Apayao is a landlocked province of the Philippines located in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. It is subdivided into 7 municipalities. The founding capital of the province is the municipality of Kabugao but many of its operations are carried out in its administrative capital which is Luna. Apayao borders Cagayan to the north and east, Abra and Ilocos Norte to the west, and Kalinga to the south.
With the enactment of Republic Act No. 4695, the huge Mountain Province was split into four provinces: Benguet, Bontoc (renamed Mt. Province), Kalinga-Apayao and Ifugao. Kalinga-Apayao, along with Ifugao, became one of the provinces of the Cagayan Valley region in 1972. On July 15, 1987, the Cordillera Administrative Region was established and Kalinga-Apayao was made one of its provinces. Finally, on February 14, 1995, Kalinga-Apayao was split into two distinct provinces by virtue of Republic Act No. 7878.
Majority of the population of Apayao are Ilocano and Isnag with 50.82% and 29.95% respectively. Other ethnic groups in the province are Malaueg, Isneg, Kalinga, Ibaloi, Kankana-ey and Bontok.
The Apayaos are river people, getting their name from the warm waters of the Apayao River. They are courageous and freedom loving. The Spaniards never did conquer them, and even the Americans had a difficult time establishing their government. They are also communal people and have a very simple government. In each family, the man rules supreme and orders his woman what to do.
Apayao is devoted to agricultural production, particularly food and industrial crops such as palay, corn, coffee, root crops and vegetables. Main fruit products of the province are lanzones, citrus, bananas and pineapples. Other economic activities are based on livestock and poultry breeding such as swine, carabao, cattle, goat and sheep. Other additional investment includes manufacturing, food processing, furniture, crafts and house wares making.
Apayao is home to forests, mountain ranges, waterfalls, winding rivers and rice terraces as well as several ethnic communities. The unpolluted Apayao River, traversing 6 Apayao municipalities, can be navigated by motor boats and is ideal for white water rafting. Tourists can marvel at the wondrous sights at the Agora, Agamata, and Anag-Sicapo wildlife sanctuaries; scale the heights of Mount Solo, the highest peak in Apayao; or discover Anganupan, Nalvo, Purit, and countless other caves.
The most populous cities and municipalities in Apayao are: