Nueva Vizcaya

Nueva Vizcaya is a province of the Philippines located in the Cagayan Valley region in Luzon. Its capital is Bayombong. It is bordered by, clockwise from the north, Ifugao, Isabela, Quirino, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, and Benguet.

History, People and Culture

The name was derived from the Spanish province Vizcaya in the Basque Country. The province of Nueva Vizcaya used to be a territory of the vastCagayan Valley which was once an integral political unit with one governor. In 1839, then-Governor Luis Lardizabal issued an order transforming Nueva Vizcaya into a politico-military province upon the advice of the alcalde mayor of Cagayan. The order was approved by a Royal Decree on April 10, 1841. The province had its first taste of civil governance in 1902 when it was organized by the Philippine Commission.

The present territory of Nueva Vizcaya was the result of changes emanating from the formal creation of the province of Isabela in May 1865, wherein a great portion of its northern territory was ceded to the newly-born province. In 1908, the organization of the province of Ifugao further reduced the area of Nueva Vizcaya which was forced to give up its northwest territory. The survey executed by the Bureau of Lands in 1914 further caused the diminution of its area and reduced again upon the enactment of the Administrative Code of 1917.

In 1942, Japanese troops occupied Nueva Vizcaya. Filipino and American troops liberated the province in 1945.

In 1971, with the passage of Republic Act No. 6394, Quirino, which was then a sub-province of Nueva Vizcaya, was separated from its mother province and made into a regular province.

Since Nueva Vizcaya’s birth as a province, traces of the culture and customs of its early settlers—the Ilongots (Bugkalot), IgorotsIfugaosIsinais, and the Gaddangs—can still be seen. The influx of civilization and the infusion of modern technology to the life stream of the province induced many immigrants from adjacent provinces to migrate to this province.

The history of organized religion in the province of Nueva Vizcaya dates back to the year 1607 when the Dominican Order arrived at the hinterlands of the province to preach their beliefs. It was not until 1609, however, that the first settlement of a religious order was established in the southern half of the province. In 1702, a covenant was erected in Burubur at the foot of the Caraballo mountains in Santa Clara, which is now a barangay of the town of Aritao. It was on this site that the first mass in Nueva Vizcaya was celebrated and the first baptism of a Christian convert was held.

Every last week of May, Nueva Vizcaya celebrates the Ammungan festival (formerly Panagyaman festival), a week-long affair culminating on May 24, the province’s foundation day.

See all Cagayan Valley Provinces: