The Philippines, an archipelago consisting of 7,641 islands, is a country renowned for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diverse geography. To help manage and govern this diverse nation, the Philippines is divided into 17 regions- eight (8) in Luzon, three (3) in the Visayas, and six (6) in Mindanao.
Each region has its own unique characteristics, culture, and attractions. In this article, we will explore the various regions of the Philippines, providing insights into their geography, culture, and notable landmarks.
List of regions
- Region I – Ilocos Region
- Region II – Cagayan Valley
- Region III – Central Luzon
- Region IV‑A – CALABARZON
- MIMAROPA Region
- Region V – Bicol Region
- Region VI – Western Visayas
- Region VII – Central Visayas
- Region VIII – Eastern Visayas
- Region IX – Zamboanga Peninsula
- Region X – Northern Mindanao
- Region XI – Davao Region
- Region XII – SOCCSKSARGEN
- Region XIII – Caraga
- NCR – National Capital Region
- CAR – Cordillera Administrative Region
- BARMM – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
According to the 2020 Census of Population and Housing (2020 CPH), the Philippines’ population as of May 1, 2020, stood at 109,035,343. This figure encompasses the entire populace residing in the 17 administrative regions within the country, as well as Filipino nationals located in Philippine embassies, consulates, and missions abroad.
In the 2020 census, Region IV-A (CALABARZON) emerged as the most populous among the 17 administrative regions, boasting a population of 16.20 million. It was followed closely by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 13.48 million residents and Region III (Central Luzon) with 12.42 million.
These three regions collectively accounted for approximately 38.6 percent of the total Philippine population in 2020.
Additionally, within the top five most populous regions, Region VII (Central Visayas) reported a population of 8.08 million, and Region VI (Western Visayas) had 7.95 million residents.
In contrast, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) stood as the least populated region, with 1.80 million inhabitants, constituting roughly 1.6 percent of the country’s overall population.
|Region||Total Population (2020)||Provinces||Cities||Municipalities||Barangay||Island group|
|Ilocos Region (Region I)||5,301,139||4||9||116||3,267||Luzon|
|Cagayan Valley (Region II)||3,685,744||5||4||89||2,311||Luzon|
|Central Luzon (Region III)||12,422,172||7||14||116||3,102||Luzon|
|CALABARZON (Region IV-A)||16,195,042||5||20||122||4,019||Luzon|
|Bicol Region (Region V)||6,082,165||6||7||107||3,471||Luzon|
|Western Visayas (Region VI)||7,954,723||6||16||117||4,051||Visayas|
|Central Visayas (Region VII)||8,081,988||4||16||116||3,003||Visayas|
|Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)||4,547,150||6||7||136||4,390||Visayas|
|Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX)||3,875,576||3||5||67||1,904||Mindanao|
|Northern Mindanao (Region X)||5,022,768||5||9||84||2,022||Mindanao|
|Davao Region (Region XI)||5,243,536||5||6||43||1,162||Mindanao|
|SOCCSKSARGEN (Region XII)||4,901,486||4||5||45||1,195||Mindanao|
|National Capital Region (NCR)||13,484,462||0||16||1||1,710||Luzon|
|Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)||1,797,660||6||2||75||1,178||Luzon|
|Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)||4,404,288||5||2||116||2,490||Mindanao|
|Caraga (Region XIII)||2,804,788||5||6||67||1,311||Mindanao|
- National Capital Region (NCR)
- Geography: The NCR, often referred to as Metro Manila, is the country’s political, economic, and cultural center. It is situated on Luzon Island and comprises 16 cities and one municipality.
- Culture: Metro Manila is a melting pot of cultures and traditions. It is home to numerous historical sites, shopping districts, and a vibrant nightlife.
- Notable Landmarks: The region boasts iconic landmarks like Rizal Park, Intramuros, and the cultural hub that is Makati City.
- Ilocos Region
- Geography: Located in the northwest part of Luzon Island, Ilocos is known for its coastal cities and rugged landscapes.
- Culture: The Ilocano people have a rich history and cultural heritage, with influences from both Spanish and indigenous traditions.
- Notable Landmarks: Vigan City’s well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture and Paoay Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are among its highlights.
- Cagayan Valley
- Geography: This region is situated in the northeastern part of Luzon and is known for its lush valleys, rivers, and mountains.
- Culture: The Cagayanos celebrate various festivals, showcasing their agricultural heritage and the Kagay-anon spirit.
- Notable Landmarks: Callao Caves, the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, and Palaui Island are must-visit destinations.
- Central Luzon
- Geography: Central Luzon, the “Rice Granary of the Philippines,” is located in the central part of Luzon and is known for its fertile plains and volcanic mountains.
