Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Abran Capital : Bangued

( This post is part of my Abra Townhopping last June 15, 2013)

I arrived at Bangued at around 6:30 am. I was relieved the very first time I laid eyes on the Abran capital because it looks just like any other peaceful and commercially alive towns I have seen. There are no presence of uniformed police or soldiers roaming the area (I know this might be a bit paranoid for me to think… J) or any other sinister presence indicating that Abra is not a peaceful place.

The very first thing that I did was withdraw some cash for my town hopping that day, and looking for an ATM proved very easy. Actually, and I am admitting it, I thought that Bangued will look like a very laidback area where presence of bank will be scarce. I was wrong, and I am happy I was wrong.

Bangued town proper follows the Spanish way of town planning where the church, town plaza and town hall are systematically arranged near each other, with the addition of the Abra Capitol owing to Bangued being the province’s capital.

I visited the Bangued Cathedral first. The cathedral is strategically located facing the Bangued town plaza and the Abra provincial hall. It has a tall belfry and its fa├žade (and actually the whole cathedral) is painted white, perhaps to signify purity… J

Just beside the Cathedral is the St. James Rectory.

After I was satisfied from taking many shot of the cathedral at different angles, I decided I have to move on to the next, the provincial capitol and the Bangued Municipal Hall. As it still is very early that time, many people can be seen jogging around the area.

In front of Abra Capitol is a whiteboard bearing the words "ABRA Week for Peace, PEACE COVENANT", with many signatures, I am assuming, of many politicians. I think this covenant worked because there were no reports on election related violence about Abra during the 2013 midterm elections.

Just across the road, on the right side is the Bangued Municipal Hall.

After taking some pictures, I get into a tricycle and told the driver to bring me to the Campo Santo brick church better known as the San Lorenzo Chapel.  One can just walk to the chapel from the town proper but I opted to take the tricycle so that I can save time and energy to go to other towns. I asked the driver to just wait for me to take me back to the town center while taking pictures of the brick-laden Campo Santo Church.


On the way back to the town proper, I saw Abra High School’s Old Gate and also took a picture of it. The gate was donated by Class 1927! I just don’t know when the gate was built but it was old looking enough to pique my curiosity.

After that, I told the tricycle driver to bring me to the terminal where I can ride another tricycle to Bucay, the old capital of Abra. I gave the driver 30 pesos for the ride (regular fare is 10 pesos, another 10 pesos going back). Later that morning, I will be back to Bangued for more Bangued walking tour.


The driver who brought me to Bucay also brought me back to Bangued. He is kind enough to even bring me to Six Cousin’s famous mamihan, way past their terminal. I gave him 190 for the ride. The regular fare from Bangued to Bucay is 50 pesos, and another 50 pesos from Bucay back to Bangued but that is if you are willing to wait for other passengers. Since I was alone, I contracted his service for 150 but has to give him tip for his willingness to wait.

Six Cousin’s Mamihan is a brick house ruins turned to mamihan. Their mami has thick orange soup with a very distinct, delicious taste.


Just beside Six Cousins, a road away, is another restaurant which serves Sinanglawan. The same restaurant was also once a brick house, now turned restaurant. I continued walking and I saw many other red brick house ruins around the capital. This is unfortunate because if those houses were saved and preserved, Bangued proper could have also been a heritage village.

The only brick house that I saw which is perfectly preserved is the Quintin Paredes Ancestral House which is actually now not a brick house because it was already renovated and plastered though some parts of the original walls were left uncovered with plaster  for the visitor’s to see.


It was already about 9:00 when I decided I should proceed to the next two towns, Tayum, known for its Town Church which is one of the Philippines’ declared cultural properties; and Lagangilang for its Spanish-era (but now renovated) Church.


To know more about my Abra tour, you may visit the following posts (some to be posted later):

The province that is open for all to explore: ABRA
The Old Abran Capital: Bucay
Abra's American-era Town : Lagangilang
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About the Author

I am ROMEL RAFOR JAIME, the man behind San Josenyong Gala. My travel blogger name came about because I am a proud resident of the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. In real life, I am a licensed librarian who works in a college in Gapan, Nueva Ecija as a librarian and teaches general education subjects from time to time. My goal is to visit all the 81 provinces of the Philippines before visiting other countries. As of 2017, I have already visited 73... :)


  1. these buildings stand as witness of our advancing civilization, as everything became so modern, their quaintness became so romantic we can't help but ... wow! Beautiful shots :)

  2. this sort of thing i wanted to see when i visit philippines even my husband wants to see things like this. it brings back memories of the old days and somehow gives you a nice good feleing!

  3. oh the ruins look like really ruined, but hopefully it can be revived and preserve whatever is left so that it could be another heritage village, i especially love the chapel. it is a very inspiring picture of a structure from long time ago that seemed to be standing elegantly with pure depth of character.

  4. I like these rustic structures. You pictures do justice with the beauty.

  5. Great place to explore specially for people who like visiting old churches. You got me curious about Sinanglawan.

  6. The place is so rich in culture and history. Great photos!

  7. That's a very nice province to visit. I didn't know that there are beautiful spots to see there. By the way I was destructed by the flags in front of Abra Provincial Hall and Quintin Paredes Ancestral House. It looks like the French Flag.

  8. I always mistook Bangued from Benguet. So nice to visit this great place up north. Ilokano rin ba dialect nila or Ibanag

  9. a friend of mine in college lives in Abra...I can not find her on social networking sites and I am planning to one day visit Abra just to see her..thank you for the awesome virtual tour...your shots are great :)

  10. I memorized the name of this when we studied the Philippine map during my freshmen year in HS :)

  11. I have the same misconception with Papaleng hehehe. Anyway, the place is really good roaming around a vintage place will probably gave you a reminiscing feeling too. Just a thought, :) comparing you to myself lang hehehe.

  12. Abra is very rich in history! Would love to see the beautiful place someday. Thanks for sharing, at least for now I got to enjoy your virtual tour.

  13. I've never visited Abra before. I didn't know that it's a beautiful place to visit pala. Wish I can bring my friends there someday.

  14. Does entry to the Paredes ancestral home not allowed? Thank you.