Archive for the ‘Mt. Province’ Category

 CAPITAL: Bontoc

AREA: 2,097 sq.km


The Mountain Province is a landlocked area in the Central Cordilleras in northern Luzon. It is bounded on the north by Kalinga-Apayao, on the east by Isabela, on the west by Abra and llocos Sur, and on the south by Benguet and Ifugao.


Towering peaks and sharp ridges are the main features of the central and western landscape of the province. Gradually sloping and rolling foothills characterize its eastern part. Three major rivers – Chico, Tanudan, and Siffu -create three distinct valleys where the only level lands are found. The province is very wet from June to October and dry from November to May.


On June 18,1966, Republic Act No. 4695 divided the old Mountain Province into four provinces: Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao, and the Mountain Province. The area that retained the old province’s name was the former sub-province of Bontoc. The Spaniards called the territory “La Montanosa” because it had more mountains than any other province. The rugged mountain peaks served as protection against Spanish efforts to colonize and convert the tribes to Christianity. They preserve the tribes’ culture and unique way of life
to this day.

During the Filipino-American War, General Emilio Aguinaldo and his revolutionary force crossed the Cordillera through the Mountain Province in December 1899. They proceeded to Sagada and Bontoc to elude the American troops. They went on to Ifugao and Isabela, where they were eventually captured. The Americans established a civil government in the province. In 1901, Catholic and Protestant missionaries began evangelization work in the high lands. In 1908, the old Mountain Province was created under Act No. 1876 of the Philippine Legislature.


The people are mainly Bontoc Igorots, with llocano migrants from neighboring provinces. Bontoc Igorots are industrious farmers who were once regarded as the most belligerent of the mountain tribes. Though they are Christians, they still cling to their traditional beliefs and rituals. The most famous of these is the canao, in which the entire village participates. A pig or carabao is sacrificed and feasted upon to mark a wedding or death and always at several stages of planting and harvesting rice. The feast is followed by singing and
dancing till dawn to the accompaniment of metal gongs.


The main source of livelihood is agriculture, as well as livestock and poultry raising. Its major crops include vegetables and rootcrops, of which they are the second highest producer in the region, next to Benguet. Tourism also contributes to the economy.

Information gathered from:
League of Provinces
by:Roberto C. Arellano

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