Isabela (province)

Isabela (province)

Infobox Philippine province
name = Isabela
sealfile = Ph_seal_isabela.png region = Cagayan Valley (Region II)
capital = Ilagan
founded = May 01, 1856
pop2000 = 1,287,575
pop2000rank = 17th largest
popden2000 = 121
popden2000rank = 18th lowest
areakm2 = 10,664.6
arearank = 2nd largest
hucities = 0
componentcities = 2
municipalities = 35
barangays = 1,055
districts = 4
languages = Ilokano, Tagalog, Ibanag
governor = Ma. Gracia Cielo Padaca (LP)
locatormapfile = Ph_locator_map_isabela.png

Isabela is the second largest province of the Philippines next to Palawan. It is located in the Cagayan Valley Region in Luzon. Its capital is Ilagan and borders, clockwise from the south, Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Kalinga, and Cagayan. This primarily agricultural province is the rice and corn granary of Luzon.

People and culture

According to the Philippine Census in 2000, Isabela was the most populated province among the five provinces in Cagayan Valley (Region II). It has a population of 1,287,575 people and comprising 45.7 percent of the 2.8 people in the region. At the national level, the province contributed 1.7 percent to the total population of 76.5 million.

For all ages, the sex ratio in Isabela was about 105 with 660,627 males and 626,948 females in the 2000 Census of Population and Housing (Census 2000). There were more males than females below 50 years old.

Ilocano was the most prominent ethnic group in Isabela. Of the total household population, 68.71 percent classified themselves as Ilocanos. The next two prominent ethnic groups were Ibanag (14.05 percent) and Tagalog (10.02 percent). The remaining 7.22 percent were either Gaddang, Paranan, Yogad, or were from other ethnic groups.

Economy and tourism

Agriculture, mainly rice with a relatively large corn crop, is the biggest industry in Isabela. Farming is highly mechanized as most of the agricultural lands are irrigated. With the presence of the Isabela State University, joint ventures, other foreign assisted projects, and the Magat Dam, agriculture has a high level of productivity. 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 the Cagayan Valley Region, activities in this industry have considerably declined. However, furniture making using narra and other indigenous forest materials continues.

Some potential investments are in fisheries and tourism. Isabela has a fertile fishing ground on 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. Support services and accommodation facilities are likewise being developed. Tourism focuses mainly in and around Santiago City and can be noted by the presence of the only but the biggest structure in the Philippines of McDonalds in the province.


Isabela comprises an aggregate land area of 10,665 square kilometers, representing almost 40 percent of the regional territory. It is the largest province inth island of Luzon and the second largest province in the Philippines in terms of land area.

Isabela is subdivided into 35 municipalities and 2 cities.


*Cauayan City
*Santiago City


*Benito Soliven
*Delfin Albano (Magsaysay)

*Reina Mercedes
*San Agustin
*San Guillermo
*San Isidro
*San Manuel
*San Mariano
*San Mateo
*San Pablo
*Santa Maria
*Santo Tomas


The province is divided into three physiographic areas. The eastern area, straddled by the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, is rugged and thickly forested. A substantial portion is uncharted. These unexplored hinterlands are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, while others are government reservations. The western area is a sprawling 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 8,000 feet, and are home to one of the world’s largest remaining low-altitude rainforests, with numerous unknown endemic species of flora and fauna and exceptional biological diversity. The area is popularly known as the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park. Isabela has 600,000 hectares of Cagayan Valley’s 900,000 hectares of forest cover. [ [, Isabela gov sees big job ahead vs illegal logging] ] [ [ iWitness: Si GOB at ang mga BUGADOR, 08/25/2008] ]


Prior to 1856, there were only two provinces in the Cagayan Valley Region: Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya. The Province of Cagayan at that time consisted of all towns from Tumauini to the north in Aparri and all other towns from Ilagan southward to Aritao comprised the Province of Nueva Vizcaya. In order to facilitate the work of the missionaries in the evangelization of the Cagayan Valley, a royal decree was issued on May 1, 1856 that created the Province of Isabela consisting of the towns of Gamu, Angadanan and Camarag (now Echague), Carig (now Santiago City) and Palanan. The new province was named in honor of Queen Isabela II of Spain.

Although the province did not play a major role in the revolt against Spain, it was in Palanan that the final pages of the Philippine Revolution was written when the American forces led by General Frederick Funston finally captured General Emilio Aguinaldo on March 23, 1901.

