LUZON

 

ABOUT LUZON

Luzon stands at the northern end of the Philippines, and is the country’s largest and most populous island. It is known for its mountains, beaches and coral reefs, and is home to Manila, the national capital. Set on a deep bay with famed sunsets, the city has many Spanish-colonial landmarks, national memorials and monuments, a centuries-old Chinatown and a diversity of museums.

LUZON’S ADMINISTRATIVE REGIONS


REGION I Ilocos Region

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Ilocos is known as the “Home of the Affluent Marcoses” whose patriarch became the only dictator President of the Philippines. Much attention has been brought to the Ilocos Region due to the recent efforts of the Tourism Department to promote its natural and manmade attractions. The Ilocos Region is largely historical and it also features stunning beaches and wonderful food. It is home to the Pagudpud Beaches which are some of the best in the country. Surfing is also a popular pursuit in the southern towns in La Union. And one must never leave the region without tasting bagnet (deep fried pork), longganisa (sausage), empanada (stuffed pastry) and pinakbet (stir-fried vegetables).

Key Attractions:
PROVINCES
  • Ilocos Norte From tasty, crispy high-end cholesterol shots like empanada (filled pastry), bagnet (deep fried pork belly) and longganisa (sausage), to unique sweet temptations dragon fruit ice cream, to the brighter side of healthy and innovative dishes like Pinakbet (mixed vegetables) Pizza and poqui-poqui (egg & eggplant dish) and to a lot more exotic marvel’s you’ve probably never heard of yet: Ilocos Norte serves the most unique menu. Because local artisans still put into practice their craft, visitors are provided the rare chance of observing the genuine works of the Ilocano people. One shouldn’t miss buying various genuine local products like Abel (woven textile), local baskets and Damili (clay pottery). This province is rich in agriculture industries such as rice, corn, garlic, legumes, root crops, tobacco, and other fruits and vegetables. There is currently a 25 Megawatt wind farm in Ilocos Norte, and several more wind energy projects are being planned. Above all these, it is considered as the “The Best of Culture and Nature”.
  • Ilocos Sur This province is where the Ilocos Region’s countless of cultures and histories converge to become a living museum of a spirited past as it is the “Heritage Village of the Philippines”. A national shrine, a national landmark, a national museum, heritage museums, ancestral houses, period houses, cobble-stoned streets– they all share space in the timeless land of Ilocos Sur. Found in the province is the historic town of Vigan, which was inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List in November 1999. Established in the 16th century, Vigan is the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. Its architecture reflects the coming together of cultural elements from elsewhere in the Philippines and from China with those from Europe to create a unique culture and townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia. Its Kamestizoan District is replete with ancestral houses with ancient tiled roofs, massive hardwood floorings, balustrades in varying Spanish-Mexican-Chinese architectural styles. Centuries-old Sta. Maria Church, declared a National Landmark, was used as a fortress during the Philippine Revolution of 1896. Major Industries in Ilocos Sur are Agriculture, Cottage industries including loom weaving, furniture making, jewelry making, ceramics, blacksmithing, and food processing.
  • La Union Known as the “Garden Coast of the Philippines”, because of its botanical gardens, La Union also brags excellent and world-class surf breaks and thus, appropriately dubbed as the “Surfing Capital of Northern Philippines”. The province made a big comeback though and literally made a big splash in the local and international surfing community as it is now one of the favored surfing sites in the Philippines after Siargao in Mindanao. Today, La Union asserts its position as the “Heart of Agri-Tourism in Northern Luzon” by 2025 because of its major potentials in the fields of Agriculture and Tourism. As being capitalized on Agri-Tourism vision, it aims to uplift the quality of lives of people through the perspectives of FERO sectors: Financial Stability, Economic Dynamism and Competitiveness, Resilient Communities, and Organizational Accountability and Governance. Aside from surfing, La Union is also known for its Botanical Gardens in San Fernando City which showcases different pavilions in its sprawling ten-hectare facility -a Fernery, Palmery, Fragrance Garden, Sunken Garden, Evergreen Garden, Arid Paradise, and a Shade Garden – with flora and fauna that are indigenous only to the Philippines. This offers a welcome respite from the humid and sometimes searing hot weather of the province. Apart from that, La Union is the “Pilgrimage Center of North Luzon”.
  • Pangasinan From the “Hundred islands and Hundred Flavors”, there were lot of adventures waiting for everyone in Pangasinan. From the leisure-finding beach bum to nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers. Pangasinan owes rich and fine salt beds which were the prime source of livelihood for the province’s coastal towns. Remaining to its various cultural heritage rooted in centuries of magnificent history and a way of life that is a charming combination of tradition, the warm, polite, hospitable, hard-working, innovation and creativity, and fun-loving 2.65 million Pangasinenses (2007 census) enjoy the best of Provincial Philippines where you find both the familiar and unfamiliar world, abreast with modern technological times, but with a preserved enormous panorama of exceptional natural beauty and unique attractions. Pangasinan boasts of stretches of white, sandy beaches, verdant hills, scenic terrains, caves, waterfalls, ancient Hispanic churches, miraculous destinations for devotees, a vast coastline for fishing, water sports or leisurely walking along the Lingayen beach where one can get a glimpse of the world-famous Philippine sunset. Being a gateway of sorts, the province is house to major and minor telecommunication companies, bus and transport services, regional and local publications, radio stations, television networks, cable services, hotel and restaurant chains, and a diversified variety of manufacturing and merchandising establishments.
INDEPENDENT COMPONENT CITY
  • Dagupan City Dagupan, long regard as the “Philippines’ leading Aquaculture Industry” and the prime producer and exporter of the popular milkfish, is now heading to establish itself as a major player in another sector: the IT-BPM (business process management) industry. More than few factors contribute to the stable expansion and development that is leading towards this inevitable launch: the City’s strategic location in Northern Luzon; the hubs of trade it has cultivated for decades especially since the expansion of local government support in 1968; the presence of prestigious educational institutions; and an abundant pool of talent recognized for their skills, solid work ethic, resilience, and capacity to adapt to the most challenging work environments. Investors and multinationals from other countries, many of whom have set up shop in the archipelago, have begun to set their sights on Dagupan City as a preferred destination of the offices they will set up in the next few years.


