Sunday, 16 August 2009

CAR Profile

The Area
The Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR) is composed of the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province and the chartered city of Baguio. It is located in North Central Luzon and is the only land-locked region in the country. It has a total land area of 18,102.4 sq. m. (Source: covering almost all the Gran Cordillera of Luzon or Montanosa. It is bounded in the north by the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Cagayan, in the east by Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and La Union, in the south by Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija and in the west by Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Cagayan.

The People
CAR is a land to tribes of mountain people collectively called the Igorots.
  • The Isnegs or Tingguians found in Abra.
  • The Apayaos, also called Isnegs, occupying Apayao.
  • The Ibalois and Kankanaeys inhabiting Benguet.
  • The Bontocs and Aplais from Mountain Province.
  • The Ifugaos in Ifugao.
  • The Kalingas of Kalinga.
  • Other tribes found in the Cordillera are the Ikalahans or Kalanguya in the eastern part and the Gaddangs in the northern part.
With the opening of mines in Benguet that brought rapid development in the area, many lowlanders moved upward. Ilocanos account for the most number of immigrants in the region. In fact, Abra has more Ilocano population than Tingguians and Ilocano is the major language used in Baguio City. It was believed though that Abra Ilocanos are more of the early Christianized highlanders than migrants from the Ilocos provinces.

Pangasinenses, Kapampangans, Visayans and Muslims from Mindanao can also be found in the region specially in Benguet. Some foreigners also made Cordillera their home. Lately, the Korean community in Baguio City increased tremendously.

To date, Cordillera has a total population of around 1.5 million and is the least populated region in the country. (Source: 2007 Census of Population)

The Topography
The region has towering mountain, plateaus and valleys. According to the Deopartment of Environment and Natural Resources or DENR, (
The region is considered a fragile ecosystem because of its mountainous terrain and for being he headwater of 10 major rivers that supply water to the region and lowland communities. It has 239 large mountains which include Mt. Pulag, the second highest in the country, with an elevation of 2,922 meters above sea level.

A unique feature of the region is about 80% of its area is above 18% in slope, ranging from strongly sloping to very steep hills and mountains. In addition, it has an elevation ranging from a minimum of 5 meters to a maximum of 2,922 meters above sea level. This accounts for the cool climate in most of the provinces.
Aside from the cool weather, the region will always be remembered with it's towering pines.

The Economy

Cordillera is rich in natural resources - mineral reserves, densely covered forests and water bodies. It is also know for its vegetables, flowers and other farm produce and as a prime tourist destination. But, the region's economy had been boosted by the manufacturing industry with the entry of micro-chips companies.

In 2008, the manufacturing industry output comprises 41% of the CAR's Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP). The agriculture and fishery industry is the next biggest contributor to the GRDP followed by mining and quarrying, private services and construction. The region's mining and quarrying output declined last year but it was still the second highest among the 17 regions in the country. (Source:

In terms of employment, almost a third of the region's labor force are in the agriculture and fishing sector.

Tourist Attractions
Mount Pulag - 2nd highest mountain in the country
Sagada Caves
Crystal Caves
Hot Springs

Banaue Rice Terraces
Sagada Hanging Coffins
Kabayan Mummies
Burnham Park
Minew View Park
Wright Park
Padcal Loop
Baguio Botanical Garden
Philippine Military Academy

Strawberry Farms
Flower Farms
Vegetable Farms

Cordillera Products
Soft Broom
Strawberry and Strawberry Products
Tapey and Fruit Wines
Sweet Delicacies

Pili Nuts
Peanut Delicacies



Suggested Further Reading:
Igorot Classified by Political Subdivisions


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Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)

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