|Province of Abra|
|Region||Cordillera Administrative Region|
|Founded||10 March 1917|
|Capital and Largest Municipality||Bangued|
|• Governor||Dominic B. Valera (NUP/ASENSO)|
|• Vice Governor||Maria Jocelyn V. Bernos (NUP/ASENSO)|
|• Legislature||Abra Provincial Board|
|• Total||4,165.25 km2 (1,608.21 sq mi)|
|• Rank||29th out of 81|
|Highest elevation||2,467 m (8,094 ft)|
|• Rank||68th out of 81|
|• Density||60/km2 (160/sq mi)|
|• Rank||80th out of 81|
|• Independent cities||0|
|• Component cities||0|
|• Districts||Legislative districts of Abra|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (PHT)|
|IDD : area code||+63 (0)74|
|ISO 3166 code||PH-ABR|
Abra, officially the Province of Abra (Ilocano: Probinsia ti Abra; Tagalog: Lalawigan ng Abra), is a 3rd class province in the Cordillera Administrative Region of the Philippines. Its capital is the municipality of Bangued. It is bordered by Ilocos Norte on the northwest, Apayao on the northeast, Kalinga on the mid-east, Mountain Province on the southeast, and Ilocos Sur on the southwest.
Abra is from the Spanish word abre meaning gorge, pass, breach or opening. It was first used by the Spaniards to denote the region above the Banaoang Gap where the Abra River exits into the West Philippine Sea, thus the Rio Grande de Abra.
The first inhabitants of Abra were the ancestors of the Bontocs and the Ifugaos. These inhabitants eventually left to settle in the old Mountain Province. Other early inhabitants were the Tingguians or Itnegs.
In 1585 the Tingguians were mentioned for the first time in a letter from Father Domingo de Salazar to the King of Spain.
In 1598 Bangued was occupied by Spanish-Iloko forces. The Spanish established a garrison to protect their missionaries from head hunters so that they could Christianize the Tingguians and locate gold mines.
Bangued was under the care of the Spanish missions in Vigan and Bantay. Fr. Esteban Marin and Fr. Agustin Minon established a mission in Bangued as early as 1598. On April 5, 1612 Fr. Pedro Columbo became the first minister. It would seem that this actuation of the Augustinians was precipitated by the Dominican take-over of the ministry of Narvacan. The Dominicans wanted to convert Narvacan as a mission center to evangelize the other parts of Abra. To check this Dominican move, the Augustinians elevated Bangued as a ministry.
Fr. Juan Pareja OSA, a former parish priest in Bantay, led the conversion of the province. Fr. Pareja came to Abra in 1626. He is reported to have converted as many as 3,000 inhabitants including the chieftain Miguel Dumaual. Fr. Pareja founded the mission of San Diego and later the ministry of Bangued. He established the following towns as visitas of Bangued: Tayum, Sabangan and Bukao (now Dolores). Inspired by Fr. Juan Pareja these towns battled almost daily against the rancherias of Palang, Talamuy, Bataan, Kabulao, Kalauag, and Langiden.
Fr. Jose Polanco OP contributed to the conversion Abra. A man of austere mortification, died in Abra in 1679. He was considered a saint by the locals.
Fr. Bernardino Lago OSA arrived in the early 19th century. In 1823 Fr. Lago began work in Pidigan. After 25 years the Christians there numbered about a thousand "baptized, living in community, with schools, church and municipal house, tilling the earth to support themselves and their children." Fr. Lago also founded the town of La Paz. Fr. Galende enumerates the foundation of the other towns of Abra:
Originally the area was called El Abra de Vigan ("The Opening of Vigan"). During the British Occupation of the Philippines Gabriela Silang and her army fled to Abra from Ilocos and continued the revolt begun by her slain husband Diego Silang. She was captured and hanged by the Spanish in 1763.
In 1818 the Ilocos region was divided into Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. On October 9, 1846 Abra became an independent province with the capital and residence of the provincial governor located in Bucay. In 1863 the capital was transferred to Bangued, the province's oldest town. It remained so until the arrival of the Americans in 1899.
In 1908 the Philippine Commission annexed Abra into Ilocos Sur in an attempt to resolve Abra's financial difficulties. On March 9, 1917 the Philippine Assembly re-established Abra as a province under Act 2683.
In 1942 Japanese forces occupied the Philippines and seized Abra.[further explanation needed]
Abra was liberated by the Philippine Commonwealth forces and local Cordilleran guerrillas during the Battle of Abra in 1945 at the end of the Second World War.[further explanation needed]
The revolutionary Marxist priest Conrado Balweg, who fought for the rights of the Cordillera tribes, began his crusade in Abra. After successfully negotiating a peace accord with Balweg's group in 1987 the Philippine government created the Cordillera Administrative Region, which includes Abra. On July 27, 2022, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake, jolted the province. Eleven people died (at least seven of them were from Abra) and more than 600 were injured. A magnitude 6.4 aftershock three months later injured more than 100 people and caused additional damage.
Abra is situated in the mid-western section of the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. It is bordered by the provinces of Ilocos Norte on the northwest, Apayao on the northeast, Kalinga on the mid-east, Mountain Province on the southeast and Ilocos Sur on the southwest. Abra has a total land area of 4,165.25 square kilometres or 1,608.21 square miles.
The province is bordered by the towering mountain ranges of the Ilocos in the west and the Cordillera Central in the east. The Abra River runs from the south in Benguet to the west and central areas bisecting the Abra Valley. It is joined by the Tineg River originating in the eastern uplands at a point near the municipality of Dolores.
Abra is composed of 27 municipalities, all encompassed by Abra's lone congressional district.
|Municipality [i][ii]||Population||±% p.a.||Area||Density (2020)||Barangay|
|(2020)||(2015)||km2||sq mi||/km2||/sq mi|
The 27 municipalities of the province comprise a total of 303 barangays, with Poblacion in La Paz as the most populous in 2010, and Pattaoig in San Juan as the least.
Further information: List of barangays in Abra
The population of Abra in the 2020 census was 250,985 people, with a density of 60 inhabitants per square kilometre or 160 inhabitants per square mile.
Abra's inhabitants are mostly descendants of Ilocano settlers and members of the Tingguian tribe. Based on 2000 census data, Ilocanos comprised 71.94% (150,457) of the total provincial population of 209,146. Tingguians came in second at 18.7% (39,115), while other ethnic groups in the province were the Ibanag at 4.46% (9,334), Itneg at 3.17% (6,624), and Tagalog at 0.42% (869).
The predominant languages are Ilocano and Itneg.
Graphs are temporarily unavailable due to technical issues.
As of 1990 there were 743 cottage industries in Abra of which 208 are registered with the Department of Trade and Industry. 59% are engaged in bamboo and rattan craft making, both leading industries in the area.
Abra's economy is agriculture-based. Its major crops are rice, vegetables and root crops. Commercial products include coffee, tobacco and coconut. Extensive grassland and pasture areas are used for livestock production.
List of former military and elected governors:
Sec. 2. Territorial Coverage. For purposes of the CAR, the region shall consist of the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and Mt. Province and the chartered city of Baguio. Until otherwise provided by the Cordillera Executive Board (CEB), the seat of the CAR shall be Baguio City.