Apayao is a landlocked province of the Philippines located in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in Luzon. It is bounded on the east by the province of Cagayan, on the west by the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Abra and on the south by Kalinga. The province is made up of 7 municipalities with 131 barangays. Its founding capital is the municipality of Kabugao but many of its operations are carried out in its administrative capital which is Luna.
The climate in Apayao is characterized by relatively wet and dry seasons from November to April and wet during the rest of the year. Heaviest rain occurs during December to February while the month of May is the warmest.
The economy of Apayao is largely agricultural. Its main agricultural products are food and industrial crops such as palay, corn, coffee, root crops and vegetables. Main fruits produce are lanzones, citrus, bananas and pineapples. Other economic activities in the province are livestock and poultry breeding such as swine, carabao, cattle, goat and sheep. Other industries include manufacturing, food processing, furniture, crafts and house wares making.
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 dubbed as “Cordillera’s Last Frontier for Nature Richness” because of its own collection of natural wonders that are otherwise not found in the rest of the Cordilleras. It is home to forests, mountain ranges, majestic waterfalls, winding rivers and rice terraces as well as several ethnic communities.
The Apayao River, traversing 6 Apayao municipalities, is said to be one of the cleanest bodies of water in the region. This river is now the newest white water rafting destination in the country. Tourists can marvel at the wondrous sights at the Agora, Agamata, and Anag-Sicapo wildlife sanctuaries. These are great places to visit to have a feel of the various wildlife and local animals that are familiar in the region.
If you want a quick overview of the province, climb atop Swan Hilltop View for a bird’s eye view of the Apayao River and the adjacent town. For a refreshing dip in the cool waters of Apayao, a great scenic spot would be the Bayugao Falls. It is 4 kilometers away from the poblacion and has a 3-deck natural pools rising about 12 meters from each.
The most populous cities and municipalities in Apayao are: