Regional Profile

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Cagayan Valley Region has a distinct history.  Long before the coming of the Spaniards into the Valley, fishing villages had been in existence on the banks and at the mouth of the rivers and creeks flowing into the China Sea.  The Spaniards found natives inhabiting the narrow coastal plains of Northern Luzon and flood plains of Cagayan River. These inhabitants were Ibanags who lived on the riverbanks.  “Ban nag a native word for river.  They were of sturdy Indonesian type with a culture of their own.  They maintained their commercial relationship with China, Malaya, Japan and other neighboring countries,  The early Ibanagas kept their writings on barks of trees and bamboos depicting the heroic deeds of their chiefs.  These tales were used as songs and bards during the victories in wars, on weddings and other important events and were thereof handed down from generation to generation.It was in 1567 when Don Juan Salcedo explored Northern Luzon and landed his forces.  It was however in 1581 that the Spaniards headed by Captain Juan Pablo Carreon with his soldiers and their families settled in the Region.  Thereafter, Spanish missionaries gradually penetrated deeper into the valley teaching and converting the natives.  Later, the Americans improved the educational and political system and introduced improvements in infrastructure.Region 02 is considered the “last frontier” of the Philippines being one of the few regions with existing virgin forest.  It is bounded by three (3) mountain ranges, Sierra Madre on the east, Caraballo mountains on the south and Cordillera mountain on the west.Cagayan Valley Region includes all lands east of the Sierra Madre mountain,  west of the foothills of Cordillera mountain, and south of Caraballo mountain, making the region one big watershed area such that all the headwaters from the mountain ridges cascade down the tributaries to the Cagayan River, the second longest river in the country having a drainage area of 27,300 sq. km. and ground water reserve of 47,895 mcm.  The Cagayan River provides the water supply of the region for agriculture, industry, domestic and municipal needs before it drains into the Babuyan channel.  It has three major tributaries; the Elogan River which drains a major portion of the eastern watersheds, the Magat River which drains the southern portions and the Chico river which drains most of the north-western areas.The Pacific Ocean skirts the last coast and rest its waves on the foot of the Sierra Madre on the eastern side.  Temperature is distinctly tropical and the northern portion has a high precipitation due to the exposure of the northeastern air movements.  The region is composed of the distant but esoteric Batanes; the lustrous and fertile valley provinces of Cagayan, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya and the predominantly mountainous but equally promising Quirino.  Cagayan Valley abounds with the natural resources and exudes the development potentials.  It consists of rich agricultural areas, forestlands and grasslands, inland and marine resources.By virtue of Executive Order No. 192 dated June 10, 1987, five (5)  Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) and sixteen (16) Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) were created under the administrative jurisdiction of Region 02. These are:  PENROs Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya; and CENROs Aparri, Alcala, Sanchez Mira, Solana and Tuguegarao, Cagayan; Cabagan, Naguilian, Cauayan, San Isidro, Roxas and Palanan, Isabela; Diffun and Nagtipunan, Quirino; and Bayombong, Aritao and Dupax, Nueva Vizcaya.