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Abra (province)

Official seal of Abra
Region Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
Founded March 10, 1917
Capital Bangued
 • Type Province of the Philippines
 • Governor Eustaquio Bersamin (LP)
 • Vice Governor Chari Bersamin (LP)
 • Total 4,165.25 km2 (1,608.21 sq mi)
Area rank 31st out of 81
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 234,733
 • Rank 68th out of 81
 • Density 56/km2 (150/sq mi)
 • Density rank 80th out of 81
 • Independent cities 0
 • Component cities 0
 • Municipalities 27
 • Barangays 303
 • Districts Lone District of Abra
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 2800 to 2826
Spoken languages Ilocano, Tinguian, Isneg, Tagalog, English

Abra is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Its capital is Bangued, is bordered by Ilocos Norte and Apayao on the north, Ilocos Sur and Mountain Province on the south, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur on the west, and Kalinga and Apayao on the east.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Physical 2.1
    • Administrative 2.2
      • Barangays 2.2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


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, as they are also known. In 1598, a Spanish garrison was established in Bangued to protect Christian Ilocanos from Tingguian raids. 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, including Abra, was divided into Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. In 1846, Abra was created[3] as a political-military province with Lepanto as a sub-province. It remained so until the arrival of the Americans in 1899.

In 1908 the Philippine Commission once again in annexed Abra to Ilocos Sur in an attempt to resolve Abra's financial difficulties. On March 9, 1917, the Philippine Assembly re-established Abra as a province.

In 1942, the Japanese forces occupied the Philippines and entered Abra.

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.

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.



Abra is hemmed in 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 whole Abra Valley. It is joined by the Tineg River originating from the eastern uplands at a point near the municipality of Dolores.


Political map of Abra

Abra is subdivided into 27 municipalities, all of which belong to a lone legislative district.[4]

Table Legend:
 †  Provincial capital

The 27 municipalities of the Province of Abra
Municipality Land
(2010)[5]!! data-sort-type="number" | Pop.
(per km2) !! data-sort-type="number" | No. of
barangays !! data-sort-type="number" | ZIP code !! Income

Bangued 105.7 43,936 415.7 31 2800 1st
Boliney 216.92 4,063 18.7 8 2815 5th
Bucay 107.17 17,126 159.8 21 2805 5th
Bucloc 63.77 2,176 34.1 4 2817 6th
Daguioman 114.37 1,715 15 4 2816 5th
Danglas 156.02 4,734 30.3 7 2825 5th
Dolores 47.45 11,499 242.3 15 2801 5th
La Paz 51.41 14,882 289.5 12 2826 5th
Lacub 295.3 2,977 10.1 6 2821 5th
Lagangilang 101.44 13,824 136.3 17 2802 5th
Lagayan 215.97 4,477 20.7 6 2824 5th
Langiden 116.29 3,170 27.3 6 2807 5th
256.42 4,864 19 11 2819 5th
Luba 148.27 6,391 43.1 8 2813 5th
Malibcong 283.17 3,807 13.4 12 2820 5th
Manabo 110.95 10,756 96.9 11 2810 5th
Peñarrubia 38.29 6,544 170.9 9 2804 6th
Pidigan 49.15 11,528 234.5 15 2806 5th
Pilar 66.1 9,908 149.9 19 2812 5th
Sallapadan 128.62 5,985 46.5 9 2818 5th
San Isidro 48.07 4,888 101.7 9 2809 5th
San Juan 64.08 10,546 164.6 19 2823 5th
San Quintin 66.59 5,233 78.6 6 2808 5th
Tayum 61.14 13,940 228 11 2803 5th
Tineg 744.8 4,668 6.3 10 2822 2nd
Tubo 409.87 5,719 14 10 2814 4th
Villaviciosa 102.93 5,377 52.2 8 2811 5th
Abra Total 4,165.25 234,733 56.4 303 2800 - 2826 3rd[1]

*Note: Italicized names are former names.


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.[5][6]


Abra's inhabitants are mostly descendants of Ilocano settlers and members of the Tingguian tribe. As of 2011, the population of the province is 240,141.

The predominant languages are Ilocano[7] and Itneg.[8] Based on the 2000 census survey, the majority of the province population is Ilocano 71.9%. Other ethnic groups living in the province are the Tinguian 18.7%, Ibanag 4.5%, Isneg 3.2% and Tagalog 0.4%.[9]


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.

In 1992, the natural dye industry, together with loom weaving and embroidery, was revived by former Governor Ma. Zita Claustro-Valera, the first female governor of Abra.

Abra's economy is agriculture-based. Its major crops are rice, corn, and root crops; commercial products include coffee, tobacco, and coconut. Extensive grassland and pasture areas are used for livestock production.[10][11][12][13]


  1. ^ a b "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Fernández, Leandro Heriberto. A Brief History of the Philippines. Ginn. p. 195. 
  4. ^ a b c "Province: ABRA". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "2010 Census of Population and Housing: Population Counts - Cordillera Administrative Region" ( 
  6. ^ "Province: Abra".  
  7. ^ Dalby, Andrew (2004-02-18). Dictionary of Languages: The Definitive Reference to More Than 400 Languages. Columbia University Press. p. 264.  
  8. ^ Tryon, Darrell T. (1994). Comparative Austronesian Dictionary: An Introduction to Austronesian Studies. Ratzlow-Druck. p. 171.  
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links

  • The Website of the Province of Abra
  • Philippine Standard Geographic Code
  • Philippine Census Information
  • Featuring Tingguian Cultures, Traditions and Beliefs
  • History articles and links on Bucay and Abra
  • WOW Philippines - Abra
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