Luzon – the Largest Island of the Philippines
Luzon is the largest island of the Philippines and the most important in terms of political and commercial influence and development. It is one of the three islands, along with Visayas and Mindanao that compound the country. Luzon is though a small archipelago within the large one; it also includes several smaller islands: The homonym island, the Batanes, Babuyan islets, the islands of Catanduanes, Marinduque, Masbate, Romblon, and Mindoro. It covers a total area of 105,000 sq kilometres, which makes it the 15th largest island in the world. Manila, the capital city of the Philippines is located on this island.
The name of the island was always the same, with a few spelling differences, as it was written Lucon or Luconia in the past. The name took its current form during the Spanish ruling, although at first the Spaniards referred to it as New Castile.
The official language spoken in Luzon is of course the Filipino and Tagalog, although there are regional languages spoken as well, especially in the smaller islands of the archipelago. Some of them are the Ilocano, Kapampangan, Bicol, and Pangasinense, while most residents speak English quite well. The official religion here is also Catholicism, with the Roman Church featuring the biggest and most temples and places of worship in the area. However, due to the many cultures and ethnicities living on the islands there are other religions practiced as well, including Islamism and Buddhism.
Luzon itself is a very touristic island, mostly due to the capital city of Manila. There are several accommodation options for the tourists who travel here and the variety is impressively big, satisfying all tastes, needs and budgets. Luzon boasts a quite vivid everyday life and bustling nightlife as well. Many westerners also live and work there and have opened restaurants and bars that cater European and American flavours.