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Luzon Island is the largest island in the Philippines. Also known as simply Luzon. Today, divided into five regions and many provinces. The largest city and national capital is Manila (City of Manila). Borders the South China Sea to the west and the Philippine Sea to the east. To the south is the Verde Island Passage and beyond Mindoro. To the southeast is Samar. To the south is the Sibuyan Sea. To the north is the Batanes Island Group (Batanes Islands) in the Luzon Strait and beyond Taiwan (Formosa).
During the 14th century, Luzon was part of the Hindu Majapahit Empire. Around 1485, invaded by the Sultan Bolkiah and became a part of the Sultanate of Brunei and was part of the the Islamic Kingdom of Maynila as a puppet state ruled by Rajah Sulayman.
In 1570, Spanish explorers Martín de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo were ordered by Miguel López de Legazpi in Cebu to explore Luzon and became the first Europeans to reach Manila. The Spanish immediately had disagreements with the native population after several months of warfare to defeat them and then negotiated peace with the Muslim leaders. On June 24, 1571 Legazpi declared Manila to be the new capital of the Spanish colony that was recognized by King Philip II of Spain.
At the start of the Pacific War on December 8, 1941 Japanese aircraft attacked targets on Luzon including Camp John Hay near Baugio and Clark Field. On December 22, 1941 the Japanese made an amphibious landing at Lingayen Gulf and advanced southward pushing back the defending American and Filipino forces. On December 24, 1941 the Japanese Army 16th Division (Moriota) made amphibious landings at Mauban, Atimonan and Stain.
Retreating, American and Filipino forces withdrew to the Bataan Peninsula and defended until the the surrender by U. S. Army General Jonathan Wainwright on May 6, 1942 at Mariveles. Afterwards, the Japanese occupied Luzon. By 1944 until early 1945, Luzon was within range of U. S. Navy (USN) carrier aircraft and U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) bombers and fighter.
On January 9, 1945 American forces landed at Lingayen Gulf and began the liberation of Luzon advancing southward to liberate Manila while most Japanese forces withdrew into the mountains to the north. During February 1945, The Battle of Manila was urban combat between entrenched Japanese defenders often using civilians as shields against the liberating U. S. Army.
Until the end of the Pacific War and the official surrender of Japan, combat continued on Luzon as U. S. Army soldiers and Filipino guerillias continued to advance against Imperial Japanese Army troops defending the mountainous area of northern Luzon.
Luzon is divided into five regions with thirty province plus the National Capital Region (NCR) including the national capital of Manila (City of Manila) plus sixteen surrounding cities and municipalities.
National Capital Region (NCR) national capital of Manila plus sixteen surrounding cities and municipalities.
Region I (Ilocos Region)
Ilocos Norte Province located at the northwest tip of Luzon.
Ilocos Sur Province borders Lingayen Gulf to the west includes Vigan.
La Union Province borders Lingayen Gulf to the west includes San Fernando, Damortis and Agoo.
Pangasinan Province borders Lingayen Gulf to the north American landings January 9, 1945.
Region II (Cagayan Valley)
Batanes Province includes the Batanes Island Group to the north of Luzon.
Cagayan Province located in the Cagayan Valley.
Isabela Province mountainous province in the Cagayan Valley.
Nueva Vizcaya Province located in the Cagayan Valley includes Balete Pass.
Quirino Province located in the Cagayan Valley.
Region III (Central Luzon)
Aurora Province borders the eastern coast of Luzon
Bataan Province includes the Bataan Peninsula in western central Luzon
Bulacan Province located in central Luzon to the north of Manila
Nueva Ecija Province located in central Luzon to the northeast of Manila
Pampanga Province located in central Luzon includes Clark Field
Tarlac Province located in central Luzon including Tarlac, San Manuel and other
Zambales Province located in central Luzon including San Marcelino, Iba, Subic Bay and Olongapo
Calabarzon Region (Southern Tagalog Mainland, formally Region IV-A)
Cavite Province borders the southern edge of Manila Bay including Corregidor, Caballo, Carabao and El Fraile.
Laguna Province located in southern Luzon borders Lake Taal.
Batangas Province located in southern Luzon to the north of Mindoro Island.
Rizal Province located in southern Luzonborders Laguna de Bay.
Quezon Province province south of Manila Ba to the north of Mindoro Island.
Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
Abra Province located in northern Luzon bordering Ilocos Norte to the west
Apayao Province located in northern Luzon bordering Ilocos Norte to the west and Cagayan to the east
Benguet Province located in northern Luzon including Baguio
Ifugao Province located in northern Luzon where Japanese retreated
Kalinga Province located in northern Luzon bordering Cagayan to the northeast
Mountain Province located in northern Luzon in the Cordillera Mountains.
Region V (Bicol Region)
Camarines Sur Province located in southeastern Luzon including Lamon Bay Japanese landing Dec 24, 1941
Albay Province located in southeastern Luzon
Sorsogon Province located at the in southeast tip of Luzon
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