Geographical Location

The Municipality of Marcos is located in the Southeastern part of the Province of Ilocos Norte in Region I approximately lying 12° 45’ to 120° 50’ longitude and 18°05’ to 18° 07’ latitude. It is bounded on the north by the Municipality of Dingras; on the South by the Municipality of Nueva Era and the Province of Abra; on the Southwest by the Municipality of Banna (Espiritu); on the east by the Province of Apayao; and on the west by the Municipality of Sarrat.

The town’s relative distance from Laoag City (Capital of Ilocos Norte) is about 31.5 kms. from San Fernando City, La Union (Regional Capital) is 270 kms. from Metro Manila (National Capital),519.5 kilometers.

Land Area and Political Subdivision

Base on the initial map prepared by the DENR Regional Office No. I, the approximate area of the Municipality of Marcos per CAD-575-D, was only 6,685.85 hectares. Added to this are the estimated 15,361.1 hectares surveyed under Case 17, Cad-712-D, Nueva Era Cadastre. Although still the subject of a boundary dispute, the Land Management Bureau, DENR, San Fernando City, La Union, reported on September 8,1998 that the disputed area is under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Marcos pursuant to the boundaries stipulated in Rep. Act No. 3753, the law creating the Municipality of Marcos.

Barangay Subdivision

There are thirteen (13) Barangay representing the Municipality’s political subdivision. They were classified under urban and rural areas and are subdivided into smaller groups called Sitios. One (1) Barangay belongs to the urban Barangay with an area of 498 has. representing 2.199% of the total land area; while the twelve (12) Barangay are the rural areas constituting an aggregate area of 22,140.075 hectares covering 97.801% of the total land area. It will be noted that Barangay Cacafean claims the biggest share of the municipal area with as much as 64.78%, in contrast with urban Barangay Lydia’s 2.199%. The smallest area in rural Barangay is Valdez with 1.066% of the total.

Topography and Slope

The Municipality of Marcos is traversed by the Padsan River in the South, while it is bounded by the Burnay River on the Northeast, and the west by Bongo River. It is predominantly mountainous particularly in the eastern portion with a  highest elevation of 1,482 meters above sea level. The lowlands are in Barangay Pacifico, Escoda, Tabucbuc and Santiago which are rolling hills with a slope of 0-8 percent. There is a gradual elevation eastward in Barangays Elizabeth and Ferdinand from 8-18 percent rolling to moderately sloping, then 18-50 percent (Slightly steep to very hilly); and then over 50 percent (very steep and mountainous) in the easternmost portion of Barangay Cacafean. In the western part of the locality, particularly of Barangays Mabuti, Lydia, Imelda and Fortuna, slope intermittently rises to 0-8% to 18-50 and above.


The town has two (2) pronounced seasons, just like any other town of the province. The dry season is from November to April, and May to October as the wet season. The rainfall distribution has a minimally estimated average of 300 millimeters annually. The average temperature is about 27.25°C with the warmest period between the month of March to May and with December to February are the coldest months.


Flat lands or plains are mostly found in the low level areas devoted for agricultural and settlement sites. These sites are intermittently found at the Poblacion Area, with an elevation of 49 meters above sea level stretching and extending up to Brgy. Cacafean, the farthest barangay, which has an elevation of 288 meters above sea level. 

The vast expanse of plains or leveled areas with an elevation of 49 meters above sea level are found in Brgy. Mabuti and surrounded by mountains ranging from about 200 meters to 330 meters above sea level. The highest level is located in Brgy. Imelda with an elevation of 440 meters above sea level.

Mountain ranges are generally below 500 meters in the Western half portion of the Municipality; towering to generally more than 1,000 meters at the Northeastern and middle portions near the boundaries with the Municipalities of Dingras and Nueva Era. The summit or highest elevation is found in the farthest east or peripheral area of Brgy. Cacafean with an elevation of 1,482 meters above sea level.

Ground Water Resources

Two (2) rivers namely Burnay River and Padsan River traverse the Municipality. These provide water irrigation to farmlands and also serve as natural drainage of the Municipality.

Several creeks drain the west and eastern portion of the Municipality. The water coming from the rivers and creeks drain westward towards the South China Sea. During dry season, the water tide usually becomes lower and some creeks dry up.

Bedrock Formation

The rock formation in the western part of Marcos is categorized as alluvium; a deposit (such as sand or mud) transported and lay down by flowing water in riverbeds and flood plains. On the other hand, the stratified formations in the eastern portion are a sequence of shales, siltone, wackes and minor conglomerate volcano-clastics and basic lava; and intrusive rocks consisting of diorite, trondhemite and localized gabbo facies which include the 21 hectares mining claim in Sitio Cabaruan, Barangay Cacafean. Although not included in the Ecological Profile for Ilocos Norte, there are metallic mineral deposits of copper and ore located along the Padsan River and Burnay River.


Marcos has nine (9) types of soil namely: Mt. soil, Bantog Clay, Maligaya Silty Clay Loam, San Fernando Clay loam, Bantay Clay, Faraon Clay Loam, River Wash, Umingan Loam and Cervantes Clay Loam.