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.
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 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.