- For the community in California, see
[[Image:Luzon regions.PNG|right|thumb|A map
Luzon color-coded by region
Luzon is the largest and
most economically and politically important island in the Philippines and one of the three island groups in the country,
with Visayas and Mindanao being the
other two. Luzon as an island group includes the island
of Luzon itself, plus the Batanes and Babuyan groups of islands to the north, and the main and
outlying islands of Catanduanes, Marinduque, Masbate, Romblon, and
Mindoro in the
south. Luzon was once split among Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms,
Muslim principalities, and ethnoreligious tribes, who had trading
connections with Malaysia, India, Japan and China before the
Spanish established their rule.
The first European explorers
recorded it in their charts as Luçonia or Luçon and inhabitants
were called Luçoes
. Under Spain, Luzon
also came to be known as the Nueva
or the New Castile
The eight regions are listed below, discussed individually.Its
administrative centers are for formality's sake only, meaning,
there is no 'valid' regional administrative center (except in the
case of Administrative regions), the power being vested by the
provincial governments. The regional centers are only the head
tourist offices for the region.
Ilocos Region (Region I) is located in the northwest portion of the
main island. Its provinces are: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos
Union, and Pangasinan.
Its inhabitants are 70% Ilocanos
and 30% Pangasinans
. The main languages are
. The region's
administrative center is San Fernando City, La Union. The city of Vigan in Ilocos
province is the oldest surviving Spanish colonial city in the
Cagayan Valley (Region II) is located in the northeast portion of
the main island and also covers the Batanes and Babuyan islands to
the north. The valley is surrounded by the Cordillera
Central and Sierra Madre mountain ranges.
Running through its center
is the country's longest river, Cagayan River. Its provinces are
Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino. The region's administrative center is
Central Luzon (Region III) contains the largest plain
of the country and produces most of the
supply. Its provinces
areAurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva
Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and
Zambales. The region's administrative center is the
City of San
Fernando, Pampanga. The former United States Navy base of Subic
Bay is located in Zambales while the former United States Air Force is in
Both are now two of the country's
booming special economic zones. The main languages are Kapampangan
CALABARZON (Region IV-A), one of the newest regions of the country,
was previously a part of Southern
(Region IV). It is one of the most populous areas of
the country. The name of the region is actually an
acronym that stands for its provinces, which are Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and
Tagalogs are the dominant ethnic group in this region, with
as the main language.
recognized administrative center is Manila, which is
Manila, however, some government officials still consider
City, which is also in Metro Manila as the administrative center, and also, Lucena City.
MIMAROPA (Region IV-B), along with CALABARZON is the newest region
of the country, and was previously a part of Southern Tagalog
(Region IV). It contains most of the islands in the Luzon group.
of the region is actually an acronym that stands for its provinces,
which are Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental
Mindoro, Palawan and Romblon.
region's administrative center is Calapan City.
Region (Region V) occupies the Bicol
Peninsula at the southeastern end of Luzon island, plus the
outlying islands which include the island provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate.
remaining mainland provinces are Albay, Camarines
Sur, and Sorsogon. The region's administrative center is
The inhabitants are of Bicolano descent
as the main language.type=
convergent plate boundary
Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
almost completely covers the Cordillera Central mountain range of Northern Luzon.
created in 1989 is a special administrative region for the
indigenous tribes of these mountains. Its provinces are
Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province. The regional center is Baguio City.
National Capital Region (NCR) is a special administrative region
that contains the capital of the country, Manila; the country's
most populous city, Quezon City; and an additional 15 more cities
and municipalities. The region is more popularly known as
It is the only region in the country that
has no provinces, and is the most densely populated with over 10
million people living in a 636 km² area.
Luzon's area is 104,688 square kilometers, making it the world's 17th largest island
. It is
the fourth most populous
island in the world
. Located on Luzon are the country's capital,
Manila, and its
most populous city, Quezon
City. The island is very mountainous and is home to Mount Pulag, the second highest mountain in the country and
Pinatubo, Mayon, and Taal
Volcano, Luzon's most famous volcanoes. To the west of Luzon island is the
Sea (Luzon Sea in Philippine territorial waters), to
the east is the Philippine Sea, and to the north is Luzon Strait containing Babuyan
Channel and Balintang
The main part of the island is roughly rectangular in shape and has
the long Bicol Peninsula
to the southeast. The northern part of the island contains the
largest mountain range in the
country, the Cordillera Central. Mount Pulag, the second highest mountain in the country, is
located there, rising 2,922 meters.
