Kalinga Travel Guide

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Capital: Tabuk

No. of Towns: 8

A glance of the Philippine map will easily reveal the similarity of the physiography of Kalinga to that of a bust of a man akin to former President Ferdinand E. Marcos. The province’s geographic feature is charcterized in the western portion by sharp crested interlinking peaks of the steep slope, isolated flat lands, plateaus, and valleys. The eastern portion has generally rolling, gradually sloping foothills. With interlocking wide tracks of flat lands and flood plains along its main drainage system, this rare geography interposes a great role expected of the province in national development pursuits.

Brief History

The name Kalinga is derived from the Ibanag and Gaddang word that means “headhunters.” In the past, headhunting was considered noble and symbolized bravery. Tattoos, a status symbol that men respected and women admired, were given to mingols (warriors) as reward.

The bodong (or peace pact) is an indigenous socio-political system that defines intertribal relationships to the Kalingas. It was developed to minimize traditional warfare and headhunting, and served as an institutional renewal, maintenance, and reinforcement of social ties. Recently, the bodong was expanded into a multi-lateral peace pact providing a means of strengthening unity in some parts of the Cordilleras.

During the short-lived Philippine Republic, President Emilio Aguinaldo in his flight to Palanan, Isabela crossed the upper Kalinga areas in his vain attempt to elude his American pursuers. On March 18, 1900, he established his headquarters at Lubuagan where he stayed for 35 days until he learned that his pursuers were sighted at Mabongtot. He escaped northwards towards Tabuk in the historic last leg of his flight to Palanan where he was later captured.

On June 18, 1966, Republic Act No. 4695 was enacted creating from the old Mountain Province five separate and independent provinces: Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province (Bonito), and Kalinga-Apayao. On March 26, 1967, President Ferdinand E. Marcos administered the oath of office to the new officials of the four newly born provinces.

Presently, Kalinga is fast emerging as the “Land of Living Waters” following its operation as a regular and separate province on February 14, 1996.

The word Kalinga means a “highlander”, “headhunter”, “enemy” or “war”.   All of these indicate a wildness of the place where the people of Kalinga lived.   The province is surrounded by the provinces of Apayao in the north, Cagayan in the east, Isabela in the south and Abra in the west.   Characterized by a rugged terrain that reaches the northern part of the Cordillera scale.  

The modern-day Kalingas and Apayaos are said to be the ancestors of Indonesian immigrants that came to Luzon thousands of years ago.   During the Spanish regime, they have established military and missionary post around town near the Pacil River.   Then again, when the Philippine Revolution broke loose both the Spanish soldiers and missionaries abandoned the Cordillera Mountain.   On February 14,1995 the province of Kalinga and Apayao was changed into two regular provinces. Kalinga • Related Websites • Provincial Newspapers • Banks • Zip Codes • Area Codes • Hotels/Resorts • Restaurants • Emergency Numbers The natives of the province form the largest ethnic linguist group in the region.   They speak the same language but are divided into different tribal groups, the northern and southern cultural factions.   The northern Kalingas believed to be the most colorful and vividly attired, in addition to the most heavily ornamented.   They are also the most serious rice farmers of all the Cordillera community.   Kalingas are also skillful in pottery making, basket weaving and metal works.  The province’s rich land makes it very fitting for agricultural production.   A rich harvest of rice, corn, cassava, coffee, mangoes, pineapples and legumes are their main crops.   They also have massive grassland that sustains cattle and livestock.   Deposits of gold, copper, sulfur, phosphate and guano are some of their mineral resources.   Now being promoted as a new business frontier in the Cordilleras, the province is pushing for the organization of the Regional Agro-Industrial Center.  The province of Kalinga can be reach via two routes.   One is via Tuguegarao in the Cagayan Province where there is a domestic airport that provides the closest air link, and the other is through Bontoc, Mountain Province going to Tinghayan in the southern part of Kalinga.     A very good tourist destination, Kalinga boasts of their rich cultural heritage, which has remained unspoiled by westernization and also, their natural attractions ideal for cultural and ecological tourism challenges.           

F acts

Region: Cordillera Autonomous Region
Capital: Tabuk
Land Area: 704,760 sq. km.
Towns: 8 1. Tabuk
2. Balbalan
3. Lubuagan
4. Pasil
5. Pinukpuk
6. Rizal 7. Tanudan

Loomweaving, rattan basketry, and banana chips processing in Tabuk; animal feeds prodcution n in Rizal; rattan furniture in Conner and Luna; gold jewelry manufacturing and coffee pre-processing in Tabuk, also the trading center.


Kalinga is nestled on an elevation of 300 to 5,000 feet above sea level with a northsouth assemblage of mountain ranges within the Cordillera Central. It has been dubbed as the “Prince of the Highlands” in the Philippines.


The province is composed of eight (8) municipalities: Balbalan, Lubuagan, Pasil, Pinukpuk, Rizal, Tabuk, Tanudan, and Tinglayan.


The prevailing climate falls under the Type III classification of the Weather Bureau. The relatively dry season occurs from November to April while the rest of the year is generally wet. Heaviest rain occurs during September, with an average rainfall of 2,000 mm. Typhoons frequently occur from July to October.


Kalinga has a total population of 154,145 based on the latest census.

Getting there and away:

By Land

Autobus Lines – Tel# (02)743-6870

Victory Liner – Tel # (02) 920-7396

These Buses offers daily trip to Tabuk. Reservation is a must to get a secured seat.

By Air

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air flies daily from Manila to Tuguegarao. Jeepneys and vans in Tuguegarao bound for Tabuk are available daily, with travel time at one and a half hours.

PAL Reservations: (02) 855-8888

Chico River Quest Inc. - Kalinga's # White Water Rafting Company managed by Kalinga Natives.


July 06, 2006 change by giorgio

March 22, 2004 new by melo

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