The island of Luzon is the largest Philippine island. It is located in the northern part of the archipelago. Together with Visayas and Mindanao, they are collectively nicknamed “Luzviminda” – Luz for Luzon, Vi for Visayas and Minda for Mindanao. The largest percentage of the country’s population is concentrated in the island of Luzon. Most of the more progressive cities and town are within the boundaries of Luzon. The country’s capital is also located in the island of Luzon making it the country’s economic and political center.
Here are some interesting and important geographical and historical facts about the largest Philippine island.
1. The island of Luzon is the 15th largest island in the whole world and the 7th in Asia with an area of 109,965 km².
2. In terms of population, the island of Luzon is the 5th largest in the world with a population of over 46 million people.
3. In terms of density, the island of Luzon is the 3rd most densely populated island in the world with 538.9 people per km².
4. As an island group, other islands which are part of Luzon include Batanes and Babuyan group of islands in the north and the main and outlying islands of Romblon, Masbate, Mindoro, Marinduque and Catanduanes in the south.
5. Some of the most popular and most active volcanoes in the country are located in Luzon such as Mount Mayon, Taal Volcano, Mount Bulusan, Didicas Volcano, Babuyan Claro, Deguey Volcano and the explosive Mount Pinatubo.
6. There are also numerous inactive volcanoes in the island of Luzon such as Mount Arayat in Pampanga, Mount Bulungao in Pangasinan and many others.
7. The largest plain in the Philippines is the Central Plains of Luzon. Provinces that consists the region include Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.
8. Central Luzon is the “rice granary of the Philippines” producing the largest quantity of rice in the archipelago. It ha a total land area of 11,000 km².
9. A mountainous island, the 3rd highest mountain is located in Luzon – Mount Pulag which is bounded by the provinces of Benguet, Ifugao and Nueva Vizcaya. It has an elevation of 2,922 meters. It is the highest in the island.
10. The island of Luzon is bounded by Bashi Channel on the north, the Philippine West Sea or Luzon Sea on the west and the Philippine Sea on the east.
11. Sierra Madre, a mountain range in Luzon, is the longest in the Philippine archipelago. Its highest point is Mount Anacuao with an elevation of 1,849.83 meters.
12. The two other longest mountain ranges in Luzon are Cordillera Mountain Ranges and Caraballo Mountain Ranges.
13. The longest river in the Philippines is Cagayan River which is located in Cagayan Valley. It has a total length of 505 km. It is also the country’s largest river. Other notable rivers include Magat River, Pampanga River, Bicol River, Marikina River, Pasig River and others.
14, The second largest province in the Philippines in terms of land area is Isabela in Cagayan Valley with an area of 12,556.8 km2.
15. One of the most historic and one of the finest harbors in Asia is the very beautiful and captivating Manila Bay. One of the most beautiful sunsets in the world can be seen at Manila Bay.
16. The largest lake in the Philippines is located also in Luzon – Laguna de Bay. It has area of 949 km². This notable lake is drained by the Pasig River into Manila Bay.
17. Another popular and significant lake in Luzon is Batangas’ Taal Lake. It is home to the remarkable fish species the tawilis – one of the only two freshwater sardines in the world.
18. Taal Lake, which contains the famous and active Taal Volcano, is also a popular Philippine tourist destination and is best viewed from Tagaytay City.
19. Among the most popular tourist destinations in Luzon include Hundred Islands, Subic Bay, Manila, Pagudpud, Vigan, Puerto Galera, Laoag City, Baguio City, Mount Mayon, Mount Pinatubo, Taal Lake and Taal Volcano, Mayon Volcano or Mount Mayon.
20. Among the major languages/dialects in Luzon include the Ilocanos in Region I, II and III, the Tagalogs of Region IV A&B and the Bicolanos of Region V.
21. Other widely spoken dialects in Luzon are Pangasinense of Pangasinan; Kapampangan of Pampanga and Tarlac, Ibanags of Isabela and Cagayan, Igorots such as Kankanae, Kalanguya, etc.
22. There are also considerable population of Chinese, Hindus and Moros including Americans, Desis, Japanese and Koreans.in the city. In the Bicol region, the most dominant language is Bicolano.
23. Majority of the residents of Luzon Island are Christians under different denominations but the most dominant Christian denominations are the Catholics.
24. Of the 15 Philippine presidents, most of them hailed from Luzon – Aguinaldo, Quezon, Laurel, Quirino, Magsaysay, Macapagal, Marcos, Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, Macapagal-Arroyo and Aquino III.
25. Makati City in Metro Manila is the center of economic activities in the Philippines.
26. The smallest commercial fish called “Sinarapan” is endemic to Luzon particularly in Lake Buhi in Camarines Sur.
27. The Tamaraw, which is the largest endemic terrestrial mammal in the Philippines, can only be found in Mindoro.
28. The largest city in the Philippines in terms of population is located in Luzon – Quezon City in Metro Manila.
29. The smallest Philippine city in terms of population is Palayan City – the capital of Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon.
30. Baguio City, which is known for its mild to cold temperature, is the most visited city in the Philippines receiving hundred thousands of visitors annually.
31. Luzon was also known as Nueva Castilla which literally means New Castile in English.
32. Portuguese explorers called the island Luconia or Lucon and the native inhabitants were called Lucoes.
33. Of the top 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines, seven can be found in Luzon – Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, Apo Reef National Park in Mindoro, Mount Iglit-Bacu national Park in Mindoro, Old Vigan Colonial Houses in Ilocos Sur, Santa Maria Church in Ilocos Sur, San Agustin Church in Intramuros manila and Church of San Agustin in Ilocos Norte.
34. The major religious pilgrimages in the island of Luzon include the Black Nazarene in Quiapo Church, Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan, Our Lady of Piat in Cagayan, Mount Banahaw in Quezon and Our Lady of Peñafrancia in Bicol.
35. Of the 17 regions of the Philippines, 8 regions are located in the island of Luzon namely Region I or Ilocos Region, Region II or Cagayan Valley Region, Region III or Central Luzon, Region IV-A or CALABARZON, Region IV-B or MIMAROPA, Region V or Bicol Region, National Capital Region or NCR and Cordillera Administrative Region or CAR.