To the east of the
Cordillera Central is the large Cagayan
, which serves as the basin for the Cagayan River
, the longest river in the
Philippines. To the east of the valley rises the Sierra
Madre mountain range, easily the longest range in the
The Sierra Madre snakes southwards into the central and southern
part of the island. Between it and the Zambales
Mountains to the west is the largest plain, the Central Luzon
This plain, approximately 11,000 km² in size, is
the country's largest producer of rice. Among the rivers
irrigating this plain, the longest are Cagayan to the north, and Pampanga to the south. In the middle of the
plain rises the solitary Mount Arayat. To the west, in the Zambales Mountains,
famous because of its enormous 1991 eruption.
Zambales mountains extends to the sea in the north, forming
Gulf, home to the Hundred Islands National
Park. To the south, the mountains also extend into
the sea, forming the Bataan Peninsula, which encloses the Manila Bay.
This natural harbor
is considered to be one of the best natural ports in East Asia, due
to its size and strategic geographical location.
southeast of Manila Bay is the largest lake in the country, and
also the largest inland lake in Southeast Asia, the Laguna de Bay (Old Spanish, Lake of Bay town).
949 km² lake is drained by the Pasig
into Manila Bay. Pasig River is one of the most important
rivers in the country due to its historical significance and
because it runs through the center of Metro Manila.
just 20 km southwest of Laguna de Bay is Taal Lake, within the southwestern portion of the
island. This caldera of a lake contains the smallest
volcano of the country, Taal Volcano, which rises on the island in the center of the
The volcano in turn has a lake in its crater. All the
surrounding areas of Taal Lake were once part of a massive
prehistoric volcano that covered the southern portion of the
province of Cavite, Tagaytay City, and the whole of Batangas
southwestern portion of Luzon is the island of Mindoro, separated
by the Verde Island
The passages connect the South China Sea to
the east with the Tayabas Bay
. To the
south of the bay is the island of Marinduque.
The southeastern portion of Luzon is dominated by the Bicol Peninsula
. This is a mountainous and
narrow region that extends approximately 150 km southeast.
Along it are numerous gulfs and bays. In the north is
Lamon Bay, which contains Alabat Island and is south of the Polillo Islands of Quezon
province. Other bays and gulfs include San Miguel Bay, Lagonoy Gulf, Ragay Gulf, and Sorsogon Bay.
To the east of the peninsula lies the island of Catanduanes.
Leading to it is the Caramoan
. Off the southeast tip of Bicol is Samar
island, separated by San Bernardino Strait.
Bicol Peninsula is connected to the main
part of Luzon through the Tayabas
. Extending south from the isthmus is the Bondoc Peninsula
The Bicol Peninsula is also home to numerous volcanoes.
famous is Mayon
Volcano in Albay.
2,460 m high volcano is symmetrically shaped, rivaling that of
Fuji in Japan, and is a
symbol of the Bicol
Region. Other notable mountains are Mount Isarog and Mount
Iriga in Camarines
Sur, and Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon.
off the southwestern coast of the Bicol Peninsula are the islands
of Ticao, Burias, and Masbate.
Luzon is part of the Philippine
, a fast deforming plate boundary zone, hemmed in
between two opposing subduction zones, the west-dipping Philippine Trench
-East Luzon Trench
subduction zone, and the
east-dipping north-south trending Manila
. The Philippine
Sea Plate subducts under eastern Luzon along the East Luzon
Trench and the Philippine Trench, while the South China Sea basin, part of the
Eurasian plate, subducts under
western Luzon along the Manila Trench.
North-Southeastern trending braided left-lateral strike-slip
Philippine Fault System
traverses Luzon, from Quezon province and Bicol to the northwestern
part of the island.
This fault system takes up part of the
motion due to the subducting plates and produces large earthquakes.
of Luzon is a collision zone where the Palawan micro-block collides with SW
Luzon, producing a highly seismic zone near Mindoro island.
Southwest Luzon is characterized by
a highly volcanic zone, called the Macolod Corridor
, a region of crustal
thinning and spreading.
