Topography

Cagayan is a vast bio-diverse expanse of plains and valleys, bordered by mountains, running north to south both on its east and west ramparts. It is crisscrossed by rivers and creeks, the largest of which is the Cagayan River, which originates from Quirino, and traverses the Province from south to north. The larger tributaries of the Cagayan River are the Pinacanauan River in Peñablanca in the southeast; the Dummun River in Gattaran and the Pared River in Alcala, both in central Cagayan; and the Zinundungan River in Lasam and the Matalag River in Rizal, both in the west. The other rivers in the Province are the Chico River in southwest Cagayan at Tuao, the Pata River and Abulug River in the northwest, River in the northeast. These rivers drain the plains and valleys of the Province, and provide water for domestic and irrigation purposes, as well.

Of its total land area, 28.19% or 253,831 hectares are flat to nearly level land (See Slope Classification Table). This consists of alluvial plains, river deltas, low wetlands, mangroves, and beaches. Most of these are found contiguous to the bodies of water, especially along the Cagayan, Pared, Dummun, Pinacanauan, Abulug, and Chico rivers. These areas are planted to rice and corn, and are inundated during the wet season. The gentle and moderate slopes of the province, which constitute 6.08% and 13.48%, respectively of the total land area of the province are mostly contiguous to the level land, enclosing the plains of the meandering rivers and creeks. This arrangement forms the various dales or valleys found in between the hills of the province.

Slope Classification
Source: ALMED, Bureau of Soils and Water Management, DA
Description Slope Range Area in Hectares Percent
Flat, nearly level land 0 – 3% 253,831 28.19%
Gently sloping land to undulating 3 – 8% 54,763 6.08%
Moderately sloping land to rolling 8 – 18% 121,386 13.48%
Rolling land to moderately steep 18 – 30% 153,665 17.07%
Steep land 30 – 50% 94,030 10.44%
Very steep land > 50% 222,595 24.73%
TOTALS 900,270 00.00%

Majority of the rolling land to moderately steep areas which account for 17.07% of the province’s total area are found at the foothills of the Sierra Madre and Cordillera mountains, separating the valleys and the lofty ranges.

Steep and very steep land which constitute 10.44% and 24.73%, respectively, of the total land area, or 94,030 hectares and 222,595 hectares, respectively, are found along the Cordilleras, in some parts of Santa Praxedes, Claveria, Sanchez Mira, Pamplona, Lasam, Santo Niño, and Rizal; and in the eastern parts of Santa Ana, Gonzaga, Lal-lo, Gattaran, Baggao and Peñablanca, as the northern mountains of the Sierra Madre range. These serve as its ecological buffer zones.

Resources

Cagayan is richly endowed with mineral and forest resources. It has many things to offer to natural sciences scholars, eco-tourists and resource-based investors.

For Tourists and Visitors: Panoramic beaches, cavernous caves, verdant valleys, thunderous waterfalls, swift rapids, breathtaking vistas are the initial Cagayan’s nature’s delights and wonders. The vast coastal shores and yonder seas are further game fishing and sea-turtle-, dolphin- and whale-watching adventure playgrounds.

For investors: Vast croplands, grasslands, production forests, marine and inland waters, huge mineral deposits, proximity to the emerging dragons of East Asia, a pliable, skillful and plentiful workforce, and bio-diverse resources await them.

Agriculture

The Province is among the major agriculturalproducts suppliers of the National Capital Region, especially for grains and legumes. Rice, corn, vegetables, sugar, mango, cassava, banana, cacao, coffee, tubers, watermelon and other agricultural crops abound in the Province.

 

Cagayan is also Region 2’s major livestock producer. It has the third largest population of carabaos in the entire country, with a total of more than 138,000 heads. Majority of Cagayan’s stocks are native carabaos, however, new breeds are being introduced for meat and dairy. The cattle population of the Province is more than 37,000 heads.

Production of cattle, carabao, goat, and sheep, both for meat and dairy, has a great potential for development in Cagayan owing to the wide expanse of available pasture lands and disease free local stock. Commercial hog and poultry raising are also growing industries in the Province. The Province’s sizeable food harvests can support large-scale food processing and animal feed milling industries.

Forests

Forests cover half of Cagayan’s total land area.These forests are a rich source of timber, rattan, bamboo and nipa. Medium and smallscale wood processors transform these raw materials into furniture, builder’s woodworks, gifts, toys and houseware items which are exported to Japan, Taiwan, United States and Europe.

Industrial and orchard tree plantations for gmelina, narra, mahogany, acacia mangium, mango, citrus and other fruit-bearing trees, cacao and others are viable endeavors in Cagayan.

Tree plantations in conjunction with the reforestation efforts of the government are expected to sustain the increasing growth of the Province’s furniture industry that would result in the generation of employment and higher export earnings for the Province.

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources

Cagayan’s coastline is one of the longest in the country having almost 73% of Cagayan Valley Region’s coasts. This is aside from the large rivers and their tributaries, lakes, creeks and streams which are also rich fishing and aquaculture grounds. Untapped coastal fishing grounds stretch from the towns of Sta. Praxedes in the west to Sta. Ana on the east, on its northern coast facing the Babuyan Channel (China Sea); and from Sta. Ana down to Peñablanca on its eastern coast facing the Philippine Sea (Pacific Ocean). Despite this endowment, the Province’s fish production is not even enough to supply and sustain its own fish requirements.