CAR – Cordillera Administrative Region 

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Centered on the Cordillera Mountain range of Central Luzon, the Cordillera Administrative Region is the only land-locked region in the Philippines. It is composed mainly of highlands which are inhabited by indigenous tribes like the Ifugaos, Ibalois and Kalingans.

Baguio City is the busiest part of the region; it is the main tourist hub and commercial center with numerous attractions and businesses.

Temperatures in the region are a few degrees colder than Metro Manila, making it an ideal escape from the heat especially during the summer season. In fact, Baguio City is recognized as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. The mild weather in the region is also conducive for growing strawberries for which Baguio City is famous. Other products include peanut brittle, ube jam and sundot kulangot, a sweet snack made from glutinous rice.

Key attractions:
PROVINCES
  • Abra This province is basically known as “The Philippines’ Natural Dye Capital”. Rugged and riddled with natural attractions, Abra is in top list of unexplored destinations in the Philippines.  For a long period of time, Abra province has been a blank spot on the Philippine tourist map. Travelers are now starting to explore many travel-worthy sights in this landlocked province. What you’re going to see in Abra is a mix of both. You can find Spanish-colonial heritage sites and Ilocano culture as well as captivating mountain views and hill tribe traditions. Mother Nature has remained pristine in Abra and life goes on in a relaxed pace away from the dull of urban cosmopolitan living. Indeed, the province abounds with impressive natural resources.
  • Apayao Apayao, Ipasindayaw!(“Apayao, Ipagmalaki,” which is more like a battle cry than a nickname) With the province’s beautiful and untapped resources, Apayao boasts of a lot of natural as well as man-made places of interests. An eco-tourism adventure has been discovered in Apayao and it is gaining popularity with tourists. Apayao is the northernmost province of Cordillera and perhaps the least explored of all the provinces of the region. The province is almost equally mountainous/hilly (Upper Apayao) and flat (Lower Apayao) with intermittent patches of valleys and plateaus. It is an unpopular route for tourists, an off-beat destination for most. But unknown to many, it has fair share of natural attractions that will interest everyone. With the updated records of the Department of Trade and Industry Provincial Office, it is revealed that existing industries in the province are furniture, garment craft, food processing, gifts and house wares and agricultural support.
  • Benguet– “Salad Bowl of the Philippines” is how Benguet often described. This is because the province is noted for its huge production of fresh upland vegetables. Up to this time, Benguet delivers and produces a big portion of fresh vegetables and other perishable products which are being sold across Manila and Luzon. Benguet is the home of the centuries-old mummies, a place of Rocky Mountains and pine trees, the water source of Asia’s second largest dam, the strawberry capital of the Philippines, the terrain where the historic Mt. Pulag is found, the vegetable panorama of the North, a land of fascinating caves and mystical caves and mystical lakes, and a place where vegetables flourish and where cacti-flowers bloom. Nature, indeed, has truly endowed Benguet with vast riches. Wide areas of timberland, fertile soil, and mineral deposits abound in the province. Its ideal subtropical and cool climate alone could be considered a clear distinctive asset. Cool weather and pine-clad mountains make it a veritable paradise especially for Filipinos from the lowlands that are weary of the tropical heat during summer. Ming, tourism, and agriculture are the major industries in Benguet.
  • IfugaoOften called as the “Land of the Eighth World Wonder”, Ifugao is also home of the breathtaking and world-renowned Banaue Rice Terraces, the province is prepping up for what President Rodrigo Duterte eyes as one of the country’s next tourism hubs. The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras and Banaue Rice Terraces are the main tourist attractions in the province. These 2000-year-old terraces were carved into the mountains, without the aid of machinery, to provide level steps where the natives can plant rice. In 1995, they were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ifugao is endowed with historical, cultural, natural and man-made tourist spots and attractions, which can lure any nature-loving tourist. The range of attraction offered in Ifugao is clustered according to municipalities.
  • Kalinga Nestled in the middle of the Cordillera Mountains is the famously known as the “White Water Rafting Capital of the North”. Kalinga is a province in Cordillera Region rich in natural, historical, cultural, and even man-made attractions. It is surrounded by its neighboring provinces of Cagayan and Apayao in the north, Mt. Province in the south, and Abra in the west. Greater sections of Cagayan and Isabela are found on its eastern part. Apart from this, the province boasts a majestic, mountain view, and cultural practices. The province is richly blessed with natural wonders. The mountain peaks, steep slopes, isolated flat lands, plateaus, and valleys are good places for thrilling treks and some hiking adventures. Among land and water forms are its majestic waterfalls, hot springs, rice terraces, and subterranean rivers. It is also gifted with mineral resources, both metallic and non-metallic, which are mostly found in the municipalities of Balbalan and Pasil. There is a presence of non-metallic reserves such as sulphur, gravel, and sand.
  • Mountain Province- Mountain Province has been identified as a potential ecotourism and cultural tourism destination because of its existing natural scenic tourist spots and the presence of its rich culture and traditions that remain unblemished and that has been a long reason of why is it called as the “Weaver’s Paradise”. The furniture industry is a growing venture in the province. Fixtures and furniture are made from raw materials like pinewood, bamboo and steel. Back strap weaving which was also an old-age handicraft expanded to use of loom. Colorful costumes are now designed for product lines like bag, purses, tapestry, ethnic costumes, blankets, linen and other fashion accessories. Aside from the famous Sagada caves, Maligcong rice terraces, and Mainit hot springs, Mountain Province is known for its towering and majestic mountains, various waterfalls, and river systems in its 10 municipalities. The central and western areas of the province are characterized by rugged mountains and steep cliffs, while the eastern portion has generally sloping terrain.
HIGHLY-URBANIZED CITY
  • Baguio City It is arguably the “Hub of Tourism” in Luzon and the “City of Pines” of the Philippines, especially during the month-long festivities of the Panagbenga Festival. It has the best thrift shopping places with its ukay-ukay stores. And a weekend-getaway haven, with its numerous tourist spots and general accessibility from Metro Manila. Its year-round cool and temperate weather only adds to its charm as a tourist destination. Thousands upon thousands of people ascend the sometimes treachery roads that lead to the esteemed “Summer Capital of the Philippines” – arguably, a city amongst the clouds, Baguio City – a place that never seems to grow old, a city that never ceases to amaze people with its evolving charms and its timeless presence. The City of Pines is always a refreshing change of scenery from the hot and hectic metro. The travel up to the city is an adventure in itself, passing such sights that nature endowed upon the landscape. Breathtaking terrain, jaw-dropping cliffs and ravines and the occasional fog descending upon your means of conveyance add to the charm. And once you get to the terminal or to your lodging house, you would surely get blasted by the vibrant sense of the city, electrifying you to your roots. Time and again, Baguio reinvents itself, adding layers upon layers to its core, enriching the offerings, strengthening the already deep connections to our national identity, making itself a testament to our resilient nature as Filipinos, cognizant of the past, but always with an eye for the present and a hankering for the promise of the future.


