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Luzon

Travel Guide Asia Philippines Luzon

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Introduction

Luzon is the largest island of the Philippines and politically and economically the centre of the country. The Luzon island group is one out of three in the country, the Visayas and Mindanao being the other two. Luzon is where the capital Manila is located and the island has around 47 million inhabitants in total.

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Geography

Luzon island is located on the northern part of the Philippine archipelago and is bounded by the Philippine Sea to the east, South China Sea to the west, and the Luzon Strait on the north.

The island is mostly mountainous with two mountain ranges running north to south. These are the Cordillera Mountain range and the longer Sierra Madre Mountain range that runs mostly on the Pacific side of the island. The highest peak on Luzon and second tallest in the country, Mount Pulag, is located within the Cordillera mountains. The wide plains between these two mountain ranges is known as the Cagayan Valley. The Cagayan River, the country's longest river runs through this wide plains.

Luzon has an almost balloon like shape with a bigger part on the northern part and an elongated part to the south east that is the Bicol peninsula. Among the notable land form on the Bicol peninsula is the Mayon Volcano. At the central part of the island is its largest plains where rice fields abound.

The largest inland fresh water lake in the country, the Laguna de Bay, is located east of Manila which is located at the southern part of central Luzon.

Luzon island is part of the larger island group of Luzon which also includes the islands of Palawan, Mindoro, Masbate, Catanduanes, Romblon, and Batanes island group.

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Cities

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Sights and Activities

Meeting Whalesharks

Donsol in the extreme southeast of Luzon is the Philippine capital of meeting the giant but friendly whaleshark (Butanding in local language). You can go swimming and snorkelling with them and although they have been seen in most months, the best season is from December to June with a peak from February to April.

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Events and Festivals

  • Hot Air Balloon Festival - Usually held on the second week of February at Clark Field in Angeles City, this annual blimp festival has been running for the last 12 years now, with more attractions added lately.
  • Panagbenga Festival - A festival of flowers held at the last week of February on the mountain city of Baguio. Floats filled with flowers grown in this cool city are put into display.
  • Pahiyas Festival - Held on May 15 in the town of Lucban in Quezon province. Homes are beautifully decked with colorful, paper-thin and leaf shaped rice kropeck locally called kiping. This is in celebration of good harvest.
  • Obando Fertility Rites - Held May 17-19 in the town of Obando, Bulacan. A three day celebration for their three patron saints. Childless couples dance on the streets in the hope of being granted children.
  • Higantes Festival - A joyous feast celebration for St. Clements held November 23rd at the town of Angono, Rizal. This features a grand procession of giants, 10 foot puppets made of paper-mache.

Other major Philippine festivals are listed in the Events and Festivals in the Philippines section.

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Getting There

By Plane

Luzon is serviced by the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for all international flights to major cities around the world while the Manila Domestic Airport connects the metro to most airports in the country. Both airports are located in the city of ParaƱaque. The Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark in the city of Angeles serves as the second major international hub mostly used by low-cost carriers (LCC). On the northern part of the island, the Laoag International Airport is used by a few airlines that fly from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

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This is version 11. Last edited at 12:01 on Dec 9, 11 by Utrecht. 8 articles link to this page.

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