Ifugao is an inland province of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in northern Philippines.
Location –> Cordillera Region in northern Philippines (See map below)
Neighboring Provinces –> Mountain Province, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Benguet
Capital –> Lagawe
Area –> 2,628.21 km2 (1,014.76 sq mi)
Population –> 202,802 (2015 Census)
Topography –> Mountainous with rolling hills in the east and south of the province
Industries –> Agriculture, handicraft and furniture making, tourism
Major Products –> Rice, corn, coffee, vegetables, wooden furniture, rattan craft
People/Language –> Ayangan, Tuwali, Kalanguya Tribes, Ilocano
City –> None
Municipalities (Towns) –> (11) Aguinaldo, Alfonso Lista, Asipulo, Banaue, Hingyon, Hungduan, Kiangan, Lagawe, Lamut, Mayoyao, Tinoc
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Ifugao Province History
Recent studies have shown that the builders of the rice terraces could have originated from the banks of the Magat River during the initial march of the Spaniards toward northern Luzon debunking the myth that the rice terraces were a 2,000-year old structure. (see: Inquirer article)
Although the land of the Ifugaos, like the rest of the Cordillera Region, was not subdued and occupied by the Spaniards, it was made a part of Nueva Vizcaya during the Spanish Regime. Quiangan (now Kiangan) was then the politico-military center of administration as early as 1891.
On August 18, 1908, Ifugao was separated from Nueva Vizcaya and became part of Mountain Province with the promulgation of Act No. 1876 by the American-sponsored Philippine Commission. During World War II, the province was the scene of heavy fighting when Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita of Japan made his last stand in the town of Kiangan.
On June 18, 1966, Ifugao became a regular province after Mountain Province was divided into 4 provinces by virtue of Republic Act No. 4695. Luis Pawid was the first governor of new province of Ifugao.
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Economy of Ifugao Province
The economy of Ifugao is based on agriculture and tourism. Although rice is the primary agricultural product, the province is deficient in the staple food and has to import some of its need from other provinces. The province however, has excess production of corn especially in the town of Alfonso Lista which is the home of a large corn warehouse. Vegetables too such as beans are produced in commercial quantities and are sold to wholesalers in Nueva Vizcaya. The province is promoting organic coffee and organic rice called Tinawon as additional source of income for the farmers.
The presence of rice terraces in the province has lured tourists from all over the world. Small hotels have sprung up in the town of Banaue to cater to the needs of these visitors. Yet, the number is still insufficient to put the province on the top ten tourist destinations in the Philippines. The government ought to find a way to address the problem by any of the following initiatives:
1. Diversify destinations by providing easy access to the other tourist spots.
2. Train workers in the hospitality industry to provide high quality services such as tour guiding and hotel services.
3. Enhance, diversify and promote cultural presentations.
4. Improve and diversify the food offered to visitors. Create an Ifugao brand of cooking.
5. Make beautification and cleanliness a mantra everywhere in the province.
Manufacturing in the province is limited to the production of home made articles such as furniture, woven clothes, preserved food items, and arts and crafts.
Small business opportunities in the province include fish farming, production and processing of high value crops such yam, mushroom, and pigeon peas, poultry and piggery. Large enterprises such as building small hydroelectric facilities and feed production should be promoted.
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Map of Ifugao Province