• The mountain area of Luzon island in Philippines
  • Cordillera is the ancestral domain of the Igorots ('people from the mountains') and it is divided into five provinces and seven ethno linguistic groups.
  • Language: Every group has its own language, but they also share a common Ilocano language.
  • Religion: Christianity, traditional beliefs

Many theories have been postulated to account for the origin of the people inhabiting the mountain regions of the Philippines. The Land Bridge Theory claims that the Philippines was part of the Southern Asia Mainland and the Northern Luzon maintain tribes that came through these bridges during the last glacial period between 1200 and 1500 B.C.

Contradictory to these assumptions is the Wave Migration theory which occurred thousands of years after the disappearance of the land bridges in 3,000-4,000 B.C. The theory states that groups of migrants came by boat from the neighboring lands during the Neolithic period. The Neolithic culture which they brought with them is still evident in the rice terraces, cloth weaving and the use of iron implements.

Scholars differ in their contentions of the mountain people's ancestors, however, a prominent number supports the contention that the ancestors of the mountain people came from the South East Asia Mainland.

In the process of settling down, the early inhabitants became geographically isolated from one another. The long period of isolation and adaptation to the environment gave rise to variations of culture.

When the Spaniards came to the Philippines, they were able to set foot in the Cordillera as early as 1608 but with minimal influence. They were able to establish commadancias in Benguet, Ifugao and Kalinga-Apayao but their stay did not last long enough to pacify the people of the hinterlands when the Americans came.

When the American Regime dawned upon the Cordillera wild lands, the new colonial government found the people still not pacified. The government decided to establish a separate political history for them under Act. No. 1876 of the Philippine Commission, the Mountain Province was divided into seven (7) sub-provinces namely: Amburayan, Apayao, Benguet, Bontoc, Ifugao Kalinga and Lepanto. Eight years later, and under Act No. 2772 promulgated on February 4, 1920, Mountain Province was reconstituted into five provinces-Benguet, Ifugao, Bontoc, and Kalinga-Apayao.

The establishment of the Cordillera Administrative Region has been preceded by the movement for local autonomy and administrative decentralization before the authoritarian rule. On September 3, 1986, President Corazon Aquino met with the representatives of the Cordillera Bodong Administration (CBA) and the Cordillera People's Liberation Army (CPLA) and the Alasiw (cessation of hostilities) to acknowledge their aspiration for autonomy.

However, pending the enactment of the organic act for the Cordillera Administrative Region, the President issued Executive Order No. 220 on July 15, 1987 creating the Cordillera Administrative Region consisting of the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao, Mountain Province and the chartered City of Baguio.

Source of Information: DA-AMAS


The region serves as the gateway to the breathtaking wonders of Nothern Luzon.  These include the world famous Banaue Rice Terraces in the province of Ifugao which is considered as the "Eight Wonder of the World".

Natural  attractions of the region include the magnificent Sumaguing Cave in Sagada and the mummy caves of Benguet and  Mt. Province.  There are also 4 National Parks in CAR namely, Cassamata Hill National Park, Mt. Pulag National Park, the second highest mountain in the Philippines with an elevation of 2,922 meters above sea level.   The Mt. Data National Park which possesses a natural scenery of pine forest ecosystem and deep ravines and the Balbalasang-Balbalan  National Park.