Mount Isarog in Camarines Sur

Mount Isarog Volcano Naga Camarines Sur Luzon Philippines Elevation Height Hiking Trail Tours Location HistoryMount Isarog National Park was declared a national park since 1938, and harbors rainforest, endemic wildlife, waterfalls and is home to nomadic Negrito (Agta) tribes people. Mount Isarog is a large, isolated peak in Camarines Sur Province, on the Camarines Peninsula in southeastern Luzon. It is the highest forested peak in Southern Luzon, and is part of the Bicol volcanic chain, and could still be active although no historic eruptions are known. The volcano has active fumaroles, steam vents and hot springs. The mountain is a dormant volcano that rises to 1,976 meters (6,483 feet) tall. The vegetation there includes parang grasslands mixed with patches of secondary forest from the lowlands to 900 meters, lowland forest below about 1,000 meters, and montane forest above about 900 meters, including mossy forest above 1,500 meters. However, most of the remaining forest is Continue reading

The Masbateño Culture

MasbateñoMasbateño people are Filipino people that live in the province of Masbate, located in the Bicol Region. Though Masbate Province is a part of Luzon, the linguistic lineage of Masbateño leans more towards the Visayan languages, particularly Hiligaynon and Capiznon, than Bicolano or Tagalog. Masbate is one of the biggest cattle producers in the country. In is not surprising, therefore, that the province hosts the “Rodeo Filipino” every June. The festival features bull riding and lassoing, which are common events in American rodeos. The island of Masbate lies just west of the province of Sorsogon in the Bicol Peninsula. The population centers are in the municipalities of Masbate (55,996), Aroroy (45,306), San Jacinto (34,185, NSO 1980), and Uson (24,817), with the national population placed at 602,257 (NSO 1990). The island is Continue reading

The Philippine Eagle

Pithecophaga jefferyiThe Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is one of the largest and most endangered eagles in the world. The raptor is currently documented on just four Philippine islands—Mindanao, Luzon, Leyte, and Samar. Scientists estimate that perhaps only a few hundred pairs remain in the wild.

The Philippine Eagle is recognizable with its unique head crest resembling a lion’s mane, adding to its majestic appearance and earning for it the name Haring Ibon (Bird King). Its keen daytime eyesight which can be four to five times stronger than a human’s perfect vision, sharp hooked talons, dagger beak, and a flight that is fast and Continue reading

North Luzon Expressway

NLEXThe North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) is the main transport corridor from the Manila metropolitan area to central and north Luzon; there is no viable alternative for travellers. Built between 1975 and 1977 by the Department of Public Works and Highways, the expressway operated as a toll road. Originally, the expressway was franchised to a private company; however, this was later taken over by the Government and renamed the Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC). Under PNCC management, the expressway was not adequately maintained. In addition, growing traffic volume meant that the expressway Continue reading

Luzon Island

Luzon IslandLuzon is the largest and most economically and politically important island in the Philippines. It is also the name for one of the three island groups in the country centred on the Island of Luzon, the other two being the Visayas and Mindanao. 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. It is home to the capital city, Manila. It also contains 8 of the 17 administrative regions of the Philippines. Continue reading

Nueva Ecija Province

Nueva Ecija ProvinceNueva Ecija is in the eastern section of the central plains of Luzon and is landlocked. Encircling the province are the provinces of Pangasinan in the northwest, Tarlac in the west, Bulacan in the south, Aurora in the east and Nueva Viscaya in the north. The land rises gradually from the swampy regions of the southwest and levels off as one moves towards the east and north. The plains break into rolling hills as one approaches the Caraballo Mountains and the Sierra Madre Mountains in the north and east. In Nueva Ecija there exist three climate types. In the province’s southwest, a pronounced dry season occurs from November to April while rains fall during the rest of the year. In the east, close to the Sierra Madre Mountains, rain falls evenly throughout the year while in the north and northeast; there is no pronounced seasonal variance although it is relatively dry between the months of April and November.

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Isarog Agta

Mount IsarogCommonly referred to as Negritos, Agtas do belong to the Negrito ethnolinguistic group. There are many Agta tribes, scattered over Regions I to V in the island of Luzon. The Isarog Agtas live on Mount Isarog, east of Naga City in Camarines Sur, Bicol Region. This tribe is by far the most endangered ethnolinguistic Negrito population, as only a few remain today. Agtas are characteristically short, dark-skinned, kinky-haired, thick-lipped, and small-nosed. Their traditional clothing is tapis (skirt) for women and bahag (breechcloth) for men. Breastfeeding mothers wear uban, a piece of fabric slung from the shoulders. Most men scar their bodies, using various designs that have been passed down to them by their ancestors. Today, most Agtas have abandoned their tribal attire for “civilized” clothes. Continue reading

Agta of Dicamay

Isabela Province MapCommonly referred to as Negritos, Agtas do belong to the Negrito ethnolinguistic group. There are many Agta tribes, scattered over Regions I to V in the island of Luzon.

The Dicamay Agtas became extinct in the 1960s, one of two tribes that ceased to exist in the 20th century. They once resided along the Dicamay River west of the Sierra Madre Mountains, near Jones, southern Isabela (Cagayan Valley).

Agtas are characteristically short, dark-skinned, kinky-haired, thick-lipped, and small-nosed. Their traditional clothing is tapis (skirt) for women and bahag (breechcloth) for men. Continue reading

Agta of Central Cagayan

Cagayan Valley MapCommonly referred to as Negritos, Agtas do belong to the Negrito ethnolinguistic group. There are many Agta tribes, scattered over Regions I to V in the island of Luzon.  Northeastern Luzon, particularly Cagayan and Isabela in Cagayan Valley, are the habitations of the Central Cagayan Agtas.

Agtas are characteristically short, dark-skinned, kinky-haired, thick-lipped, and small-nosed. Their traditional clothing is tapis (skirt) for women and bahag (breechcloth) for men. Breastfeeding mothers wear uban, a piece of fabric slung from the shoulders. Most men scar their bodies, using various designs that have been passed down to them by their ancestors. Today, most Agtas have abandoned their tribal attire for “civilized” clothes. Continue reading

Tamaraw – the Mindoro Dwarf Buffalo

Mindoro Dwarf BuffaloTamaraws are found only on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. Although fossil evidence suggests that they may also have occupied the island of Luzon. The current distribution is limited to the 9,375 km2 island of Mindoro. On Mindoro, they are further restricted to three game refuges covering about 200,000 ha. The refuges were created in 1969 by the Philippine Parks and Wildlife Office. Continue reading