The name Abra has been in existence some years after the discovery of the Philippines by the Spaniards. But, it was only recognized as a province in 1846 when it was separated from Ilocos Sur for the sake of its economic progress.
During the American occupation, however, it was back to being a sub-province and finally stood on its own in 1917.
When the Japanese occupied the country in 1942, Abra was not spared. It was later liberated by local forces, including Cordillera guerrillas at the end of the Second World War in 1945 during the Battle of Abra.
Abra was known as the Natural Dye Capital of the Philippines, Abra is blessed with an abundance of plants that yield dye for food, beverages, textiles, cosmetics, furniture, and pharmaceutical products.
Top Landmark & Tourist Spots
Abra has numerous rivers, falls, hot springs and caves all over and a few parks, too. There are also churches and rice terraces worth visiting. Listed here are but a few of them.
St. Catalina de Alejandria Parish Church or Tayum Church
St. Catalina de Alejandria Parish Church or Tayum Church, is probably the oldest church in the province. It was constructed in the 1800s by Augustinians in honor of the saint named, the patron saint of the Tayum. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) recognized it Natural Cultural Treasure for its significance and distinctive Baroque architecture. Worth noting is the use of burnay motif on the churchs façade. Burnay, is a jar used to ferment bagoong, or fish paste and sugarcane vinegar and basi or wine. It is native in the region and dates back to 1500s.
Lusuac Spring is a refreshing to swim in but also said to be therapeutic. Its located at Barangay Poblacion, Lagayan. There are other springs in the province like Borokibok Spring in Bucay. If you like hot springs, try Mapaso Hot Spring, said to be in a volcanic bowl in Danglas.
Cassamata Hill National Park/Victoria Park
Cassamata Hill National Park/Victoria Park. You can say Victoria Park is a park within a park as it is located in Bangued, Victoria Park is at the highest point of Cassamata Hill National Park. Locals say it is the best spot to watch the sunset and offers a view of the downtown area, Abra River and the Sleeping Beauty Mountain.
Libtec Underground River and Crystal Cave
Libtec Underground River and Crystal Cave. It sure is worthwhile to visit Dolores to see the underground river and awesome stalagmites inside the cave.
Mt. Pusuey National Park
Mt. Pusuey is a mainstay in most town legends near it. This huge greenery in the town of Boliney, known for its rich biodiversity, is a haven for mountain lovers. Make sure to contact the local government if you intend to climb it.
Sayoyong Rice Terraces
Sayoyong Rice Terraces. You will find these rice terraces in the town of Tubo near Utip River. There are other rice terraces worth checking out like Bucloc which is in a river valley, Salagpat in Tineg and Sallapadan named after the town its in.
Lobot Eco-Park, Sinublan and Falls
Lobot Eco-Park, Sinublan and Falls. Located in San Juan, Lobot Eco-Park is a watershed park with lots of waterfalls around it. Two of these are Sinublan Falls and Sinminublan Falls. The former has three parallel drops and the latter has crystalline rock formation and a rainforest around it.