Support Asian Catholic Dioceses Directory
Support Asian Catholic Dioceses Directory

Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk

Report An Error
Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk
  • Facebook Share
  • Twitter Share

Kalinga is one of the six provinces comprising the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). It was created in 1995 by Republic Act No. 7878 which divided the former province of Kalinga-Apayao into two independent and distinct provinces - the Province of Kalinga and the Province of Apayao.

Kalinga and Apayao are landlocked by the province of Cagayan on the north and east, by the province of Isabela also on the east, by the provinces of Abra and Ilocos Norte on the west, and by the province of Mountain Province on the south. Kalinga is surrounded by mountain peaks. It was divided into three geographically distinct areas centered around the Chico River: the mountainous western portion of the river's basin, the valley of the river and its tributaries, and the level plains between the river and Cagayan province.

Composed of eight municipalities, Kalinga's land area totals to 3,119.4 square kilometers occupying 17 percent of the Cordillera Administrative Region's area.

Apayao has a total land area of 4,120.6 square kilometers. The province is classified into upper and lower. Upper Apayao with 3 municipalities occupies 67.2 percent of the total land area and has mountainous topography classified by towering peaks, plateaus and intermittent patches of valleys. Lower Apayao on the other hand with 4 municipalities is 32.8 percent of the total land area is generally flat with rolling mountains and plateaus.

Kalinga and Apayao are part of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

Among the eight municipalities in Kalinga, the municipality of Tabuk (Capital), which comprised 45.19 percent of the total provincial population, was the largest in terms of population size. This was followed by the municipality of Pinukpuk (15.02 percent), Tinglayan (8.14 percent), Rizal (Liwan) (7.84 percent), and Balbalan (6.86 percent). The other three municipalities had less than 6 percent share each (Tanudan, 5.90 percent; Lubuagan, 5.67 percent; and Pasil, 5.38 percent) to the provincial population.

Apayao is located deep in the Cordillera mountains of Northern Luzon. These mountain range form a natural boundary between the Ilocos Region in the west and the Cagayan Valley in the east. The Apayao river rises from its extensive watershed along its western slope and peaks. The river courses along the heartlands of the province, meanders beside the town of Kabugao following a northward route towards the Pacific Ocean through the coastal town of Abulug, Apayao.

Among the seven municipalities in the province of Apayao, the municipality of Conner, which comprised 21.03 percent of the total provincial population, was the largest in terms of population size. This was followed by the municipalities of Flora, Luna and Kabugao (Capital) with 15.3 percent, 14.6 percent and 14.4 percent, respectively. The municipality with the least population was Santa Marcela with 10.15 percent share.


The total population in the territory is 430,500 at end of 2017. 


The natives of Kalinga and Apayao form the largest ethnic linguist group in the region. They speak the same language but are divided into different tribal groups, the northern and southern cultural factions.

Divided into 36 different tribal groupings, Kalinga form the largest ethnolinguistic group in the province. Culturally, the Kalinga people is divided into southern and northern groups - considered as the most heavily ornamented, most colorful and gaudily attired of all the ethnic groups of Northern Luzon.

The Kalinga people identify strongly with his tribe. This strong tribal identification resulted to frequent bloody conflicts in the past with other tribes of Kalinga Province and neighboring provinces. "Bodong" or peace pact is used to minimize traditional warfare and headhunting as well as maintenance and reinforcement of social ties. Recently, the concept of "Bodong" was expanded into a multi-lateral peace pact and provides a means in strengthening unity in the entire cordillera region.

Majority (64.4 percent) of the household population in Kalinga classified themselves as Kalingas. About 24 percent considered themselves as Ilocanos, and 2.5 percent as Kankanais/Kankaneys/Kankanaeys. Other ethnic groups included Ibontoc (1.6 percent), Tagalog (1.3 percent), and Applai (1.0 percent).

The first settlers of Apayao are the Negritoes. Later, the Isnegs, a more civilized ethnic group occupied the vast hinterlands of the province.

When the Spanish missionaries entered Apayao in 1608, they found the Mandayas later known as Isnegs already in their organized communities. They were referred to as "Los Apayaos" or "Los Mandayas" by the Spaniards. The term "Apayao," after the name of the geographical territory, which these people have inhabited for ages, has been used interchangeably with "Isneg".

There has been a large influx of Ilocanos over the years. The Aeta inhabit the northern and northeastern parts of the province.

