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 the Ilocanos who converted to Christianity 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 hung 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 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. But on March 9, 1917, the Philippine Assembly re-established Abra as a province.
In 1942, the Japanese forces occupied the Philippines and entered Abra.
The built of the local military general headquarters of the Philippine Commonwealth Army was active on 1942 to 1946, the Philippine Constabulary was found active from 1944 to 1946 and the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines - Northern Luzon or USAFIP-NL was active again from 1942 to 1946 and military stationed in the province of Abra during the Japanese Occupation and the Allied Liberation.
In 1945, the liberation in Abra in Northern Luzon by the Philippine Commonwealth forces and the local Cordilleran guerrillas against the Japanese during the Battle of Abra at the end 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...
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