Babuyan Islands

The Babuyan Islands (/bɑːbəˈjɑːn/ bah-bə-YAHN), also known as the Babuyan Group of Islands, is an archipelago in the Philippines, located in the Luzon Strait north of the main island of Luzon and south of Taiwan via Bashi Channel to Luzon Strait. The archipelago consists of five major islands and their surrounding smaller islands. These main islands are, counterclockwise starting from northeast, Babuyan, Calayan, Dalupiri, Fuga, and Camiguin. The Babuyan Islands are separated from Luzon by the Babuyan Channel, and from the province of Batanes to the north by the Balintang Channel.

Babuyan Islands
Babuyan islands en
Babuyan Islands of Luzon Strait
Babuyan Islands is located in Philippines
Babuyan Islands
Babuyan Islands
Location within the Philippines
LocationLuzon Strait
Coordinates19°15′N 121°40′E / 19.250°N 121.667°ECoordinates: 19°15′N 121°40′E / 19.250°N 121.667°E
Adjacent bodies of water
Total islands24
Major islands
Area600 km2 (230 sq mi)[1]
RegionCagayan Valley
Population18,717 (2015)[2]
Pop. density31.4 /km2 (81.3 /sq mi)


The archipelago, comprising 24 volcanic-coralline islands, has a total area of about 596 square kilometres (230 sq mi).[1] The largest of these is Calayan with an area of 196 square kilometres (76 sq mi), while the highest peak in the island group is Mount Pangasun (1,108 metres, 3,635 ft) on Babuyan Claro.[3]


The following are the islands of Babuyan and their adjoining islets and rocks,[4] along with land areas and highest elevation:[3]

Major island Adjacent islets Area Highest elevation
Babuyan Claro
  • Pan de Azucar Island
100 km2
39 sq mi
1,108 m
3,635 ft
  • Panuitan Island
  • Wyllie Rocks
196 km2
76 sq mi
499 m
1,637 ft
  • Guinapac Rocks
  • Pamoctan Island
    (area: 0.7 km2, 0.27 sq mi
    elevation: 202 m, 663 ft)
  • Pinon Island
166 km2
64 sq mi
828 m
2,717 ft
Dalupiri Island
  • Irao Islet
50 km2
19 sq mi
297 m
974 ft
Fuga Island 70 km2
27 sq mi
208 m
682 ft
Didicas Island 0.7 km2
0.27 sq mi
244 m
801 ft
Balintang Islands


Smith Volcano 1
Smith Volcano on Babuyan Island

The eastern islands of the archipelago are part of the Luzon Volcanic Arc. Three volcanoes from two of the islands have erupted in historical times - Camiguin de Babuyanes on Camiguin Island,[5] Babuyan Claro Volcano and Smith Volcano (also known as Mount Babuyan) on Babuyan Island.[6]

Another small volcanic island located just 22 km (14 mi) NE of Camiguin Island, Didicas Volcano on Didicas Island, became a permanent island only during the activity of 1952.[7]

Flora and fauna

All of the islands within the island group are classified by Haribon Foundation and BirdLife International as key biodiversity areas, or sites with outstanding universal value due to its geographic and biologic importance. All of the islands within the island group have never been part of any large landmass, and thus have unique flora and fauna, most of which are found nowhere else. A research conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have found at least 5 faunal regions in the area, one of the highest density of separate faunal regions in the world. The islands is also home to the most critically endangered bird species in the Philippines, the Calayan rail (found only on the small island of Calayan), and the most critically endangered snake species in the Philippines, the Ross' wolf snake (found only on the small island of Dalupiri). The island group is also a congregation site for endangered humpback whales, one of the only few of its kind in Southeast Asia. Due to its immense value to the natural world and Philippine biological diversity, various scientific and conservation groups have been lobbying for its declaration as a national park and its inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Humpback whales have re-colonized into the area and the Babuyan became the only wintering ground for the species in the Philippines[8][9] although historical records among Babuyan Islands have not been confirmed.[10]


The origins of the Babuyan people date back to some 60,000+ years ago when Negrito tribes inhabited the islands, later Austonesians migrated to the islands. In the late 1580s large groups Filipinos fled the mainland when Spain began to invade the Philippines. The small islands now have a mixture of different ethnic groups. Since the early 1800s people from Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga and even Japan have settled on the group of islands. While the native people are considered Filipino they are an ethnic mix of the people from Samoa, Hawaii, Japan and Tonga that now call the islands home.


