Planning to visit different rehiyon (in Tagalog) or regions in the Philippines? If you are, then you learning about the regions and precisely where it is located will greatly help you, especially if you are creating an itinerary. In as much as you want to visit Boracay and Baguio at the same time, such a route is impossible if you will only be staying in the country for a few days. Instead of “winging” it, why not try to look for other tourist destinations that are in the same region, right? Let’s learn more about that in this post!
Whenever one thinks about the beauty of the Philippines, what usually comes to mind are secluded islands where you can dip your toes into some of the best beaches there is in the world.
For those in the business and who are looking for jobs, perhaps you also know about the city of Manila (popularly known as Metro Manila), Quezon City, and other popular cities in Luzon. However, this archipelagic country might surprise you since it has tons of places where you can go despite its small land area.
But before we proceed with the discussion, allow me to give you a quick trivia: did you know that the concept of regions only came into existence in 1972? Thanks to President Ferdinand Marcos, he signed the presidential decree that stipulates divided the entire country. Back then, the regions were only 11, each with its own regional center.
The following year, the country was further divided into 12 since Region IV was divided into two: CALABARZON and MIMAROPA. In 1978, Metropolitan Manila was rebranded as the National Capital Region. During the presidency of President Corazon Aquino, an executive order was signed to create the Cordillera Administrative Region and the Autonomous Region In Muslim Mindanao (or ARMM).
From 2002 to 2018, all the presidents amended the regional designation to the point that our latest count reached up to 17 regions. Let’s get to know more about that below.
Regions In The Philippines
The country has three major island groups known as Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Luzon has 8 regions under its belt, while the Visayas has 3 and the Mindanao has 6. Presently, two types of regions exist in the Philippines, including the administrative region (geographically adjacent regions) and the autonomous region (sub-national administrative division).
Region I – Ilocos Region
Region I is one of the many administrative regions in the country, occupying a huge chunk of the northwestern part of Luzon. It is directly facing the South China Sea, and it has four major provinces, including the following:
- Ilocos Norte
- Ilocos Sur
- La Union
Region II – Cagayan Valley
Found in the coastal part of Luzon, the Cagayan Valley region covers five provinces, including the following:
- Nueva Vizcaya
Region III – Central Luzon
The Central Luzon region represents over 19% of the overall population in all of Luzon. It has 116 municipalities, and it includes these seven provinces:
- Nueva Ecija
National Capital Region
Also known as the Metropolitan Manila, the NCR is branded as the seat of the government. It is made up of 16 populous cities, including Manila, Quezon City, Makati, Las Pinas, Malabon, Muntinlupa, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Navotas, Pasa, Pasig, Paranaque, San Juan, Venezuela, and Taguig.
Region IV A- CALBARZON
Boasting almost 4ooo barangays (or districts), this region has 5 provinces, including 1 highly urbanized city:
Region IV B – MIMAROPA Region
With 71 municipalities and 2 major cities, the MIMAROPA region includes the following:
- Occidental Mindoro
- Oriental Mindoro
Region V – Bicol Region
An administrative region with over 107 municipalities and 3.4k barangays, the Bicol region has 6 major provinces including:
- Camarines Norte
- Camarines Sur
Region VI – Western Visayas
With 117 municipalities and 16 cities under its belt, this region is the home to 6 provinces, including:
- Negros Occidental
Region VII – Central Visayas
Situated in the central section of Visayas Island, this region is the cradle of four provinces, including:
- Negros Oriental
Region VIII – Eastern Visayas
This region has 136 municipalities along with 7 major cities. It is the home to six provinces, including:
- Eastern Samar
- Northern Samar
- Southern Leyte
Region IX – Zamboanga Peninsula
This coastal region with 1.9k barangays is also the home to three provinces such as:
- Zamboanga del Norte
- Zamboanga del Sur
- Zamboanga Sibugay
Region X – Northern Mindanao
With 84 municipalities and over 2000 barangays, Northern Mindanao covers five provinces including:
- Lanao del Norte
- Misamis Occidental
- Misamis Oriental
Region XI – Davao Region
Bordered by the Philippine Sea and the Davao Gulf, the Davao region has 5 major provinces including:
- Davao de Oro
- Davao del Norte
- Davao Occidental
- Davao Oriental
- Davao del Sur
Region XII – SOCCSKSARGEN
With over 45 municipalities and 5 cities, this region is situated in central Mindanao and has four provinces:
- South Cotabato
- Sultan Kudarat
Region XIII – Caraga
This region has 67 municipalities and 5 major provinces including the following:
- Agusan del Norte
- Agusan del Sur
- Dinagat Isands
- Surigao del Sur
- Surigao del Norte
CAR – Cordillera Administrative Region
The CAR boasts 2 cities, 75 municipalities, and 6 provinces, including:
- Mountain Province
BARMM – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region In Muslim Mindanao
Directly in front of the Sulu Sea and the Celebes Sea, the BARMM is the home to five provinces, including:
- Lanao del Sur
Is Negros Island A Region?
I know what you’re thinking! Perhaps, you landed on this page because you’re curious to know if the Philippines actually have 18 or 17 regions. Well, here’s the direct answer: Officially, the country only has 17. However, the latest news suggests that the 18th region, known as NIR, might be re-established this 2023.
The Negros Island Region is comprised of two provinces, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, both of which offer unique experiences to locals and tourists alike. The Negros Island Region was first created by virtue of Executive Order No. 183, which former President Benigno Aquino III signed on May 29, 2015. The order aimed to consolidate the two provinces into a single region to promote development and improve access to government services in the area.
However, the Negros Island Region was short-lived, as it was dissolved just two years later due to the opposition of various stakeholders who believed that the creation of the region was unnecessary and would only result in the duplication of government functions and bureaucracy. Despite its brief existence, the Negros Island Region remains an important cultural and economic hub in the Visayas. It boasts a rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and diverse cultural traditions that make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Philippines.
What Are The 5 Most Populated Provinces In The Philippines
According to the census of the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Republic of the Philippines population is on the rise. The 5 most populous provinces include Cebu (from Western Visayas), with almost 5.2 million people, followed by Cavite (Region IV-A), with 4.5 million, and Bulacan (Central Luzon), with 3.7 million. Laguna (Region IV-A) with 3.38 million, and Rizal (Region IV-A) with 3.3 million.
Perhaps by now, you are also pondering the question, “What are places in the country that has a small population?” To answer your question, the small provinces of Siquijor, Camiguin, and Dinagat Islands remain the smallest population ever.
Visit The Philippines!
We hope that you were able to learn about the different provinces located in the Philippines. While the whole country looks small on the maps, perhaps you found yourself surprised to know that there are 17 regions in it. If you enjoyed this post and figured that you would love to learn more about the regions of the Philippines, its culture, and its language, then you better check out our previous posts here.
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