REGION II– Cagayan Valley

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  Situated between the Sierra Madre and Cordillera Mountain Ranges, the Cagayan Valley is considered as the “Largest Region in the Philippines”. Its area includes the northernmost islands of Batanes and Babuyan. Cagayan River, the longest in the Philippines, runs through the center of the region and empties into the Luzon Strait.

Key Attractions:
 PROVINCES 
  • Batanes- Many have said, being in Batanes is like being in an entirely different world. It’s like visiting a country within a country. And people who have visited have understood why. It seems time has stood still in Batanes. This province is a perfect for honeymooners and other couples as the province provides a calm, serene and contemplative respite from the noise and chaos of urban living. It also great destination for serious travelers who are more interested in communing with nature and culture at the same time rather than just taking pretty photos and getting senselessly drunk. There are various reasons on how you’ll love Batanes. Aside from extremely pretty scenery, amazing culture, great food and hospitable people, it is still in attractive unspoiled condition and has not been devastated by mass tourism as in a lot of places in the country. Due to its relative isolation and because it’s a little more expensive to get to, Batanes tourism, if administered properly, is poised to create an important place in the tourism industry.
  • Cagayan- As a tourism destination, Cagayan has a variety of areas with outstanding scenic beauty ranging from beaches, striking mountains, bird sanctuaries, game refuges, limestone caves, fluvial attractions, museums, historical landmarks, and centuries-old churches. Cagayan’s major tourism destinations are the Callao Caves in Peñablanca town and the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat in the municipality of Piat. Cagayan Valley is agricultural and the coastal towns are involved in fisheries. The region claims to be the “Tilapia Capital of the Philippines”, with production growing in huge proportions in recent years. Cagayan is part of one of the largest valleys in the Philippines formed by the majestic Sierra Madre and Cordillera mountain ranges. Archeologists have found pieces of evidence that agriculture has developed much earlier in Cagayan than in any other place in Asia. Its ancientness is evidenced by the presence of centuries-old churches and other religious relics, archeological sites of nomadic tribes, and the richness of its local language and culture. Cagayan with its ancientness is still replete with adventure and excitement. It can flaunt its pristine natural beauty and endowment. It has breathtaking sceneries, beaches, and cavernous caves, thunderous falls, rapids, rivers, limestone mountains, thick and virgin forests, verdant valleys and many more.
  • Isabela- The province is known as the “Rice and Corn Granary of Luzon”, and is considered as the “Trade and Industrial Center of Northeastern Luzon”. From the late 20th century to the turn of the millennium, Isabela continued to grow as a premier province of the Philippines. Isabela today is home to, 1,593,566 people who are distinguished for their resilience and diligence. Isabela has one of the highest literacy rates in the world at 97%. Most Isabeleños, especially those in urban centers, speak and understand both English and Filipino. Isabela’s attractive suburban lifestyle has steadily been attracting retirees of foreign descent.
  • Nueva Vizcaya- Nicknamed as the “Citrus Capital of the Philippines”, this landlocked province is the place to be when you want to get oranges, honeydew, sweet ponkan, yacon, red chandler pomelo, and seedless Satsuma. But other than offering a great variety of citrus fruits, the province is also home to several other attractions. Nueva Vizcaya is a province with an interesting history, which shows in its structures. And it’s also a place for wonderful outdoor activities. The province has an agricultural economy with commerce, trade, and industry contributing to its growth and development. Among other major economic activities are farming and cattle and swine raising. Primary crops are palay and corn. Minor crops are root crops, vegetables, and fruits. The province produces quality onions and vegetables often sold in Metro Manila. Oranges and mangoes are now major crops being exported fresh to Asian countries.
  • Quirino- Quirino province was blessed with various natural resources, including overwhelming caves, rivers, mountains and valleys, forests, breathtaking waterfalls, plantations, and minerals. It is tagged as “Where Adventure Begins”. The province is generally mountainous; about 80% of the total land area is covered by mountains and highlands. Tourism is a little explored potential industry in a beautiful province such as Quirino. Cavernous caves, challenging rock face cliffs, and white water rapids have attracted a growing number of nature challenge sports enthusiasts. The tourism industry is rudimentary and investing in better tourist facilities and support services is potentially rewarding. Quirino’s small-scale industries include furniture making, woodcarving, and basketry, which are prevalent in the province. Marble tile production and figurine industries operate, while in the province its agri-line processing awaits investors.


REGION III– Central Luzon

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Central Luzon sits on huge plains mainly used for agriculture, particularly rice production which has received its nickname “Rice Bowl of the Philippines”. It covers the entire central area of Luzon with the South China Sea to its west, the Philippine Sea to its east. Meanwhile, San Fernando City is the regional center located in the province of Pampanga which is most known as the “Culinary Capital of the Philippines”. This implies that a journey to Central Luzon can be a gastronomic experience; it is common knowledge that the people of Pampanga are excellent cooks.

