The Sierra Madre is the longest mountain range in the Philippines traversing the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Quezon. It is known as the “backbone of Luzon” as it stretches along the eastern coast of Luzon like a spine, keeping the country upright.
The Philippines is located beside the Pacific Ocean, which generates the greatest number of tropical storms and even, sometimes, the most powerful storms which are called super typhoons. Because of this, the country is visited by an average of 20 typhoons every year. Fortunately, this 1.4 million hectare mountain range, which represents 40% of the country’s forest cover, shields us from any typhoons.
Sierra Madre as a protective barrier
It acts as a natural barrier against the onslaught of typhoons and storm surges that visit our country every year. At 500 kilometers long, this mountain range is the greatest hope of surviving the Philippines’ many natural calamities. It was one of the factors that weakens the typhoon because a storm weakens after a land interaction. Though it doesn’t really stop the typhoons on their way, it reduces their power and absorbs the worst of it. Because of the rugged terrain of Sierra Madre, a typhoon’s strength naturally decreases when it hits the mountain range.
Sierra Madre as a home
This backbone of Luzon is home to nearly 20 protected areas and forests, including the La Mesa Watershed Reservation and the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscapes. Another reason for this large mountain range’s biological importance is not only its intact forest, but also its megadiversity. It is also home to hundreds of wildlife and exotic species such as the Philippine eagle and golden-crowned flying fox. Aside from being home to exotic animals, it is also a home to many indigenous people that live there.
So you see how important the Sierra Madre Mountain Range are? We may be unaware of this, but it’s been protecting us countless times from the destructive effects of typhoons. Not only does it save us, but it also acts as a home for wild animals and indigenous people. If it weren’t for Sierra Madre, the Philippines would have been devastated already.
Every word Kyla writes is an honest reflection of who she really is. She has a bookshelf in her heart and a typewriter in her head. She's expressive but she prefers to let her thoughts bleed through her pen.