Using multistage, stratified sampling procedure, a total of 1,140 households were surveyed in 12 provinces in Luzon and Visayas with high cattle population density to determine functional relationships between the types of cattle raised and the agroecological and socioeconomic setting of smallholder farms in Luzon and Visayas, Philippines. Agroecological and socioeconomic characterization was done using participatory rural appraisal, focused group discussion and use of structured questionnaire. The productive performance of the animals was elicited from the farmers. Descriptive and categorical data analysis was used in interpreting the results. The results show functional relationships between the level of cattle productivity in smallholder farms .and the agroecological and socioeconomic variables. The intended purpose and function of the animal and the availability of feed resources primarily influences the type of cattle raised, and therefore the breeding objectives and selection criteria used by the farmers. Market access and availability of quality feeds were the main determinants of increased cattle productivity in smallholder cattle farms. The findings of the study suggest that smallholder farmers judiciously select the type of cattle raised given a resource-constrained environment towards the sustainability of their livelihoods among others. The implications of the results of this study were discussed.