History and Government
The municipality of Flora was created out of nine contiguous barangays of the municipality Pudtol situated on the other side of the mighty Apayao River. The residents of these barangays, after crossing through the strong current of the wide and swiftly flowing river, had to hike hours through precarious footpaths transacting business or securing government services at the town proper.
Owing to these difficulties, then Congressman Alfredo Lamen filed in behalf of the affected residents a Congressional bill for the subdivision of Pudtol into two municipalities making the Apayao River as the natural boundary between them.
On June 22, 1963, Republic Act No. 3672 was enacted providing for the creation and establishment of the town of Flora. Flora was named in honor of the wife of incumbent Congressman, Elias K. Bulut, the former Florence Busacay from Besao, Mt. Province.
The first mayor was Juan Madriaga. The municipal government was temporarily housed in a private residence at Sipa, now a part of Sta. Marcela, Apayao, because the town site of Flora was still covered with thick virgin forest land. With the aid of various logging concessionaires, the town site was easily developed. The municipal building was then constructed and the core of employees and officials transferred from Sipa to the new townsite of Flora.
After a brief stint, Juan Madriaga was succeeded by Ricardo de San Jose. Under the latter's leadership, it became evident that Flora was beginning to bloom as a municipality and vast changes occurred. It was during his term that additional seven barangays were created, now making a total number of sixteen barangays today. In 1998, Richard de San Jose was elected mayor whose term will end in 2001.
Flora’s sixteen barangays are: Allig, Aninipan, Bagutong, Balasi, Balluyan, Lower Atok, Upper Atok, Malayugan, Mallig, Malubibit Norte, Malubibit Sur, Poblacion East, Poblacion West, San Jose, Sta. Maria and Tamalunog.
Situated on the northeastern part of the province of Apayao, the municipality of Flora lies on a latitude of 18 degrees, 26 minutes and longitude of 18 degrees 4 minutes. It has a total land area of approximately 32,440 hectares or 354.4 square kilometers representing 9% of the total land area of the province of Apayao.
It is bounded on the north by Sta. Marcela, Apayao on the east by Allacapan, Cagayan, on the southeast by Kabugao, Apayao and on the northeast by the Apayao River which serves as the natural boundary between Flora and Pudtol.
Unlike the other municipalities of Apayao which were situated on the steep mountain slopes of the vast Caraballo Mountain Ranges, Flora is geographically located on the slightly and gradually rolling hills and plains.
It is about 200 kilometers from Kabugao and could be reached via the province of Cagayan and Sta. Marcela, Apayao. It has an elevation of 89 feet above sea level.
The interweaving physical, social and economic factors over time has resulted in the form of character of the land development that is seen in the municipality today. Physical characteristics such as geographical location, soil type and slope determine the area suitable for development.
Its total land area of 32,440 hectares, includes 23,483 hectares agricultural land, 467 hectares built-up areas, 3,611 hectares forest land, 3,419 open grass lands, 1,041 open water space, 276 hectares roads and the remaining 143 hectares are swamp or marches.
Its climate falls under Type III. This type of climate is characterized by no pronounced season, relatively wet from June to December and dry for the rest of the year. The heaviest amount of precipitation occurs from early part of the year. This type is partly sheltered from the northeastern monsoon and tradewinds and open to the southeast rains or least frequent cyclonic storms.
According to the 1995 Philippine Census, the municipality’s population is 12,310 dominated by the Ilocanos. The rest of the population are Isneg, Negritoes, Igorots, Ibanags and some Kalingas and Tagalogs.
The main dialect of the people is the Ilocano dialect in family conversations and between tribes.
The Catholic religion is predominant over other religious groups like that of the Iglesia ni Cristo, the Pentecost, the Seventh Day Adventist, the Assembly of God and Methodist.
Farming is the primary economic activity of the municipality’s residents. This is evidenced by the dependence of the majority of its population on agriculture as the source of livelihood and income. Rootcrops, legumes and fruit trees are raised on commercial scale.
The total cropland devoted to agriculture is 23.43% hectares of the total land area of the municipality. The total agricultural land of 5,469 hectares or 23.29% are devoted to rice crops and 2,069 hectares or 9.12% of the total land area are devoted to vegetables.
Of the total 5,469 hectares devoted to palay, only 1,279 hectares are irrigated. This includes ricelands which are irrigated through the use of communal canals or ditches.
Rainfed ricelands cover approximately an area of 3,814 hectares or of 69.73% of the total cropland. Situated on general sloping areas, these ricefields are planted seasonally and are dependent on rain for their water supply. Upland riceland occupies a total area of 376 hectares or 6.87% of the total agricultural land. This includes “kaingin” or slash-and-burn farming planted with rice which are found in steep slopes ranging from 8.1% and above. This type of plantation is found in common in the southeast part of the municipality where virgin forest land are still found.
An aggregate area of 5.5 hectares of land are planted with fruits, vegetables, legumes and root crops.
Due to high prices of agricultural inputs such as feeds and veterinary medicines and the absence of a good market, residents engage in livestock and poultry-raising for domestic consumption only.
Tourist Attractions and Places of Interest
By: DILG-CAR, Copyright 1999
Vol. I - Local Government Units