Ifugao is located at the foot of the Cordillera Mountain Ranges. It is bounded on the west by Benguet, on the south by Nueva Vizcaya, on the east by Isabela and on the north by Mt. Province. It is generally located at 120 degrees 40'17" longitude.
Ifugao is politically divided into 11 municipalities and 175 barangays with the municipality of Lagawe as its capital. The 11 municipalities with some basic information are as follows.
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: Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao, Benguet and Mountain Province.
Ifugao has a land area total of 2,517.78 sq. km. spread over its 11 municipalities. The biggest municipality in terms of land area is Aguinaldo with 454.51 sq. km. or 18.05% of the total provincial land area while the smallest is Hingyon with 114.56 sq. km. or 4.55%.
The land use pattern in Ifugao consists mostly of grassland and shrubland. Agricultural land is mostly found on narrow river valleys, plateaus and mountain side swidden (kaingin). Most cultivated areas are terraced riceland on mountain slopes and river valleys. Of the aggregate land area, only 7.7% or 193.91 sq. km. are cultivated for agriculture while grassland and shrubland occupy about 1,607.44 sq. km. or 63.84% of the total land area. The rest of the area are pastureland - 22.45 sq. km., woodland - 658.62 sq. km. and miscellaneous uses, 35.36 sq. km.
Ifugao's topography is geophysically mountainous and characterized by complex geological features. It is notably surrounded by mountains, low-lying hills and a very small alluvial land found along the Magat River, and rolling hills in the municipality of Lista. Terrain characteristics are usually rough and rugged with v-shaped gullies, creeks, streams and u-shaped rivers.
The soil types of Ifugao are clay loam, silt loam and sandy loam of different varieties. In most cases, the crops planted on clay loam are paddy rice (terraces), coffee, vegetables, root crops and citrus.
The province is blessed with a temperate climate. It has a short dry season lasting for three months which starts from the early part of January and lasts through late April. The wet season starts from May and ends by late December. The hottest months are March and April while the coolest months are from November to February. Banaue, Tinoc, Hungduan and the southern part of Kiangan are the coolest places in the province. During summer, Ifugao's temperature is moderate. This is attributed to its geographical location and its forested areas that tend to regulate the extreme heat of the summer sun. The extreme temperature coming from the southwest direction radiates towards the forest and in return cool mountain breezes profusely blow towards the locality producing a favorable temperature.
As to natural resources, the province's total forest area is 2,263.69 sq. km. The forest cover consists of a variety of softwoods and hardwoods. Pine, acacia, narra, red lauan, guijo, tanguile and alnos are some of the species which abound in the province. Pine exists in Tinoc and Banaue municipalities. Acacia abounds in Lagawe, Lamut and Kiangan areas.
Ifugao has eleven major rivers. The waters of the Ibulao and Alimit Rivers flow ceaselessly to the Magat River providing water to the Magat River Integrated Irrigation System Dam and at the same time irrigating the vast rice lands of the provinces of Isabela and Quirino. Fish and other aquatic animals are available in these bodies of waters which are also vital sources of sand and gravel. Aside from these many rivers, the province is endowed with springs that are tapped as potable water supply for the growing population.
Tourist Attractions and Events
The province has 45 existing and potential tourist attractions which are classified into four categories: man-made, historical, cultural and natural spots. The man-made attractions include the Rice Terraces of Banaue, Batad, Bangaan, Hapao, Kinga, Bacung, Nunggulunan, Mayoyao, Nagacadan and Julongan, Gohang Mummified Couple and the Magat Dam. The historical attractions which are all located in the municipality of Kiangan are: the Kiangan War Memorial Shrine, Ifugao Museum, the Surrender Site of General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Million-Dollar Hill and the Apfo'or Burial Tombs. The natural attractions include the Nah-toban and Bintacan Caves, Guihob Natural Pool, Tappiyah Waterfalls, Ambuaya Lake, Chapah Waterfalls, Buyuccan Waterfalls, Tenogtog Waterfalls, O'phaw Mahencha Waterfalls, Tukukan Sulfur Hot Spring, Bogya Hot Spring and Ducligan Hot Spring. The cultural attractions include the villages of Tam-an, Bocos, Bokiawan, Pula, Cambulo, Matanglag and Nuntamangan. Added attractions for domestic as well a foreign tourists are the cultural festivals namely: Gotad ad Kiangan, Gotad ad Hingyon, Tungoh ad Hungduan, Imbayah ad Banaue, Kulpi ad Lagawe, Tighaw ad Mayoyao, Bakle ad Nagacadan and Boklay ad Asipulo. For mountain climbing and/or trekking, the province can boast of several mountains to venture to and conquer, like Mt. Amuyao, Mt. Napulawan, Mt. Anapawon and Mt. Nagchayan, to name a few.
Gotad ad Kiangan
Gotad is one phase in the performance of the three prestige rites of the Ifugaos, namely: Balihong, Uya-uy and Hagabi. Traditionally, it involves a lot of merrymaking like drinking, singing, chanting and dancing. It has a festive atmosphere and a lot of rice wine is served to the visitors and folks. To date, Kiangan celebrates its Gotad every 1st day of May every year. It is a special feature of their town fiesta with its gottadan (ethnic parade); chanting of the Liwliwa, Hudhud and Alim; ricewine drinking and folk singing.
Traditionally, this is an enhancing cultural victory feast of the Mayoyao Tribe of Ifugao. Its celebration today commemorates ancient rituals and features ethnic games. It is usually celebrated during the third week of March.
Tungoh ad Hungduan
In the days of old, Tungoh is observed as rest days of the farmers after the planting season. Now, the municipality celebrates it with an ethnic festival featuring authentic Ifugao ethnic wears, ethnic games and a cultural night of songs and dances. It is celebrated within the third week of April each year.
Gotad ad Hingyon
As the ancient Ifugaos did it, Gotad is one special day in 12 feast celebrated by the royal class in the performance of the prestige rites. Modern Ifugaos of Hingyon celebrate Gotad in April with cultural parades, songs and dances, ethno-modern sports and booth competitions where the best of Ifugao crafts are displayed.
This is actually a prestige rite performed by the elites of Banaue. Today, it is a three-day festival highlighting the native games and sports, arts and craft of the Ifugao.
Kulpi ad Lagawe
This is traditionally performed after the rice planting season to drive away the pest and evil spirits for a bountiful harvest. The farmers perform this ritual in their respective homes one after the other or sometimes simultaneously.
Bakle ad Nagacadan
This is celebrated in Kiangan after the harvest season to express heartfelt gratitude for a bountiful harvest. Abundant binakle (ricecake) and baya (ricewine) are found in every household for anybody to partake of. It is usually celebrated during the month of September.
The Province of Ifugao is composed of Eleven (11) Municipalities, namely:Aguinaldo, Lista, Asipulo, Banaue, Hingyon, Hungduan, Kiangan, Lagawe, Lamut, Mayoyao and Tinoc.
References:* - 2010 NSO Census of Population
** - 2010 Partial Data from COMELEC