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Ilocos Region

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Title: Ilocos Region  
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Subject: Palarong Pambansa, Landmarks of the Philippines, List of cities in the Philippines, Ilocandia, Luzon
Collection: Ilocos Region, Luzon, Regions of the Philippines
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Ilocos Region

Region I
Ilocos Region
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Country Philippines
Island group Luzon
Regional center San Fernando, La Union
 • Total 13,055 km2 (5,041 sq mi)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 4,748,372
 • Density 360/km2 (940/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
Provinces 4
Cities 8
Municipalities 116
Barangays 3,265
Cong. districts 12
Languages Ilocano, Pangasinan, Bolinao, Tagalog, English

The Ilocos Region (Filipino/Tagalog: Rehiyon ng Ilokos; Ilokano: Rehion ti Ilocos or Deppaar ti Ilocos; Pangasinan: Rihiyon na Sagor na Baybay na Luzon (Region at the Northwest Coast of Luzon)) is a region of the Philippines, designated as Region I. It is located in the northwest of Luzon, bordering to the east the regions of the Cordillera Administrative Region and Cagayan Valley and to the south the region of Central Luzon. To the northwest is the South China Sea.

The region is composed of four provinces, namely: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan. Its regional center is San Fernando, La Union. Ilocano speakers compose 66% of the region, Pangasinan speakers are 27%, and Tagalog compose 3%.[2]


  • Physical 1
  • History 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
  • Political Divisions 5
    • Component Cities 5.1
  • Tourist attractions 6
    • Ilocos Norte 6.1
    • Ilocos Sur 6.2
    • La Union 6.3
    • Pangasinan 6.4
  • See also 7
  • Notable People 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Region I occupies the narrow plain between the Cordillera Central mountain range and the South China Sea. It also occupies the northern portion of the Central Luzon plain, to the north-east of the Zambales Mountains.

Lingayen Gulf is the most notable body of water in the region and it contains a hundred of islands, including the Hundred Islands National Park. To the north of the region is Luzon Strait.

The Agno river runs through Pangasinan and empties into the Lingayen Gulf. The river flow into a broad delta in the vicinity of Lingayen and Dagupan...


Region 1 was first inhabited by the aboriginal Negritoes before they were pushed by successive waves of Malay/Austronesian immigrants that penetrated the narrow coast. Tingguians in the interior, Ilocanos in the north, and Pangasinense in the south settled the region.

From the data on the population distribution of Region 1, it is clear that not all the inhabitants are Ilocanos. Around one-third are non-Ilocanos and yet there is a popular misconception that all the inhabitants are Ilocanos.[2] The use of the term Ilocos Region promotes the wrong notion that all the residents of Region 1 are Ilocanos. Before the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, Pangasinan was not a part of the region.[3]

The Spanish arrived in the 16th century and established Christian missions and governmental institutions to control the native population and convert them to Catholicism. Present-day Vigan in Ilocos Sur province became the diocesan seat of Nueva Segovia. Ilocanos in the northern parts were less easily swayed, however, and remained an area filled with deep resentments against Spain. These resentments bubbled to the surface at various points in the Ilocos provinces' history as insurrections, most notably that of Andres Malong and Palaris of Pangasinan, Diego Silang and his wife Gabriela Silang in 1764, and the Basi Revolt in the 19th century. However, it was the Pangasinenses in the south who were the last to be stand against the Spaniards.[4]

In 1901, the region came under American colonial rule, and in 1941, under Japanese occupation.

During 1945, the combined American and the Philippine Commonwealth troops including with the Ilocano and Pangasinese guerillas liberated the Ilocos Region from Japanese forces during the Second World War.

Several modern presidents of the Republic of the Philippines hailed from the Region: Elpidio Quirino, Ferdinand Marcos, and Fidel V. Ramos.

Before the formation of the Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 1 also included the provinces of Abra, Mountain Province, and Benguet. Before Region 1 was modified by Ferdinand Marcos, Pangasinan was not part of the region.


The Ilocos provinces of the Ilocos Region is the historical homeland of the Ilocanos including Former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. The Ilocanos compose 66% of the region, the Pangasinan people compose 27%, and the Tagalogs compose 3%.[2]

Pangasinan is the historical homeland of the Pangasinenses including Former Philippine President Fidel Ramos. The population of Pangasinan comprises approximately 60% of the total population of the region. The Pangasinenses presently constitute around 50% of the population of the province.[2] The Ilocanos were not originally inhabitants of Pangasinan. They started migrating to Pangasinan in the 19th century.[5] Pangasinan was formerly a province of Region III (Central Luzon), but President Marcos signed Presidential Decree No. 1, 1972, incorporating it into Region I. Minority groups include the Tinggian and Isneg communities that inhabit the foothills of the Cordillera mountains.

The population is predominantly Roman Catholic with strong adherents of Protestantism such as the Aglipayan denomination further north of the country. There are also adherents to other Christian denominations, such as Iglesia ni Cristo, Mormons, and the like. There is also an undercurrent of traditional animistic beliefs especially in rural areas. The small mercantile Chinese and Indian communities are primarily Buddhists, Taoists, and Hindus.


Although the economy in the southern portion of the region, esp. Pangasinan, is anchored on agro-industrial and service industry, the economy in the northern portion of the region is anchored in the agricultural sector. The economy in Pangasinan is driven by agro-industrial businesses , such as milkfish (bangus) cultivation and processing, livestock raising, fish paste processing (bagoong), and others. At the same time the importance of trading, financial services, and educational services in the economy cannot be denied. Income in the Ilocos provinces or northern portion mostly come from cultivating rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, and fruits; raising livestock such as pigs, chicken, goats, and carabaos (water buffalos).

The distribution of the economic activity in the region may be seen from the collection of tax revenue of the national government. The bulk of the collections come from Pangasinan, which posted 61% of the total.[6]

The service and light manufacturing industries are concentrated in the cities. Dagupan is mostly driven by its local entrepreneurs, which have started to expand its network up to the national level. San Fernando in La Union also has an international shipping port and the upgraded and soon to be developed San Fernando International Airport. While Laoag in Ilocos Norte has an international airport.

The tourism industry, driven by local airlines and land transportation firms in the area like Farinas Transit Company and Partas, focuses on the coastal beaches and on eco-tourism. There are fine sands stretching along Bauang, La Union and the rest of the region. Opportunities to engage in other water sports and activities abound. Eco-tourism takes advantage of the marine and forest resources in the region and displays the natural beauty of the Region 1.

The region is also rich in crafts, with renowned blanket-weaving and pottery. The Ilocanos' burnay pottery is well known for its dark colored clay.

Political Divisions

Political map of Ilocos Region

Region I is composed of 4 provinces, 9 cities, 116 municipalities, and 3265 barangays.[7]

Province Capital No. of
Pop. density
(per km²)
Ilocos Norte Laoag 2 568,017 3,399.3 167.1 Maria Imelda R. Marcos
Ilocos Sur Vigan 2 658,587 2,579.6 255.3 Ryan Luis Singson
La Union San Fernando 1 741,906 1,493.1 496.9 Manuel C. Ortega
Pangasinan Lingayen 4 2,779,862 5,368.2 517.8 Amado Espino, Jr.

Component Cities

City Province City Class Income Class Population
Pop. density
(per km²)
Alaminos Pangasinan Component 4th Class 85,025 164.26 517.62 Arthur F. Celeste
Batac Ilocos Norte Component 5th Class 53,542 161.06 332.44 Jeffrey Jupal C. Nalupta
Candon Ilocos Sur Component 4th Class 57,884 103.28 560.46 Ericson G. Singson, M.D.
Dagupan Pangasinan Independent component 2nd Class 163,676 37.23 4396.35 Belen T. Fernandez
Laoag Ilocos Norte Component 3rd Class 104,904 116.08 903.72 Chevylle V. Fariñas
San Carlos Pangasinan Component 3rd Class 175,103 169.03 1035.93 Julier C. Resuello
San Fernando La Union Component 3rd Class 114,963 102.72 1119.19 Pablo C. Ortega
Urdaneta Pangasinan Component 2nd Class 125,451 100.26 1251.26 Amadeo Gregorio E. Perez IV
Vigan Ilocos Sur Component 4th Class 49,747 25.12 1980.37 Eva Marie S. Medina

Tourist attractions

Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Sur

La Union


See also

Notable People


  1. ^ a b c d "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d National Statistics Office
  3. ^ Presidential Decree No. 1, 1972
  4. ^ Culture and History by Nick Joaquin
  5. ^ Rosario Mendoza Cortes, Pangasinan, 1801-1900: The Beginnings of Modernization
  6. ^ National Statistical Coordination Board
  7. ^ "List of Regions". National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on 2008-10-27. Retrieved 9 January 2011. 

External links

  • North Luzon Super Region: Potentials
  • North Luzon Super Region: Projects
  • Ilocano: Ti Pagsasao ti Amianan
  • Ilocos Region at WN
  • NAKEM Centennial Conference

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