Land Formations in the Philippines


An island is a land formation surrounded by water. It may be flat or mountainous.

A group of islands is called an archipelago. The Philippines is an example of an archipelago. It is made up of three big groups of islands – Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

There are 10 biggest islands in the Philippines. These are the following: Luzon, Mindanao, Samar, Negros, Palawan, Panay, Mindoro, Leyte, Cebu, and Bohol.

Our country’s physical features and land formations show that we are rich in natural resources. Constant efforts should be made to protect, preserve, and develop them.


A plain is wide stretch of flat land. This is suitable for planting various crops like rice and corn. Usually, people build their homes and establish settlements with governing bodies in the plain. The widest plain is in Central Luzon. It is otherwise known as the Rice Granary of the country. In the Visayas, the plains of Panay and Negros are bountiful. In Mindanao, the wide plains are found in Cotabato, Davao, and Agusan.


A valley is flat stretch of land found between two mountains. Its area is also suitable for planting. The biggest valley in the country is the Cagayan Valley. Other notable valleys around the country are Trinidad Valley, Cotabato Valley, Agusan Valley, Aklan Valley, Antique Valley, and Zamboanga Valley.


A plateau is a flat stretch of land on top of a mountain. This suitable for tending animals as the temperature here is cool. It is also ideal for plants that do not need much water. The bid plateaus around the country are found in the Mountain Province, Benguet, Ifugao, and Kalinga-Apayao in Luzon. On the other hand, the plateaus of Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte and in Mindanao.

Mountain Ranges

The Philippines has many mountain ranges. These serve as natural barriers against the many typhoons that pass through the country. Moreover, the presence of mountain ranges enables some ethnic groups to preserve their culture. One example of this is the Ifugaos of Northern Luzon. The Cordilleras and the Caraballo that surround them hold back outside influences and interference.

The Sierra Madre, which spans from Cagayan to Quezon, is found in the north-eastern part of Luzon. It runs parallel to the Cordillera in the eastern part of Ilocos. Near the bottom of the Cordillera is the mountain of Zambales can be seen in the western part of Luzon.


A mountain is a land formation that reaches 1000 meters or more in height. There are many big and small mountains found in the Philippines. Mt. Apo in Davao is the country’s highest mountain. It is estimated to be 2,954 meters high. The second highest mountain is Mt. Pulag between Nueva Viscaya and Ifugao. The third is Mt. Halcon in Mindoro. More mountains stand in Negros and Panay. A whole range of them lies between Cotabato and Davao. (Agoncillo 1981)

Apart from logs, the mountains are also rich source of minerals. They also serve as natural barriers against strong typhoons. On the mountains, crops such as rice and other agriculture produce can be planted. An example of this are the Ifugaos’ rice terraces (payew) carved on the Banaue. These are just some of the benefits of having mountains around us.

Unfortunately, many of our mountains are denuded because of heavy logging and the slash-burn system (kaingin). But through the many programs set up by both the government and non-government organizations (NGOs), further destruction of our mountain forests will be prevented.


A volcano is a vent on the outer crust of the earth. In time, it may spew lava and fire from under the earth. One of the most impressive volcanoes in the country is the Mayon Volcano in Albay. It lands at 2,429 meters high. On the other hand, Taal Volcano in Batangas is the smallest volcano in the country. Other active colcanoes are Hibok-hibok in Camiguin, Didicas on Babuyan Island, BUlusan in SOrsogon, and Kanlaon in Negros. (Agoncillo 1981)

Although a volcano may pose a threat to its immediate environment once erupts, its presence also benefits everything around it. It is a rich source of minerals like sulphur and limestone. Aside from this, there is a number of hot springs around it that people enjoy for recreation and therapeutic purposes. It is also a vital source of geothermal energy.


A hill is a land formation that is smaller than a mountain. Chocolate Hills in Bohol is the most popular group of hills in the country. Tagbilaran City also boasts of a similar group of hills called Elly Hills. A number of hills may also be found in Quezon, Antipolo, Bulacan, and Batangas.

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