Abra

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Explore Abra and Its Pristine Beauty

The towering mountains and sweeping plains of Abra

Abra is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Its capital is Bangued, and it borders Ilocos Norte and Apayao on the north, Ilocos Sur and Mountain Province on the south, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur on the west, and Kalinga, and Apayao on the east.

Abra is hemmed in by the towering mountain ranges of the Ilocos in the west and the Cordillera Central in the east. It has an extremely rugged terrain, with mountains and hills rising along its perimeter and interior. The plains are drained by the Abra River, which flows northward from Mt. Data in the Mountain Province.

Agriculture is the main source of economy in the province followed by trade and industry.

History

The first inhabitants of Abra were the ancestors of the Bontocs and the Ifugaos. These inhabitants eventually left to settle in the old Mountain Province. Other early inhabitants were the Tingguians, or Itnegs, as they are also known. The Ilocos came to trade with the Tingguians but eventually they saw the province to be very good so they invaded and the tinguians were forced to go to the mountains.

In 1598 a Spanish garrison was established in Bangued to protect the Ilocanos who converted to Christianity from Tingguian raids. During the British Occupation of the Philippines, Gabriela Silang and her army fled to Abra from Ilocos and continued the revolt begun by her slain husband, Diego Silang. She was captured and hung by the Spanish in 1763.

In 1818 the Ilocos region, including Abra, was divided into Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. In 1846 Abra was created as a political-military province with Lepanto as a sub-province. It remained so until the arrival of the Americans in 1899.

In 1908 the Philippine Commission once again annexed Abra to Ilocos Sur in an attempt to resolve Abra's financial difficulties, but on March 9, 1917, the Philippine Assembly re-established Abra as a province.

In 1942, the Japanese forces occupied the Philippines and entered Abra.

The local military general headquarters of the Philippine Commonwealth Army was active on 1942 to 1946, the Philippine Constabulary was found active from 1944 to 1946 and the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines-Northern Luzon or USAFIP-NL was active again from 1942 to 1946 and military stationed in the province of Abra during the Japanese Occupation and the Allied Liberation.

In 1945, the liberation of Abra in Northern Luzon by the Philippine Commonwealth forces and the local Cordilleran guerrillas against the Japanese happened during the Battle of Abra at the end of the Second World War.

The revolutionary Marxist priest, Conrado Balweg, who fought for the rights of the Cordillera tribes, began his crusade in Abra. After successfully negotiating a peace accord with Balweg's group in 1987, the Philippine Government created the Cordillera Administrative Region, which includes Abra.

Provincial Tourism

The province of Abra is a fast growing tourist destination in the Philippines and one will surely enjoy discovering the unspoiled beauty of the province. It also offers many tourist attractions that only nature can give. At the end of your visit, you will find the tour well worth it after experiencing the province's unique attractions.

HISTORICAL Attractions

Casa Real

  • A facade of the first provincial capitol of Abra, located at Bucay, Abra.

Grabriela Silang Monument

  • Gabriela Silang, popularly known as the "Joan of Arc" of the Ilocos, led the Ilocanos' resistance against the Spaniards in 1763, after her husband Diego Silang was treacherously shot on May 28, of the same year. Today, her monument stands at the town plaza of Pidigan to remind every one of the gallant stand and the ideals she and her husband fought and died for.

CULTURAL Attractions

Pinaing (Sacred Stones)

  • Found in Dumayco, Penarrubia, 6.62 kilometers from Bangued. In the hollow of a huge Balete Tree are found sacred stones called pinpinaing by the village people which symbolizes the anito (spirits) of their ancestors.

DonTeodoro Brillantes Family Museum

  • A private museum which houses the collections and mementos of the Brillantes family with a strong reflection of Spanish culture.

Old Roman Catholic Churches

  • The churches are among the traces of the cultural heritage left by the Spanish colonizers. These are found in the municipalities of Bangued, Tayum, and Lagangilang. In Lagangilang, the church is not located in the town plaza unlike the churches in Bangued and Tayum where the churches are located near the town plazas and the municipal halls.

NATURAL Attractions

Abra River

  • This is the biggest, longest and most popular river among the numerous rivers criss-crossing the valleys of the province. It is where all rivers and streams converge together. This is an ideal place for swimming and fishing.

