Author: Secrets of Nueva Vizcaya

Mula nang maging lubos na at nagsasarili nang lalawigan ang Nueva Vizcaya, ang kasaysayan nito’y binubuo na ng kultura at tradisyon at paniniwala ng mga katutubong unang nanirahan dito na kinabibilangan ng mga Isinay, Gaddang, Bugkalot (o Ilongot), Ifugao (Ipugaw), at nang lumaon ay ang mga Ilokano at iba pang pangkat etniko.



The Isinay (Isinai, Inmeas) are a small group found principally in the municipality of Bambang (1,225), Nueva Vizcaya, and Dupax Sur (265) in Quirino province. The total population is set at about 6,000 (NSO 1980). The language belongs to the northern Philippine, central Cordilleran group. The subsistence technology is principally wet rice cultivation. There is some swidden cultivation in the higher elevations. Subsistence is supplemented by animal husbandry. Since the area is linked with the major transportation arteries that connect southern and northern Luzon, and thus exposed to intensive trade, culture change is highly advanced and much of the traditional culture is gone. The population has merged with mainstream society due to the changes wrought by the national power structure, educational system, market economy, and the great religions. Except for the language, the ethnic character is no longer distinguishable. Population movement theories point to the Isinay country as one of the possible staging areas for the migration of people to the Ifugao highlands.


The Gaddang people are a linguistically identified ethnic group of related families sharing lengthy residence in the watershed of the Cagayan River in Northern Luzon, Philippines. Gaddang speakers are reported to number around 30,000,[1] plus another 6,000[2] genetically related Ga’dang speakers whose vocabulary is more than 80% identical.

These two groups are often depicted in historic and cultural literature as a single population; distinctions between (a) the Christianized “lowlanders” and (b) the non-Christian residents in the mountains appear to be ignored by many sources. There are both intriguing similarities and unreconciled differences in history, location, lifestyle and beliefs between these two related populations.


The Bugkalot ethnic community or Ilongot tribe is a Philippine indigenous group that is found in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and Aurora. Many of them live in the eastern central part of the Caraballo and Sierra Madre mountain ranges and by the Conwap, Bua, and Tubo rivers. There are at least 5,000 head families of Bugkalots who occupy at least 62 village-communities in these areas. Once known as head-hunters, the Bugkalots consist of various warring tribes. There are various sub-tribes which are distinct from each other but share certain linguistic and cultural characteristics. The people are especially known for their colorful traditional dress, crafts, and dances and their musical instruments.


Igorot, or Cordillerans, is the collective name of several Austronesian ethnic groups in the Philippines, who inhabit the mountains of Luzon. These highland peoples inhabit all the six provinces of the Cordillera Administrative Region: Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Kalinga, Ifugao, and Mountain Province, as well as the adjacent provinces.




Delicacies in Nueva Vizcaya

Known mostly as a transit town and a gateway to the 8th wonder of the world, Nueva Vizcaya is now making a mark with its ever growing attractions and development. My last visit to the province surprised me with world-class dining restaurants while offering exciting exotic delicacies. Nueva Vizcaya definitely deserves a stop or even an overnight stay even just to try out these exciting Nueva Vizcaya eats.


Mrs Baker’s Restaurant and Pastry Shop

A surprising find in Bayombong, Mrs Baker’s offers a mix of FIlipino and international fares. I won’t hesitate to say that their food taste a lot better than some of the fancy restaurants in Manila. They got a homey ambiance and the service is prompt and friendly. My favorites were their Bagnet, Pepper Fish with Grilled Vegetables, Mushroom and Tofu and their Chicken Kebab.


Kaboodle Grill and Restaurant

Boodle fights? Well Kaboodle Grill can give you that in a restaurant setting. Don’t worry, you can eat with your bare hands still if you prefer. What’s important is all the goodies on the huge banana leaves and eating together with friends or family. Kaboodle Grill and Restaurant have tasty boodle variant sets like the Pork Madness (Php 1199), Chicken Lovers (Php 1149), Seafood Overload (Php 1299) and Kebaboodle (Php 1049) all ready to serve 4-6 persons in a group. Dining solo? Try their Boodle Solo (Php 160).