Deep sea fishing is not a common occurrence in the Province – thus, foreign poachers are the ones reaping the bounties of its seas. Cagayan’s deep seas are known for species like tuna, tuna-like fishes, hairtail, snapper, scad, slipmouth, mullet, grouper, shrimp, squid, and lobsters. The inland waters are used primarily by subsistence fishermen. Few privately-operated fishponds and fish cages contribute to the overall fish supply of the Province. Only about 1,893.84 are used for fishpond operations. Out of which, 1,369.22 hectares are used for brackish fishpond operations. A total of 46,303 cubic meters are used by various cooperators for fish cage operations. Out of which, 41,034 cubic meters are used for brackish fish caging. Buguey has the widest area for fishponds and Sanchez Mira has the highest fish cage cooperators. Tilapia, bangus, tiger prawn, mud crab, shrimp and siganid are commonly raised and cultured.

About 91 hectares are used for other aquaculture activities like oyster, mussel and seaweeds culture.

The beaches and waters surrounding Port Sta. Ana up to Cape Engaño in Palaui Island offer a haven for fishing and scuba enthusiasts. This area is known for the prime fish catches of various species of tuna, tuna-like species, snappers and other fishes. The area is said to have the largest blue fin tuna catch in the entire country. This may be due to the fact that it is part of the Luzon Strait which is a known migratory path and feeding ground of tuna and other prime fishes.

Large-scale development of the fisheries industry, both for aquacapture and aquaculture, is one of the possible ventures for investors.

Minerals

Large deposits of both metallic and non-metallic mineral resources such as gold, copper, iron, magnetite sand, manganese, perlite, limestone, sulphur, gypsum, guano, silica, phosphate deposits, ceramic clay, bentonite clay, red burning clay, black sand, pebbles, sand and gravel are found in Cagayan.

Only few of these mineral reserves, however, are being mined, and are yet to be developed on commercial scales.

To date, there are various prominent mining companies undertaking exploration activities in the Province. Gold and copper explorations are being conducted in Claveria and Peñablanca. Limestone extractions in Gonzaga and Sta. Teresita and open-cut small-scale mining for manganese are also being undertaken in Barangays Dagupan and San Mariano of Lal-lo.

The only dominant mining activity in the Province is gravel and sand extraction. Large coal reserve whose quality is appropriate for power generation was discovered in Iguig and the exploration permit of the company involved is now converted to development permit.

Population

The Province of Cagayan has a total population of approximately 1,111,045 which gives an overall population density of about 123 people per square kilometer.

The distribution, however, is uneven; large areas are virtually uninhabited, while others have a relatively high population density, specifically that of Tuguegarao City, Sta. Teresita, Solana, Tuao, Aparri and Claveria. The population has a growth rate of about 2.26%. Population density tends to gravitate in the lowlands near the riverbanks while sparse distribution happens as you go uplands.

Location

Cagayan occupies the northeastern tip of the Philippines, bounded bythe Batanes Islands on the north, thePhilippine Sea (Pacific Ocean) on the east, Isabela Province on the south, and the Cordillera mountain ranges on the west, Cagayan has a total land area of 9,002.70 sq. km. It is just about 480 kilometers north of Manila. It is strategically located near the growing tigers of South East Asia like Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea and even Hong Kong and Japan. It is about 2,730 kilometers south west of Tokyo, Japan or only 570 kilometers south of Kaoshiung, Taiwan.

Literacy Rate

The population’s functional literacy is 86.72%. About 24.87% have at least reached fifth grade education, 49.56% have undergone secondary level, while 25.66% have college or post-graduate education.

Languages

English and Filipino are widely used and spoken in Cagayan. Predominant local languages are Ilocano, Ybanag, Ytawes and Malaueg. Pangasinense, Maranao and other dialects are also used in some areas where migrants abound.

Majority of the Cagayanos can speak at least two of the local languages and have good command, or at least a working knowledge, of the English language.

Land Area and Political Subdivision

The Province, the second largest province in the Region, comprises an aggregate land area of 9,002.70 square kilometers, which constitutes three percent (3%) of the total land area of the country.

It is politically subdivided into three (3) districts, one (1) component city, twenty-eight (28) municipalities and 820 barangays. Tuguegarao City is the provincial capital as well as the regional center of Cagayan Valley Region. Its 28 municipalities are Abulug, Amulung, Alcala, Allacapan, Aparri, Baggao, Ballesteros, Buguey, Calayan, Camalaniugan, Claveria, Enrile, Gattaran, Gonzaga, Iguig, Lallo, Lasam, Piat, Pamplona, Peñablanca, Rizal, Sta. Ana, Sta. Teresita, Sto. Niño, Sanchez Mira, Sta. Praxedes, Solana, and Tuao.

Labor & Employment

The Province’s manpower resources are more than adequate to meet the requirements for highly skilled and semi-skilled industrial and agricultural workers. There are at present 493,500 labor force, out of which 97% or 479,000 are gainfully employed; out of which, 330,000 are in agriculture and 149,000 are in nonagriculture sector.

The daily wage rate prevailing in the Province is P182.00 for non-agriculture and P170.00 for agriculture sector. The P182.00 daily wage rate also applies to cottage/handicraft enterprises, private hospitals and retail services.

