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Island Group Luzon
Region Cagayan Valley
Capital Tuguegarao City
Area 9,295.75 km²
Cities 1
Municipalities 28
- Total 1,072,571
- Density/km² 115.38
Income class 1
Location in the Philippines:


Cagayan is a province of the Philippines located in the Cagayan Valley region in the northeastern corner of the island of Luzon. Tuguegarao City is the provincial capital, regional seat and the center of business, trade and education. Cagayan also includes the Babuyan Islands to the north which includes the islands of Calayan, Dalupiri, Camiguin and Babuyan Claro. The province has 28 municipalities, 1 city, 3 congressional districts and 820 barangays.

Cagayan is bounded by the Pacific Ocean in the east; in the south by the province of Isabela; in the west by the Cordillera Mountains; and in the north by the Balintang Channel and the Babuyan Group of Islands. The province constitutes 3% of the total land area of the country, making it the second largest province in the region. The Cagayan River is the longest and widest river in the country, and is home to the “lurung fish” which travels upstream to breed during the wet season.

The name of the province was said to be derived from the word “tagay” which is a kind of plant that grows abundantly in the northern part of the province. Thus, ‘Catagayan” which means a place where tagay grows abundantly was shortened to “Cagayan”, the present name of the province.

The majority of the people living in Cagayan are of Ilocano descent, mostly migrants coming from Ilocos Region. Originally, the more numerous group of early settlers in the province were the Ibanags, who were first sighted by the Spanish explorers and converted to Christianity by Spanish missionaries. This is the reason why the Ibanag language spread throughout the area prior to the arrival of the Ilocanos.

Agricultural products of the province include rice, corn, peanut, beans, and fruits. Livestock products are cattle, hogs, carabaos, and poultry. Coastal towns in the province also engage in fishing. Woodcraft furniture made from hardwood, rattan, bamboo, and other indigenous materials are also available in the province.

Cagayan is best known for the seven-chambered Callao Caves. Adventurers come to Cagayan for game fishing, mountain trekking, river trips and surfing. Popular sites in the province include Palaui’s Spanish built Cape Engano Lighthouse, the Magapit Suspension Bridge, St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Miraculous Lady of Piat, a four centuries old image of the Virgin Mary brought by Dominican friars from Macao in 1604.

The most populous cities and municipalities in Cagayan are:

City/Municipality City class Area
in km²
Urbanisation Population
Total Density/km²
Tuguegarao City Component City 144.80 3 partly urban 129,539 894.61
Baggao Municipality 920.60 1 partly urban 73,048 79.35
Solana Municipality 234.60 1 partly urban 71,475 304.67
Aparri Municipality 286.64 0 partly urban 61,024 212.89
Tuao Municipality 215.50 1 partly urban 57,154 265.22
Gattaran Municipality 707.50 1 partly urban 50,269 71.05
Amulung Municipality 242.20 2 partly urban 44,367 183.18
Peñablanca Municipality 1,193.20 1 partly urban 40,336 33.80
Lal-lo Municipality 702.80 1 partly urban 39,607 56.36
Lasam Municipality 213.70 3 partly urban 36,646 171.48

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