Abra..cadabra: The hidden Magic of Cordillera


When i told my mom (and my grandma!) that I’m going to Abra for the long weekend, i only heard one word: “Susmaryosep!” .

It was a long weekend, in commemoration of the 117th Philippine Independence. I traveled up North with a group of single individuals from Couchsurfing, a very fitting way to celebrate Independence indeed 😉

Abra, a landlocked province situated West of Cordillera Region, has always been tagged as one of the notable “nests” of a famous rebel group with several politics-related violence, and almost never characterized for its untouched beauty. Other than being one of the North’s uncommercialized travel destination, i kept my expectations to a minimum. But just like the magic word, it spelled its self out to uncover a hidden gem, ergo: Abra..cadabra!

From picturesque landscapes to untouched greenery to clear springs to major rivers to religious and historic landmarks, Abra will surely leave any traveler a moment to question “why on earth have I overlooked this province?”. Below is a video i made to capture the beauty of this province from my perspective.

Actual Itinerary

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Credits to Cris, the travel master, for this detailed itinerary around Abra. We followed this outline from June 11-14. Could be yours to follow, as well 🙂

DAY 0 – June 11 Thursday

8:00 PM – ETD via Partas First Class Bus (Cubao Terminal)

DAY 1 – June 12 Friday

6:00 AM – ETA Bangued
7:00 AM – Check-in Oval Era Hotel
7:30 AM – Breakfast
8:00 AM – Start of tour. Head to market to buy food for lunch
9:00 AM – Head to Lusuac Spring Resort (Lagayan)
11:00 AM – ETA Lusuac Spring Resort
12:00 PM – Lunch
2:00 PM – ETD Lusuac Spring Resort
2:30 PM – Visit Leila’s Loomweaving at Bulbulala (La Paz)
3:00 PM – Go to Calaba Bridge (La Paz). Photo-ops in Abra river
4:30 PM – ETD Calaba Bridge
5:00 PM – Merienda at Aspacio Panciteria
6:00 PM – Head back to Hotel
7:00 PM – Dinner
8:00 PM – Socials
10:00 PM – Sleep

DAY 2 – June 13 Saturday

6:00 AM – Wake-up call
7:00 AM – Breakfast
8:00 AM – Start of tour. Head to Tayum
8:30 AM – Visit Sta. Catalina de Alejandria Church and Holy Spirit Convent in front of church
9:30 AM – Visit Teodoro Brillantes Ancestral House
10:30 AM – ETD Tayum. Head to Tangadan Tunnel (San Quintin)
11:30 AM – ETA Tangadan Tunnel
12:00 PM – Head to Pidigan. Lunch at Rico’s Pancitan
1:00 PM – Visit Old and New Church
2:00 PM – Photo-ops at Gabriela Silang monument at Pidigan Plaza
2:30 PM – ETD Pidigan
3:00 PM – ETA Bangued. Visit Bangued Cathedral and buy pasalubong, visit San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel (cemetery)
4:00 PM – Visit Abrenian Museum at Divine World College
5:00 PM – Merienda at Six Cousins Mamihan at Taft Street
6:00 PM – Head back to Hotel
7:00 PM – Dinner
8:00 PM – Socials
10:00 PM – Sleep

DAY 3 – June 14 Sunday

6:00 AM – Wake-up call
7:00 AM – Breakfast
8:00 AM – Check-out Hotel. Head to Partas Bus Terminal
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM – ETD Bangued
7:00 PM – ETA Cubao


Hotel’s terrace, overlooking Banged town.

We stayed 3 days 2 nights at Oval Era Hotel, situated along the road going to Victoria Park. It is an affordable hotel with new amenities and fantastic view of Banged.

How to go there

  • Partas buses ply directly to Banged. You may check their schedule and fares here: http://www.phbus.com/partas-bus/
  • Banged is pretty much accessible by Tricycles but it is advisable to commission a van to go around different towns. You may ask your hotel or any locals for van rentals (Est cost is Php 2,000 for a van). Do not forget to haggle, to a reasonable extent ofcourse 😉


The gang at Calaba brigde :)
The gang at Calaba brigde 🙂

An on-going reminders from locals is to avoid eye contact to strangers. As much as possible, always act discreetly and in a friendly manner while on the streets. Do not be bothered by the “harmful ambiance” feasted on the news, Abra is actually a quiet little province where i felt humbled.

Details of the old Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral in Pidigan as backdrop.

Keeping the magic of traveling,




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