The existence of 31 tertiary schools and 26 vocational schools offering technical education courses guarantee the continuing development and steady supply of manpower. Out of the thirty one tertiary schools, two (2) are private universities, namely: Saint Paul’s University and University of Saint Louis, both located in Tuguegarao City; and one(1) is a state university, the Cagayan State University, with seven campuses all over the Province.

History

ARCHEOLOGICAL FINDINGS dating back to the Paleolithic Age indicate that the ancestors of modern humans had settled in Cagayan as early as 500,000 years ago. Man may have followed large mammals into the valley in search of game. The Agtas were probably the first modern humans to populate the vast Cagayan Valley region, followed by various Malayo-Polynesian groups who settled in the Cagayan plains and established culturally similar but ethically distinct communities.

Spanish explorer Juan de Salcedo explored the coast of Cagayan in 1572 and found the people conducting trade with Chinese and Japanese merchants. In 1582, after driving away Japanese pirates who had settled along the Cagayan coast, the Spaniards decided to settle in Lallo, which they renamed Nueva Segovia. In 1595, Nueva Segovia became the seat of a diocese, which covered the entire northern Luzon.

The pacification and settlement of the Cagayan proceeded slowly because of the hostility of the natives who were indisposed to colonization. Christian evangelization began in 1596 with the arrival of Dominican missionaries in Cagayan. Revolts continued to rock the province and threatened to supplant the Spanish colonial government in the area. These revolts found a continuing reservoir of support from the unconverted highland peoples who continually harassed the Christian settlement of the valley.

In the late 18th century, Cagayan felt the full impact of the tobacco monopoly. Cultivation of tobacco, which was an important article of trade and consumption, was initially prohibited. Anti-monopoly revolts broke out in 1787 and many settlements near the highlands were abandoned by natives who wanted to continue cultivating tobacco. Ten years later, tobacco cultivation was allowed in the valley and Cagayan soon became the single largest source of the cash crop in the archipelago. Ilokano migration into the valley facilitated the expansion of agriculture in the region. By the middle of the 19th century, the great number of Ilokano settlers allowed the Iloko language to supplant Ybanag as the regional lingua franca.

Under the Spaniards, the whole northeastern part of the island of Luzon, plus some small islands in the Balintang Channel constituted a single province of Cagayan. In 1839 the southern half of the valley was formed into a politico-military district of Nueva Vizcaya. In 1856, parts of Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya were formed into the province of Isabela. Cagayan lost more territory with the formation of the partido of Itawes in 1889 and the comandancia of Apayao in 1890. The Americans delineated the present day limits of Cagayan in 1908.

In 1901, the United States Philippine Commission enacted Act No. 209 which in effect established the Provincial Government of Cagayan. In 1917, as contained in Act No. 2711, Cagayan was recognized as a grand division of the Philippine Islands. The province then comprised of 24 municipalities with Tuguegarao as its capital town.

During the Second World War, Japanese units landed in Aparri town a few days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. The valley again figured prominently in the plans of Japanese forces to defend it as a secure line of retreat to Taiwan in 1945. Filipino guerillas and American forces from Ilocos formally drove the Japanese to the Cordilleras.

Demography
People
The Province of Cagayan is the home of many ethnic groups.

Majority of the households are “Ilocanos” which constitutes 68.40% of the total populace. The natives of Cagayan which are the “Ibanags”, “Itawes”, and “Malawegs” contitute 17.30%, 8.9%, and 1.40%, respectively. Migrant “Tagalogs” constitutes 2.60% and “Ifugaos”, “Kalingas”, “Pampangos”, “Cebuanos”, “Pangasinenses”, “Ilongos”, “Bicolanos”, and others constitute the remaining 1.4% of the populace.

Population 2000 and 2007 and Annual Average Growth Rate
Source: National Statistics Office-RO2
City/Municipality 2000 2007 Annual Average Growth Rate
ABULUG 26,683 28,769 1.08%
ABULUG 26,683 28,769 1.08%
ABULUG 26,683 28,769 1.08%
ABULUG 26,683 28,769 1.08%
ABULUG 26,683 28,769 1.08%
Projected Populations by Sex and by Single-Calendar Years: 2006-2010
Source: National Statistics Office-RO2 (Based on 2000 Census of Population)
CAGAYAN 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Both 1,105,200 1,124,600 1,143,500 1,162,800 1,182,700
Both 1,105,200 1,124,600 1,143,500 1,162,800 1,182,700
Both 1,105,200 1,124,600 1,143,500 1,162,800 1,182,700
Population, Land Area, and Population Density 2000 and 2007
Source: National Statistics Office-RO2
City/Municipality Population Land Area Population Density
2000 2007 2000 2007
ABULUG 26,683 28,769 162.6 164.1 176.9
ABULUG 26,683 28,769 162.6 164.1 176.9
ABULUG 26,683 28,769 162.6 164.1 176.9
ABULUG 26,683 28,769 162.6 164.1 176.9
ABULUG 26,683 28,769 162.6 164.1 176.9
Source: National Statistics Office-RO2
Climate

Cagayan, exemplifies tropical Philippines, thus, is generally warm, humid and sunny throughout the year. It has three types of climates. Type I climate prevails in Santa Praxedes and in western Claveria, which have two pronounced seasons: wet, May to October and dry, the rest of the year. Type III climate is experienced in the eastern part of the Sierra Madre mountains and in the Babuyan group of islands, where rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year mainly because of the northeast tradewinds. This further enhances the economic potential of the sea level lands along the pacific coast of the Province.