Half (50.82 percent) of the household population in Apayao classified themselves as Ilocano. Others considered themselves as either Isnag (29.95 percent), Malaueg (3.69 percent), Isneg (3.48 percent), and Kalinga (3.08 percent). Other ethnic groups included Ibaloi/Inibaloi (1.01 percent), Kankanai/ Kankaney/Kankanaey (1.24 percent), and Bontok/Binontok (1.04 percent).


Brief History of the Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk

The main missionary task was to preach the Gospel and to further define and purify its actual practice. To facilitate this endeavor, the education of the children was undertaken. In this manner, Christianity and development were introduced among the inhabitants of the Montañosa. The CICM missionaries arrived in the Philippines in 1907. The people of the Montañosa owe a lot to them, particularly for the educational programs that they started in the different parts of the Montañosa.

In 1908, several Catholic schools were opened in different parts of Montañosa. St. Teresita's School in Lubuagan was one of the earliest schools founded in the Vicariate of the Montañosa. Six new schools were opened in 1949 and more were in the planning stage.

In 1962 the Montañosa Vicariate had twenty-six (26) Catholic schools, including STS Lubuagan in Kalinga. By 1989, there were fifty-six (56) mission schools with one university with a total student population of 50,272 in 2005.

The Division of the Montañosa into Three Vicariates
In Aug. 6, 1992, on the feast of the Transfiguration, Bishop Salgado, through his secretary, the late Father Rogelio Baychon, went to DZWT, a radio station of the Mountain Province Broadcasting Corporation and read the Papal announcement that the divided into three vicariates the former vicariate of Montañosa; hence, the beginning of the Apostolic vicariate of Tabuk with Bishop Carlito J. Cenzon, CICM, DD as the first apostolic vicar.

At Present
In July 16, 2003, Bishop Prudencio P. Andaya Jr., CICM, DD succeeded Bishop Cenzon. Amidst challenging circumstances, the Vicariate Schools of Tabuk continued to fulfill its mission under the supervision of the bishop through the Schools Superintendent. Since the time of Bishop Cenzon until the present, there have been three apostolic superintendents. There is one college, ten schools, two grade schools and on nursery in the vicariate.

We, the people of the Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk (Kalinga and Apayao), envision ourselves to be renewed, relevant, integral, indigenized and liberating Church of the poor. We commit ourselves to the profession and living out our Christ-centered faith. We respond to the signs of times through participative and holistic programs, which address the social, economic, cultural, ecological, educational and religious needs of our people.

As agents of evangelization, we give witness to Christ's presence in the world through the promotion of social justice, peace, love and common solidarity.


To preserve its cultural uniqueness and to fortify its ethnic solidarity. The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) was carved out of the predominantly Ilocano Regions of Ilocos and Cagayan Valley. Located in the North Central portion of Luzon, the region is composed of six provinces namely Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province and the chartered city of Baguio. It is further subdivided into 76 municipalities and 1,172 barangays. It is composed of provinces which used to be part of the Old Mountain Province.

The region's land area of 1,829,368 hectares accounts for 6.1 percent of the total land mass of the Philippines. As of 1997, the region has a total of 340,656 hectares of Alienable and Disposable Land and 1,488,712 hectares of Total Forest Land.

Dubbed as the "Watershed Cradle of the Philippines", the Cordillera has a mountainous topography characterized by towering peaks, plateaus and intermittent patches of valleys. Almost 71 percent of the region's land area has slopes of 30 percent and above.

A big bulk of the Cordillera population is composed of closely-related indigenous peoples. Collectively, they are popularly known as Igorot. Often they are also grouped into a number of ethnic or ethno-linguistic identities, such as Apayao or Isneg, Tinggian, Kalinga, Bontoc, Kankanaey, Ibaloy, Ifugao, and Bago.

These groupings, while convenient, do not fully reflect the real particularities and the extent of diversity among the region's peoples. In fact, most indigenous peoples identify themselves primarily with specific communties called ili (literally: home village, hometown, or home territory).

Each ili is a self-identifying community with a specific territory, which is its ancestral land. While there are diverse types, an ili usually consists of a closely-knit cluster of villages, or a core village and its outlying hamlets, whithin a more or less defined territory.

A Philippine province is headed by a Governor. A Provincial Council (Sangguniang Panlalawigan) is composed of a Vice Governor (Presiding Officer) and Provincial Board Members. A Philippine city or municipality is headed by a Mayor. A City Council (Sangguniang Panlungsod) or Municipal Council (Sangguniang Bayan) is composed of a Vice Mayor (Presiding Officer) and City or Municipal Councilors. A barangay (village) is headed by a Barangay Captain, who is also the presiding officer of the barangay council. The Barangay Council is composed of seven (7) Barangay Kagawads. A similar unit called a Youth Council (Sangguniang Kabataan) is headed by an SK Chairperson with a similar rank to a Barangay Captain. The council is composed of SK Members.


