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Philippine Islands

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Island Group Luzon
Region Cagayan Valley
Capital Ilagan
Area 12,414.93 km²
Cities 2
Municipalities 35
- Total 1,401,495
- Density/km² 112.89
Income class 1
Location in the Philippines:


Isabela is the largest province in the island of Luzon and the second largest province of the Philippines. It is located in the Cagayan Valley Region with Ilagan as the provincial capital. The province is subdivided into 2 cities and 35 municipalities. This primary agricultural province is the rice and corn granary of Luzon.

The eastern area of Isabela which is straddled by the Sierra Madre Mountain range is rugged and thickly forested. These unexplored hinterlands are home to a variety of flora and fauna. The western area is an extensive fertile valley hemmed by the Central Cordillera. It is criss-crossed by the mighty Cagayan River, Siffu River and Magat River. Its mountains rise to a peak of about 8000 feet and are home exceptional biological diversity.

Isabela is the most populated province among the five provinces in Cagayan Valley Region. It comprises about 45.93 percent of the 3 million population of the region and contributes 1.58 percent to the total population of the country. Ilocanos are the most prominent group in Isabela. About 68.71 percent of the total household population classified themselves as Ilocanos. The next two prominent groups are Ibanag and Tagalog.

Agriculture, mainly rice and corn crops, is the biggest industry in Isabela. Farming in the province is highly mechanized as most of the agricultural lands are irrigated. It is also the hub of trade, commerce, and other economic activities due to its central location in the region. The wood industry used to be a top earner for the province but due to the logging ban imposed in Cagayan Valley Region, activities in this industry have declined considerably. However, furniture making using narra and other indigenous forest materials continues. Isabela also has fertile fishing grounds in the Pacific Coast. The reservoir of the Magat Dam is utilized for fish cage operations, such as tilapia production for domestic markets.

Tourism is relatively a new industry being developed in the province. The province is best known for its uncharted forest wilderness, including the Northern Sierra Madre National Park. The Palanan Rainforest is one of the world’s largest remaining low altitude rainforest. Other popular sites include Spanish churches in Tamauini, Alicia and Gamu, and the Aguinaldo Shrine in Palanan which was built to commemorate the spot where General Emilio Aguinaldo was captured by the American Forces in 1901.

The most populous cities and municipalities in Isabela are:

City/Municipality City class Area
in km²
Urbanisation Population
Total Density/km²
Ilagan Component City 1,166.26 1 partly urban 131,243 112.53
City Of Santiago Independant City 255.50 1 partly urban 126,244 494.11
City Of Cauayan Component City 336.40 3 partly urban 114,254 339.64
Echague Municipality 680.80 1 partly urban 67,553 99.23
Alicia Municipality 154.10 1 partly urban 61,447 398.75
San Mateo Municipality 120.60 1 partly urban 57,885 479.98
Tumauini Municipality 467.30 1 partly urban 55,041 117.79
Roxas Municipality 184.80 1 partly urban 53,461 289.29
Ramon Municipality 135.17 2 partly urban 45,258 334.82
San Mariano Municipality 1,469.50 1 partly urban 44,718 30.43

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