Cagayan is part of one of the largest valleys in the Philippines formed by the majestic Sierra Madre and Cordillera mountain ranges. It is traversed by the mighty 330-km long Cagayan River and its various tributaries.
Cagayan is a very ancient civilization. It has its distinct, rich and diverse culture. Commerce and trade was practiced by its inhabitants and has flourished with the Japanese, Chinese and other neighbor Asian countries even before the Spanish colonizers reached its shores. Archeological findings dating back to the Paleolithic Age indicate that the ancestors of modern humans had settled in Cagayan as early as 500,000 years ago. Archeologists also found evidences that agriculture has developed much earlier in Cagayan than in any other place in Asia. Its ancientness is evidenced by the presence of centuries-old churches and other religious relics, archeological sites of nomadic tribes, and richness of its local language and culture.
Cagayan with its ancientness is still replete with adventure and excitement. It can flaunt its pristine natural beauty and endowment. It has breathtaking sceneries, beaches, cavernous caves, thunderous falls, rapids, rivers, limestone mountains, thick and virgin forests, verdant valleys and many more.
Cagayan occupies the northeastern tip of the Philippines, bounded bythe Batanes Islands on the north, thePhilippine Sea (Pacific Ocean) on the east, Isabela Province on the south, and the Cordillera mountain ranges on the west, Cagayan has a total land area of 9,002.70 sq. km. It is just about 480 kilometers north of Manila. It is strategically located near the growing tigers of South East Asia like Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea and even Hong Kong and Japan. It is about 2,730 kilometers south west of Tokyo, Japan or only 570 kilometers south of Kaoshiung, Taiwan.
English and Filipino are widely used and spoken in Cagayan. Predominant local languages are Ilocano, Ybanag, Ytawes and Malaueg. Pangasinense, Maranao and other dialects are also used in some areas where migrants abound.
Majority of the Cagayanos can speak at least two of the local languages and have good command, or at least a working knowledge, of the English language.
Cagayan, exemplifies tropical Philippines, thus, is generally warm, humid and sunny throughout the year. It has three types of climates. Type I climate prevails in Santa Praxedes and in western Claveria, which have two pronounced seasons: wet, May to October and dry, the rest of the year. Type III climate is experienced in the eastern part of the Sierra Madre mountains and in the Babuyan group of islands, where rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year mainly because of the northeast tradewinds. This further enhances the economic potential of the sea level lands along the pacific coast of the Province.
IThe rest of the province, which consists of the valley floor, has Type II climate, and that means no pronounced season; relatively wet from May to October. Maximum rain periods are not very pronounced and dry seasons last from one to three months.
From November to January, the northwest monsoon from East Asia brings dry and cool winds to this valley floor. Because of the open coastline in the north, this part of the province feels the full impact of this phenomenon, which could mean cold mornings and evenings, with average temperatures ranging from 18 to 21 degrees Celsius. The tradewinds from the Pacific are blocked by the Sierra Madre range. Being on the leeward, this part has hot and dry climate in summers from February to May, with average temperatures ranging from 30 to 38 degrees Celsius. From June to October, the southwest monsoon from the Southern Hemisphere brings heavy rainfall as it blows over the mountains. This heavy rainfall extends to the early part of November. During these months, rainy days could average 11 to 20 days a month. Being sheltered by the Sierra Madre Mountains the prevailing winds are north and northwest in the valley floor of Cagayan. This part of the province is driest in February to March.