IThe rest of the province, which consists of the valley floor, has Type II climate, and that means no pronounced season; relatively wet from May to October. Maximum rain periods are not very pronounced and dry seasons last from one to three months.

From November to January, the northwest monsoon from East Asia brings dry and cool winds to this valley floor. Because of the open coastline in the north, this part of the province feels the full impact of this phenomenon, which could mean cold mornings and evenings, with average temperatures ranging from 18 to 21 degrees Celsius. The tradewinds from the Pacific are blocked by the Sierra Madre range. Being on the leeward, this part has hot and dry climate in summers from February to May, with average temperatures ranging from 30 to 38 degrees Celsius. From June to October, the southwest monsoon from the Southern Hemisphere brings heavy rainfall as it blows over the mountains. This heavy rainfall extends to the early part of November. During these months, rainy days could average 11 to 20 days a month. Being sheltered by the Sierra Madre Mountains the prevailing winds are north and northwest in the valley floor of Cagayan. This part of the province is driest in February to March.

City and Towns

English and Filipino are widely used and spoken in Cagayan. Predominant local languages are Ilocano, Ybanag, Ytawes and Malaueg. Pangasinense, Maranao and other dialects are also used in some areas where migrants abound.

Majority of the Cagayanos can speak at least two of the local languages and have good command, or at least a working knowledge, of the English language.

Cagayan Brief Profile

Cagayan is part of one of the largest valleys in the Philippines formed by the majestic Sierra Madre and Cordillera mountain ranges. It is traversed by the mighty 330-km long Cagayan River and its various tributaries.

Cagayan is a very ancient civilization. It has its distinct, rich and diverse culture. Commerce and trade was practiced by its inhabitants and has flourished with the Japanese, Chinese and other neighbor Asian countries even before the Spanish colonizers reached its shores. Archeological findings dating back to the Paleolithic Age indicate that the ancestors of modern humans had settled in Cagayan as early as 500,000 years ago. Archeologists also found evidences that agriculture has developed much earlier in Cagayan than in any other place in Asia. Its ancientness is evidenced by the presence of centuries-old churches and other religious relics, archeological sites of nomadic tribes, and richness of its local language and culture.

Cagayan with its ancientness is still replete with adventure and excitement. It can flaunt its pristine natural beauty and endowment. It has breathtaking sceneries, beaches, cavernous caves, thunderous falls, rapids, rivers, limestone mountains, thick and virgin forests, verdant valleys and many more.

Anthems
Cagayan Hymn
Ybanag Version

By Nicanor Carag

I

Cagayan, dabbun nga cacastan niacan
Egga ca lara nacuan ta piam,
Nu curug tu naparayu ca niacan
Ariata ca Bulubuga nga cattaman

Chorus

Cagayan, maquemmemmi ca nga innan
Cagayan, auan tu caguittam;
Nu ani paga casta na dabbun caruan
Egga ca la ta futu’ ñga ideducan.

Emblems
Provincial Flower
What is the “GARDENIA”?

Gardenia is a genus of ornamental trees and shrubs in the “madder” family “Rubiacea”, native to subtropical regions of China, Japan and Africa. The solitary white or infrequently yellow flowers of gardenias are showy, highly fragrant and have velvety petals.

Of the more than fifty species, the best known is “Gardenia Jasminoides”. Sometimes called “caps jasmine”. Many horticultural varieties of this specie have been developed and are in great demand as cut flowers for use in corsages or for seasonal gifts as potted plants. In the warmer regions of North America, particularly in Southern United States, gardenias are used extensively in outdoor landscape planting. In cooler regions, gardenias are popular as house plants.

Provincial Flag

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).

Province of Cagayan Official Seal

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).

Literature
People, Culture and the Arts

Due to the influx of Ilokano migrants in the last century, majority of the people of Cagayan speak Iloko as their primary tongue. Aside from the Ilokanos, there are several smaller ethnic groups that live in the province. The Ybanags are the dominant ethnic group in the vicinity of the provincial capital of Cagayan-—Tuguegarao, now a city. The closely related Itawits inhabit the Pinacanauan River valley as well as areas of Amulung and Tuao. The Malawegs are found mainly in the municipality of Rizal . In the foothills and the mountains of the Sierra Madre Range , several Negrito groups called the Agtas forage and hunt for food. The established lingua franca of the province is Ybanag.

The Ybanags, Itawits and Malawegs are mainly lowland farmers whose agricultural practices are similar to those of the Ilokanos. The Ybanags used to inhabit the area along the Cagayan coast but migrated further inland. They conducted trade with neighboring areas using distinctive seacrafts, and their commercial interests made their language the medium of commerce throughout the region before the influx of Ilokano migrants. They are also excellent blacksmiths and continue to make good bolos. The Ybanags are reputed to be the tallest of all the ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippines.

The Itawits are almost indistinguishable from the Ybanags. They build their houses with separate kitchens, connected by a narrow walkway that is used as washing area for hands and feet. The Itawits are noted for their pottery and basket-weaving traditions.

