Kalinga Province, Cordillera Autonomous Region, Luzon Islands,  Philippines

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Municipalities of Kalinga Province


Inhabited by a simple freedom-loving people enshrined in the natural beauty and imposing grandeur of God's creation, Kalinga sprawls in the center of Cordillera mountain ranges. It is bounded on the north by the sub-province of Apayao, Cagayan and Isabela on the east, Mountain Province on the south and Abra on the west. Largely consisting of the Central Cordillera mountain ranges, the southern and northwestern portions of the region present sharp-crested mountain ranges the elevation of which varies from 3,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level and interlocking flat lands, plateaus and valleys. Toward the north- eastern portion, the mountain peaks gradually taper into rolling hills that interlock wide tracks of flat lands and flood plains along the main rivers.

Drainage System

Kalinga is drained by five main rivers. In the southeast portion of the region is the Tanudan River formed by headwaters arising from Barlig, Mountain Province. It flows generally from south to north until it merges with the Chico River at Naneng, Tabuk. Draining the central lenghtwise section is the Chico River formed by headwaters arising from Sabangan and the municipalities of Mountain Province. It also flows generally northward. It converges with the Pasil River at the village of Tomiangan which is also in the municipality of Tabuk. Thus joined by two rivers, the Tabuk section of the Chico River is considerably big making its floodwaters more damaging and treacherous during the rainy days and typhoons. The Pasil River formed by headwaters arising from the vicinities of Belwang and Ma-init, Moutain Province, flows eastward until it converges with the Chico as aforestated. With headwaters emanating from the Kalinga-Abra boundary west of Balbalasang, is the Saltan River. It flows toward a northeasternly direction untilit converges with the bigger Chico River at Pinukpuk Proper. The Kal-uwan River flowing eastward until it converges with the bigger Chico River at Ammacian, is formed by headwaters from west of Mabaca, Balbalan. These five main rivers of the Kalinga territory, all embody the lower Chico River that drains the municipalities of Tuao and Faire in the province of Cagayan. This lower Chico River flows eastward until it empties into the mighty Cagayan River at Barangay Donggao in the municipality of Faire.


The climate of the entire Kalinga areas falls under Type III classification of the Bureau of Weather. Relatively dry season occurs from late February to the end of May. The rest of the year is generally wet. Typhoon frequently occurs from July to November. The records of the Weather Bureau reveal that the rainy season is at its peak from October to January when 50% of the annual rainfall is equally distributed. The average rainfall during this period ranges from 64.4 to 91.18 mm. The warmest months in the area are from April to July with an average temperature ranging from 27 to 31 degrees Celsius. From August, the temperature becomes gradually cooler until January when the daily average temperature is usually recorded at 17 degrees Celsius. At best the climate in this area of the country, is moderately warm and is comsidered mild.

Political Subdivision
Originally, a subprovince of the old Mountain Province, Kalinga, now a separated province of the known Kalinga-Apayao has eight regular municipalities. They are: Balbalan, Lubuagan, Pasil, Pinukpuk, Rizal, Tanudan, Tinglayan, and Tabuk, its capital town.



The Indonesian immigrants who came to Luzon thousands of years ago are said to be the ancestors of the present-day Kalingas and Apayaos. During the Spanish era, Dominican missions were established in Tabang and Piat along the Chico River in 1604 and in Tuga, 25 km south of Tuao, in 1688. The Spaniards constructed military posts at Balbalasang, a town located near the Saltan River, and at Balitokon town, situated near the Pacil River. However, when the Philippine Revolution broke out in 1896, both the Spanish military soldiers, as well as missionaries, withdrew from the Cordillera mountains.

When the Filipino-American War broke out in 1899, General Emilio Aguinaldo and his army were forced to retreat from their capital in Malolos, Bulacan, to the northern provinces. In 1900, they stayed for two months in
Lubuagan, a settlement of the Kalingas, to regain their,strength before proceeding to Isabela where Aguinaldo was eventually captured by the Americans.

When the old Mountain Province was created in 1908, two of its sub-provinces were Kalinga and Apayao. When Republic Act No.4695 divided the old Mountain Province on June 18, 1966 into four regular
provinces, the sub-provinces of Kalinga and Apayao were merged to form one province. On February 14, 1995, they were converted into regular provinces by Republic Act No. 7878. The Kalinga area gained prominence in 1975 when the Chico Valley Hydroelectric Dam project was initiated by the government. Firm resistance to the project was demonstrated by the tribes, with the support of outsiders, because it would have flooded Kalinga villages, including their rice terraces and sacred burial grounds.


The province is clearly divided along tribal lines: the Kalingas and the Apayaos. The Kalingas were once fierce head-hunters and they are still a proud people, wary of strangers and fond of social celebrations. Although
contemporary dress is now the norm, some men still wear G-strings and a round hat containing tobacco and matches, while women wear wraparound skirts. They live on leveled parts of steep mountain slopes, where a small
shrine called podayan guards the entrance to the village.

The Apayaos, known as Isnegs in other provinces, get their name from the river where they get their food. They are skilled hunters and fishermen; they carry axes and woven rattan and bamboo baskets for keeping their catch. The men wear a blue or black G string under which is a bag containing tobacco or betel nut and lime; the women wear decorated dark skirts and long-sleeved blouses. They live in complex traditional houses with an elongated floor plan and a gabled roof, with granaries between the houses. Both ethnic groups are fond of tattoos; the Apayaos are the most heavily tattooed mountain people. Both also have elaborate costumes reserved for rituals and festive occasions.


Being a largely agricultural province, Kalinga-Apayao produces a variety of crops, the major ones of which are rice, corn, coffee, and coconut. Rich pine forests are found in the higher elevations. Kalinga's open grasslands are
suitable for pastures while Apayao is abundant in mineral resources. Scenic spots and panoramic views all over the province need only to be tapped and developed into tourist destinations.

Information gathered from:
League of Provinces
by:Roberto C. Arellano
This page last revised: December 19, 2003