Abra is landlocked province and is bordered by the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Apayao, Mountain Province, and Kalinga.
This province is not known to be among the popular tourist trails unlike its neighboring provinces. But adventure, history, and pure-class countryside await those who choose to take its roads.
I was excited to see what's in it when I went there last year. The trip was part of a week-long Luzon roadtrip with Anchi.
From Ilocos Norte, we have entered Abra when we passed through Tangadan Tunnel. From there it was a few minutes ride through a treacherous mountainside road. The view was stunning as the soft afternoon sun follows our direction. The road was clear with only a few vehicles passing us by.
Then I saw the marker "Welcome to Bangued."
The plan was to take a short walk along the important spots in the town -- hoping to see the plaza, church,capitol building, municipal building. I was also hoping to stay a bit longer to just observe the locals.
I did get to see the spots. But my walk was abruptly cut when I saw a large group of military men roaming the city proper. There was a sense of heightened alert at the time I was there and one of the locals told me to leave Bangued before it gets dark.
The people there know the place better than I do so we made a quick exit heading back to Ilocos Sur. Security was still the priority.
Here's a bit of what I saw in this elusive and less-traveled province.
1. Passing throughTangadan Tunnel marks our entrance to Abra.
2. Winding through a rugged mountainside road, it only took a few minutes before we reached Bangued, the capital town.
3. This is Bangued cathedral.
4. The municipal building is a few steps away from the provincial capitol building.
5. Victoria Park is a great place to go to get a bird's eye view of Bangued. You may opt to rent a trike to get there.
6. On our way back to Ilocos Sur, we stopped by to check out the park and the monument in honor of Gabriela Silang. It's located right near the entrance of Tangadan Tunnel.
Gabriela is a local heroine who, alongside her husband Diego Silang, rallied people to fight the Spanish colonizers. When Diego was killed, she fled to Abra and used her uncle’s home as her headquarters. The house is still maintained by her descendants, and is now the Casa Museum Carino and Gabriela Silang Art Gallery.