Apayao is located deep in the Cordillera mountains of Northern Luzon. These mountain range form a natural boundary between the Ilocos Region in the west and the Cagayan Valley in the east. The Apayao river rises from its extensive watershed along its western slope and peaks. The river courses along the heartlands of the province, meanders beside the town of Kabugao following a northward route towards the Pacific Ocean through the coastal town of Abulug, Apayao.
The province is classified into upper and lower. Upper Apayao with 3 municipalities occupies 67.2% of the total land area and has mountainous topography classified by towering peaks, plateaus and intermittent patches of valleys. Lower Apayao on the other hand with 4 municipalities is 32.8% of the total land area is generally flat with rolling mountains and plateaus.
The total population of Apayao is 112,636 persons as of May 2010. The additional 15,507 persons compare to 2010 census implies an increase of 2.07 growth rate from 1990 to 2010. The Itnegs are the dominant ethnic group in the area.
Anthropologists mostly foreigners who conducted ethnographic study of the people write various speculations on the origin of the term. Some say that the town Pudtol use to be inhabited in colonial times by "people who speak the Isnag language" and were classified as "Filipinos who have come to be called a cultural minority" the writers say that all other people living outside of the Hinterlands who speak other vernaculars are simply called "Filipinos".
The apparent focus of early studies on ethnic cultures in the islands showed the emphasis on classifying the inhabitants into minority and majority cultural groups. The purpose of this was administrative in nature. The Spanish and the American regimes found that Filipinos along the Coastal places and lowlands were easily brought into the folds of law under these respective regimes. Those living in the mountainous and hills were rebellious and opposed to the presence of foreign rulers in their midst. Different set of laws were implemented in governing these so-called minority and majority cultures. The term Itneg, therefore, became demanding tag of identity for the Apayao people for many years until the end of the American rule in the country.
In 1608, the Spanish friars attempted to establish a mission in Pudtol, an area inhabited by the Isneg people. Although Apayao was one of the first areas to be reached by the Spaniards in the Cordilleras , they only maintained a loose control over the territory as evidenced by several uprisings initiated by the Isneg. It was only in the lower part of Apayao that the Spaniards managed to establish their commandancia politico-militar.
On August 13, 1908, with the enactment of Act No. 1876 by the Philippine Commission, the Americans established the Lepanto-Bontoc Province which was composed of the sub-province of Apayao along with the Cordillera highlands.
On February 4, 1920, by virtue of Act. No. 2772, the Lepanto-Bontoc Province was reorganized into the Mountain Province which was composed of Apayao, Benguet, Bontoc, Ifugao and Kalinga.
On June 18, 1966, the Philippine Congress passed Republic Act 4695 providing for the division of the Mt. Province into four autonomous provinces. This resulted in the merging of Apayao and Kalinga into one province known as Kalinga-Apayao.
On July 15, 1987, Executive Order No. 220 was issued and signed by Her Excellency President Corazon C. Aquino, creating the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). The province of Kalinga-Apayao was made part of CAR territory.
On February 14, 1995, Republic Act No. 7878 authored by Congressman Elias K. Bulut of the lone district of Kalinga-Apayao was passed splitting the the province into two separate and regular provinces: Kalinga and Apayao. The inauguration of the new province of Apayao was held on Aug. 1, 1995.
Kabugao is legislated as the capital town of the province. Apayao consists of seven municipalities: Calanasan, Conner, Flora, Kabugao, Luna, Pudtol and Santa Marcela.
Points of Interest
The Apayao River - Unpolluted, Traversing 6 Apayao municipalities navigated by motor boats, with wildlife and fishes still visible along its banks.
Various Water Falls of different sizes along Apayao river.
POTENTIAL SCENIC SPOTS
Dacao Irrigation Intake - Flora
Jamboree site - Flora
Swan Hilltop view - Pudtol (overlooking Apayao river and 4 municipalities of Apayao)
Mt. Solo - Pudtol, the highest peak in Apayao
Lizardo Brooks - Pudtol
Turod View Deck - Luna
Blue Haven - Calanasan
Agamata Park - Calanasan
Various Water Falls of different sizes along Apayao river
Proposed Panay Airport Site - Sta. Marcela
POTENTIAL GAMES AND RECREATION SITES
Waton Subterrian River - Pudtol
Agora Wildlife Sanctuary - Pudtol
Anag-Sicapo Wildlife Sanctuary - Kabugao
Apayao River - Calanasan to Luna
Purit Cave and Danao Lake - Calanasan
Anganupan Cave - Paco Valley
Malabanag Hot Spring - Paco Valley
Malabisin Lake and Underground River - Paco Vallley
Gululan Falls - Bacubac, Paco Valley
Bayugao Lake - Dibagat, Kabugao
Ladda Pond - Musimut, Kabugao
Bacut Dam - Sta. Marcela
Abbot Cave and Lover's Lane - Luna
Swan Ogee Dam - Pudtol
Nalvo and 7 other caves - Luna
Spanish church at Brgy. Mataguisa, Pudtol. One of the oldest in the Philippines.
Spanish Church Ruins at Brgy. Emilia, Pudtol
Dacao Irrigation Intake Structure - located at Flora
Bacut Dam - located at Sta. Marcela
Swan Ogee Dam - Pudtol
NPC Tunnels - located at Ginned Pudtol
Vol. I - Local Government Units
Department of the Interior and Local Government
Cordillera Administrative Region
1999 Tourism Situationer
Department of Tourism
Cordillera Administrative Region