The province of Kalinga can be reach via two routes. One is via Tuguegarao in the Cagayan Province where there is a domestic airport that provides the closest air link, and the other is through Bontoc, Mountain Province going to Tinghayan in the southern part of Kalinga.

Apayao is accessible via air-conditioned buses such as Dangwa, Autobus bus, Victory Liner which is approximately 12 hours travel time. The bus passed through the McArthur Highway and Cagayan Valley Road.

Philippine Airlines flies from Manila to Tuguegarao thrice weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. From Tuguegarao, it's an hour by Bus or Jeep to Tabuk.

Autobus Lines (España, Manila terminal) de luxe or aircon buses and Victory Liner (Kamias terminal) operate in the area. The trip is usually a ten-hour bus ride that departs from Manila in the evening and arrives in Tabuk in the morning.

From Bontoc jeepneys and buses ply the Kalinga highway to Tinglayan (2.5 hours) and Tabuk (6 hours). Service is hourly from 7 to 11 a.m.

Dangwa Bus, Autobus, and GL lines all ply the route from Baguio to Tabuk. Buses leave in the evening, arriving early the following morning.

The distance from Manila to Tabuk, Kalinga Province is a total of about 480 km. The route takes you on the Maharlika Highway via the NLEX on to Nueva Ecija, the Dalton Pass into Nueva Viscaya, a left turn somewhere in Isabela Province before finally reaching Kalinga Province.


The annual per capita income (in Philippines Pesos) of Kalinga is 21,311 (USD481 according to November 2010). The annual per capita income (in Philippines Pesos) of Apayao is 20,731, according to Year 2000 (or USD468 according to November 2010).

Kalinga is richly endowed with mineral resources, both metallic and non-metallic which are mostly found in the municipalities of Balbalan and Pasil and are estimated at 107,001,469 MT for gold reserves and 95,543,460 MT for the primary copper. There are also evidences on the presence of non-metallic reserves such as sulphur, gravel and sand but there are reliable data on the exact volumes and grades of these reserves.

The province's timber resources are estimated at 11,214,438 cubic meters as of 1990. Such resources include dipterocarp, pine and other species. The non-timber resources such as rattan and bamboo constitute the province's non-timber resources.

The Northern Kalingas are the most serious rice farmers of all the Cordillera community. Kalingas are also skillful in pottery making, basket weaving and metal works. The province's rich land makes it very fitting for agricultural production. A rich harvest of rice, corn, cassava, coffee, mangoes, pineapples and legumes are their main crops. They also have massive grassland that sustains cattle and livestock. Deposits of gold, copper, sulfur, phosphate and guano are some of their mineral resources. Now being promoted as a new business frontier in the Cordilleras, the province is pushing for the organization of the Regional Agro-Industrial Center.

A very good tourist destination, Kalinga boasts of their rich cultural heritage, which has remained unspoiled by westernization and also, their natural attractions ideal for cultural and ecological tourism challenges.

Apayao is devoted to agricultural production, particularly food and industrial crops such as palay, corn, coffee, root crops and vegetables. Main fruits produce are lanzones, citrus, bananas and pineapples. Rice production totals 42,602 metric tons annually, as food crops totals 96,542 metric tons.

Economic activity is also based on livestock and poultry breeding such as swine, carabao, cattle, goat and sheep. Other additional investment includes manufacturing, food processing, furniture, crafts and house wares making.

The province is into furniture, Garment craft, food processing, gifts and house wares making.


Communication services have greatly improved with the installation of telephone lines in the eight municipalities of Kalinga aside from the PLECS network centered at the provincial capitol. There are only telegraph station serving the municipalities of Tabuk and Lubuagan.

Telecommunication facilities are established in all municipalities of Apayao.

Modern telecommunication and information technology services are widely available in urban and rural areas. Mobile phones are the most applicable communications facility in this mountainous region. Internet services are also provided.

Cable television service is provided by companies such as LASCTV, Northern Star Communications System and Dream Sattelite.

The radio stations in the area are DZRK Radyo ng Bayan 1323 (AM) and Radyo Natin 103.7 - Tabuk (FM).

