Component City
Nickname(s): Center of Eco-Tourism Adventure in Region 2
Home of the World’s Largest Wooden Lounge Chair (Butaka)
Corn Hub of the Philippines
Motto(s): Sulong Pa! Lungsod ng Ilagan
(More Progress! City of Ilagan)
Hymn: City of Ilagan Hymn
Country Philippines
RegionCagayan Valley
District1st District
FoundedMay 4, 1686
CityhoodAugust 11, 2012
Barangays91 (see Barangays)
  • TypeSangguniang Panlungsod
  • MayorJosemarie L. Diaz
  • Vice MayorKiryll S. Bello
  • RepresentativeAntonio T. Albano
  • Electorate98,565 voters (2019)
  • Total1,166.26 km2(450.30 sq mi)
• Elevation139 m (456 ft)
Elevation139 m (456 ft)
Highest elevation1,388 m (4,554 ft)
Lowest elevation24 m (79 ft)
Population (2020 census) 
 • Total158,218
 • Density140/km2 (350/sq mi)
 • Households33,887
Demonym(s)Ilagueño (m)
Ilagueña (f)
 • Income class1st city income class
 • Poverty incidence13.85% (2018)
 • Revenue₱1,869,929,266.65 (2020)
 • Assets₱4,843,979,029.83 (2020)
 • Expenditure₱1,735,432,985.55 (2020)
 • Liabilities₱1,898,208,125.74 (2020)
Service provider

 • Electricity

 • Water

 • Internet

Isabela 2 Electric Cooperative (ISELCO 2)

City of Ilagan Water District

PLDT, GLOBE, SMART, Converge, Polaris Cable Vision, Albertos, 

Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code3300
IDD : area code +63 (0)78
Native languagesIbanag 



There are two version of Ilagan’s etymology. The more popular one is that Ilagan is an inversion of “NAGALI” an Ibanag word “MOVED”. This derivation was due to the transfer of the capital from its former site in Naguilian Baculod, a barrio across the Cagayan river to its present location for economic and security reasons. The second version is more probable. According to Fr. Julian Malumbres in his book “La Historia del Isabela”, the town derived its name from the word “ laga” an Ibanag term from “smallpox” which broke out perhaps at the time of its founding.

Shortly after de Salcedo conquered Northern Luzon in 1587, Gov. Rodrigo de Peñalosa sent Capt. Pablo de Carreon to explore Cagayan Valley as well as to establish missions in towns. Among the Spanish Missionaries who penetrated deeply into the region was P. Pedro Jimenez who founded Ilagan. In May 4, 1686 and converted the natives to Christianity. Ilagan was made the Capital of Cagayan Valley when Brig. Manuel Sanchez Mira was Governor of the whole Territory upon the Separation of Isabela in May 01, 1856, Ilagan became the capital of the province.

Ilagan was the scene of the 1763 revolt in Isabela led by Dabo and Marayag against the Collection of tribute, the enforcement of tobacco monopoly and other unbearable abuses committed by the friars during the Spanish regime.

The Ilagan Community today reflects an amalgamation of indigenous. Chinese and Hispanic people. The core community was composed of tribes notably the Agta, Ibanag, Gaddang, Yogad, and Kalinga, It mirrors the habitation of the Philippines recognized to have started 26,000 years ago with various strains of Aetas, then Indonesians coming 5,000 years ago and then the Malays in droves starting of Aetas, then Indonesians coming 5,000 years ago and then the Malays in droves starting 200 years B.C. up to 1500 A.D. Trade and cultural relations with Chinese preceded the 16th century incursion of the Spaniards.

Ilocanos who already developed their own distinct traits were recorded to have migrated massively in the 19th century owing to the accessibility of the land and vast opportunities in the area straddling Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya. It was proclaimed a province by a Royal Decree and Named Isabela de Luzon on the first day of May in 1856

Isabela de Luzon was composed of old settlements that long before the arrival of Spaniards have already evolved into mature towns. The Spanish authorities carved out Isabela de Luzon from Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya. These are Angadanan (now called Alicia), BIndang (now called Roxas), Cabagan (detached from Cagayan), Calamusian (now called Reina Mercedes), Camarag (now Echague), Carig (now Santiago), Gamu, Ilagan, Palanan and Tumauini.

The modern Ilagan is an area that was detached from the old Nueva Vizcaya. The first Municipal President of Ilagan Rafael Maramag added luster to the history of his hometown Ilagan by becoming the first Governor of Isabela after its reorganization by the Americans in 1901.

