Saturday, June 22, 2013

The province that is open for all to explore: ABRA

Abra is the Spanish word for “open”

I have always pictured Abra as some dangerous place for a town and city hopper like me. Whenever I hear Abra in the news, it was always about private armies, lawless elements, political feuds, and other unsavory news items. I was so fortunate to learn later that Abra is not what the mainstream media pictures it to be. That “later” happened just last week, June 15, 2013, when I finally decided to visit the province.

After my masteral class last Friday, June 14, I immediately went to Dominion Bus Terminal in Cubao and bought a ticket for the last trip to Bangued, Abra. The ticket cost around Php 540.00 and the bus left the terminal at 9:10 (even though the schedule says it will leave at 9:30PM). And the long trip started.

I was able to sleep during the trip and woke up just when we were already in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, minutes away from Abra. By 6:00am, we already reached the famous Tangadan Tunnel, the tunnel that also serves as the gateway to Abra.



Tangadan Tunnel is the only access road to the province coming from the western part. One cannot reach Abra without passing through this famous tunnel. Seeing the tunnel was a pleasant experience to me. It has given me chills and made me excited again because I will again be entering a place foreign to me, without having any idea what might happen when I'm already there.

At the right side before entering Tangadan Tunnel, a park dedicated to Gabriela Silang can be seen. The park’s central attraction is Gabriela Silang’s monument, surrounded by different plants and palms.



*Before finally leaving Abra that afternoon, I will be back in Tangadan Tunnel and Gabriela Silang Park to visit them personally because just viewing them through the bus’s window is not enough for me.

As we continue entering Abra, I can’t help but smile while thinking that Abra is definitely welcoming me with arms wide open. I didn’t find a trace of any unsettling incidents and foreboding climate (literally and figuratively) while we are going nearer and nearer to the province’s capital. Alerted and excited, I cleaned my face with my towel, straightened my clothes, brushed my hair and got ready for a whole day Abra townhopping… :)

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The first town I have visited is the capital, Bangued. The town has 2 worth visiting church, the cathedral and the Campo Santo church. The provincial capitol and the Bangued municipal hall is just a road away from each other. You can also find the Ancestral House of Quintin Paredes some blocks away, at the back of the provincial capitol, near the tricycle terminal to Tayum.

From Bangued, I visited Bucay next, the old capital of Abra before Bangued. One can see the facade of the old Casa Real or the old provincial capitol of Abra near the new municipal hall of the town.

From Bucay, I went back to Bangued to be able to get a tricycle which can bring me to Tayum. The Tayum Town Church is another gem of the Abra province when it comes to historical and beautiful edifices. Near the Tayum Church is the town hall and a well-designed town plaza.

From Tayum, I got another tricycle which brought me to the next town : Lagangilang. I visited the town hall where an old Aglipayan Church stands at the back. Two american-era houses also stand near the town hall. The last one I visited in this town is the Lagangilang Church, one of the 3 still standing and utilized Spanish churches of Abra, found at the next barangay from Poblacion.

From Lagangilang, I got into a jeepney which brought me to Bangued again. From there, I rode another tricycle which then brought me to Pidigan, the town where Gabriela Silang supposedly was born. The Pidigan Brick Church is still standing but another church was built beside it because the old church can't be used for masses anymore. Just some steps away from the church is a monument built in honor of Gabriela Silang.

From Pidigan, I rode another jeep to visit the Tangadan Tunnel. I stayed for almost 20 minutes in Gabriela Carino Silang Park, taking shots of Tangadan Tunnel and Gabriela Silang Monument in different angles and enjoying the mountain air. 





























When I finally felt it's time to go, I flagged down an aircon bus to Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur, and finally ended my historical and cultural townhopping in Abra. That tour changed my perception of Abra forever. 

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

The Abran Capital : Bangued
Bangued's Twin Town: Tayum
Abra's American-era town: Lagangilang

15 comments :

  1. Nice! maganda din pala sa Abra brod. Mapuntahan nga din yan next year hopefully :)

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    1. Yup... Bangued and Tayum are the most worth-visiting. :)

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  2. Gusto kong maging female counterpart ng San Josenong Gala. someday. haha. congrats, ganda ng Abra! ikaw na!

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    1. Hahaha... Magagawa mo rin Anj... Uy, sa October, punta tayo Palawan... Nabitin ako eh... Punta tayo Taytay at El Nido (ulit)... :)

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  3. I enjoyed reading your blog bestmel, professional blogger ang dating. First time kong magbasa ng blog mo, mukhang kailangan kong basahin yung iba. Nice one bro.

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    1. Salamat bestfrank... Keep on visiting, there are many more to come... hehehe...

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  4. Nice one sir kakaiba na talaga pag may alam.. Sama mo naman kami minsan sa mga adventures mo.

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    1. Oo ba tol... daming magagandang lugar sa Pilipinas. Minsan, gala tayo sama-sama...

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  5. There are lot of nice things in Abra. Not all are bad as the press is figuring, and more to be explore. Hope. more abrenios specially those are outside the country may come and visit of our lovely Province. Thank you San Josenyong Gala

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    1. Thanks din po ma'am/sir! And youa are right there, Abrenios should realize the beauty of their own province... :)

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  6. I feel the cold ambiance in Abra. :)
    - Juven Jimenez

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  7. Kuya, ang lola ko po, ang nanay ni mommy ay ipinanganak po sa Abra, at dahil dito na po nagpamilya si lola at lolo, we never had a chance to went in Abra.... Sayang po, ang ganda po pala dyan!!

    - Djeriel R. Estrella

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  8. I wanna pass through Tangadan tunnel! feels cold.
    - Juven Jimenez

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