Key Attractions:
 PROVINCES
  • Aurora- Aurora is one of the most popular provinces in the Philippines when we talk about Tourism which is one of the main economic drivers of Aurora province. It is located in a horseshoe-shaped coastal valley neglecting the Pacific Ocean in northern Philippines and most called as the “Sanctuary of Nature’s Splendor”. It is actually a province that is blessed with an abundance of tourist attractions. There are flat lands erratically dispersed throughout the province. Tourist Spots in Aurora, mostly in Baler, became its pride and one of them is the place where Surfing in the Philippines was born. It has its share of historical sites such as the home and rest house of former Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon. The province also has a beautiful Catholic church and several historical markers. Its natural attractions comprise of striking waterfalls, flourishing greenery on mountainsides, and panoramic beaches. Surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, mountain climbing and trekking are only some of the activities a tourist can enjoy in Aurora.
  • Bataan- Known as the “History Hub of Central Luzon”, this contemporary progressive and varied metropolis, a tactical forefront of eco-tourism, rich in pristine natural resources, provides ideal community living by encouraging continued economic growth through job opportunities in the realm of agro-industrial facets. Bataan Tourism maintains its World War II legendary name in the whole world by developing the facilities and upgrading its services coupled with industrialization world-class products, ecological tourist destination where peace and security of domestic and foreign tourist are ensured. Bataan is a location of bulk power generation, whose most of the power produced is sent to the Luzon Grid. Most power plants in Bataan rely on fossil fuels, like oil and coal, but renewable energy sources, primarily Solar Power, forms part of the generation. Bataan remains basically an agricultural province in spite of the rapid industrialization during the last decade. Mariveles is the site of an export-processing zone that accounts for heavy industry in the province. Cattle and carabao fattening, hog raising and poultry industry, especially broilers and ducks and egg production are some of the promising livelihood programs in the province.
  • Bulacan- Dubbed as the “Northern Gateway from Manila,” Bulacan is indeed an ideal investment destination owing largely to the following factors: Strategic Location; Highly Productive Human Resources; Abundant Natural Resources; Well-Developed Infrastructure Support; Reasonable Cost for Doing Business; Effective Government and Private Sector Partnership for Investments; Favorable Peace and Order Situation; and Attractive Investments Incentives.  Bulacan prides itself for its rich historical heritage and this is why it was considered as the “Land of the Heroes”. Today, Bulacan is among the most progressive provinces in the Philippines Bulacan is well-known for Marble and Marbleized Limestone, Jewelry, Pyrotechnics, Leather, Aquaculture, Meat and Meat Products, Garments, Furniture, High-Value Crops, and Sweets and Native Delicacies, and a wide variety of high-quality native products.  Bulacan has fast become an ideal tourist destination, owing to its vital role in Philippine history, and its rich heritage in culture and the arts. It is an ideal and peaceful community. A committed government. A haven for business and investments. A perfect vacation getaway.  The Bulakenos take fierce pride in their history and tradition and they live by these glories.
  • Nueva Ecija- This province has been known as a “Landlocked Province of the Philippines” and was considered as the “Rice Bowl of the Philippines” and the leading producer of onions in the Municipality of Bongabon in South East Asia. It is currently the 9th richest province in the country. It was only later in 1848 that Nueva Ecija was established as a separate province independent from Pampanga. Aside for being the “Rice Granary of the Philippines”, Nueva Ecija is also a land of unique natural wonders that have continued to amaze visitors through the years.  As the people have strived to be at harmony with nature, the province has continued to be a haven for those who wish to go on an adventure or just a place where the casual tourist can sit back and relax and take in the refreshing scenery. Nueva Ecija offers boundless opportunities in agro-industry and agriculture-based trading activities to local and foreign investors. The province’s vast, and irrigated agricultural lands and support facilities optimize these opportunities. Various agricultural research and development institutions are collaborating with the Provincial Government to achieve agricultural advancement and secure the food supply not only in the province, but in the whole country as well. Agriculture is the primary industry in the province, of which it became the Food Bowl and Rice Granary of Central Luzon.
  • Pampanga Pampanga has been considered as the “Heart of Filipino Cuisines” as it has an extensive choice of exotic food and tasty delicacies. The culinary is not limited to Filipino foods; also foreign dishes are well known and understood during the different colonial times. Food will always be the name of the game anywhere in Pampanga. Pampanga is a province up north which known for its rich history, past, heritage and various historical structures which give meaning to what the Philippines really is. As it was considered as“The Culinary Capital of the Philippines” and many often go there to get a taste of the province’s amazing and unique cuisine and dishes. It is definitely a must visit place for locals and tourists alike because there are so many things to do, it’s hard to ever get bored. For those who want to visit and get a taste of what life is like up north, here is a complete guide on what to see and do in Pampanga as well as how to get there. For Christmas Season, Pampanga rises to the top as it is known as “The Christmas Capital of the Philippines” as it has the Giant Lantern Festival that is being held in City of San Fernando. Aside from having strong and competent attractions, Pampanga is also being promoted as one of the key investment destinations in the country. Capitalizing on its strategic location and excellent infrastructure facilities which include the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport and the Subic-Clark Tarlac Expressway, it is being positioned as a logistics and ICT hub, with the Clark Freeport Zone as anchor.  