The culture of Cagayan is showcased in museums, historical buildings and archeological sites spread across the province. In Solana, the Neolithic archeological sites in Lanna have yielded stone tools used as early as 20,000 years back. The Cabarruan jar burial site, also in the town, features ancient Filipino traditions of taking care of their dead. The Cagayan Museum is a repository of the province´s cultural heritage. Iron Age pottery, Chinese Ming and Sung dynasty porcelain pieces as well as Church paraphernalia are on display together with Paleolithic fossils. The oldest bell in the country, cast in 1592, still peals from the tower of the church in Camalaniugan. The old brick works in Tuguegarao lie inside the city and speak of a time when bricks were extensively used to build the beautiful churches of the Cagayan.

Ybanag Dialect: Potent Factor in Cagayan’s Evangelization

The Ybanag dialect was a very potent factor in the difficult and hazardous evangelization of the pagan and hostile inhabitants of the Cagayan Valley.

The evangelization and pacification of the valley were difficult because the communities found by the colonizers were far apart, separated by primeval spans of wild forests with crocodile-infested rivers to cross or along which the missionaries and soldiers had to travel. There were also the great calamities–epidemic, locust infestations, floods and earthquakes–which caused great difficulties and sufferings to the people, and though to us today the calamities were natural phenomena, the pagan natives blamed their occurences on the coming of the white people.

The early chronicles of Cagayan Valley , the natives, especially the Irrayas and Gaddangs, were fierce and warlike. This was so, apparently because living in separate communities, independent of each other, they cultivated fierce love for freedom. Thus, they resisted the abuses committed by the officials and their encomienderos, to the extent of rising a revolt–the history of the province tells of numerous and frequent insurrections in some of which the native rebels killed all the Spanish officials.

It was always the missionaries who consoled the natives in time of the calamities and who pacified them when they revolted, for the guns of the Spanish soldiers were futile against the fury which the natives displayed in defense of their rights and sense of freedom.

How did the missionaries accomplish their difficult and hazardous tasks and pacification?

Mainly, because they and only they among the Spaniards, learned the Ybanag and, fired by their zeal to spread the Catholic faith, unmindful of the difficulties and dangers, they penetrated even the farthest native communities, and taught the Ybanag to the non-Ybanag speaking natives.

It should be remembered that at the time of the coming of the Spaniards, there were dialects spoken in the Cagayan Valley as there were distinct tribes. The pure Ybanag was spoken only from Masi or Pamplona to Gattaran.

In the Itawes district, composed of Piat, Tuao, Malaweg and Santa Cruz de gumpat, the Itawes dialect was generally spoken, with Cammang, Bayambanan, Malaweg, Nabayugan, Apayao and Aeta spoken by the respective tribes.

In the south district, the territory from Nassiping to Fural, a barrio of Gamu (Isabela), the spoken dialects were the Irraya, Gaddang, Iyogad, Catalagan, Dadayag, Aripa and Aeta. In general, Irraya was spoken from Tuguegarao, to Ilagan; the Gaddang from Reina Mercedes (Isabela) to Bayombong (Nueva Vizcaya); the Iyogad was the dialect in the plains of Diffun (Quirino) toward the Cagayan River; and in the towns of Dupax, Bambang and Aritao in Nueva Vizcaya, the Isinay and Ilongote were spoken.

In 1581, after he drove away the Japanese marauding the communities on both sides of the mouth of the Cagayan River, Captain Juan Pablo Carrion sailed to Lallo and founded there the Mission of Nueva Segovia which became the springboard of the missionaries in their evangelization of the valley and also the seat of the civil government was established in 1583.

The missionaries, on starting their evangelization work in the territory from Masi to Gattaran, had to learn the spoken dialect, Ybanag, in which they had to preach. They wrote cartillas, catechisms, and prayer books in this dialect. When they and the other missionaries were sent to the non-Ybanag speaking communities, they taught the dialect far and wide.

For example, when Beato, Fr. Luis Flores and R.P. Fr. Francisco Manego were sent to Pilitan, a place near Isabela, they were ordered to make their parishioners learn Ybanag.

In 1725, Fr. Jose Herrera extended the order to Bayombong. In this order, Fr. Herrera said, “I also order that all religious missionaries of Paniqui study Ybanag and see to it that the boys and girls recite all the prayers in Ybanag, and to those who come down from the mountains and who will be converted to our Holy Catholic faith, they should know the mysteries to be able to receive the waters of baptism, in the same language, so that in the course of time everybody will speak the Ybanag dialect.”

Finally, toward 1876, the R.R. Fr. Ruperto Alarcon made it obligatory from Aparri to Carig. He transferred to Buguey a priest who was opposed to the idea.

In the closing years of the nineteenth century, Ybanag was spoken from the coastal towns of Cagayan to Bayombong, except among some tribes in the Itawes region and in Nueva Viscaya who, through the centuries, successfully evaded being christianized. Up to the third decade of the present century, only Ybanag was spoken in the problacions of Tuguegarao, Peñablanca and Solana, in Cagayan, and in San Pablo , Cabagan, Tumauini, and Ilagan in Isabela.

In Tuguegarao, a bilingual (Spanish-Ybanag) weekly newspaper, the Verdad, was published by Honorario Lasam, and later, another bilingual (English-Ybanag), La Sinseridad, was published by Antonio Carag and edited by Jose Carag. Good writers in Ybanag wrote in these newspapers. In the Verdad, Servando Liban maintained a lively, satirical column under his pen name,Allibut; and in Sinderidad, Agustin Saquing serialized in epic poem form the story of “Charlemagne and His Twelve Peers.” Ybanag zarsuelas, dramas, poems and essays were common.

