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Regional Profile

Cagayan Valley Region


CAGAYAN VALLEY has a distinct history. Long before the coming of the Spaniards into the valley, fishing villages existed on the banks and at the mouths of the rivers and creeks flowing into the sea. The Spaniards found natives inhabiting the narrow coastal plains in Northern Luzon and flood plains of the Cagayan River. These were the Ibanags, so called because they lived on the banks of the bannag, a native word for river. They were of the sturdy Indonesian type with a culture of their own. They maintained commercial intercourse with China, Japan and other neighboring countries. The early Ibanags kept their writings on barks of trees and bamboo, depicting the heroic deeds of their chiefs. These tales were used as songs by bards during victories in wars, on weddings and other important events and were therefore handed down from generation to generation like the famous epic of Biuag and Malana, chief of Malaueg (Rizal) and Maquilat (Cabagan Viejo).

When Don Juan de Salcedo explored Northern Luzon in 1567 he landed his forces at a place now called Mission, in the Municipality of Buguey located near what is believed to be the original mouth of the Rio Grande de Cagayan. In the course of centuries, the Cagayan river gradually straightened its meandering course by leaving a Rio Muerto or lagoon south of Buguey. The lagoon, believed to be the original mouth of the Cagayan River, measures about sixteen kilometers long and roughly one kilometer wide. (Source: Cagayan Souvenir Program 68.)

It was however, in 1581 that the Spaniards headed by Captain Juan Pablo Carreon with his soldiers and their families settled in the region. Thereafter, Spanish missionaries gradually penetrated deeper into the valley, teaching and converting the natives. Lalloc was named Nueva Segovia by Juan Pablo Carreon in 1581 and was visited by Juan Salcedo in 1572 and Luis Perez Dasmariņas in 1592. The Parish Church of Lallo was constructed under the direction and supervision of the Dominican Friars in 1588. Lalloc was the seat of Nueva Segovia created by Pope Clement VIII on August 14,1595 and continued to be so up to 1755 when it was transferred to Vigan.

Lallo was the capital of Cagayan Province from 1581-1839 when the Provincial Government was moved to the town of Tuguegarao which was made capital of Cagayan up to the present. The first Revolutionary Government was headed by Gov. Vicente Nepomuceno, appointive Governor in 1898. On April 10, 1910 Pope Leo XII proclaimed Tuguegarao as a Diocese.

Later, the Americans improved the educational and political system and introduced improvements in infrastructure.

Today, Cagayan Valley Region is one of the more progressive regions in the country.


Fr. Julian Malumbres in his Historia de Cagayan states that chronicles of Cagayan assert that the first Spanish explorers came into the Valley by way of the original mouth of the Cagayan river, now the present site of Mission, Municipality of Buguey. It is said that at that time the mouth of the river as well as the shores of the lagoon abound with tagay trees, hence the place was known as Catagayan. Gradually, for convenience of pronunciation the shortened Cagayan, permanently became the name of the province which was organized as one political subdivision of the archipelago in 1583 and which comprised the whole Cagayan Valley.

Today, Region 02 is composed of the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, the Cities of Santiago, Cauayan and Tuguegarao and the Island Province of Batanes. The Regional Center is Tuguegarao City, Cagayan while the industrial center is Cauayan City, Isabela.

Prov/City No. of Towns Capital Town Commercial Center
Batanes 6 Basco Basco
Cagayan 28/ 1 city Tugue-garao City Tug. City;
Aparri, Gattaran & Tuao
Isabela 35/ 2 cities Ilagan Ilagan, CauayanCity
Nueva Vizcaya 15 Bayom-bong Bayombong Solano, Bambang
Quirino 6 Cabar-roguis Cabarroguis, Maddela Diffun
Santiago City


The Region is located on the northeastern part of mainland Luzon, covering an area of about 26,858.79 square kilometers. It has rugged terrain along its boundaries, with the Pacific Ocean bounding it on the east, the Bashi Channel on the north, the provinces of Nueva Ecija on the south, Quezon on the south east and the Cordillera in the west.