All Day Exotic Resto Bar

Adventurous foodies looking for something local and exotic would be at home at All Day Exotic Resto Bar. Must try are the crispy Abal-abal (slagubang beetle), Tateg (salagubang larvae) and the fried frogs. Goes really well with a cold beer inside their native house inspired interior complete with capiz windows ans stylized table with sewing machine legs.


Governor’s Garden Merienda Buffet

There’s a little gem of a buffet in Solano not many people are aware of. Every Friday at 4-6pm, Governor’s Garden Hotel offer’s an extensive offering of kakanin (rice cakes), fresh and fried lumpia, pancit and dinuguan. They can also offer the merienda buffet by request for a group minimum of 30 pax.


Cafe Angelo

Situated within the grounds of the private resort, Balai Gloria, Cafe Angelo serves up sumptuous foods from Filipino, Chinese, Japanese and Italian cuisines in a very nice garden ambiance especially int he evening. I only got to try their Filipino offerings like Kare-kare, ribs and honey chicken and they were all very good.


It offers awesome tourist attractions, magnificent beaches, hot spring resorts, colorful festivals, hundreds of scenic spots and world-class hotels and facilities. Not to mention the tropical climate, the affordable prices as well as the friendly and hospitable, English-speaking people! You will be glad you came, and we’re sure, you WILL come back for more FUN in the Philippines! In Nueva Vizcaya.

Panagyaman Festival


“Panagyaman” is the Ilocano term for thanksgiving. Rice festivals are held in many provinces: Ani and Mannalon in Ilocos Norte, Sinanggiyaw in Cebu, Pahiyas in Quezon, Pasalamat in Negros Occidental, and Pagdiwata in Mindoro. –

Held every May 19-24, the Panagyaman Festival is the Anniversary of the establishment of the civil  government of Nueva Vizcaya. Activities include street parades,street  dancing, cultural shows, float parades and contest, sports events by  municipality, agro-industrial fairs, others.  It is celebrated with parades, beauty pageant, trade shows, and agro-industrial fair, among others.

Grand Ammungan Festival

“Ammungan” is a Gaddang word which means “gathering,” while its Ilocano counterpart is “ummungan” which also has the same meaning and is widely understood among the ethno-linguistic groups. According to Governor Ruth Padilla, the festival showcases the strides made by the province over the years in terms of economy, tourism, governance and respect for indigenous peoples rights. She said that the festival celebrates the unity in diversity and peaceful coexistence of peoples from various cultural roots. Festivities commenced with the street dance competition which saw contingents from various municipalities, interpreting in contemporary renditions the ethnic dances of the province.

It was a colorful convergence of indigenous cultures as Nueva Vizcaya celebrated the Grand Ammungan Festival.

One of the most colorful and culturally diverse yet unheralded provinces in the country is Nueva Vizcaya.

Embraced by the mighty mountain ranges of the Cordillera, Caraballo, and Sierra Madre, the province is home to 18 indigenous peoples groups which have made it their home for centuries now.

Citrus Festival

Each year, farmers in Kasibu town celebrate the Citrus Festival as thanksgiving offering for the bountiful blessings of the town.

During the festivity, the Ifugaos perform the “Culpi,” a way of thanksgiving to Kabunian or Supreme Being where a number of pigs and chickens are offered.

Ifugaos, garbed in their native G-strings, bang their gongs as they parade around the village. Thousands of oranges are also displayed in booths while some are given for free to visitors.

Kalanguya Festival

The festival aims to conserve, preserve and protect the almost-forgotten Kalanguya cultural heritage, especially to the younger generation, amidst modernization and high technology.  Slowly, the Kalanguyas are being recognized as a component of society’s progress and a feeling of brotherhood now exists between the two peoples.  The festival also brought enormous progress and development in the town and its people’s lives.







“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 vast Cagayan 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-militar province upon the advice of the alcalde mayor of Cagayan. The order was approved by a Royal Decree on April 10, 1841.

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 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.”

Abt 268km from manila.