It was thus that the Ybanag known and spoken only from Pamplona to Gattaran on the arrival of the Spaniards late in the 16th century became the language generally spoken throughout the Cagayan Valley . Thanks to the zeal of the Dominican and Agustinian missionaries. The Ybanag was the potent instrument with which they successfully christianized the pagan natives through the long, almost 400 years of Spanish colonial regime.

Ybanag Folk Literature

Ybanag folk literature, like any other literature, is the expression of Cagayano’s joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, love and hatred, the very ingredients that whipped up all the literary genre handed down to us.

The Ybanags, like any other groups of people, meet life in all its naked conflicts: man versus man; man versus environment or society; man versus himself; man versus his conscience, nay, man versus his God.

All these conflicts, since the glorious days of Ybanag legendary heroes, Biuag and Malana, and since the heroic times of Magalad and Dayag, have brought enmity, disunity, divisiveness, lust for wealth and self, and to use the words of a sociologist, ethnic violence and suicide.

This in the span of some five hundred years, Ybanag folk literary, and Ybanag balladeer, verzista, the Ybanag minstrel, rural folk and countryside mystics composed and handed down volumes of folk literature advocating love, peace, justice, honesty, unity, morality, reconciliation and betterment of life style.

Ybanag folk literature is didactic, moralistic, predominantly sentimental, romantic, socialistic, comic and spiritual–all aimed at uniting the Cagayanos, brave like the kasi or wild cock that challenges them to greatness at sunrise; mission-oriented like the Bannag on whose banks their forebears were rooted; graceful as the bamboo that bends in the winds of challenges; sturdy as the Manga in the typhoons of controversies.

Cagayan Epic: Biuag and Malana

Biuag was from Enrile, the southern most part of Cagayan. When he was born, his mother was visited by an exceptionally beautiful woman who silently admired the baby. When it dawned on the child’s mother that her visitor was a goddess, she knelt and implored her child with long life.

The goddess made no reply. Instead, she placed three small stones around the neck of the baby where one stone protected him from any bodily harm. When he was big enough to swim across the wide river, the crocodiles created a path for him. The other two stones gave him supernatural powers and prowess. He could go faster than the wind. He could throw easily a carabao across the hills when he was only at the age of twelve. He could uproot a big beetle nut as if it were a wood. On account of this display of extraordinary strength, people from far and wide places came to see him.

Despite all these powers, Biuag seemed troubled and unhappy. In the town of Tuao , he fell in love with a young lady with unsurpassed beauty. No one could tell where this lady came from nor could anyone say who this lady was. Biuag wanted to find her. His waking hours were thoughts of her.

There was another young man from Malaueg, called Malana who was gifted with powers similar to that of Biuag. When Malana was eighteen, a devastating typhoon destroyed all the crops of Malaueg. The people were in grip of appalling famine. Their only hope of starving off came from a very distant place, Sto. Niño. It was very difficult and dangerous to journey the place, because the river to cross was wide and full of crocodiles. Malana understood the hazards of the journey but finally volunteered to take the journey. He loaded cavans of palay to seven bamboo rafts.

Ybanag Folk Poetry

Despite all these powers, Biuag seemed troubled and unhappy. In the town of Tuao , he fell in love with a young lady with unsurpassed beauty. No one could tell where this lady came from nor could anyone say who this lady was. Biuag wanted to find her. His waking hours were thoughts of her.

There was another young man from Malaueg, called Malana who was gifted with powers similar to that of Biuag. When Malana was eighteen, a devastating typhoon destroyed all the crops of Malaueg. The people were in grip of appalling famine. Their only hope of starving off came from a very distant place, Sto. Niño. It was very difficult and dangerous to journey the place, because the river to cross was wide and full of crocodiles. Malana understood the hazards of the journey but finally volunteered to take the journey. He loaded cavans of palay to seven bamboo rafts.

Literature
People, Culture and the Arts

Due to the influx of Ilokano migrants in the last century, majority of the people of Cagayan speak Iloko as their primary tongue. Aside from the Ilokanos, there are several smaller ethnic groups that live in the province. The Ybanags are the dominant ethnic group in the vicinity of the provincial capital of Cagayan-—Tuguegarao, now a city. The closely related Itawits inhabit the Pinacanauan River valley as well as areas of Amulung and Tuao. The Malawegs are found mainly in the municipality of Rizal . In the foothills and the mountains of the Sierra Madre Range , several Negrito groups called the Agtas forage and hunt for food. The established lingua franca of the province is Ybanag.

The Ybanags, Itawits and Malawegs are mainly lowland farmers whose agricultural practices are similar to those of the Ilokanos. The Ybanags used to inhabit the area along the Cagayan coast but migrated further inland. They conducted trade with neighboring areas using distinctive seacrafts, and their commercial interests made their language the medium of commerce throughout the region before the influx of Ilokano migrants. They are also excellent blacksmiths and continue to make good bolos. The Ybanags are reputed to be the tallest of all the ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippines.

The Itawits are almost indistinguishable from the Ybanags. They build their houses with separate kitchens, connected by a narrow walkway that is used as washing area for hands and feet. The Itawits are noted for their pottery and basket-weaving traditions.