There are two pronounced weathers, the dry which generally occurs beginning December up to May and wet from June up to November. Hot months are from March to May and extend up to August.

POPULATION (As of 2000, the Census of Population of the region is registered at 2,813,159)

Comparative Population Per Province (Source: National Statistics Office, Region 02)

Province/ City 1995 2000
Batanes 14,180 16,467
Cagayan 787,775 993,580
Isabela 1,062,179 1,073092
Nueva Vizcaya 334,965 366,962
Quirino 131,119 148,575
Santiago City 98,542 110,531
Tuguegarao City 107,275 120,645
Cauayan City 92,677 103,952
Total 2,536,035 2,813,159


Major dialects spoken are Ilocano, Ybanag, Ytawes and Filipino. In Batanes, the people speak Ivatan. English is generally understood and spoken regionwide.


Major industries are agriculture with rice and corn as main crops, livestock production of cattle, hog, carabaos and poultry, furniture making of rattan and other indigenous materials, fishing especially along the coast of Cagayan, Isabela and Batanes and Magat Dam in Isabela and also exportation of fruits, fruit preserves and vegetables.


Transportation facilities in the region are available at all times. There are about 15 transportation companies that ply the Tuguegarao-Manila route and vice-versa.

Transport facilities to the neighboring CAR are also available:
1. Bagabag town in Nueva Vizcaya serves Banaue, Ifugao via Lamut town
2. Enrile town in Cagayan serves Dagupan, Tabuk, Kalinga via Liwan, Rizal
3. Junction Libertad/Junction Luna in Abulug, Cagayan serves Luna, Pudtol,Sta. Marcela, and Flora towns of Apayao Province
4. Tuao town in Cagayan serves Kabugao town in Apayao via Conner and Pinukpok

Inter-regional transport is also readily available and runs the extensive road network of the region along the national highway and into the municipal roads to interior towns. Water transport facilities include cargo ships that dock in Aparri, and inter-island ship that dock at Port Irene in Sta. Ana and Claveria in Cagayan.

In Batanes, there is an acute shortage of inter-island transport from Batan to Itbayat and while Sabtang Island has a regular ferry that leaves from San Vicente Port in Ivana at 7 o'clock in the morning daily. In Sabtang Island, boats are available for Ivuhos Island trip at about P300.00 one way from Barangay Nakanmuan or Savidug. Chartered flight to Itbayat is available at P700.00 per person one way. There are about eighty registered passenger jeepneys and tricycles for public use in Batan Island. Other vehicles are owned by the government and some privately owned motorcycles. A cargo ship from Manila visits the island of Batanes once a month.

There are four domestic airports servicing the region- Tuguegarao City Domestic Airport, Cauayan City Domestic Airport, Basco Domestic Airport in Batanes while Bagabag Airport in Nueva Vizcaya services charter planes. Smaller airports/airstrips served by charter services are in Palanan and Maconacon, both are coastal towns of Isabela.



FLORIDA (078) 846-2265
BALIWAG (078) 844-4325
VICTORY (078) 844-0777
AUTOBUS (078) 844-5519
DANGWA (078) 844-1761
DELTRA TOURS (078) 844-5675
NELBUSCO (078) 682-8632


Tel: (078) 846-4132; (078) 844-7066
(078) 844-8888; (078) 844-1814
Tel: (078) 844-9238; (078) 846-3598
(078) 844-2106; (078) 846-7953
Tel: (078) 652-0913;
CP: 0929-510-0034;0916-472-7558;
Tel: (078) 304-1054
CP: 0905-923-6306


Government and private communication facilities are found all over the valley. Direct dialing and wireless cellular phones are also available. Smart Company operate in Batanes while Globe Company is still expanding its operation. Internet service providers are available in urban centers.


DOT email: [email protected]

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