Luzon

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Luzon Largest island of the Philippines, occupying the n part of the group; the main cities are Quezon City and the nation's capital, Manila. Luzon accounts for about one-third of the land mass of the Philippines and more than 50% of its population. The coastal areas are generally mountainous, the highest peak being Mount Pulog at 2928m (9606ft). The fertile central plain is a major rice-producing region. The indigenous Igorots also farm rice on the steep mountain terraces. The Bicol peninsula in the se has many coconut plantations. Luzon has important mineral deposits, such as gold, chromite and copper. Manila Bay is one of the world's finest natural harbours and has been the landing point for countless invasions. Luzon has been at the epicentre of Philippine nationalism, leading revolts first against Spanish rule in 1896, and then against US rule in 1899. In 1941, the Japanese invaded the island. US forces staged a last desperate stand on Bataan peninsula in 1942. In 1945, the US finally expelled the Japanese. Several US bases remain on the island. Area: 104,688sq km (40,420sq mi). Pop. (2000) 31,017,217.