  • Tarlac- Mostly dubbed as the “Melting Pot of the Central Luzon”, Tarlac is basically an agricultural-based economy. Characterized by an endless expanse of grassy plains and rice fields, the province of Tarlac has long been bypassed or only used as a quick stopover by travelers making their way to Mt. Pinatubo, or more popular destinations further north like the cities of Baguio or Vigan. But going beyond and deeper, Tarlac is a very progressive, peaceful and environment conscious province with sustainable and globally-competitive agriculture, a major logistics, I.T., investment and tourism destination, with well-planned communities that are home to healthy, productive and principled citizenry. But unlike cities of similar development in the country, it remains to be predominantly agriculture in character as evidenced by the large tracts of agricultural land and open space surrounding the Poblacion. With this vast of land concentrated on agricultural; Tarlac is being known for the lowland vegetables such as Tomato, Eggplant, String Beans, Ampalaya, Okra, Pechay, and Mustard.
  • Zambales- If you like relaxing on the beach, hiking mountainous regions, or exploring other picturesque tourist spots, Zambales is highly recommended. This province is nicknamed as the “Wreck Diving Capital of the Philippines”. Local and foreign tourist congregates its many beaches creating many job opportunities and contributing to the economy. Most of the province is still agricultural but there are considerable industrial zones that provide jobs not just for residents of Zambales but also for neighboring provinces. Mining has recently been booming in Zambales where there is an abundant deposit of Nickel and other minerals. Zambales is basically an agricultural province. The chief products are rice, corn, vegetables, and root crops. Major industries include farming, fishing, and mining. Added to that, this province is gifted with the natural beauty of its surroundings. It has been touched by civilization yet has maintained its rustic glory and beauty. The province is endowed with a number of resources from mineral deposits, crops and other agricultural and marine products. The entire length of Zambales is a tourism haven with the presence of islets and bay, white sand beaches and blue deep sea rich with coral reefs.
HIGHLY-URBANIZED CITIES
  • Angeles City- Known as the City of Angels” and the “Entertainment Capital of the Philippines” is the “Siudad ning Angeles” in Kapampangan term. It is a first class of highly urbanized city geographically located within the province of Pampanga. Being the former home of the biggest American base, it lies in a doorsill of change after being harshly affected by the base pull out brought about by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991. Angeles City has seen significant investment and growth compared to other areas of the Philippines over the last 10 years. It has risen from the ashes by putting itself back to the economic status that it once occupied and dream surpassing feats never before any city or province has ever accomplished. The economy of Angeles City gathered speed in the past decade, motivated by advances in global communication technology and the finishing of a modern highway that tremendously improved trade and transport. Angeles has a cottage industry that includes rattan furniture production. It also includes the production of coconuts, charcoal, and briquettes. It also has a semiconductor industry involved in the manufacturing of electronics and computers.  The large expatriate population and the proximity to both the Clark and Subic Freeport make Angeles City an ideal place to reside or visit whether for tourism, residential, business, or investment purposes. Now, after 25-years of waiting, Angeles City is finally blooming. Other than nightlife, this has become the new hotspot for activities such as rest and relaxation, golfing, gaming, and dining. With its central location giving visitors and residents an advantage of traveling to places such as Manila, Baguio, Subic, or jumping on a plane to travel domestically or abroad, Angeles is the perfect place to begin your Philippines adventure.
  • Olongapo City– If you’re planning for an adventurous getaway, you cannot leave out Olongapo City in your must-see list to visit. Crowned as the “City of Volunteers” because of the “Olongapo City Volunteers” (a non-profit organization) is acknowledged as a model volunteer program known for extending help with donations and goods in various charities, notably for its role in the successful conversion of the former United States Naval Facility in Subic to a premier investment hub in the country, and also known for “City of a Thousand Bumble Bees”. Today, the area is young and vivacious but still retains the feel of a small town. While you won’t find the city to be as modern as a European one, Olongapo has its charm and provides plenty of opportunities to explore and discover. A trip to Olangapo would not be complete without discovering what the city has to offer by way of cuisine. Because of Olongapo’s history, pizza and hamburger joints abound. However the recent influx of international investors to the area also has brought a taste for Hong Kong style or Szechuan Chinese dishes as well as exciting Indian, Thai, Middle-Eastern, and Mexican. Malaysians, Japanese, German, Swiss, and Italian cuisine. Olongapo City, Philippines is a major city of more than 200,000 inhabitants. Nature has blessed Olongapo City with beautiful scenario. Subic Bay’s calm waters can be viewed by everyone in just one easy ride from Olongapo proper going to the North. In viewing Subic Bay, one also sees its natural harbor protected by mountains on three sides and its recreational area for tourists and visitors.


