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Cagayan Valley, Region II, Philippines

Last modified: 2007-02-14 by rob raeside
Keywords: cagayan valley | batanes | nueva vizcaya | isabela | quirino |
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The Philippine Republic's Region II, Cagayan Valley, comprises five provinces.

Flag images here drawn after Symbols of the State, published by the Philippines Bureau of Local Government.

See also:


Batanes

[Batanes, Philippines] by Jaume Oll, 12 January 2001

Batanes, the northernmost, is in fact the northernmost part of the whole republic, consisting of a string of small and weather-beaten islands extending from Luzon to about two hundred kilometers from Taiwan. Its total land area is 209 sq.km., which makes it the smallest province in the country. It is also the least populous, at sixteen thousand, in six towns. Basco, the capital, was named for the first Spanish governor. The aboriginal population, called Ivatan, came from Taiwan, and the Ivatan language is of the Formosan family. There has apparently been some admixture of Spanish genetic material, but no mixing with the many other ethnic groups in the rest of the Philippines. The Ivatan live in houses built of stone, and shaped so that even typhoon winds can't get a grip on them. When high winds threaten, the Ivatan throw rope nets over their crops to protect them. They make their living by fishing and subsistence farming, growing root crops, vegetables, and fruits, and raising cattle, pigs, and poultry for sale. They have no radio station, no newspaper, no movie house. There is a single inn--"spartan but cheap." They say they have the rarest corals in the world, but advise against swimming in the sea--it's "too frisky." Some islands are difficult to reach even by boat. Access by air is "weather permitting." All in all, Batanes puts me in mind of accounts of visits to the Shetlands and Orkneys in the nineteenth century. One sight for the venturesome is a ghost town, drowned by a tsunami in the 1950s.
John Ayer
, 28 March 2001


Cagayan

[Cagayan, Philippines] by Jaume Oll, 12 January 2001

The Cagayan Valley Region is defined by the Cagayan River, the largest in the Philippines. The Province of Cagayan occupies the lower course of the river, and the northeast corner of the island of Luzon (with a few offshore islets). Cagayan's area is 9,003 sq.km., its population 952,000 (by the 2000 census) in twenty-nine towns, of which Tuguegarao is the capital.

Archaeology indicates that the Cagayan Valley has been inhabited for half a million years, though no human remains of any such antiquity have yet appeared. The earliest inhabitants are the Agta, or Atta, food-gatherers who roam the forests without fixed abode. A large tract of land has lately been returned to them. The bulk of the population are of Malay origin. For centuries before the coming of the Spanish the inhabitants traded with Indians, Malays, Chinese, and Japanese. In the nineteenth century the prosperity found in tobacco cultivation caused many Ilocanos to settle here. Tobacco is still a major factor in the economy of Cagayan, though a special economic zone and free port has been created to strengthen and diversify the provincial economy. Cagayan has much to offer visitors: beaches, swimming, snorkeling, skin-diving, fishing in the river and the sea, hiking in primeval forest, mountain-climbing, archaeological sites, the remarkable collection of the provincial museum, the Callao Caves, and many fine churches. Even here there are fortifications built to protect the inhabitants from raids by the Moros.
John Ayer
, 28 March 2001

[Cagayan, Philippines] from http://cagayan.ph/peopleartsculture/cagayan_flag.htm

1. The flag shall be rectangular in shape, with the proportion of its length to be twice its width;

2. The Flag shall be composed of three stripes of equal width running horizontally through the length of the flag.

3. The stripes shall be of the following colors with their corresponding symbolism:

  • TOP STRIPE - SKY BLUE - (The azure sky) which stands for justice, honor , and nobility of the people, their sincerity and their traditionally peaceful ways;
  • MIDDLE STRIPE - GOLD - (Color of the bright sun) which symbolizes the wealth of the Province;
  • LOWER STRIPE - GREEN - (the verdant mountains and plains) which depicts the fertility of the soil; it also inspires hope among the people;

The coat of arms shall be approximately 1 1/4 the width of any of the stripes, and the proportions of the width to the depth of the coat of arms will be 6:7;

The coat of arms shall be a faithful reproduction of the official coat of arms as regards proportions, color and designs;

The coat of arms shall be located at the left-hand side of the flag, two spaces equal to the width of the coat of arms from the right edge, and centrally placed in the remaining area to the left, touching the blue stripe and the green stripe while straddling over the gold stripe;

The coat of arms shall nor be bound by an encircling band, but shall be drawn with bold outlines of black to better define its form against the background. Neither shall be the words Province of Cagayan: Official Seal". (A flag is supposed to be an emblem, to portray a symbol; a pennant or a banner does not).

The twenty-nine (29) municipalities, represented by twenty nine (29) stars (white in color) will be placed around the coat of arms.