Some Babuyan people are majority polytheistic and believe in multiple gods, others practice Hinduism. In the 1940s American soldiers introduced the native people to the Christian religion and now 30% of the natives are Christian.


The whole archipelago is administered under the province of Cagayan with Babuyan, Calayan, Camiguin, and Dalupiri comprising the municipality of Calayan[11] while Fuga is under the municipality of Aparri.[12]

Babuyan and Dalupiri are themselves individual barangays in Calayan municipality, respectively named Babuyan Claro and Dalupiri, while Fuga Island is also an individual barangay, also named Fuga Island, in Aparri.


  1. ^ a b "Babuyan Islands - island group, Philippines". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  2. ^ Census of Population (2015). "Region II (Cagayan Valley)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b Genevieve Broad; Carl Oliveros. "Biodiversity and conservation priority setting in the Babuyan Islands, Philippines" (PDF). The Technical Journal of Philippine Ecosystems and Natural Resources 15 (1&2): 1-30. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  4. ^ U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (1919). "United States Coast Pilot, Philippine Islands, Part 1", pp. 41–44. Government Printing Office, Washington
  5. ^ "Camiguin de Babuyanes". Global Volcanism Program. Retrieved on 2013-04-01.
  6. ^ "Babuyan Claro". Global Volcanism Program. Retrieved on 2013-04-01.
  7. ^ "Didicas". Global Volcanism Program. Retrieved on 2013-04-01.
  8. ^ The BALYENA.ORG. humpback whale research in the babuyan islands – research, education and conservation. Retrieved on December 25. 2014
  9. ^ The Center for Rural Empowerment and the Environment. Humpback Whales – Philippines – Babuyan Islands humpback whales project. Retrieved on December 25, 2014
  10. ^ Acebes V.M.J., 2009, A history of Whaling in Philippines, Historical Perspectives of Fisheries Exploitation in the Indo-Pacific, Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University
  11. ^ "Calayan" Archived 2014-07-12 at the Wayback Machine. Official Website of the Provincial Government of Cagayan. Retrieved on 2013-04-01.
  12. ^ "Aparri". Official Website of the Provincial Government of Cagayan. Retrieved on 2013-04-01.

External links

Babuyan Island

Babuyan Island (sometimes called Babuyan Claro) is the highest and northernmost island in the Babuyan Islands in Luzon Strait north of Luzon Island in the Philippines and also directly south of Taiwan via Bashi Channel to Luzon Strait. The whole island makes up the barangay of Babuyan Claro, that constitute the municipality of Calayan in Cagayan province. The volcanic island has a population of 1,423 as of the 2010 Census.

Balintang Channel

The Balintang Channel ( BAH-lin-tahng) is the small waterway that separates the Batanes and Babuyan Islands, both of which belong to the Philippines, in the Luzon Strait.


Barit (historically Bari) is a small, wooded, privately owned island in northern Cagayan, Philippines. It is part of the municipality of Aparri.

Calayan, Cagayan

Calayan, officially the Municipality of Calayan, is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Cagayan, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 16,702 people.It is located in the Luzon Strait north of Luzon Island and south of Taiwan via Bashi Channel to Luzon Strait. The town is composed of four of the five major islands of the Babuyan Islands namely: Calayan, Camiguin, Dalupiri and Babuyan Island. Calayan Island is the largest of the Babuyan Islands. Fuga Island, the fifth island within the Babuyan Islands, is part of Aparri municipality. Calayan is home to the Calayan rail, a flightless bird identified as a separate species in 2004 and endemic to Calayan Island.

Calayan rail

The Calayan rail (Gallirallus calayanensis) is a flightless bird of the rail, moorhen, and coot family (Rallidae) that inhabits Calayan Island in the Philippines. Though well-known to natives of the island as the "piding", it was first observed by ornithologist Carmela Española in May 2004 and the discovery was officially announced on August 16, 2004. The formal description as a species new to science appeared in the journal Forktail (Allen et al. 2004).

The Calayan rail is one of the 20 known extant flightless rails. It is small and dark brown, with a distinctive orange-red bill and legs, and utters loud, harsh calls. Its habitat seems to be restricted to forests on coralline limestone areas on Calayan and extends to a total of less than 100 km². Biologists estimate that there may be 200 pairs on the island.

