FACTS & FIGURES

... At a Glance

Area 2,239.9 sq. km.
Capital Bontoc
Total Population
(As of May 2010)
154,187

Population Growth Rate
(1990-2010)

1.41
Household Population
(As of Aug 2007)
148,239
Number of Households
(As of Aug 2007)
30,328
Average Household Size
(As of Aug 2007)
4.9
Population Density
(As of May 2010)
68.8/sq. km.
Number of Municipalities
(As of Sept 2011)
10
Annual Per Capita Food Threshold
(As of 2009)
PhP 11,957
Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold
(As of 2009)
PhP 17,116
Number of Barangays
(As of Sept 2011)
144

 

 

 

 

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Formerly dubbed as " La Montanosa"  by Spanish administrators for its mountainous terrain, Mt. Province lies in the heart of the Grand Cordillera, known to be the Philippine's biggest and highest chain of mountains. The province is bounded on the North by Kalinga, on the south by Benguet and Ifugao, on the east by Isabela, and on the west by Ilocos Sur and Abra.

Mt. Province's total land area is 2,239.9 square kilometers, 23% of which are classified as alienable and disposable, and 77% as forest lands. Towering peaks and sharp ridges describe the central and western parts of the province, while gradually sloping and rolling foothills are the general features of the eastern towns.

Mt. Province is geo-politically subdivided into 10 municipalities and 144 barangays. As of May 2010, the total population of Mt. Province is 153,187 and a growth rate of 1.41 from 1990 to 2010. Agriculture is the main source of income with tourism providing a significant boost to its economy.

Although Bontoc is the province's capital,  the town of Sagada is more famous among tourists. Its rice terraces, though lesser known  compared to the Banaue rice terraces, are equally spectacular. Whereas the walls of the Banaue's terraces are of compacted earth, Sagada's walls are small rocks laboriously piled one on top of the other. The town is also known for its limestone caves that served as burial grounds during the pre-Christian Sagada era.



Brief History

Mountain Province became a special province of the Philippines in 1907. It was made up of the sub-provinces of Bontoc-Lepanto, Amburayan, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao and Kalinga. The provincial supervisor was appointed governor of the province and Bontoc was then the capital town.

Mountain Province became an independent province on March 25, 1967 when President Ferdinand E. Marcos officially appointed and inducted into office the first set of provincial officials. On April 7, 1967, the new Mountain Province came into operation. This date was unanimously adopted by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on their regular meeting held on June 10, 1980 as the Mountain Province Day.

To date, Mt. Province is growing in popularity as a "Spelunkers Delight and Weavers Paradise. " It is becoming a favorite destination of both local and foreign visitors.


Points of Interest

HISTORICAL

Rizal Memorial Plaza (Bontoc) - found at the heart of the capital town. The statue of Dr. Jose Rizal stands towering the plaza which serves as a good respite and also as a playground and meeting venue for programs and other gatherings.

CULTURAL

Bontoc Village Museum (Bontoc) - one must see the museum of artifacts and proto-types while in Bontoc.

Burial Caves - ancient burial grounds full of coffins. Mostly located in the municipality of Sagada which is 19 kilometers west of Bontoc.

Backstrap and Loom Weaving Houses - loom weaving is done in Sabangan and Sagada. Samoki, a village in Bontoc specialize in backstrap weaving. Various colorful woven materials like knapsacks, placemats, bags and purses among other products.

Ato/Dap-ay - it is a place where the council of elders hold various ceremonies, meetings and happenings.

Barlig - a village famous for its basket weaving as a home industry.

NATURAL

Mainit Hotsprings - 18 kilometers up from Bontoc; 30 minutes by chartedred of Public Utility Jeepney ride (Bontoc-Mainit - 1:00 to 2:00 pm) of two hours by foot.

Mornang Hotspring - 4 kilometers from Barlig proper.

Sadanga Hotspring - 29 Kilometers from Poblacion Bontoc

Caves/Hanging Coffins - feature shimmering underground streams with golden or silvery stalactite and stalagmite formations and cool nature pools inside.

Sagada : Matangkib Cave, Sugong Cave, Lumiyanf Cave, Sumaguing Cave, Balangagan Cave, Nangongogan Cave, Lapitan Cave, Cansil Cave.

Besao : Liang Burial Cave (can be reached through regular jeepney ride to the poblacion and hiking to reach the caves).

Lakes/Waterfalls - found amidst tall, green pine trees evoking feelings of freshness and tranquility.

Sagada: Bumod-ok Falls, Danum Lake, Bodong Lake, Aguid and Fidelisn Waterspots

Besao: Banao Lake

Tadian: Gawaan Lake

Mountais with majestic, towering peaks and sharp ridges

Mount Clitoris (Tadian) - formerly Mount Mogao is a conical shaped and stands proudly over 3 villages. It is considered as sacred and appears serene and solemn at dusk or dawn.

Mount Amoyao (Barkig) - thickly forested and beckons for wilderness walk and site of ABS-CBN and RCPI satellite.

Mount Calawitan (Sabangan)

Mount Polis and Mount Pagturao (Bontoc)

Mount Ampucao (Sagada)

Besao Sunset (Besao) - a primitive formation of two rocks where farmers can determine seasons by how the sun's rays fit into the crevices in the rock formation.

Alab, Bontoc Petroglyphs - a barrio where one can see petroglyphs carved on stone or rock boulders.

Chico River Panoramic View - the mountain tops and mountain sides provide panoramic/scenic viewing of the winding Chico River meandering through ricefields, rocks and sand as well as good vantage points to humble dwelling of the villagers.

Viewpoint: Gala (Sabangan), Mt. Polis, Pagturao (Bontoc), Maligcong

Cagubatan Enchanted Eels (Tadian) - the eels thriving in the Cagubatan spring are conceived to be sacred and thus could not be eaten, they are believed to maintain the continuous flow of water to irrigate the rice fields.

Mount Data - just across the boundary of Benguet and Mountain Province, the fount of big rivers in Northern Luzon, namely the Agno, Chico and Abra Rivers.

MAN - MADE

Mountain Province Trade Center - a mini-shopping center managed by the Department of Trade and Industry where skillfully crafted indigenous products are sold.

Rice Terraces - just as spectacular as the Banaue rice terraces.

Bauko: Bangen Rice Terraces

Besao: Besao Rice Terraces, Bucas Rice Terraces

Bontoc: Maligcong Rice Terraces, Bayyo Rice Terraces, Bontoc Poblacion Rice Terraces, Dalican Rice Terraces

Sagada: Kiltepan Rice Terraces, Tanulong Rice Terraces, Suyo Rice Terraces, Bulongan Rice Terraces, Bangaan Rice Terraces, Ambasing Rice Terraces, Fidelisan Rice Terraces

Sadanga: Sadanga Rice Terraces, Focong Rice Terraces

Natonin: Natonin Rice Terraces

Barlig: Barlig Rice Terraces

Sources:


Cordillera Almanac
Vol. I - Local Government Units
1999
Department of the Interior and Local Government
Cordillera Administrative Region

1999 Tourism Situationer
Department of Tourism
Cordillera Administrative Region  

+ Photo courtesy of the PEENRA Project Team

 

Page last updated: April 19, 2012


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