Cagayan is a province of the Philippines in the Cagayan Valley region in Luzon. Its capital is Tuguegarao City and is located at the northeastern corner of the island of Luzon. Cagayan also includes the Babuyan Islands to the north. The province borders Ilocos Norte and Apayao to the west, and Kalinga and Isabela to the south. Cagayan province is distinct from the city in Mindanao named Cagayan de Oro, and is far away from Cagayan Islands of Palawan.
Present day chroniclers say that the name was derived from the word “tagay,” a kind of plant that grows abundantly in the northern part of the province. Thus, “Catagayan” which means a place where the tagay grows abundantly was shortened to “Cagayan,” the present name of the province.
Aside from Ilocanos and Ibanags, Malauegs, Itawits, Gaddangs, groups of nomadic Aetas, as well as families of Ibatans who have assimilated into the Ibanag-Ilocano culture make Cagayan their home. More recently, a new group from the south, the Muslim Filipinos, have migrated to this province and have made a community for themselves. In addition to this, Tagalog-speaking people from the Southern Luzon have also settled in the area. Because of this influence from other majority groups like the Ilocano from the west and the Tagalog from the south, the smaller ethnic groups living in the valley could potentially go extinct.
The province comprises an aggregate land area of 9,002.70 square kilometers, which constitutes three percent of the total land area of the country, making it the second largest province in the region.
On June 29, 1583, Juan de Salcedo traced the northern coastline of Luzon and set foot on the Massi (Pamplona), Tular, and Aparri areas. The Spanish friars soon established mission posts in Camalaniugan and Lal-lo, which became the seat of Nueva Segovia established on August 14, 1595. The Spanish influence can still be seen in the massive churches and other buildings that the Spaniards built for the spiritual and social welfare of the people.
With the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1898, ending the Spanish-American War, America took over the Philippines and enriched the culture, most notably in agriculture and education as well as in public works and communications. At the close of the 18th century, there were 29 municipalities in the province of Cagayan. When the Philippines came under American sovereignty in 1902, 35 municipalities have been founded. Since then, however, on account of the tendency at centralization and shifting of population as a result of the opening of roads and public agricultural lands, only 29 municipalities now remain.
Founded in 1942, the Japanese Imperial forces entered in Cagayan.
In 1945, Liberated to the defenders of the United States & the Philippine Commonwealth troops together with the local guerrillas taked in Cagayan by the attack from the Japanese troops during the liberated in Cagayan from the Battle of Cagayan Valley during the Second World War.