The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), also known as the Cordillera Region, is home to several indigenous tribes collectively called Igorot. It is the only landlocked region in the Philippines, located within the island of Luzon. The region borders the Ilocos Region to the west and southwest, and the Cagayan Valley Region to the north, east, and southeast.
On July 15, 1987, Executive Order No. 220 was issued establishing the Cordillera Administrative Region and comprising of the provinces previously part of the Old Mountain Province.
Here are quick facts and figures about the Cordillera Administrative Region:
- The Cordillera Administrative Region is composed of the provinces Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, and the chartered City of Baguio.
- The term cordillera refers to a broad sequence of mountain ranges. It has a Spanish origin derived from the term "cordilla", a small rope.
- The Cordillera Administrative Region was created by merging some of the provinces from the old Ilocano Regions and Cagayan Valley.
- CAR was formed on July 15, 1987, through Executive Order No. 220 by then President Corazon C. Aquino.
- Kalinga-Apayao used to be a single province until it was separated into two different provinces on February 14, 1995.
- CAR has 6 provinces, 2 cities, 75 municipalities, 1,176 barangays, and 7 congressional districts.
- Cordillera is dubbed as the "Watershed Cradle of North Luzon".
- The Region is the lone landlocked region in the Philippines.
- The old Mountain Province, which was formed by the Americans, originally consisted of Benguet, Amburayan, Bontoc, Apayao, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Lepanto.
- CAR has an area of 18,102.4 sq. km.
- Cordillera has the least population (1,722,006 persons) among the country's regions based on the 2015 PSA census.
- The region is home to 4 National Parks: Cassamata Hill National Park, Mt. Pulag National Park, Mt. Data National Park, and Balbalasang-Balbalan National Park.
- Pulag National Park is the highest mountain peak (2,926 meters above sea level) in Luzon; third in the country. The boundaries between Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya converge at Mt. Pulag's peak.
- The municipality of Daguioman in Abra has the least populated municipality in CAR with 2,088 persons.
- Meanwhile, La Trinidad, Benguet is the most populated municipality (excluding Baguio) with 129,133 persons.
- Irisan in Baguio City has the biggest population of the barangays in Cordillera with 30,507 persons.
- CAR ranks second in terms of the number of indigenous groups of people in the country.
- The term Igorot is an old Tagalog word, meaning "people from the mountains" and is a general term used to include all tribes from the Cordilleras.
- Abra River ranks 6th river in the country in terms of watershed size. It is 178 km in length and has around 5,125 sq. km drainage area.
- Forests in the Cordillera Administrative Region also contribute to the water running through the longest river in the Philippines, the Cagayan River.
Sources: PSA, NCCA
About the author: This article (revised) was shared exclusively by our friend Donnabeth Tolano-Aniban with the Igorotage team. Donnabeth is a licensed Filipino nurse and a former teacher. She now works as an academic writer and also writes on Medium. Her work has been featured in Her View From Home and When In Manila. You can get her book "50 Ideas For A Great Life" on Shopee.