REGION IV-A – CALABARZON (Southern Tagalog Mainland)

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The name is actually an acronym for the provinces in the region: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon which is also known as the Northern Tagalog Region. The region is primarily known as the bench of the revolution against the Spanish in the 19th century and a number of historical buildings and landmarks that speak of its turbulent past. Different attractions are attributed in different provinces in the region. Cavite has plenty of historical attractions while Batangas has a lot to offer when it comes to natural wonders. Laguna also has some attractions but it is known more as the producers of the delectable buko pie (much like the apple pie but with coconut meat instead of apple).

Key Attractions:
  • Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite
  • Anilao, Batangas (diving)
  • Enchanted Kingdom Theme Park
  • High 5 Paragliding
  • Nuvali Boulevard
  • Pagsanjan Falls
  • Pahiyas Festival in Lucban
  • Pico De Loro
  • Quezon Memorial Circle
  • Rizal Shrine in Calamba, Laguna
  • Taal Lake and Taal Volcano
  • Tagaytay City
  • University of the Philippines
 PROVINCES
  • Cavite Dubbed as “A Place with a Glorious Past”, this province is the historical capital of the Philippines and the closest province south of Manila. With its fair mix of natural beauty, urbanity, and history it is considered as the most accessible vacation getaway and refuge for people seeking for a quiet life. The province of Cavite flourishes with historic sites and landmarks; world class golf courses, museums, outstanding gardens and facilities for leisure. Cavite abounds with natural resources and exceptional and unique landscapes. It is home to Tagaytay City, which is situated 2,500 feet above sea level and a popular summer and holiday destination. The highway drive offers a breathtaking sight of the world-famous Taal Volcano and Lake which is a crater within an island within a lake. Indeed, the province is truly a place where one will possibly experience breathtaking sights and rich culture.
  • Laguna From the “Resort Province of the Philippines”, Laguna is basically a perfect road trip destination, most specifically in summer season. From the Seven Lakes of San Pablo to the glorious cascades of Luisiana to the carving tradition of Paete, Laguna has indeed a lot to offer. The best part is that, it’s within close proximity of Manila. Laguna is one of the provinces we often overlook partly because its edges aren’t laced with pearly beaches.Today, Laguna is a lively province which hosts major export processing zones, light and medium industries and educational institutions. Its industrious lands build millions of pesos worth of agricultural products. Its tourism assets that point the province have concerned a massive amount of foreign and domestic tourists. Laguna province is a popular tourist destination in the Philippines. It is a dwelling place for both natural and man-made attractions such as Pagsanjan Falls, Mount Makiling, Lake Caliraya, Enchanted Kingdom, Splash Island and many others.
  • Batangas Most known as “From the Lowest Volcano to the Deeper Dives”, it is one of the most admired tourist destinations near Metro Manila. The province has many beaches and is famous for brilliant and outstanding diving spots including Anilao in Mabini, Sombrero Island in Tingloy, Ligpo Island in Bauan, and these areas more popularly known as Anilao. Matabungkay in Lian, Punta Fuego in Nasugbu, Calatagan and Laiya in San Juan. With its fascinating coast, Batangas turns out to be a principal player in the tourism of the Philippines. The local tree malabayabas is endemic to the province alone while the endangered flying fox thrives there without fear. Batangas is also home to the kabag (Haplonycteris fischeri), one of the world’s smallest fruit bat. In the Municipality of Nasugbu, wild deers still inhabit the remote areas of Baranggay Looc. But although Batangas has these land flying mammals, marine wildlife remains to be the province’s crowning glory. It is also home to dolphins and once in a while, a passage of the world’s biggest fish the whale shark or the “butanding”, as the locals call it.
  • Rizal Rizal Province has been known for various and impressive attractions that have offered its visitors moments of adventure and leisure they won’t soon forget as it was considered as the “Cradle of Philippine Art “.  Perfect for quick weekend getaways, Rizal offers a good number of natural, cultural and historical attractions. Right at the doorsteps of Manila and at the edge of the southern end of the Sierra Madre, Rizal grasps many undisclosed natural and cultural treasures- from its beautiful waterfalls and stunning rock formations, Spanish colonial churches to thousands of years old artworks and a passionate dedication to arts- beyond doubt, a bombshell treat for travelers who often fail to notice this wonder of a province. You’ll be the only foreigner tramping in its waterfalls as this province is pretty much shunned by most Filipino and foreign travelers- for whatever reason, your guess is as good as for all.
  • Quezon – Hailed as the “Calabarzon’s Tourist Destination in 2017”, is a province that is gifted with natural wonders– Quezon. It is one of the most scenic provinces in the Philippines which is rich not only in culture and traditions but also in natural attractions.  Quezon Province is one of the best getaway destinations near Manila blessed with captivating tourist spots. A 3-hour bus ride from Metro Manila, one could explore the natural and man-made tourist spots in the province: heritage churches and houses, public beaches, luxurious private islands and more. This is why the province is particularly popular and is flocked by vacationers during the summer or on holidays. It is absolutely one of the provinces that anyone should visit.  Its attractions fail to disappoint people. Tourism has been considered as primary instrument of economic growth of the province. It is the most important reason that many governments, developing or developed are involved in the design, development and operation of the tourism industry.


MIMAROPA REGION (Southwestern Tagalog Region)

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The region is composed of five provinces: Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan. The name is actually a portmanteau of the provinces’ names and the region is also known as the Southern Tagalog Islands. MIMAROPA is perhaps one of the most visited regions of the Philippines due to its archipelagic features. The region is a treasure chest of natural attractions and ecotourism venues, with the Puerto Princesa Underground River topping the list. MIMAROPA is home to pristine beaches, challenging peaks and excellent dive sites.

