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Region – Cagayan Valley

Most of the region lies in a large valley in northeastern Luzon, between the Cordilleras and the Sierra Madre mountain ranges. The Cagayan River, the country’s longest, runs through its center and flows out to Luzon Strait in the north, in the town of Aparri, Cagayan. The Babuyan and Batanes island groups that lie in the Luzon Strait belong to the region.

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Cagayan Valley is the second largest region of the Philippines in terms of land area. Ibanag, Itawes and Ilocano (in varied shades and intonations) and Malueg are the major dialects of Cagayan.

Migration made Ilocano the dominant language spoken in the province, composing 67. 3% of the total population. (Dios nicamu ngamin in Ybanag greeting, Good Day to all), Itawes comprise 13. 5%, Ybanag 15. 3%, and Malaueg 1. 7%. Other ethnic groups that migrated speak their own dialects. A person in places where literacy is high speaks and understands English or Filipino (Cagayan, 87). It’s Culture People in the valley dressed very simply. Old women used the saya and kimono while men used the camisa de chino or the barong tagalog.

Some of the houses that withstood the Japanese occupation were historical houses made of hard wood. Some were bahay-kubo. Most typical homes were strong and typhoon-resistant. For agriculture, today, there are only a few have modern agricultural implements. The majority still use traditional implements like animal-drawn tools. Filipinos are characterized by its close family ties such that majority of married couples with children lived with their parents. The value of bayanihan, sharing, cooperation, brotherhood, self-responsibility, respect, love, peace, and dignity, are still very much alive in Cagayan.

Old songs, proverbs, and poems are still sung today, alongside the instruments Kuribaw, tulali and the kuritang produced by Ibanags. These produced warlike or sad music. It also exhibits the beauty of the unoni, the berso, and the pabattang (proverbs and the advises through songs) which convey Ibanag history and their mores that the ethnic group keep sacred and inviolable. The following are samples of the Unoni as described by the Ibanags: “maguray y mapporay, mesipo y massipo, mawawan y carwan” (the brave leads, the lenient are included and the rest gets lost).