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Bangued Tourist Spots: 13 Things to Do and Places to Visit in Bangued, Abra

Bangued, the capital of Abra province in the Philippines, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Nestled amidst rolling hills and verdant valleys, this historic town exudes a timeless charm with its Spanish colonial architecture, rich cultural heritage, and friendly local vibes. Whether you’re a history buff, an adventure seeker, or simply a curious traveler, Bangued offers a unique and unforgettable experience. If you want to discover more about Bangued tourist spots, continue reading.

So, why should Bangued be your next travel destination? This unassuming town boasts a surprising depth of history, evident in its well-preserved ancestral homes and religious structures. Beyond its historical significance, Bangued offers stunning natural beauty, from the panoramic views of Cassamata Hill to the cascading Kaparkan Falls, just a short drive away. But most importantly, the warmth of the Abra people and their rich cultural traditions will leave a lasting impression.

Bangued Tourist Spots: Here are 13 things you can’t miss on your trip to Bangued

1. St. James the Elder Cathedral

St. James the Elder Cathedral
St. James the Elder Cathedral

This magnificent cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Abra, is a testament to the town’s rich religious heritage. Built in the 19th century, its imposing facade features clean lines and a simple yet elegant design. Take a moment to step inside and admire the high ceilings, intricate altarpieces, and religious artworks.

2. San Lorenzo Ruiz Shrine

San Lorenzo Ruiz Shrine
San Lorenzo Ruiz Shrine

This historic structure, dating back to the turn of the 19th century, served as Bangued’s cemetery chapel. Notably older than the St. James the Elder Cathedral, it’s a beautiful brick building with twin belfries and a unique triangular pediment. Today, it serves as a shrine dedicated to San Lorenzo Ruiz, a Filipino saint martyred in Japan.

3. Quintin Paredes Ancestral House

Quintin Paredes Ancestral House
Quintin Paredes Ancestral House

Immerse yourself in Abra’s distinguished past by visiting the ancestral home of Quintin Paredes, a renowned statesman and former Senate President. This imposing green and cream-colored “bahay na bato” (house of stone) is a classic example of Filipino colonial architecture. Explore the well-preserved first level, constructed entirely of stone, and learn about Paredes’ fascinating life through the historical markers displayed outside.

4. Cassamata Hill National Park and Viewdeck

Cassamata Hill National Park and Viewdeck
Cassamata Hill National Park and Viewdeck

Escape the hustle and bustle of the town center by venturing to this sprawling 54-hectare park perched atop a hill. Locally known as Victoria Park, it offers tranquility with lush greenery, walking trails, and a refreshing breeze. Ascend the hill and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Bangued below, the surrounding valleys, and a majestic view of the Sleeping Beauty mountain range. Take a moment to unwind at the park’s amphitheater or pay homage to the national hero, Jose Rizal, at his monument.

5. Abraeniana Museum

Abraeniana Museum
Abraeniana Museum

Delve deeper into Abra’s rich history and cultural tapestry at the Abraeniana Museum. This repository houses a fascinating collection of artifacts, from archeological finds and indigenous weaponry to traditional textiles and religious objects. Explore the exhibits and gain insights into the lives of the Itneg people, the original inhabitants of Abra, and the evolution of the province’s culture over the centuries.

6. Calaba Bridge

Calaba Bridge - tourist spots in Bangued
Calaba Bridge

Step back in time with a visit to the Calaba Bridge, an iconic landmark constructed during the Spanish colonial era. This sturdy bridge, built with locally sourced materials and traditional techniques, is a testament to the engineering ingenuity of the past. Stroll across the bridge and appreciate its historical significance while enjoying the scenic views of the surrounding area.

7. Miki at Rico’s Pansitan

Miki at Rico's Pansitan
Miki at Rico’s Pansitan

Treat your taste buds to a local favorite at Miki at Rico’s Pansitan. This unassuming eatery is renowned for its delectable “miki” (thin wheat noodles) dishes, a specialty of Abra. Savor the rich and flavorful broths, perfectly cooked noodles, and delicious toppings. Don’t forget to try their equally delicious pansitan (stir-fried noodles), a popular Filipino staple.

8. Old Pidigan Church

Old Pidigan Church - best tourist spots in Bangued Abra
Old Pidigan Church

Although located in the neighboring town of Pidigan, a short drive from Bangued, the Old Pidigan Church is a must-see for any visitor. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a stunning example of Baroque architecture, boasting intricate carvings, magnificent frescoes, and a well-preserved bell tower.

9. Tangadan Tunnel and Gabriela Silang Bust

Tangadan Tunnel
Tangadan Tunnel

History buffs won’t want to miss the Tangadan Tunnel, a strategic passage built by Filipino revolutionaries during the Philippine Revolution against Spanish rule. Pay your respects at the bust of Gabriela Silang, a revolutionary heroine who played a crucial role in the fight for independence.

10. Tayum Church 

Tayum Church 
Tayum Church

Tayum Church, located in the quaint town of Tayum, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a prime example of Baroque architecture in the Philippines. It was built in the 18th century and boasts a magnificent facade adorned with intricate carvings and red-brick details. Step inside and marvel at the high ceilings, beautifully preserved retablos (altarpieces), and religious paintings.

11. Bangued Public Market

Bangued Public Market
Bangued Public Market

Immerse yourself in the vibrant local scene by exploring the Bangued Public Market. This bustling marketplace offers a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and smells. Browse stalls with fresh produce, locally crafted souvenirs, and unique Abra handicrafts. Don’t miss the chance to sample exotic fruits and vegetables, like guyabano (soursop) and ampalaya (bitter gourd), or purchase woven textiles and indigenous crafts as keepsakes.

12. Old Houses and Spanish-Era Ruins

Old Houses and Spanish-Era Ruins
Old Houses and Spanish-Era Ruins

Bangued’s charm lies in its grand landmarks and collection of old houses and Spanish-era ruins. Watch for these historical gems as you wander through the town’s streets. Some notable structures include the Vigan Ancestral House, a well-preserved example of 19th-century architecture, and the ruins of the Bangued Presidencia, the former seat of government during the Spanish colonial period.

13. Mi Isla Bonita

Mi Isla Bonita
Mi Isla Bonita

For adventure enthusiasts, a challenging yet rewarding hike awaits at Mi Isla Bonita. This picturesque mountain offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, a refreshing escape from the town center, and a haven for nature lovers. The hike is a moderate challenge, with well-defined trails and breathtaking vistas.

Where to Eat in Bangued

While Miki at Rico’s Pansitan is a local favorite, Bangued offers a variety of restaurants catering to different tastes and budgets. Here are some other options to consider:

  • Virginia’s Restaurant: Known for its delectable Ilocano cuisine, serving bagnet (deep-fried pork belly), poqui poqui (fern salad), and sinanglaw (fish cooked in a sour tamarind broth).
  • Cafe Alicia: A charming cafe offering a fusion of Filipino and international dishes, perfect for a light lunch or coffee break.
  • Harana Restaurant: For a more upscale dining experience, Harana Restaurant provides a romantic ambiance and a menu featuring curated Filipino dishes with a modern twist.

Conclusion

Bangued, with its rich history, breathtaking scenery, and warm hospitality, offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, there’s something for everyone in this hidden gem of the Philippines. So, pack your bags, embrace the beauty and charm of Bangued, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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