The first Provincial Governor of Isabela was Rafael Maramag, a former Municipal President (then a term for Municipal Mayor) of the capital town Ilagan. Rafael Maramag was also the first Municipal President of Ilagan and was succeeded by his brother Gabriel. A son of Gabriel also served as the longest Municipal Treasurer of Ilagan and also served as the Deputy Provincial Treasurer for Isabela.

The Americans built schools and other buildings and instituted changes in the overall political system. The province’s economy, however, remained particularly agricultural with rice replacing corn and tobacco as the dominant crop. World War II stagnated the province’s economic growth but it recovered dramatically after the war. In 1942, the Japanese Imperial forces occupied in Isabela. Continue in 1945, the liberation in Isabela entering by the Philippine Commonwealth Troops together with the local guerrillas attacked by the Japanese Imperial forces in World War II. Isabela today is the premier province of the north, one of the most progressive in the country and Santiago, the commercial center of Region 02 has been declared an independent city last July 7, 1994.

In 1995, a bill was passed legislating that Isabela be divided into two new provinces: Isabela del Norte and Isabela del Sur. A referendum was held on the same year with a strong majority voted not to separate the province.

Now the modern town rose and it was Cabagan. center for cultural arts and modern hospitals , buildings and factories has risen..The founder is Mr. Arnold Laggui who was the great author of the novel entitled "Cabagan Ating Mahalin". According to Mr. Mark Paul Makatulad a historian in Harvard University he found out that Cabagan is very nice town.


Isabela, being the largest province in Cagayan Valley pride itself as to having an extensive presence of media entities ( radio, television and print).

AM Radio Stations
* DZRH 648 kHz in Santiago City owned by Manila Broadcasting Company
* DZYI Sonshine Radio Ilagan 711 kHz in Ilagan owned by ACQ Sonshine Media
* DZNC Bombo Radyo Cauayan 801 kHz in Cauayan City owned by Newsound Broadcasting System
* DWSI Sonshine Radio Santiago 864 kHz in Santiago City owned by ACQ Sonshine Media
* DWRS Radyo Pilipino 981 kHz in Santiago City owned by Radyo Pilipino
* DWDY 1107 kHz in Cauayan City

FM Radio Stations
* DWND 88.5 mHz in Cauayan
* DWHI Hot FM 89.7 mHz in Ilagan owned by Manila Broadcasting Company
* DWHT Hot FM 92.5 mHz in Santiago City owned by Manila Broadcasting Company
* DWYI Bay Radio 92.9 mHz in Cauayan City owned by Baycomms Broadcasting System
* DWTR Yes FM 93.7 mHz in Santiago City owned by Manila Broadcasting Company
* DWIP Love Radio 94.5 mHz in Santiago City owned by Manila Broadcasting Company
* DWWC Big Sound FM 95.3 mHz in Cauayan City
* DWIT Star FM 96.1 mHz in Cauayan City owned by Newsound Broadcasting System
* DWMX The Mix 97.7 mHz in Santiago City owned by the Catholic Church
* DWKB Light FM 99.3 mHz in Santiago City
* DWYE Hot FM 101.7 mHz in Cauayan City owned by Manila Broadcasting Company

TV Stations
* DZZN-TV NBN Channel 4 in Ilagan owned by National Broadcasting Network
* DWAT-TV ABS-CBN Channel 11 in Santiago City owned by Lopez Group of CompaniesCable Television
*North Star Cable Vision in Cauayan City
*Polaris Cable Vision, Inc. in Ilagan
*Digna Abad Galura (1888 Cable TV Network) in Ilagan
*Antonio E. Diongzon (Parabola Enterprises) in Ilagan
*Orlando N. Dalit, Sr. (Sta. Isabel Cable TV System) in Ilagan

Print Media
* The Valley Times Press in Ilagan
* Northern Sierra Madre Express

Notable Residents

*General Mateo Noriel Luga
*Ruthlane Uy Asmundson - Mayor of Davis, California, USA
*Samuel Formoso Reyes - House of Representatives, Former Governor of Isabela
*Freddie Pascual Aguilar - Famous folk musician
*Marlene Aguilar Pollard - Writer, Author & Publisher of many international awards



External links

* [ Harry Asuncion Balais]
* [ IQuadrant Interactive]
* []


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