Key attractions:
  • Ambulong Island
  • Apo Reef National Park
  • Bonbon Beach
  • Calawagan River Resort
  • Carabao Island
  • Coron, Palawan
  • Cresta De Gallo Islet
  • Dive sites in Romblon
  • El Nido, Palawan
  • Inasakan Beach
  • Maniwaya Island
  • Moriones Festival in Marinduque
  • Pandan Islands
  • Poctoy White Beach
  • Puerto Galera
  • Talipanan Beach
  • Tres Reyes Marine Sanctuary in Marinduque
  • Tubbataha and Apo Reefs
  • Tukuran Falls
PROVINCES
  • Occidental MindoroMostly recognized as the “Marine Wonderland of Luzon”, is the second province in Mindoro Island blessed with dozens of fascinating tourist spots. Beyond the southwest coast of Batangas lies Occidental Mindoro, a province that twinkles with a natural shine that even the world-weary traveler can’t take no notice of. Mindoro has bounty of untouched beaches, splendid underwater highlights, and natural wonders. Whether you are traveling solo or in a group, looking for adventure, or just want a silent break away from the Metro, the island is your perfect escape. The province of Occidental Mindoro is one of the few places in the Philippines that can brag of well-preserved natural resources and wonders. When you think of Mindoro, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the white-sand beaches of Puerto Galera—a favorite spot for tourists especially during the summer season. But aside from this popular destination, there are other stunning places to discover on the seventh largest island in the Philippines. It has a lot of exciting and interesting places that have lured visitors from all over to come see its many unique attractions. These tourist spots comprise dive sites, coves and white sand beaches. It is also the home of the second largest contiguous coral system in the world.
  • Oriental Mindoro- Oriental Mindoro province in the eastern half of Mindoro Island is Southern Tagalog’s primary food basket and tourist destination. The wide span of this land is made up of a network of towering mountains, intricate caves, unblemished waterways and appealing shores that are waiting for the courageous and adventurous to come and clinch the excitement within. From there, this province has been acknowledged as “The Islands’ Loveliest Harbor”. It is mainly wanted for by tourists because of the Puerto Galera beach scene. Being positioned along the Verde Island Passage (the so-called “center of the center of marine biodiversity in the world”), the town’s islands and coves cover abundant marine life in its extensive stretch of coral reefs. Divers and snorkelers will have their money’s worth in the town’s seas. Hotels, resorts, bars and restaurants are lined up along the coasts of the town’s famed beaches particularly, White Beach, Sabang Beach, Big and Small La Laguna Beach. The scenic Tamaraw Falls which is 14 kms. From White Beach is accessible in a few minutes by van or jeep, or 3 hours of walk. A bridge just below the cascades gives tourists a chance to shower in its cool, refreshing water.
  • Marinduque– Known as the “Lenten Mecca of Southern Tagalog” is an island province at the geographical center of the Philippines pushed as an accessible and affordable alternative to Boracay. This province is a heart-shaped land with abundance to offer tourists, whether they are into history or nature. The island’s convenience from Manila makes it a popular weekend destination for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Start embracing nature’s native beauty and basking in the island’s rich and colorful history and cultural heritage without the hassle of distance and cost. This island of 370-square miles is sprinkled with a variety of white sand beaches, well-preserved diving sites, captivating caves, revitalizing hot springs and serene islets that provide for the perfect getaway. The best beaches in island can be found in Boac, in the barangays of Balaring, Caganhao, Cawit, Ihatub and Laylay. The fine white sand beach in Barangay Poctoy in Torrijos town is breath-taking, as well as the beaches at Maniwaya Island in Sta.Cruz town. Most of these beaches are situated in local resorts and spas which offer rooms for tourists at affordable rates. Some resorts also have equipment for watersports such as snorkeling, windsurfing and diving.
  • Romblon- Known as the “Marble Capital of the Philippines”as the province is home to the largest marble deposits in Asia,  is the island-province of Romblon is now one of the country’s promising tourist destinations, home to the “Galapagos of Asia” (Sibuyan) and the cleanest river in the country. Romblon is composed of three major islands that one must visit–Romblon Town, Tablas Island, and Sibuyan Island. The province’s marble is comparable to the world’s best. Trade plays a big role in Romblon’s economy by desirable quality of its location at the heart of the archipelago. The islands are sanctified with natural playgrounds such as rivers, mountains, beaches, and diverse eco-systems, which suggest tourists many opportunities for adventures like scuba, trekking, and snorkeling. Depending on your mood, it can feel lonely or feel like just the right amount of solitude you were looking for. But more than just mining these deposits and crafting beautiful marble products, little do people know that Romblon shares the lush naturescapes and long stretches of ivory-white beaches of its neighboring islands Mindoro and Boracay.
  • Palawan- Identified as “The Country’s Last Frontier”,Palawan has supervised to conserve its enchantingly natural habitat through the years. Palawan is unquestionably one of the top tourist destinations in the tropical paradise of the Philippines. Located in the north of Mindoro and north of Malaysia’s Sabah Island, Palawan is the country’s largest province spanning 1.5 million hectares. An idyllic breeding ground for tropical flora and fauna, Palawan has more than a thousand islands and islets where monkeys, squirrels, bear cats, and zebras thrive with wild tropical plants and corals. Palawan is a portion of heaven, a shaving of an island that abounds with unusual wildlife, appealing fishing villages, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Wave hello to endangered animals at the Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary or explore the Japanese shipwrecks of Coron Island, regarded as one of the best dive sites in the world. A guided boat tour of the Puerto Princesa Underground River will take your breath away.


REGION V Bicol Region

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Western Visayas is also one of the most visited regions in the Philippines owed mainly to the world-famous Boracay Island. But the region is more than just the home of Boracay, it also features numerous natural wonders and progressive cities. Due to the large volume of tourists visiting the region, Western Visayas is served by three international airports and four domestic airports. There are also sea vessels that carry tourists to the port of Iloilo City, the regional center.

Key Attractions:

