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