Infrastructure facilities

Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is a watershed region. Its water resources supply the domestic and economic requirements even of regions within the watershed's influence area. Other than CAR's agricultural requirement for water and that of benefactor regions, there are other competing demands on the use of watersheds: as sources of irrigation, potable water, and hydroelectric power. Water compensation arrangements between CAR and benefactor regions need to evolve to further encourage proper maintenance of ecological balance in the watersheds.

CAR continues to suffer from poor communication infrastructure and the worst regional transportation network in the Luzon area. Only about 24 percent of the region's national road network is paved with either concrete or asphalt. There are still municipal centers and quite a number of barangays that are not yet connected to the main road network because of remoteness and difficult terrain. Meager funding is allocated to CAR for infrastructure development that even government-operated telecommunication facilities had been dwindling in number and becoming non-operational. Private investments are discouraged due to the increasing cost of doing business resulting to unbalanced development across areas in the region and the slowing down in the provision of services to the rural areas.


The literacy rate (simple literacy) of Kalinga is 87.69 percent. The literacy rate (simple literacy) of Apayao is 87.64 percent. (Year 2000)


Kalinga and Apayao are home to numerous tribes that have many rituals and dances that are an integral part of their life. Dance is a part of many daily functions from celebrating good weather to fending off bad luck. The Apayao Courtship Dance is performed by having a couple swing their arms in the air to similate a flying bird while the woman wears a ceremonial blanket draped around her. The man moves in a way similar to that of a strutting cock who preens himself. The Kalinga have a bloody tradition that is revered, headhunting. Kayaw, takes place when a peace pact (budong) between villages is broken. The village who was affronted is allowed to attack the other and take as many heads as possible for trophies. A successful bird hunt is supposed to take place when they listen to a mysterious bird, Idao.

The city of Tabuk was once called the "Valley of Gamonangs," the Kalinga tribe who had dominated Northern Kalinga centuries ago. This tribe was hostile and antagonistic which provoked anger from the Southern Kalingas and resulted to tribal wars. Soon, an epidemic followed which almost wiped out the Gamonang tribe. The survivors fled to the hills bordering the provinces of Isabela and the old Mt. Province. Since then, the valley became a "No Man's Land" and was left to deers, wild hogs, wild horses, wild dogs and wild carabaos.

Repopulation began shortly before the First World War. The American government sent six volunteer pioneers from sitio Tobog and Lubuagan to re-inhabit the place. The Lubuagan natives died of malaria, which left only the settlers from Tobog to continue to till the soil at Laya. They were later joined by their relatives from Tobog. Between 1922 and 1923, the second group of settlers came from Bontoc and decided to settle then formed a colony at barangay Bantay. Another group from Bontoc and Cervantes, Ilocos Sur was brought to Tuga and was supplied with necessary farm tools including mosquito nets and kitchen utensils.

Their success inspired the settlers to cross the Chico River and moved eastward right into the heart of the valley. They were then followed by migrants from La Union. Malaria casualties continuously depleted the number of these pioneers but they held on.

In the early 1930s, the dawn of the new era for the town began with the coming of the Bureau of Lands Survey Party. Four groups of municipal executives held reign before Tabuk became a regular municipality on June 16, 1950 pursuant to Republic Act 533, an Act of Congress.

The road networks connecting Tabuk to the Cagayan Valley and to Baguio via Bontoc brought in more settlers and investments which fast tracked the economic development of the town. The economy was purely agro-based and was doubly hastened by the completion of the Chico River Irrigation System. The establishment of banks gave credit opportunities and business started to bloom. Cooperatives were organized, schools were put up and bus terminals were established.

The name of the valley came from the word "Tobog," the name of a living stream with cool and fresh water flowing from sitio Paligatto in barangay Balawag down to the Chico River. The areas traversed by this stream were also called Tobog. The name later on evolved to the term Tabuk.

Tabuk is now a fifth class city with an income of P110, 414,133.00 in 2007. It is prominently considered as the rice granary of the Cordillera due mainly of agriculture getting the largest area from the pie of which the bulk of production is on rice where it even supplies other places. The city has also produced outstanding farmers at the national level for the last two decades.

The city is also the site of the proposed Regional Agro-Industrial Center which aims to further develop the city and make it the agro-industrial center of the region.

Help us improve the Asian Catholic Dioceses Directory

Asian Saints

Asian Pilgrimages

Support Asian Catholic Dioceses Directory
Support Asian Catholic Dioceses Directory
UCA News
The Asian Catholic Dioceses Directory is the largest information database on the Church in Asia, brought to you by UCA News.
Union des Nouvelles Catholiques Asiatiques (UCA News, UCAN)
31 Avenue de Ségur,
75007 Paris.
[email protected]