Cordillera are the mountain provinces. People came earlier than the waves of marine immigration from the Malay peninsula. They probably traveled on foot by the land bridge connecting to the Asian mainland. Traces of Chinese features will even support this conjecture. They settled and claimed the mountain for good. The altitudes provided a rich climate to grow abundant produce, (particularly strawberries and cabbage) as in the high region like Tagaytay in the South. On the eastern slopes one will find the greatest agricultural achievement of all time, the Banaue Rice Terraces. Further down east is the rich Cagayan Valley. Cagayan Valley and Ilocadia run alone on opposite sides of the Mountain Provinces. Nature has been kinder to the Cagayan Valley. All water streams flowing down the Cordillera goes east to the valley except for one. The valley is geographically protected on the East by the upper range of the Sierra Madre coastal mountain system that runs through its length. This also provides a natural windbreaker against tropical storms that gather strength in the Pacific Ocean. The 120-mile long Cagayan river irrigates the length of the nature valley. The river was used for limited transportation earlier. During the Spanish regime, the Spanish officials collected taxes along its banks. The inhabitants kept their distance by living on the hillsides, thus, preserving their culture. Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino lie on the southern base of the Cagayan Valley. Quirino used to be part of Nueva Vizcaya before it became a new province. On the lower base, the Caraballo Mountain connects the Cordillera and Sierra mountain ranges. A green fortress guarded the access to this rugged but enchanted valley for years and allowed passage only for those who wanted to live on higher ground. The wild terrain guaranteed that only brave souls with strong determination would be rewarded to live in the folds of the peaks and valleys: natural selection in place.
The spirit of adventure continues. They found Ilocandia and left if nothing else but their gypsy tradition. They came and go from generation to generation, places to places. Manong Saluyot of the world.
email@example.com Nestor Palugod Enriquez
Nestor Palugod Enriquez