Mountain Province is one of seven provinces in the Cordillera Administrative Region. North of the province is Kalinga, on the South are Benguet and Ifugao, on the East is Isabela, and on the West are Ilocos Sur and Abra. It is also geopolitically divided into 10 municipalities and 144 barangays. Its capital is the municipality of Bontoc.
|Region||Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)|
|Area|| 2,097.3 km²|
The central and western portions of theprovince are characterized by towering peaks & sharp ridges; while the eastern parts feature gradual slopes & rolling foothills. It has a land area of 229,231 hectares, of which 83% is mountainous, 77% is composed of forest lands, and 10% is devoted to agriculture.
Major headwaters in the province include the Chico River that irrigates agricultural lands of Bontoc, Sadanga, and Sabangan; and the Siffu River that provides water to rice-producing towns of Barlig, Natonin, and Paracelis on the eastern side.
Climate is generally cool in the higher elevated municipalities of Bauko, Sagada, Tadian, Besao, Barlig, Natonin, and Sadanga. On the other hand, temperatures in the lower elevated municipalities of Sabangan, Bontoc, and Paracelis are prevalently warm. The province also has two seasons – dry from November to April and wet from May to October.
Mountain Province was dubbed by Spanish Administrators in the past as “La Montañosa” due to its rugged terrain. Spanish exploratory attempts to conquer Mountain Province were made from 1566 to 1665; however, total subjugation of the area was never achieved throughout the three centuries of Spanish rule. Spanish occupation succeeded in some portions of the Cordilleras but it ended when Filipino forces took over the Spanish headquarters in Bontoc on September 3, 1899.
In 1907, Mountain Province became a special province of the Philippines and the provincial supervisor at that time was appointed as the first Governor of the province, with Bontoc as the capital town. Its sub-provinces then were Bontoc-Lepanto, Amburayan, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, and Kalinga.
On June 18, 1965, Mountain Province was finally established as an official province of the Philippines.
On March 25, 1967, Mountain Province became an independent province when then President Ferdinand E. Marcos formally appointed and inducted into office the first set of provincial officials.
The following month April 7, 1967, the new Mountain Province came into act through the House Bill No. 1526, separating the province from the old Mountain Province composed of Bontoc, Ifugao, Benguet, Apayao, and Kalinga (BIBAK). This date was unanimously adopted as Mountain Province Day by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan during their regular meeting held on June 10, 1980. Likewise, then President Fidel V. Ramos eventually signed Proclamation No. 144 declaring April 7 as Mountain Province Day.
In 2005, April 7 was celebrated with the conceptualization of the Lang-ay Festival. Lang-ay is a generic term in Mountain Province which means to eat food and drink native wine in fellowship with family, relatives, friends, and community folks.
Mountain Province has a lone legislative district currently represented by Congressman Maximo M. Dalog. The present Governor of the province is Leonard G. Mayaen, while the Vice-Governor is Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr.
Municipalities, Barangays, and Mayors (2010-present)
Barlig:Chupac, Fiangtin, Kaleo, Latang, LiasKanluran, Lingoy, Lunas, Macalana, Ogoog, Gawana (Poblacion), and LiasSilangan
- Hon. Edmundo C. Sidchayao
Bauko:Abatan, BagnenOriente, Bagnen Proper, Balintaugan, Banau, Bila (Bua), Guinzadan Central, Guinzadan Norte, Guinzadan Sur, Lagawa, Leseb, Mabaay, Mayag, Monamon Norte, Monamon Sur, Mount Data, Otucan Norte, Otucan Sur, Poblacion (Bauko), Sadsadan, Sinto, and Tapapan
- Hon. Simon C. Lacwasan
Besao:Agawa, Ambaguio, Banguitan, Besao East (Besao Proper), Besao West, Catengan, Gueday, Lacmaan, Laylaya, Padangan, Payeo, Suquib, Tamboan, and Kin-iway (Poblacion)
- Hon. Wellington B. Pooten
Bontoc:Alab Proper, Alab Oriente, Balili, Bayyo, Bontoc Ili, Caneo, Dalican, Gonogon, Guinaang, Mainit, Maligcong, Samoki, Talubin, Tocucan, Poblacion (Bontoc), and Calutit
- Hon. PascualA. Sacgaca
Natonin:Alunogan, Balangao, Banao, Banawal, Butac, Maducayan, Poblacion, Saliok, Santa Isabel, Tonglayan, and Pudo
- Mateo L. Chiyawan
Paracelis:Anonat, Bacarni, Bananao, Bantay, Butigue, Bunot, Buringal, Palitod, and Poblacion
- Hon. Avelino C. Amangyen
Sabangan:Bao-angan, Bun-ayan, Busa, Camatagan, Capinitan, Data, Gayang, Lagan, Losad, Namatec, Napua, Pingad, Poblacion, Supang, and Tambingan
- Hon. Donato L. Danglose
Sadanga:Anabel, Belwang, Betwagan, Bekigan, Poblacion, Sacasacan, Saclit, and Demang
- Hon. Gabino P. Ganggangan
Sagada:Aguid, Tetepan Sur, Ambasing, Angkeling, Antadao, Balugan, Bangaan, Dagdag (Poblacion), Demang (Poblacion), Fidelisan, Kilong, Madongo, Poblacion (Patay), Pide, Nacagang, Suyo, Taccong, Tanulong, and Tetepan Norte
- Hon. Edwardo P. Latawan, Jr.