Boliney Hot Spring

  • Located at Bani, Boliney, Abra. It can be reached by jeepneys after travelling 32 kilometers of dirt road. The place is ideal for swimmers who love taking a bath in hot and cold water. Aside from its hot spring, the locality offers a vivid experience in mountain travel with a winding road cruise alongside and between mountain ranges.

Tugot ni Angalo

  • Translated as "Footprints of Angalo" - the Adam in Abra mythology) - It is found in Kabaruyan, San Quintin. The "footprint" is a perpetual monument of Angalo. People claim this is a real giant's footprint in San Quintin, around fifteen meters long, five meters wide and ten feet deep. On a clear day, it can be seen visibly even from a distance.

Libtec Underground River

  • An enchanting underground river located in Barangay Libtec, Dolores. At a distance, one can see a cave protruding at the surface of a seemingly empty field. But underneath the surface, a flowing underground river mirrors the jutting stalagmites, giving one a sense of wonder. Residents in the area claim the place is home to some "mysterious" water creatures.

Kimkimay Lake

  • This is one of the several lakes of the province located at Taquib, Villaviciosa. It covers an approximate area of one hectare amidst hills bordering barangays Taquib and Callao, both in Villaviciosa. KimkimayLake, according to legend carried by word of mouth, was formerly a dwelling where several families lived. These families were however engaged in many vices so they were punished by the gods by sinking their community, submerging it in cool water. Today, the lake is a favorite place for town picnickers using the lake as a swimming pool and a place for fishing. This place can be reached from Bangued travelling along a 32-kilometer winding Penarrubia-Villaviciosa- Pilar Road.

Kennon Road

  • Means of transportation is by jeepneys and mini-buses with a travel time of one hour.

Sibud-sibud Cave

  • This is located along the newly-constructed road of Tineg. It can be reached after traveling a distance of around 33 kilometers with a traveling time of 1-1/2 hours. It is an ideal place for nature lovers.

Limbo Lake

  • This is the second lake located at Villaviciosa. Though not as popular as the KimkimayLake, it offers an ideal place for campers and hikers for it cannot be reached by jeepneys and buses. The distance to travel is however negligible.

MAN_MADE Attractions

Don Mariano Marcos Bridge

  • Located along the Abra Kalinga National Road which is the third longest bridge in the country today with a total length of 886.812 linear meters. Said bridge is strategically located between the boundaries of Tayum, Lagangilang and Dolores at one scenic portion of AbraRiver.

Tangadan Tunnel

  • This is a forty meter tunnel located along the Abra- Ilocos Sur National road. It can be reached from Narvacan Junction after cruising a winding 9-kilometer road cut through the hills bordering Abra and Ilocos Sur. The tunnel is a popular benchmark to most of the provinces' populace as well as to visitors where dignitaries and other prominent visitors are welcomed.

Lusuac Dam

  • This is the gravity irrigation dam located at Lagayan. It can be reached by traveling along the Abra-Ilocos Norte Road and the La Paz-Lagayan Provincial Road. Traveling time takes one to one and half hours. This is an ideal place for fishing and swimming with its clear waters.

Victoria National Park

  • This is located atop a hill overlooking the town of Bangued and neighboring municipalities of Tayum, La Paz, Pidigan and Penarrubia. A shrine of the blessed mother cradling the Infant Jesus was built near the reservoir of Bangued waterworks. A swimming pool is also available for swimmers.

Borikibok Resort

  • This is located at San Miguel, Bucay, and Abra. It can be reached after traveling the winding 16 kilometers of road.

Penarrubia-Bucay Road

  • It offers a cool, shady and cozy ground for picnic-lovers with its heart-shaped swimming pool, dancing conference square located under the shady atmosphere of trees.

Brima Resort

  • This is located in Penarrubia, Abra with a traveling distance of seven and a half kilometers along asphalt and partly gravel road. The resort boasts of a swimming pool under shades of mango trees. Thus, the place is ideal for swimmers who love cool water and a cozy atmosphere.

Malamsit Calm Spring

  • This is one of the first resorts developed by a private citizen and is located in the historic lowland Tingguian town of Penarrubia. It offers a shady swimming pool with clear and calm water amidst ornamental plants and shady fruit trees. This place is accessible by land transportation using jeepneys, mini-buses and chartered tricycles through seven kilometers. of gravel road.