The Calayan rail's genus, Gallirallus, includes many species of Southwest Pacific islands, of which the most familiar in the English-speaking world is the weka of New Zealand. Its species name was derived from the name of the island.

It has been classified as an endangered species.

Camiguin de Babuyanes

Camiguin de Babuyanes is an active stratovolcano on Camiguin Island, part of the Babuyan Islands group that is located in Luzon Strait, north of the island of Luzon, in the Philippines. The volcano and the island is within the jurisdiction of the municipality of Calayan, in the province of Cagayan.

Dalupiri Island (Cagayan)

Dalupiri Island is an island in the Babuyan Islands in Luzon Strait north of Luzon Island in the Philippines. The whole island makes up the barangay of Dalupiri, which is part of the municipality of Calayan in Cagayan province, which had 606 inhabitants in 2007.

The island can reached by boat from the Port of Aparri.

Didicas Volcano

Didicas Volcano is an active volcanic island in the province of Cagayan in northern Philippines. The island, which was a submarine volcano and re-emerged from the sea in 1952, is 22 kilometres (14 mi) NE of Camiguin Island, one of the Babuyan Islands in Luzon Strait. Before 1952, the volcano first breached the ocean surface in 1857.

Fuga Island

Fuga Island is an island north of Luzon, part of the Babuyan Archipelago, which is the second-northernmost island group of the Philippines. It has an area of 70 square kilometres (27 sq mi) and a population of 2,015 persons. The principal settlement is Naguilian (Musa) village on the southern coast. The highest peak is Mount Nanguringan in the northeast, with an elevation of 191 metres (627 ft).Along with the neighbouring islets of Barit (7 square kilometres (2.7 sq mi)) and Mabag, it constitutes one of 42 barangays of the municipality of Aparri, Cagayan. It is the only island of the Babuyan Archipelago under the jurisdiction of a mainland municipality, whereas all other islands form the municipality of Calayan.

The island still retains a traditional culture, a manifestation of which is the annual construction of a small straw imitation boat that is floated out to sea. The tradition began in 1656 when the island was almost invaded by British ships, prompting islanders to make a similar replica of a boat, thus preventing the island's annexation by Great Britain.

Presently, Fuga Island is owned by Fuga Island Holdings. It was formerly owned by the Dominican Order under the encomienda system during the Spanish period eventually returned to the Filipinos after the signing of The Treaty of Paris. Former owners were Sycip Family, Alfonso Lim, Tan Yu and now Fuga Island Holdings of the Serafica Family. The first land title was issued in 1908 under Original Certificate Title number two (2). The government of the Philippines, in recognition of the development of this private land declared by national legislation that Fuga Island and its surrounding mainland port facilities be designated an economic zone as part of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone (CEZA) and Freeport under Republic Act No. 7922.

Geography of the Philippines

The Philippines is an archipelago that comprises over 7,000 islands with a total land area of 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 sq mi). It is the world's 5th largest island country. The eleven largest islands contain 95% of the total land area. The largest of these islands is Luzon at about 105,000 square kilometers (40,541 sq mi). The next largest island is Mindanao at about 95,000 square kilometers (36,680 sq mi). The archipelago is around 800 kilometers (500 mi) from the Asian mainland and is located between Taiwan and Borneo.

The Philippine archipelago is divided into three island groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The Luzon islands include Luzon itself, Palawan, Mindoro, Marinduque, Masbate, Romblon, Catanduanes, Batanes and Polilio. The Visayas is the group of islands in the central Philippines, the largest of which are: Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Samar, Siquijor, Biliran and Guimaras. The Mindanao islands include Mindanao itself, Dinagat, Siargao, Camiguin, Samal, plus the Sulu Archipelago, composed primarily of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.

List of island cities and municipalities in the Philippines

This is a list of cities and municipalities in the Philippines that are located on islands with no land borders with other local government units.


