Ancient settlements and communities that thrived in the Pre-Spanish colonial period like Butuan and Ilog were built along the river banks. The most plausible reason is that water transportation was the most convenient and most readily-available centuries before the Industrial Revolution changed the landscape. When the Spanish colonization of the Philippine islands spread up north, the mountainous areas of the Cordilleras were not spared from the expansion. The mighty Abra River System helped spur the campaign and this may have eventually led the establishment of the provincial government along its banks in Bucay. Located near the present presidencia, the former casa real of Abra hasRead More →

A successful revolt against the Spanish authorities happened in 1762 which liberated Ilocos and paved the formal creation of the Free Ilocos State. It was led by the husband-wife tandem of Diego and Gabriela Silang. But their success and freedom was short lived when he died on May 28, 1763 at the treacherous hands of his friends Miguel Vicos and Pedro Becbec. Gabriela Silang retreated to the hinterlands of Abra and sought refuge in the Tayum house of his uncle, Nicolas Cariño, her father Anselmo‘s younger brother. In this house Gabriela schemed her military strategy and appointed two locals as generals: Miguel Flores and TagabuenRead More →

There is truth that the mountains and hills in the Philippines are teeming with treasures. In fact, when I visited the Province of Abra for the first time, I saw one huge piece of treasure. The Cathedral of Saint Catherine of Alexandria in Tayum is one of the 26 Spanish Colonial Era churches declared as National Cultural Treasures by the National Museum in 2001. The Tayum mission was founded by Father Juan Pareja, OSA, in 1626. In 1725, Tayum became a pueblo and in 1803, a parish. In 1820, the construction of the cathedral was started by Father Domingo de los Reyes. In 1911, theRead More →

The cool weather and idyllic setting of a rural life proved to be very beneficial in rearing, nurturing and raising heroes, icons and nation-builders. Such was the case of the Philippines’ foremost national hero Dr. José P. Rizal who came from a very laid-back town of Calamba, Laguna. And such is the case of Quintin Paredes. To some Manileños, Quintin Paredes is just a major thoroughfare in the busy Binondo District. But during his time, he distinguished himself as one of the most prominent national leaders. Born on September 9, 1884 in the mountainous town of Bangued, Abra, he ascended the national political scene inRead More →

On April 5, 1617, Bangued was created as a ministry by the Augustinian Recollects under the Diocese of Nueva Segovia. The construction of the church was started in 1722 and was completed in 1807. During the feast of Saint James the Greater, Bangued was proclaimed as the capital of Abra on July 25, 1861. After the Philippine Revolution in 1898, secular clergy took over. On March 10, 1945, American warplanes bombed the church and the adjoining Colegio del Sagrado Corazon which was used as military hospital by the Japanese Imperial Army. The original altar was destroyed with only the walls and bell tower remained. InRead More →

Page 1 of 212