The Ilocanos

Notable People in Isabela


Isabela is the biggest province in the Cagayan Valley Region. From being a noble and simple province, it is now one of the premier provinces of the north. Recently, it has been dubbed as the “Rice Granary of the North” after being recognized as the Most Outstanding Province in Food Security in Gawad Sapat Ani Awards in the year 2000.


The province of Isabela also serves as the home for the famous Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park; a protected seascape and landscape of exceptional biodiversity. Another main attraction in this humble province is the Magat Dam. It provides water for irrigation to the whole province and also provides hydroelectric power to the country. Its reservoir also caters to aquaculture and fish cultivation (particularly tilapia production).


Generally, the province of Isabela is inhabited by Ilocanos. According to historians, a new huge wave of immigration came to Isabela during the 19th and 20th century. It was the Ilocanos who came in large numbers to the province and now constitute the largest group in the province. Other ethnicities in the province include Ibanag, Tagalog, Gaddang, Paranan and Yogad.


Although Isabela did not play a major role in the revolt against Spain, the province gave birth to some of Philippines’ most notable personalities. Below are some of Isabela’s pride:


Gilbert Teodoro – Teodoro is the former secretary of the national defense of the republic of the Philippines. He was also a Presidential Candidate in the 2010 elections.


Jejomar Binay – He is the former Makati City Mayor now Vice President of the Philippines (2010-present).


Ruthlane Uy Asmundson – Currently holds Mayoral seat of Davis, California, USA.


Faustino Dy Jr. – Currently is the chairperson of Nationalist People’s Coalition or NPC.


Ebe Dancel – Dancel is better known as the former front man in the band Sugarfree. He is now a solo artist.


Phil Villas – A famous rap Battle MC and founder of the hiphop record label “Homemade music Ent.”


Marlene Aguilar Pollard – She is a well-known writer, author and publisher. She has received many international awards.


Maria Luisa de Asis Gonzales – She is a former model & Beauty Queen (1985). Gonzales also won 2nd place in the Maja-Internacional as well as Best in National Costume.


Benjamin Gayla Lucas – He has been awarded Most Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Philippines 1998.


Mark Clemence Telan – Telan is an infamous PBA Player.


Rogemar Menor – Menor is another famous PBA Player.


Heherson Alvarez – He holds seat in the Philippine Senate.


Edgardo “Boy” Vinarao – He is a famous film Editor and Movie director. Vinarao is from Eschague, Isabela.


Freddie Aguilar – Freddie Aguilar is a highly acclaimed and multi-awarded singer/ composer. He is recognized worldwide for the song “Anak”.


Ricky Calimag – He is another well known PBA player.


Cynthia Baculi-Condez – (Cauayan, Isabela) – She is a recipient of the prestigious Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.

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Ilocos Norte
Maui 4th of July 2012