The Cordillera Administrative Region consists of the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Apayao. The regional center is the Chartered City of Baguio, officially known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. Its rugged terrain and breath-taking topography have been home to the sturdy and industrious indigenous tribes collectively called the Igorot, while its climate has bred an equally unique culture distinct from that of the country’s lowland colonized regions.
The region is rich in natural resources and has abundant mineral reserves. It is also rich in ancient culture. It is the home of the indigenous tribe called the Igorot. The way of life of the people in this region existed way back to ancient Filipinos before the Spanish colonization.
With regard to agricultural products, Cordillera is the best and primary source of highland vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and other greens. Aromatic varieties of coffee that thrive best in the area are being produced.
Info from dti.gov.ph
Forest reserves within the region decrease each year, largely due to conversion to commercial vegetable and other farms, timber poaching, and fires from slash-and-burn farming. Industrial blight and rural poverty are driving economically desperate households to carve vegetable farms into forested mountains. (essc.org.ph)
The focus of the enhanced National Greening Program is for the planting of agro-forestry trees to serve as an added source of income for the communities so that they will be empowered to preserve and protect the forest cover and be aggressive in increasing the presence of trees in the mountains. As per DENR-CAR, they will empower the people living in the different communities within the forests to be the stewards of the forests and for the people to be able to co-exist with the trees that serve as the neutralizer of the pollutants in the air. (baguioheraldexpressonline.com)
Cultural heritage is central to protecting our sense of who we are. It gives us an irrefutable connection to the past – to certain social values, beliefs, customs and traditions, that allows us to identify ourselves with others and deepen our sense of unity, belonging and national pride. (US Embassy of the Philippines)
As a region rich in ancient culture, it is important that tourism programs continue to be focused on promoting cultural heritage preservation led by the indigenous who are vanguards of their history and traditions.
Info from Alpas
Farm Tourism holds the promise of food sufficiency and additional income for our tourism stakeholders, including farmers, farm workers and fisherfolk. After all, gainful employment, enhanced productivity and sustainable livelihoods are what tourism is really all about. – Bernadette Puyat, Department of Tourism