*Adopted as the Provincial Flag of Cagayan by the Municipal Board in its Resolution No. 319, dated March 11, 1970

Source: http://cagayan.ph/peopleartsculture/cagayan_flag.htm, located by Jay Allen Villapando, 18 March 2005


Isabela

[Isabella, Philippines] by Jaume Oll, 12 January 2001

Proceeding southward (or in alphabetical order, or upriver) through Region II we come to the Province of Isabela, created in 1856 and named for Isabela II, then the Queen of Spain. Isabela is the biggest (10,665 sq.km.) and most populous (1,277,000) province in the Cagayan Valley, and comprises one city (Santiago, for which I have no flag) and thirty-six towns, of which Ilagan is the capital. The Cagayan River runs through the central plains, which are separated from the coast by the Sierra Madre (now often called the Sierra Mountains [apologies to our Spanish-speaking friends]).

About half the land is forested, and the government looks to expand the existing trade in furniture, rattan products, and other forest products. The bulk of the economy is agricultural. Tobacco dominated in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Imposition of a government tobacco monopoly in 1782 led to rebellion and the partial depopulation of many towns. Tobacco is still grown, but so too are rice, bananas, maize, coconuts, and vegetables. The coast is sparsely inhabited, though surfers come to play, and the government is building an airport and seaport on the coast to encourage development. The forests and caves of the wild east are still largely unexplored.
John Ayer
, 28 March 2001


Nueva Vizcaya

[Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines] by Jaume Oll, 12 January 2001

The Philippine Republic's Region II, Cagayan Valley, contains two landlocked provinces, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya. Both are relatively small in size (3057 sq.km. for Quirino, 4081 sq.km. for Nueva Vizcaya) and population (147,000 and 365,000, respectively, by the 2000 census). Both are ruggedly mountainous and heavily forested. Nueva Vizcaya is the remnant of the southern province created when Cagayan Province was divided in two in 1839. Both are ethnically and linguistically diverse, with a substrate of Agtas, Negritos who are food-gatherers with no fixed abode, overlaid by Ilonggos and  others in a number of tribes, some of whom were fierce head-hunters until recently (we are firmly assured that they have given up the practice), with the latest but largest element of the population being Ilocanos. Nueva Vizcaya comprises fifteen towns; Bayombong is the capital. Agriculture in both has until recently consisted of slash-and-burn cultivation of corn and maize, though more stable cultivation of vegetables and fruits is becoming established. Both also produce logs, and are trying to manage their forest resources so that production can be sustained indefinitely. They have deposits of gold, silver, copper, iron. Nueva Vizcaya has sand and clay. At Balete Pass in Nueva Vizcaya the retreating Japanese under General Yamashita dug in and held on for three months against the American and Filipino forces who eventually drove them out; the pass is now called Dalton Pass in honor of General Dalton, USA, who was killed in the fighting.
John Ayer
, 24 March 2001

Nueva Vizcaya was probably named after Vizcaya (English 'Biscay', Basque 'Bizkaia') province in northern Spain. In this case there is some vexillological relationship between them, as the flag of New Biscay bears the arms of Biscay impaled on its seal.
Santiago Dotor, 2 April 2001


Quirino

[Quirino, Philippines] by Jaume Oll, 12 January 2001

The Philippine Republic's Region II, Cagayan Valley, contains two landlocked provinces, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya. Both are relatively small in size (3057 sq.km. for Quirino, 4081 sq.km. for Nueva Vizcaya) and population (147,000 and 365,000, respectively, by the 2000 census). Both are ruggedly mountainous and heavily forested. Quirino was set off as a subprovince in 1966, named in honor of the late Elpidio Quirino, second President of the independent Philippine Republic, and raised to the rank of a province by legislative act of 1971. Both are ethnically and linguistically diverse, with a substrate of Agtas, Negritos who are food-gatherers with no fixed abode, overlaid by Ilonggos and  others in a number of tribes, some of whom were fierce head-hunters until recently (we are firmly assured that they have given up the practice), with the latest but largest element of the population being Ilocanos. Quirino is divided into six towns; its capital is Cabarroguis. Agriculture in both has until recently consisted of slash-and-burn cultivation of corn and maize, though more stable cultivation of vegetables and fruits is becoming established, and Quirino now lists coffee and peanuts among its produce. Both also produce logs, and are trying to manage their forest resources so that production can be sustained indefinitely. They have deposits of gold, silver, copper, iron, and, in Quirino, marble, limestone, and guano. The marble is turned into tiles and figurines. Quirino contains the actual confluence of three mountain streams that is regarded as the head of the Cagayan River. Its shield shows the mountains from which the rivers and logs descend, the river descending to the sea, three trees symbolizing forest and wood products, and rice, maize, and tobacco plants.
John Ayer
, 24 March 2001