Seven principal blocks were identified in Luzon in 1989: the Sierra
Madre Oriental, Angat, Zambales, Central Cordillera of Luzon,
Bicol, and Catanduanes Island blocks . Using seismic and geodetic
data, Luzon is said to have been modeled by another author as a
series of six micro blocks or micro plates, all moving and rotating
in different directions, with maximum velocities ~100 mm/yr NW
with respect to Sundaland/Eurasia.
economy of the island is centered in Metro Manila with Makati
City serving as the main economic and financial
Major companies such as Ayala
, SM Group
, and Metrobank
are based in the business districts of
Makati, Ortigas Center, and Bonifacio Global City. Industry is
concentrated in and around the urban areas of Metro Manila while
agriculture predominates in the other regions of the island
producing crops such as rice, bananas, mangoes, coconuts,
pineapple, and coffee.. Other sectors include livestock raising,
tourism, mining, and fishing.
From just before the first millennium, the Tagalog
peoples of south and central
Luzon had established several Indianized kingdoms
, notably among them
those of Tundok
. The Laguna Copperplate
Inscription, the first Philippine document written in 900AD,
names places in and around Manila Bay as well as Medan in
These kingdoms were based on leases between
village rulers (Datu
) and landlords
) or Rajahs
, to whom tributes and taxes were levied.
kingdoms were coastal thalassocracies
based on trade with neighboring China (of whom
they were tributaries), India, Java, Okinawa and Japan.
According to sources at the time, the trade in large native
(literally Luzon made
clay jars used for storing green tea
with Japan flourished in the
12th century, and local Tagalog
potters had marked
each jar with Baybayin
letters denoting the
particular urn used and the locale the jars were manufactured in.
Of this flourishing trade, the Burnay
jars of Ilocos
are the only large clay jar manufactured in
Luzon today with origins from this time.
The Spanish arrival in the 16th century saw the breaking up of
these kingdoms and the establishment of the Philippines with its
capital Cebu, which was moved to Manila following the defeat of the
local Rajah Sulayman
The people of Luzon belong to the Filipino people
, and are divided into
These groups inhabit different areas of the island.
Ilocanos predominate in the northern portion
of Ilocos and the region of Cagayan
Valley, Pangasinense primarily
inhabit Pangasinan, while the Kapampangans primarily live in Pampanga, Tarlac and the rest
of Central Luzon. Meanwhile, Tagalog are the majority in Bulacan, CALABARZON, and Metro
Manila, while Bicolanos
predominate in Bicol.
ethnic groups are also present such as the Aeta
of Zambales, the Ibanag of
Cagayan, and the Igorot of the
Due to recent migrations populations of Hindus
have also been present in
urban areas. Populations of Spanish
, and Filipino
are also visible. Most Americans have settled in Angeles City and Olongapo
City due to the former presence of the U.S. air and
naval bases in Central Luzon.
Map of the dominant Ethnolinguistic
groups of the Philippines
Almost all of the languages of Luzon belong to the Borneo-Philippines
group of the
branch of the Austronesian language family
regional languages include: Tagalog
, and Pangasinense
is also used by many
Spain ruled the Philippines for 300 years. Spanish was the language
of Philippine Revolution
the 1899 Malolos Constitution proclaimed it as the official
language. However, its use declined following the American
occupation of the Philippines.
The major religion present in the island is Christianity, the
Roman Catholic Church
the major denomination. Other sects include Protestantism
, the Philippine Independent Church
and Iglesia ni Cristo
traditions and rituals are also present.
communities of Buddhist
and Muslim have also began
to be present in Metro
Manila due to migrations of Moros and Chinese
- Pires, Tomé, A suma oriental de Tomé Pires e o livro de
Francisco Rodriguez: Leitura e notas de Armando Cortesão [1512 -
1515], translated and edited by Armando Cortesao, Cambridge:
Hakluyt Society, 1944.
- Hashimoto, M, ed., Accretion Tectonics in the
Circum-Pacific Regions, ISBN 9027715610 p299
- Rangin and Pubellier in Tectonics of Circum-Pacific
Continental Margins ISBN 9067641324 p148 fig 4
- PHILIPPINES: ADDITIONAL THREE PERSONS PER
MINUTE National Statistics Office Accessed November 27,