The culture of Cagayan is showcased in museums, historical buildings and archeological sites spread across the province. In Solana, the Neolithic archeological sites in Lanna have yielded stone tools used as early as 20,000 years back. The Cabarruan jar burial site, also in the town, features ancient Filipino traditions of taking care of their dead. The Cagayan Museum is a repository of the province´s cultural heritage. Iron Age pottery, Chinese Ming and Sung dynasty porcelain pieces as well as Church paraphernalia are on display together with Paleolithic fossils. The oldest bell in the country, cast in 1592, still peals from the tower of the church in Camalaniugan. The old brick works in Tuguegarao lie inside the city and speak of a time when bricks were extensively used to build the beautiful churches of the Cagayan.

Ybanag Dialect: Potent Factor in Cagayan’s Evangelization

The Ybanag dialect was a very potent factor in the difficult and hazardous evangelization of the pagan and hostile inhabitants of the Cagayan Valley.

The evangelization and pacification of the valley were difficult because the communities found by the colonizers were far apart, separated by primeval spans of wild forests with crocodile-infested rivers to cross or along which the missionaries and soldiers had to travel. There were also the great calamities–epidemic, locust infestations, floods and earthquakes–which caused great difficulties and sufferings to the people, and though to us today the calamities were natural phenomena, the pagan natives blamed their occurences on the coming of the white people.

The early chronicles of Cagayan Valley , the natives, especially the Irrayas and Gaddangs, were fierce and warlike. This was so, apparently because living in separate communities, independent of each other, they cultivated fierce love for freedom. Thus, they resisted the abuses committed by the officials and their encomienderos, to the extent of rising a revolt–the history of the province tells of numerous and frequent insurrections in some of which the native rebels killed all the Spanish officials.

It was always the missionaries who consoled the natives in time of the calamities and who pacified them when they revolted, for the guns of the Spanish soldiers were futile against the fury which the natives displayed in defense of their rights and sense of freedom.

How did the missionaries accomplish their difficult and hazardous tasks and pacification?

Mainly, because they and only they among the Spaniards, learned the Ybanag and, fired by their zeal to spread the Catholic faith, unmindful of the difficulties and dangers, they penetrated even the farthest native communities, and taught the Ybanag to the non-Ybanag speaking natives.

It should be remembered that at the time of the coming of the Spaniards, there were dialects spoken in the Cagayan Valley as there were distinct tribes. The pure Ybanag was spoken only from Masi or Pamplona to Gattaran.

In the Itawes district, composed of Piat, Tuao, Malaweg and Santa Cruz de gumpat, the Itawes dialect was generally spoken, with Cammang, Bayambanan, Malaweg, Nabayugan, Apayao and Aeta spoken by the respective tribes.

In the south district, the territory from Nassiping to Fural, a barrio of Gamu (Isabela), the spoken dialects were the Irraya, Gaddang, Iyogad, Catalagan, Dadayag, Aripa and Aeta. In general, Irraya was spoken from Tuguegarao, to Ilagan; the Gaddang from Reina Mercedes (Isabela) to Bayombong (Nueva Vizcaya); the Iyogad was the dialect in the plains of Diffun (Quirino) toward the Cagayan River; and in the towns of Dupax, Bambang and Aritao in Nueva Vizcaya, the Isinay and Ilongote were spoken.

In 1581, after he drove away the Japanese marauding the communities on both sides of the mouth of the Cagayan River, Captain Juan Pablo Carrion sailed to Lallo and founded there the Mission of Nueva Segovia which became the springboard of the missionaries in their evangelization of the valley and also the seat of the civil government was established in 1583.

The missionaries, on starting their evangelization work in the territory from Masi to Gattaran, had to learn the spoken dialect, Ybanag, in which they had to preach. They wrote cartillas, catechisms, and prayer books in this dialect. When they and the other missionaries were sent to the non-Ybanag speaking communities, they taught the dialect far and wide.

For example, when Beato, Fr. Luis Flores and R.P. Fr. Francisco Manego were sent to Pilitan, a place near Isabela, they were ordered to make their parishioners learn Ybanag.

In 1725, Fr. Jose Herrera extended the order to Bayombong. In this order, Fr. Herrera said, “I also order that all religious missionaries of Paniqui study Ybanag and see to it that the boys and girls recite all the prayers in Ybanag, and to those who come down from the mountains and who will be converted to our Holy Catholic faith, they should know the mysteries to be able to receive the waters of baptism, in the same language, so that in the course of time everybody will speak the Ybanag dialect.”

Finally, toward 1876, the R.R. Fr. Ruperto Alarcon made it obligatory from Aparri to Carig. He transferred to Buguey a priest who was opposed to the idea.

In the closing years of the nineteenth century, Ybanag was spoken from the coastal towns of Cagayan to Bayombong, except among some tribes in the Itawes region and in Nueva Viscaya who, through the centuries, successfully evaded being christianized. Up to the third decade of the present century, only Ybanag was spoken in the problacions of Tuguegarao, Peñablanca and Solana, in Cagayan, and in San Pablo , Cabagan, Tumauini, and Ilagan in Isabela.

In Tuguegarao, a bilingual (Spanish-Ybanag) weekly newspaper, the Verdad, was published by Honorario Lasam, and later, another bilingual (English-Ybanag), La Sinseridad, was published by Antonio Carag and edited by Jose Carag. Good writers in Ybanag wrote in these newspapers. In the Verdad, Servando Liban maintained a lively, satirical column under his pen name,Allibut; and in Sinderidad, Agustin Saquing serialized in epic poem form the story of “Charlemagne and His Twelve Peers.” Ybanag zarsuelas, dramas, poems and essays were common.

