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Luzon

Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name of one of the three primary island groups in the country centred on the island (the other two being the Visayas and Mindanao). Luzon as an island group includes Luzon proper, the Batanes and Babuyan groups of islands to the north, and the outlying islands of Catanduanes, Marinduque, Masbate, Romblon, and Mindoro.[3] Luzon is the economic and political center of the Philippines, being home to the country's capital city, Manila.

History
Luzon was once split among Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms, Muslim principalities, and ethnoreligious tribes, who had trading connections with Borneo, Malaya, Java, Indochina, India, Okinawa, Japan and China before the Spanish established their rule. From just before the first millennium, the Tagalog and Kapampangan peoples of south and central Luzon had established several Indianized kingdoms, notably among them those of Tundok, Namayan and Maynila. The Laguna Copperplate Inscription, the first Philippine document written in 900AD, names places in and around Manila Bay as well as Medan in Indonesia. These kingdoms were based on leases between village rulers (Datu) and landlords (Lakan) or Rajahs, to whom tributes and taxes were levied. These kingdoms were coastal thalassocracies based on trade with neighboring Asian political entities at that time. According to sources at the time, the trade in large native Rusun-tsukuri (literally Luzon made in Japanese) clay jars used for storing green tea and rice wine with Japan flourished in the 12th century, and local Tagalog and Kapampangan potters had marked each jar with Baybayin letters denoting the particular urn used and the locale the jars were manufactured in. Of this flourishing trade, the Burnay jars of Ilocos are the only large clay jar manufactured in Luzon today with origins from this time.

Language
Almost all of the languages of Luzon belong to the Borneo?Philippines group of the Malayo-Polynesian language branch of the Austronesian language family. Major regional languages include: Tagalog, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Bicol, and Pangasinense. English is also used by many inhabitants. Spain ruled the Philippines for 333 years. Spanish was the language of Philippine Revolution, and the 1899 Malolos Constitution proclaimed it as the official language. However, its use declined following the American occupation of the Philippines, it is still used by the elderly members of some families of great tradition (Rizal, Liboro...)

Religion
The major religion present in the island is Christianity, the Roman Catholic Church being the major denomination. Other sects include Protestantism, the Philippine Independent Church, and Iglesia ni Cristo. Indigenous traditions and rituals are also present. There are also sizable communities of Buddhists and Muslims in Metro Manila due to the migration of Moros and Chinese.

Territory
Luzon's area is 104,688 square kilometers, making it the world's 17th largest island. It is the fifth most populated island in the world. Located on Luzon are the country's capital, Manila, and its most populated city, Quezon City. The island is very mountainous and is home to Mount Pulag, the third highest mountain in the country and Mount Pinatubo, Mayon, and Taal Volcano, Luzon's most famous volcanoes. To the west of Luzon island is the South China Sea (Luzon Sea in Philippine territorial waters), to the east is the Philippine Sea, and to the north is Luzon Strait containing Babuyan Channel and Balintang Channel.

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