Over the years, the fortunes of Isabela as a people and Ilagan as a town followed a similar path to the rest of the country’s history under the Philippines as a Commonwealth nation and as a free Republic in 1942, the Japanese Occupation, Liberation and political and military independence to this day.

Today, Ilagan covering 116,626 hectares lives its economic boom time playing a vital contributory role for Isabela acknowledged as corn and rice granary of Luzon. To the predominantly agricultural economy of Isabela, this town adds the vigor of its trade, commercial and cultural life.


Geographical Location

Ilagan is located on the central portion of the province of Isabela. It is bounded by 9 municipalities: on the north by the municipalities of Divilacan, Tumauini, and Delfin Albano; on the west by the municipality of Quirino; on the east by the municipalities of Divilacan, Palanan, and the Pacific Ocean; and on the south by the municipalities of Gamu, Naguilian, Benito Soliven and San Mariano. Ilagan is approximately 96 kilometres (60 mi) from Tuguegarao and 397 kilometres (247 mi) from Metro Manila (linked by a national highway via Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya).



Of the total 1,166.26 km2 land area of Ilagan; 31% are agricultural, 36% are forest areas and the remaining 33% are built-up areas and open grassland areas that are available for industrial, commercial and residential uses.[15] Of all cities in the country, Ilagan ranks as the top producer of corn. As an agriculture-based city, it produces ample supply of corn, rice, vegetables and legumes. Fruits like the banana are year-round products especially in the mountainous areas of the city. Ilagan also produces seasonal fruits such as mangoes and pomelo. The Cagayan Valley Research Center (CVRC) is the primary plant breeding institution in Region 02. It is located in Barangay San Felipe along National Highway. Ilagan has rich forest resources. Hectares of forest land are strictly protected by authorities like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), several NGOs and the Local Government Unit.


In the 2015 census, the population of Ilagan, was 145,568 people, [3] with a density of 120 inhabitants per square kilometre or 310 inhabitants per square mile.

The rapid increase of population in Ilagan is attributed to the current growth of economic activities specially in the sectors of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Housing. Ilagan is one of the 145 emerging cities in the Philippines with more than 100,000 residents.[20] Statistics from the Philippine Statistics Authority show that Ilagan had a population 131,24311 in 2007, which increased to 135,174 people in the 2010 census making Ilagan as the most populous city in the province of Isabela and the second in Cagayan Valley after Tuguegarao.

Ilagan’s population is predominantly Roman Catholic. The Diocese of Ilagan has 39 catholic churches all over the province of Isabela. There are also Protestants, Baptist, Church of Christ, Adventists, Born Again groups, Victory Christian Fellowship, Latter Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Islam, and Philippine-based groups like Iglesia ni Cristo and Ang Dating Daan that accounts to the city’s population. These religious organizations have their own temples and churches sparsely located in the city. Some Ilagueños were converted to Islam where their mosque is found in Barangay Baligatan.





Blue Outer Circle – The City of Ilagan is peaceful place to live in as depicted by the Royal Blue color of the background.

White Background and Lettering – Signify the transparency of the administration of Ilagan.

1686 and 2012 – The founding year of Ilagan as a Municipality(1686) and the year it was converted into a component City of Isabela(2012).

Three Blue Lines – Represents the three mighty rivers traversing Ilagan, namely the Abuan, Cagayan and Pinacanauan.

Hand Over Mountain – Symbolized the lush forest cover of Sierra Madre Mountain. The hand depicts the vow to care, protect and preserve the natural resources which is being promoted and sustained by the City of Ilagan and its people.

Carabao Horn and three Agricultural Products – The carabao is the beast of burden and considered to be the Ilagan Municipal Animal. Its horn represents the industrious and hardworking character of Ilagueños. The corn in the middle represents the City’s main industry being the Corn Capital of Luzon, the two other products: rice and tobacco.

Sun and its nine rays – The optimism of the Ilagueño people radiating as well as the virtues of hope and integrity, for just and strong leadership in all 91 barangays of the City.

Building Structure – Represents the four barangay cluster of the City: Metro Poblacion, San Antonio Region, North Eastern Region, and Western Region, which stand united towards the progress and development of the City.

Rear Gear – Impetus desire for progressive development through best practice and innovations.

Laurel Crown – Representing the numerous achievements of Ilagan and its continuous bid for excellence in all aspects of governance.

Vox Populi, Vox Dei (The Voice of the People is the Voice of God) – The latin maxim guiding the City administration in its implementation of priorities and principles, good governance and just leadership.