Tadian:Balaoa, Banaao, Bantey, Batayan, Bunga, Cadad-anan, Cagubatan, Duagan, Dacudac, Kayan East, Lenga, Lubon, Mabalite, Masla, Pandayan, Poblacion, Sumadel, Tue, and Kayan West
- Hon. Anthony D. Wooden
Economy & Major Industries
The province relies mainly on agriculture for its income, while tourism provides a significant boost to its economy. As of 2007, its income recorded 294 million pesos. The furniture industry is also a growing venture in the province, with fixtures made from pinewood, bamboo, and steel. In addition, the bamboo and rattan basketry is currently varying due to product development, and the age-old handicraft of backstrap weaving is expanded to the use of loom. Woven patterns are now used to design other product lines like bags, purses, tapestry, ethnic costumes, blankets, linen, and fashion accessories.
In 2007, the population of the province reached 148 thousand, with a population density of 67 people per square kilometer. Mountain Province is home to the Bontoc people on the central & northern portions, the Kankana-ey people (also associated with the Applai people) on the western parts, and the Balangao people on the eastern areas. Migrants from other areas of the Philippines also occupy the province.
Several varieties of the Kankana-ey language (Bontoc varieties and Northern Kankana-ey varities) prevail in the province, while the Farangao language is often confined to the Balangaos. On one hand, English, Filipino, and Ilocano are also widely spoken in the province.
- Mt. Amuyao in Barlig – the highest point in Mountain Province and currently the 10th highest mountain in the Philippines; it is also home to a pine forest and a mossy forest. The mountain is situated between the boundary of Mountain Province and Ifugao.
- Mt. Kalawitan in Sabangan – also in the list of highest mountains in the Philippines; it features, as well, a pine forest and a mossy forest. On the way to the summit, one can take a view of the Halsema Road, and the Tirad Peak and Tirad Pass.
- Mt. Ampakaw in Sagada–the highest point in Sagada
- Mt. Clitoris in Tadian – or referred to as Mt. Mugaw by the locals
- Mt. Polis–a mountain range situated between Banaue, Ifugao and Bayyo, Bontoc
- Mt. Data – a plateau just across the boundary of Benguet and Mountain Province, one can see the large rivers of Luzon namely, the Agno, Chico, and Abra Rivers.
- Sagada Caves – features the famous Sumaguing Cave, and other caves, like Matangkib Cave, Sugong Cave, Lumiyang Cave, Balangagan Cave, Nangongogan Cave, Latipan Cave, and Cansil Cave.
Other Natural Attractions
- Hot Springs – Mainit Hot Springs, Sadanga Hot Springs, and Mornang Hot Springs in Barlig
- Waterfalls & Lakes – Bomod-ok Falls, Danum Lake, Aguid Lake, and Waterspots in Sagada; the the Banao Lake in Besao; the Gawaan Lake in Tadian; and Fowa-as Falls in Sadanga
- Rice Terraces –terraces in Mountain Province are distinct, since unlike the Banaue Rice Terraces, these are made of stone riprap. These include the Bangen Rice Terraces in Bauko; the Besao and Bucas Rice Terraces in Besao; the Maligcong, Bayyo, Bontoc Poblacion, and Dalican Rice Terraces in Bontoc; the Kiltepan, Tanulong, Suyo, Bulongan, Bangaan, Ambasing, and Fidelisan Rice Terraces in Sagada; Sadanga & Focong Rice Terraces in Sadanga; the Natonin Rice Terraces; and the Barlig Rice Terraces.
- Burial Caves – ancient burial caves and hanging coffins on cliffs; the Liang Burial Cave in Besao and the rest are located in Sagada.
- Alab Petroglyphs –located in Alab, Bontoc, one can see petroglyphs carved on stones & boulders, which are believed to tell the fertility rites of the natives in the past.
- Bontoc Igorot Museum – founded by Sister Basil Gekiere, ICM; it features a range of artifacts crafted by the Igorots for domestic purposes and prototypes of traditional celebrations & practices.
- Weaving–Sagada (Loom) Weaving House, Sabangan Loom Weaving, and Samoki (Backstrap) Weaving House
- Ceramics–charred jars & other glazed products are made in Bila, Bauko; while pottery as art & craft is being popularized by resident artists in Sagada.
- National Statistical Coordination Board – Cordillera Administrative Region. “Mountain Province at a glance”. January 14, 2010. Accessed October 19, 2011.
- Geotayo Philippines 2009 Accessed October 19, 2011.
- “Masterlist of Barangays”. March 31, 2011 Accessed October 19, 2011.
- Posted by Gina P. Dizon. “Lang-ay Festival in Mountain Province”. February 11, 2009 Accessed October 19, 2011.
- “Mountain Province - Weavers’ Paradise”. F & S Travel Online Services. 2003-2008 Accessed October 20, 2011.
Lindsel C. Ekid. Mountain Province Photos. Bontoc, Mountain Province. October 31 – November 1, 2010.
Lindsel C. Ekid-Bakidol. Maligcong Rice Terraces. Maligcong, Bontoc, Mountain Province. April 22, 2011.