It was thus that the Ybanag known and spoken only from Pamplona to Gattaran on the arrival of the Spaniards late in the 16th century became the language generally spoken throughout the Cagayan Valley . Thanks to the zeal of the Dominican and Agustinian missionaries. The Ybanag was the potent instrument with which they successfully christianized the pagan natives through the long, almost 400 years of Spanish colonial regime.

Ybanag Folk Literature

Ybanag folk literature, like any other literature, is the expression of Cagayano’s joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, love and hatred, the very ingredients that whipped up all the literary genre handed down to us.

The Ybanags, like any other groups of people, meet life in all its naked conflicts: man versus man; man versus environment or society; man versus himself; man versus his conscience, nay, man versus his God.

All these conflicts, since the glorious days of Ybanag legendary heroes, Biuag and Malana, and since the heroic times of Magalad and Dayag, have brought enmity, disunity, divisiveness, lust for wealth and self, and to use the words of a sociologist, ethnic violence and suicide.

This in the span of some five hundred years, Ybanag folk literary, and Ybanag balladeer, verzista, the Ybanag minstrel, rural folk and countryside mystics composed and handed down volumes of folk literature advocating love, peace, justice, honesty, unity, morality, reconciliation and betterment of life style.

Ybanag folk literature is didactic, moralistic, predominantly sentimental, romantic, socialistic, comic and spiritual–all aimed at uniting the Cagayanos, brave like the kasi or wild cock that challenges them to greatness at sunrise; mission-oriented like the Bannag on whose banks their forebears were rooted; graceful as the bamboo that bends in the winds of challenges; sturdy as the Manga in the typhoons of controversies.

Cagayan Epic: Biuag and Malana

Biuag was from Enrile, the southern most part of Cagayan. When he was born, his mother was visited by an exceptionally beautiful woman who silently admired the baby. When it dawned on the child’s mother that her visitor was a goddess, she knelt and implored her child with long life.

The goddess made no reply. Instead, she placed three small stones around the neck of the baby where one stone protected him from any bodily harm. When he was big enough to swim across the wide river, the crocodiles created a path for him. The other two stones gave him supernatural powers and prowess. He could go faster than the wind. He could throw easily a carabao across the hills when he was only at the age of twelve. He could uproot a big beetle nut as if it were a wood. On account of this display of extraordinary strength, people from far and wide places came to see him.

Despite all these powers, Biuag seemed troubled and unhappy. In the town of Tuao , he fell in love with a young lady with unsurpassed beauty. No one could tell where this lady came from nor could anyone say who this lady was. Biuag wanted to find her. His waking hours were thoughts of her.

There was another young man from Malaueg, called Malana who was gifted with powers similar to that of Biuag. When Malana was eighteen, a devastating typhoon destroyed all the crops of Malaueg. The people were in grip of appalling famine. Their only hope of starving off came from a very distant place, Sto. Niño. It was very difficult and dangerous to journey the place, because the river to cross was wide and full of crocodiles. Malana understood the hazards of the journey but finally volunteered to take the journey. He loaded cavans of palay to seven bamboo rafts.

Ybanag Folk Poetry

Despite all these powers, Biuag seemed troubled and unhappy. In the town of Tuao , he fell in love with a young lady with unsurpassed beauty. No one could tell where this lady came from nor could anyone say who this lady was. Biuag wanted to find her. His waking hours were thoughts of her.

There was another young man from Malaueg, called Malana who was gifted with powers similar to that of Biuag. When Malana was eighteen, a devastating typhoon destroyed all the crops of Malaueg. The people were in grip of appalling famine. Their only hope of starving off came from a very distant place, Sto. Niño. It was very difficult and dangerous to journey the place, because the river to cross was wide and full of crocodiles. Malana understood the hazards of the journey but finally volunteered to take the journey. He loaded cavans of palay to seven bamboo rafts.

Emblems
Provincial Flower
What is the “GARDENIA”?

Gardenia is a genus of ornamental trees and shrubs in the “madder” family “Rubiacea”, native to subtropical regions of China, Japan and Africa. The solitary white or infrequently yellow flowers of gardenias are showy, highly fragrant and have velvety petals.

Of the more than fifty species, the best known is “Gardenia Jasminoides”. Sometimes called “caps jasmine”. Many horticultural varieties of this specie have been developed and are in great demand as cut flowers for use in corsages or for seasonal gifts as potted plants. In the warmer regions of North America, particularly in Southern United States, gardenias are used extensively in outdoor landscape planting. In cooler regions, gardenias are popular as house plants.

Provincial Flag

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).

Province of Cagayan Official Seal

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).

Anthems
Cagayan Hymn
Ybanag Version

By Nicanor Carag

I

Cagayan, dabbun nga cacastan niacan
Egga ca lara nacuan ta piam,
Nu curug tu naparayu ca niacan
Ariata ca Bulubuga nga cattaman

Chorus

Cagayan, maquemmemmi ca nga innan
Cagayan, auan tu caguittam;
Nu ani paga casta na dabbun caruan
Egga ca la ta futu’ ñga ideducan.