- Culture: The Kapampangans in Pampanga are known for their culinary expertise, with dishes like sisig and adobo hailing from this region.
- Notable Landmarks: Mount Pinatubo, Mt. Arayat, and Clark Freeport Zone are popular attractions.
- Geography: Comprising the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, this region is known for its proximity to Metro Manila and beautiful coastal areas.
- Culture: Calabarzon is known for its strong devotion to the Catholic faith, with several churches and religious festivals.
- Notable Landmarks: Taal Volcano, Pagsanjan Falls, and Tagaytay are key destinations in Calabarzon.
- Geography: Situated in the southern part of Luzon, Mimaropa consists of the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan.
- Culture: The indigenous people of Palawan have preserved their unique traditions and customs.
- Notable Landmarks: Palawan’s Puerto Princesa Underground River, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, and Apo Reef are natural wonders.
- Bicol Region
- Geography: Bicol is located in the southeastern part of Luzon and is known for its active volcanoes and scenic landscapes.
- Culture: The Bicolanos celebrate the Penafrancia Festival, showcasing their devotion to the Virgin of Penafrancia.
- Notable Landmarks: Mayon Volcano, Caramoan Islands, and Donsol for whale shark encounters are top attractions.
- Western Visayas
- Geography: This region includes the islands of Panay and Guimaras and is situated in the central Philippines.
- Culture: Known for its colorful festivals, Western Visayas is famous for the Ati-Atihan Festival and Dinagyang Festival.
- Notable Landmarks: Boracay Island, Guimaras’ sweet mangoes, and Iloilo’s heritage sites are key highlights.
- Central Visayas
- Geography: Comprising Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, and Negros Oriental, Central Visayas is known for its beautiful beaches and historic sites.
- Culture: The region celebrates Sinulog and Sandugo festivals, reflecting its deep-rooted history and religion.
- Notable Landmarks: Chocolate Hills in Bohol, the historic Magellan’s Cross in Cebu, and the beautiful beaches of Panglao Island are well-loved destinations.
- Eastern Visayas
- Geography: Located in the eastern part of the Philippines, this region includes the islands of Leyte, Samar, and Biliran.
- Culture: Known for its unique dialects and colorful festivals, including the Pintados-Kasadyaan and Sangyaw festivals.
- Notable Landmarks: San Juanico Bridge, Sohoton Caves, and Kalanggaman Island are popular spots.
- Zamboanga Peninsula
- Geography: Situated in the western part of Mindanao, this region is known for its diverse culture and Muslim traditions.
- Culture: The Zamboanguenos are known for their vibrant vintas (sailboats) and the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival.
- Notable Landmarks: Sta. Cruz Islands, Rizal Park in Zamboanga City, and Dakak Beach are notable attractions.
- Northern Mindanao
- Geography: Located in the northern part of Mindanao, this region is known for its natural beauty and rich history.
- Culture: The Higaonon people in Bukidnon are known for their indigenous music and dances.
- Notable Landmarks: Camiguin Island, Dahilayan Adventure Park, and Kagay-an Resort are must-visit places.
- Davao Region
- Geography: Located in the southeastern part of Mindanao, Davao is known for its diverse landscapes and thriving agriculture.
- Culture: The region is a melting pot of various ethnic groups, and the Kadayawan Festival showcases this diversity.
- Notable Landmarks: Mount Apo, Samal Island, and Eden Nature Park are popular destinations.
- Geography: This region is situated in the central part of Mindanao and is known for its highlands and lowlands.
- Culture: Soccsksargen is home to various indigenous groups, each with its own unique customs and traditions.
- Notable Landmarks: Lake Sebu, Mt. Matutum, and T’boli School of Living Traditions offer a glimpse into indigenous culture.
- Geography: Located in the northeastern part of Mindanao, Caraga is known for its rugged coastline, lush forests, and mining industry.
- Culture: The Mamanwas, Manobos, and other indigenous groups celebrate their heritage through various festivals.
- Notable Landmarks: Hinatuan Enchanted River, Siargao Island, and the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary are renowned attractions.
- Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)
- Geography: BARMM is an autonomous region in Mindanao, established to address the aspirations of the Muslim population.
- Culture: The region is predominantly Muslim and observes Islamic traditions and festivals.
- Notable Landmarks: The Grand Mosque in Cotabato City and the beautiful landscapes of Lanao del Sur are key sites.
- Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
- Geography: CAR is located in the northern part of Luzon and is known for its mountainous terrain and indigenous communities.
- Culture: The Igorots, particularly in Benguet and Mountain Province, celebrate cultural festivals such as Panagbenga.
- Notable Landmarks: Banaue Rice Terraces, Mt. Pulag, and Baguio City are top destinations.