Ifugao is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Covering a total land area of 262,820 hectares, the province of Ifugao is located in a mountainous region characterized by rugged terrain, river valleys, and massive forests. Its capital is Lagawe and borders Benguet to the West, Mountain Province to the North, Isabela to the East, and Nueva Vizcaya to the South
Ifugao was formerly a part of the old Mountain Province. It was created as an independent province on June 18, 1966 by virtue of Republic Act No. 4695, otherwise known as the “Division Law of Mountain Province“. Under this law, Mountain Province was divided into four (4) provinces namely: Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and Mountain Province.
The total population of Ifugao as of May 2010 was 191,078 and a growth rate of 1.31 from 1990 to 2010. As of 2010, Ifugao’s total land area is 2,506.3 square kilometers. A total of 27,083 hectares are classified as alienable and disposable, and 224,695 hectares are forest land.
The province of Ifugao derives it name from the word “Pugo” which means hills in the native language. Despite the influence of Christianity, age-old traditions are alive and are still practiced. For instance, during harvest time, Ifugaos still celebrate with a “caniao” where sacrificial animals such as chickens, pigs and even carabaos are butchered. Ifugao culture is some 3,000 years old.
During their brief occupation of the province, the Spaniards established “pueblos” (towns) headed by the “Alcalde Municipal” and barangays (barrios) headed by the “Cabeza de Barangay”. The Spaniards largely confined their activities within Kiangan, Ifugao. Spanish rule ended with the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution.
In 1905, Ifugao was made a sub-province of the Old Mountain Province. The sub-province of was administered by a Lt. Governor Hon. Luis Pawid of Kiangan became the first Deputy Governor during the American regime. Captain Pedro Bulan was the last official to assume the office of Deputy Governor.
Ifugao became the center of warfare during the last stages of the World War II. It was in Mt. Napulawan in Ifugao where General Yamashita, the “Tiger of Malaya” put up his last stand against the Filipino and American forces. He initially surrendered to Capt. Grisham of the US Army based in Kiangan before he was flown to Camp John Hay, Baguio City where he formally surrendered.
At the start of World War II, there were five (5) minicipalities namely: Burnay (later changed to Lagawe by virtue of Republic Act 3380), Kiangan, Banaue, Hungduan and Mayoyao. Them municipalities of Potia, now Alfonso Lista, and Lamut were created after the war. Asipulo was created in 1992 and is the youngest municipality of the province.
Ifugao gained provincial status on June 18, 1966 by virtue of Republic Act 4695 with the municipality of Lagawe as the capital town. Currently, in addition to the capital, the other municipalities are as follows: Asipulo, Aguinaldo, Alfonso Lista, Banaue, Hingyon, Hungduan, Kiangan, Lamut, Mayoyao and Tinoc.