  • Apuao Island
  • Bagasbas Beach
  • Bagasbas Beach
  • Bagatao Island
  • Balacay Island
  • Bugui Point Lighthouse
  • Calaguas Islands
  • CamSur Watersports Complex
  • Cotivas Island
  • Halea Nature Park
  • Hicming Falls
  • Luyang Cave Park
  • Bulusan
  • Isarog
  • Mayon
  • Sumlang Lake
  • Tailon Island
  • The whale sharks of Donsol, Sorsogon
PROVINCES
  • Albay- This place is probably one of the tourists’ most prioritized tourist destination, being known as the “Land of the World’s Most Perfect Cone” with its most pride Mayon Volcano, the famous landmark shortlisted in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. Now, the province is detectably shining as a hidden tourism gem offering countless activities for relaxation, leisure, fun, and travel. In Albay, tourists will find numerous remarkable places that were before known only to locals and are still intacted by commercialism. Many of these destinations have never been featured in travel literature and awaits discovery. Albay a home of around 20 festivals that are celebrated annually. In each month of the year, tourists will be sure to find revelers dancing in the streets in celebration of a religious or agricultural festival. These festivals last for several days and feature activities showcasing the local practice and culture. Moreover, Albay offers not just scenic and cultural destinations. It is globally recognized by United Nations as the model for adapting to the impacts of climate change.
  • Camarines Norte- Crowned as the “Bicolandia’s Goldmine“ is a province with wealthy of potential for eco-tourism, Camarines Norte. Its various historical and natural attractions are perfectly guaranteed to awe even the most worn-out of tourists, Camarines Norte is gradually becoming known as the next big tourist destination of southern Luzon and will soon amassed to the growing tourism of the Philippines. Rarely visited and practically underrated by most travelers, Camarines Norte conceals its stunning secrets of undiscovered caves, promising dive sites and world-class surfing, exquisite and unblemished postcard-perfect beaches and rich coral gardens, graceful-looking bays that open into the Pacific, misty mountains and delightful towns excruciating with Bicolano hospitality and warmth– all of this under a surface of quiet, refined simplicity. Apart from these, Camarines Norte is focused on mining (jewelry craft), agriculture, and cultivating coconut and pineapple. But, there is more to this lush region than what meets the eye.
  • Camarines Sur- From the deeply religious Bicol region, Camarines Sur is the Philippines’ newest and fast-rising tourism star with coasts and islands that welcomes the traveler with elegant limestone formations, secluded white sand beaches as well as a throbbing adventure sports scene that makes the rest of Asia stand up and take notice being recognized as the “World’s Smallest Fish and Higher Climbs“.The province is blessed with several beaches, waterfalls, and mountains, and has a generally relaxing and laid-back atmosphere compared to seaside destinations like Siargao or La Union. Like many parts of the Philippines, Camarines Sur also brags of stretches of beautiful and largely unexplored coastlines which mean miles and miles of beaches, coves and staggering rock formations, the most famous of which is the Caramoan Peninsula National Park.  For those who are devoted aquatic sportsman, the beach bum, the travelling gourmand or the pilgrim, Camarines Sur is a strongly packed travel destination with exhilarating opportunities and a mostly unexplored province. As the largest province in the Bicol Region of Luzon, Camarines Sur is one that does not dishearten. It has also historical churches and landmarks that are lesser-known, and complete the escape paradise of Camarines Sur.
  • Catanduanes- Hailed as the “Eco-Adventure Paradise of the Philippines“ and the “Land of the Howling Winds” is Catanduanes island which is filled with many gifts of nature in its perfect beaches, lush forests, shorelines, and unique land formations that signal visitors from all over the world to come, explore, and enjoy. Catanduanes is a promising tourist destination in Bicol that offer visitors an all-natural encounter with nature. This precious province is also dubbed as “The Happy Island” for it offers a lot of places you can enjoy from islets, beaches, hills, historical churches, waterfalls, man-made / natural pools and many more. Catanduanes offers a lot of places you can enjoy from islets, beaches, hills, historical churches, waterfalls, man-made / natural pools and many more. Surfacing from the mountains are numerous springs, waterfalls and rivers trailing out into the ocean. Forest covers about 46% of the total land area. The island is lined with more than 20 islets and rocks that give it an interesting shoreline. It also provides the choice of deep swells and surfs of the Pacific Ocean in the northeastern tip.
  • Masbate-The most popular trademark in Masbate is theRodeo Masbateño Festival” which is one of the largest events in Philippines that’s why the City was called the “Rodeo Capital of the Philippines”. It is an annual event that showcases skills in livestock handling, such as lassoing, wrestling, and riding cattle Also included in the event are a fair and exhibitions and trade of cattle and horses. The event has taken place every summer which is traditionally considered as the “Cattle Country of the Philippines”. But it is more than told that Masbate is not just about rodeo. Its natural beauty is more than enough to attract tourists. The centuries-old lighthouses are another major reason and could be an adequate enough reason to go. Yet, Masbate is beautiful in its own right. And depending on how deeply you explore its corners and the islands that form part of the province, you might even say it is more beautiful. Masbate is gifted with rich natural resources, as well. In line with its agriculture are other industries such as large farming, livestock and poultry raising. Along its coastal areas, fishing industry predominates. With its tourism, Masbate is known as the “Traditions in Central Philippines“. Apart from that, Masbate serves as one of the trading activity centers in the region being nicknamed as the “City of Hearts“ The province is surrounded with rich fishing areas where all kinds of commercial species of fish teemed in great abundance.  Rich minerals are found in the province. Masbate is described by geologists as a province sitting on a “Pot of Gold”.
  • Sorsogon- As a gateway element of Visayas and Mindanao, Sorsogon is a “Melting pot of Cultures and Influences”. Now a newly-created city, Sorsogon offers a promising economic climate, further bolstered by an investor-friendly city government. It is also a visitor-friendly eco-tour destination offering untouched and immaculate scenic vistas all around enhanced by a warm, accommodating and hospitable people. Travel Sorsogon and discover a vibrant city worth visiting and doing business in. As the political, economic, social, cultural, educational and recreational center of the region, Sorsogon is also the hub of the incomparable ecotourism adventure activities that the entire region proudly offers the visitor, particularly its high-adventure whale shark or Butanding interaction activity off the waters of Donsol town predominantly known as “World’s Whale Shark Paradise“ . The City itself has its own share of attraction to suit every interest – its scenic, cultural and historical places. And, since it is located at the southernmost tip of Luzon, it is also the “Gateway to the South of the Philippines”.  Within the City itself, surrounded by verdant mountains, there’s a Sorsogon Bay on one side, dotted picture-pretty islands, offering seafood galore, especially luscious blue crabs. There are also long stretches of white sand beaches running through the coastal villages of Bacon District. With its colorful reefs and secret coves teeming with an array of marine life. place is also filled history and historical landmarks, tradition and culture. Its annual festivals are in themselves a peak at its rich cultural heritage. The entire Province is one big eco-tour package.
INDEPENDENT COMPONENT CITY
  • Naga City – Nailed as “The Heart of Bicol“ is the City of Naga. It has been considered an urbanite’s dream, a lively city crammed with coffee shops and restaurants that never stopped expanding.  Unknown to many tourists, Naga, the blossoming independent city geographically situated in Camarines Sur was founded on 1575, making it the third Spanish Royal City in the Spanish East Indies, after Cebu and Manila. Dubbed as the “Pilgrim City of the Philippines” by virtue of a Presidential proclamation, it commands millions of pilgrims every September during the feast of the Blessed Virgin of Peñafrancia.  A somber procession to the city’s Marian churches is a perfect way for the devotees to appreciate, understand, and celebrate the unique bond between the miraculous Patroness and her devotees. Although rightfully known for its historical and religious edifices, there is more to this city for the tourists to discover.  The series of diverse outdoor adventures in and around Naga is perhaps one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Naga City, with a team of guides around, a boom in tourism couldn’t be far behind.
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