Almagro, Samar

Anda, Pangasinan (Cabarruyan Island)

Balabac, Palawan (Balabac and Bugsuk Islands)

Banguingui, Sulu (Tongkil Islands)

Banton, Romblon

Biri, Northern Samar


Calayan, Cagayan (Babuyan Islands)

Caluya, Antique

Capul, Northern Samar

Concepcion, Romblon (Maestro de Campo Island)

Corcuera, Romblon (Simara Island)

Cordova, Cebu (Cordoba Island and Olango Islands)


Daram, Samar

Hadji Panglima Tahil, Sulu (Marungas Islands)

Itbayat, Batanes

Jomalig, Quezon

Kalayaan, Palawan

Lapu-Lapu, Cebu (Mactan Island and Olango Islands)

Limasawa, Southern Leyte


Lugus, Sulu

Mapun, Tawi-Tawi (Cagayan de Sulu Island)


Pandami, Sulu (Lapac Island)

Pangutaran, Sulu

Pata, Sulu

Patnanungan, Quezon

Pilar, Cebu (Ponson Island)

President Carlos P. Garcia, Bohol (Lapinig Island)

Rapu-rapu, Albay (Rapu-rapu and Batan Island)

Romblon, Romblon

Sabtang, Batanes

Samal, Davao del Norte

San Antonio, Northern Samar (Dalupiri Island)

San Francisco, Cebu (Pacijan and Tulang Island)

San Jose, Romblon (Carabao Island)

San Vicente, Northern Samar (Naranjo Islands)

Santo Niño, Samar

Sapa-Sapa, Tawi-Tawi

Sarangani, Davao del Sur (Sarangani and Balut Islands)

Siasi, Sulu

Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi

Simunul, Tawi-Tawi

Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi

Socorro, Surigao del Norte (Bucas Grande Island)

South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi

Tagapul-an, Samar

Tapul, Sulu

Tingloy, Batangas (Maricaban Island)

Turtle Islands, Tawi-Tawi

Zumarraga, Samar

List of potentially active volcanoes in the Philippines

This is a list of potentially active volcanoes in the Philippines, as classified by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

Luzon Strait

The Luzon Strait (Filipino: Kipot ng Luzon) is the strait between Taiwan and Luzon island of the Philippines. The strait thereby connects the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea in the western Pacific Ocean.This body of water is an important strait for shipping and communications. Many ships from the Americas use this route to go to important East Asian ports. Many submarine communications cables pass through the Luzon Strait. These cables provide important data and telephony services to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.

Lycodon alcalai

Lycodon alcalai, also known as Alcala's wolf snake, is a species of colubrid snake found on the islands of Batan and Sabtang in the Philippines.

Lycodon bibonius

Lycodon bibonius, also known as Ota's wolf snake, is a species of colubrid snake found on the islands of Camiguin Norte and Babuyan Claro in the Philippines.

Lycodon chrysoprateros

Lycodon chrysoprateros, also known as Ross' wolf snake, is a species of colubrid snake found on the island of Dalupiri in the Philippines.

Ryukyu flying fox

The Ryukyu flying fox or Ryukyu fruit bat (Pteropus dasymallus) is a species of megabat in the family Pteropodidae. It is found in Japan, Taiwan, and the Batanes and Babuyan Islands of the Philippines. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical swamps. It is threatened by habitat loss and by hunting for food and the IUCN classify it as "Vulnerable".

Smith Volcano

Smith Volcano, also known as Mount Babuyan, is a cinder cone on Babuyan Island, the northernmost of the Babuyan group of islands on Luzon Strait, north of the main island of Luzon in the Philippines. The mountain is one of the active volcanoes in the Philippines, which last erupted in 1924.

The volcano is politically located in the Municipality of Calayan, Cagayan province, the town that has jurisdiction over the Babuyan Islands except Fuga Island.


A turban (from Persian دولبند‌, dulband; via Middle French turbant) is a type of headwear based on cloth winding. Featuring many variations, it is worn as customary headwear by people of various cultures. Communities with prominent turban-wearing traditions can be found in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

A keski is a type of turban - a long piece of cloth roughly half the length of a traditional "single turban", but not cut and sewn to make a double-width "Double Turban" (or Double Patti).Wearing turbans is common among Sikhs, including women. The headgear also serves as a religious observance, including among Shia Muslims, who regard turban-wearing as Sunnah Mu'akkadah (confirmed tradition).The turban is also the traditional headdress of Sufi scholars. Additionally, turbans have often been worn by nobility, regardless of religious background. They are also sometimes donned to protect hair or as a headwrap for women following cancer treatments.


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