la Cordill re ko: ilo:Rehion Administratibo ti Kordiliera it:Regione Amministrativa Cordillera pam:Cordillera Administrative Region la:Cordillera Administrative Region lt:Kordiljeros administracinis regionas mk: nl:Cordillera Administrative Region ja: pag:Cordillera Administrative Region pl:Cordillera Administrative Region pt:Regi o Administrativa de Cordillera ru: sv:Kordilj rernas administrativa region tl:Rehiyong Pampangasiwaan ng Cordillera vi:V ng H nh ch nh Cordillera war:Administratibo nga Rehiyon han Cordillera zh:

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