A mountainous topography of towering peaks, plateaus, and intermittent patches of valleys, the Cordillera mountain range has a history as vast and as beautiful as its mountainous curves. Populated by the Ifugaos, a gentle yet fiercely proud ethnic community, the Cordillera enjoys abundant mineral reserves. Metallic ores such as gold, silver, copper, zinc, and non-metalic reserves are found in Abra, Benguet, Kalinga Apayao, and Mountain Province.
Dubbed as the Watershed Cradle of the Philippines, the Cordillera Administrative Region was carved out of the predominantly Ilocano regions of Ilocos and Cagayan. Located in the north central part of Luzon, the region is composed of the six provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province, and the chartered city of Baguio. The Cordillera consists of 76 municipalities and 1,172 barangays. Total land area of 18,294 square meters account for seven percent of the total land mass of the Philippines.
The people in the region enjoy a cool climate throughout the year, particularly in highly elevated places like Benguet, Mt. Province, and Baguio City. General climate, though, is the dry season from November to April and the rainy season for the rest of the year.
In the summer months of March, April, and May, Baguio lives up to its title as the "Summer Capital of the Philippinesî when thousands of local and foreign visitors take their annual exodus to the city to cool off. From November to May, Baguio becomes a tropical paradise, a refreshing break from the hot and humid Philippine Climate. Christmas Season is when Baguio denizens enjoy the nippy winter air.
Ifugao is home to a thriving ancient culture and host to the famous rice terraces. Carved from the base of the mountainsides to the top, the rice terraces seem to be a massive green stairway reaching to the sky. The rice terraces were formed by the Ifugao tribespeople using primitive implements over a period of 2,000 years. The famous terraces had been inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1995 as a "continuing cultural landscapeî and likewise considered by the U.S. Association of Civil Engineers as an engineering marvel built by unschooled and free men not of slave labor.
Mountain Province is known as the "Weaver's Paradiseî with the presence of various weaving centers and different weave designs that reveal the province's cultural heritage.