Manabo Irrigation Project

  • This is a P6 million project which was jointly undertaken by the Miserdor, an association of German Catholics, the Bavarian Ministry of Agriculture and the people of Manabo. This is an ideal place for students to visit with its Roman-inspired aqueducts, a spacious swimming pool and one kilometer tunnel. The Manabo Irrigation Project is a monument that shows the undying cooperation of the local folks with agencies, private or public, in pursuit of a better quality of life. The project site can be reached by mini-buses and jeepneys after leisurely cruising along a winding 32-kilometer gravel road. The tunnel and swimming pool is 4 kilometers away from the town proper of Manabo.

Palayan ng Bayan

  • This is a vast tract of barren land converted into an agricultural land when the Palayan ng Bayan program was launched in the province in 1974 as a sister program of the Masagana '99 program. The site covers a sprawling 56 hectares atop a hill.

Abra River Irrigation Project

  • A project of the church in Abra and the National Irrigation Administration designed to irrigate approximately 3,900 hectares of farmland in the municipalities of Tayum, Bangued, Pidigan and Penarrubia. This project enables the people of the said municipalities to harvest crops twice a year.

Provincial Capitol

  • This is a three-storey building situated north of Bangued Town Plaza and northwest of Bangued Municipal Hall. Its cool atmosphere provided by the trees surrounding the building is a suitable place for government officials and employees to perform their functions as servants of Abrenians. It is in this building where tourists gather data and information about the province. Beside it is the Provincial Library, which provides additional knowledge and information through textbooks, newspapers, magazines and other reading materials. Landscape in front of the Capitol and Provincial Library buildings enhance the panoramic view.

Mary Barbero Park

  • This is the town plaza of the municipality of Tayum, which is located 5.6 kilometers northeast of Bangued. It boasts of a man-made lagoon and a playground for children, not to mention the century-old acacia trees surrounding the landscaped plaza. This park was named in honor of Mrs. Mary V. Barbero, the wife of the late Deputy Minister Carmelo Z. Barbero.

Malanas Dam

  • This is a gravity irrigation dam located at San Juan, Abra. It taps the water resources of the Malanas River, irrigating a sizable portion of the ricefields of San Juan. It can be reached by riding a mini bus traveling along Bangued-Dolores-San Juan Provincial Road, which is asphalted. Travelling time is thirty minutes to one hour with a traveling distance of around .6 kilometers.

Accommodations

Here is the list of hotels and restaurants that can be found in Abra Province particularly in the town of Bangued, the capital of Abra.

  • King David Palace Hotel - Capitulacion St., Bangued
  • Abtemco - Bangued, abra 
  • Marysol Pension - Taft St., Bangued
  • Oval Era Hostel - Victoria Park, Bangued
  • Diocesan Pastoral Center - Taft St., Bangued Lodging House
  • Tingguian Lodge Complex - Calaba, Abra
  • Villa Soraji - Bangued, Abra (Resort)
  • Sunrise Shell Service Center  - Torrijos St., Bangued, Abra

Restaurants

  • A & A Hotel and Restaurant - Bangued, Abra
  • Bene Disco - Bangued, Abra
  • Budget Food Center - Bangued, Abra
  • BWD Ihaw-Ihaw sa Poolside - Bangued, Abra
  • Gallera Moderna - Bangued, Abra
  • Jaruji's Restaurant - Bangued, Abra
  • Jaysid Canteen - Bangued, Abra
  • Jj Kitchenette - Bangued, Abra
  • Jolly Baby Restaurant - Bangued, Abra
  • Kamayan Rest - Bangued, Abra
  • Marysol Hotel and Restaurant - Bangued, Abra
  • Pobet Tofer Snack Center - Bangued, Abra
  • Princess Restaurant - Bangued, Abra

Accessibility

Tourists can be reached the province of Abra via its capital city - Bangued. There are a number of bus lines in Manila that have daily trips going to Bangued.

Here is the list of bus lines that ply routes to Bangued.

  • Partas Bus Lines
  • Dominion Bus Lines
  • Philippine Rabbit
  • Sambrano Bus Lines
  • Viron Bus Lines
  • BBL Transit
  • Esonice Bus Lines