Mountains and Valleys of Luzon, Philippines
Luzon is the largest and most economically and politically important island in the Philippines and one of the three island groups in the country. As an island group, it includes the island of Luzon itself, plus the Batanes and Babuyan groups of islands to the north, and the main and outlying islands of Catanduanes, Marinduque, Masbate, Romblon, and Mindoro in the south.
Luzon’s area is 104,688 square kilometers, making it the world’s 15th largest island. It is the fifth most populous island in the world. Located on Luzon are the country’s capital, Manila, and its most populous city, Quezon City.
To the west of Luzon island is the South China Sea (Luzon Sea in Philippine territorial waters), to the east is the Philippine Sea, and to the north is Luzon Strait containing Babuyan Channel and Balintang Channel.
The main part of the island is roughly rectangular in shape and has the long Bicol Peninsula protruding to the southeast. The northern part of the island contains the largest mountain range in the country, the Cordillera Central, where Mount Pulag, the second highest mountain in the country at 2,922 meters, is located.
To the east of the Cordillera Central is the large Cagayan Valley. To the east of the valley rises the Sierra Madre mountain range, easily the longest range in the country, which snakes southwards into the central and southern part of the island. Between it and the Zambales Mountains to the west is the largest plain, the Central Luzon plain. This plain, approximately 11,000 km² in size, is the country’s largest producer of rice.
The largest lake in the country, and also the largest inland lake in Southeast Asia, the Laguna de Bay (Old Spanish, Lake of Bay town). Its size and green waters make it easily identifiable towards the southern part of the island.