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Uncover the Beauty of Abra, One Municipality at a Time
Bordered by the mountain ranges of the Ilocos on the west and the Cordillera in the east, Abra is bounded on the north by Ilocos Norte and by Ilocos Sur and Mountain Province on the south. Towards its east is Kalinga and the Province of Apayao on the west. Straddling the Ilocandia and the Cordillera, this landlocked province is a fusion of the lowland people of dominant Spanish ancestry and the unique ethnicity of the upland Itneg tribe.
Enveloped by mountains, Abra has kept its natural surroundings raw, and life goes on at a relaxed pace. Abra is the largest province in the Cordillera in terms of land area. It has the largest number of municipalities (27) and barangays (303) among the six provinces of the region. Each municipality teems with impressive natural and cultural resources.
Let’s unfold its #Abramazing beauty!
Bangued, the capital municipality of Abra, is generally mountainous. It is flat and rolling at the midsection. In the east is Casamata Hill, which has a spectacular view of the Abra Valley and Bullagao, Bangued’s towering backdrop.
Geographically, the municipality of Boliney is hilly and mountainous with all of its 8 barangays situated along the Ikmin River. The residents are a mixture of 3 distinct tribes namely: the Masadiit Tribe, the Balatok Tribe, and the Oplai Tribe.
Bucay was Abra’s capital for 13 years, from 1846 to 1861. The Casa Real facade serves as evidence of its rich history. Bucay is dotted with moderately rolling hills. It is bounded by secondary mountain ranges and by two rivers – the Baay and the Ikmin Rivers.
Bucloc, 51 km away from Bangued, is sandwiched between the municipalities of Daguioman on the east, Boliney on the south, Sallapadan on the north and Boliney-Sallapadan on the west. It is predominantly mountainous with valleys and creeks.
Daguioman is characterized by generally rugged mountains. Located at the foothills of the Cordillera Central Range, it is home to the Banao tribe.
The terrain of Danglas is extremely rugged with rolling hills, narrow flat surfaces and numerous brooks and creeks. It is home to the Il-laud tribe.
Compared to other municipalities, Dolores is not so hilly and mountainous. Valleys are mostly located along the banks of the Abra and the Malanas-Tineg Rivers.
Located in the northern part of the province, west of the historical Abra River, La Paz is 14 km away from Bangued. The municipality’s main source of livelihood is agriculture with palay as the main crop. Other industries include bamboo crafts and loom weaving.
Lacub, which means “surrounded” in the local dialect is home to the Binongan, Adasen and Mabaka sub-tribes of the Itneg. They were forged into the Binongan River Valley many centuries ago by the peace pact, intermarriages, traditions and aspirations.
Lagangilang derived its name from the combination of the words “ilang-ilang” and “lagam”. Ilang-ilang is a tree whose flowers emit a distinct sweet smell. Lagam was the brave warrior leader who led his tribe in protecting the community from raids.
Lagayan was derived from the words “laga” (to weave) and “karayan” (river). The place appears to be where the network of river systems have converged (naglalaga ti karayan). Combining “laga” and the last syllable of “karayan”, formed “laga-yan”.
Langiden is characterized by hilly and mountainous terrain, crisscrossed by rivers and creeks. Bullagao, also known as Sleeping Beauty, is the most popular among its mountains, with a peak of 1,092 meters.
Located 52 km east of the capital Bangued, Licuan-Baay is accessible via the Abra-Kalinga Road. Licuan and Baay are formerly two separate districts with the national highway as their boundary.
The name Luba was derived from the first syllables of the words Lulluno-Barit, its original name. It’s home to the Maeng tribe that came from the adjoining town of Tubo.
The mountain town of Malibcong is home to the tribes of Mabaka, Banao and Gubang. It is the source of five river systems and location of some of the province’s tallest peaks like Manmanok.
Manabo has earned the designation of “rice granary of Abra” after the completion of the 1 km irrigation tunnel, allowing the Ikmin river of Boliney to flow to Sitio Gasagnaya, Ayyeng, Manabo and to 2,000 ha of ricelands.
With six km distance, Peñarrubia is the nearest Itneg town to Bangued. The spring, where Bangued’s water supply comes from, is found here.
In 1945, Pidigan was made the temporary seat of the Provincial Government of Abra. The house of Ex-Mayor Jeremias Bringas was used as the Provincial Capitol with Atty. Zacarias Crispin as Military Governor.
The proximity of Pilar to the province of Ilocos Sur is the reason why it is predominantly inhabited by Ilocanos. Known for growing tobacco, Pilar generated P427.766 M excise tax from Virginia cigarettes in 2016 second to Candon City.
Sallapadan was the first Tingguian settlement organized under the American Regime in the highlands of Abra. It is accessible by two roads: the Bucay-Manabo Road and the Bucay-Lagangilang Road.
San Isidro was called Cagutungan and was part of Pilar before it became a separate municipality on April 10, 1950.
San Juan is found at the northern side of the province, adjacent to Tineg. The municipality’s hilly mountainous ranges, arable plains and valleys are crisscrossed by the Malanas and Tineg Rivers.
For a long time, San Quintin served as the sole gateway of the province through the historic Tangadan tunnel. It’s also the home of Abra’s Tabungaw Hatmaker, a National Living Treasure, Teofilo Garcia.
Tayum is five km east of capital Bangued. The town’s Santa Catalina de Alejandria Parish Church, a 19th-century Baroque church, was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines in 2001.
Tineg is at the northernmost part of Abra. It is populated by Tinguians of Banao, Binongan, Mabaca and Adasen tribes. The municipality’s terrain is ruggedly surrounded by mountains with elevations ranging from 480 m to 1,504 masl.
Tubo is the ancestral domain of the Maeng tribe. Its mountainous terrain is composed of rugged elevations and narrow valleys where four major rivers stream namely, Abra River, Damalin, Dilong and Utip.
Villaviciosa is found at the southwestern periphery of Abra, the Pilar-Cagutongan area. It is inhabited by a mix of Tingguian and Ilokano.
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Tips For Planning Your Next Abramazing Trip
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Top ABRAmazing Sites to Watch Out for in 2020
1. Ar-arbis Falls and River Tubing, Baybayatin, Lagayan, Abra
The scenic Palsuguan River offers a thrilling experience. Hike up to Ar-arbis falls, Abra’s curtain falls and tube down the river on your way back.
2. Apao Rolling Hills, Brgy Apao, Tineg, Abra
A scenic view that never gets old. A little trek through these hills will give you many viewpoints which are perfect for your photography session.
3. Mt. Pugao, Collago, Lagayan, Abra
At 1359 masl, Mt.Pugao will give the adventure seekers enough challenge and an Abramazing view at the top.
ABRAmazing Photo Gallery