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The Ilocanos and the Itneg tribes are the two groups of people that make Abra a culturally enchanting destination. On food, the landscape, heritage and culture of the province are also deliciously present.
"The Ilocanos and the Itneg tribes are the two groups of people that make Abra a culturally enchanting destination. On food, the landscape, heritage and culture of the province are also deliciously present."

[ABRA, PHILIPPINES] ▬ Abra's landscapes and heritage have always brought me enlightenment. Its intangible culture is like fragrance of a fresh early morning mountain breeze wherein you can not see it but you can feel it and be satisfied. These landscapes, heritage and culture of Abra are also evident in its local food dishes.


[BANGUED] Lomo-Lomo with Pig Brain

Abra is a province unique for the mixture and/or co-existence of two cultures with different customs and traditions yet they live in harmony. The Ilocanos and the Itneg tribes are the two groups of people that make Abra a culturally enchanting destination. On food, the landscape, heritage and culture of the province are also deliciously present.


I and a fellow travel blogger Estan Cabigas of were invited to witness the Abrenio Kayawan Festival 2015 (happens March 6-9 this year). We were served with home-cooked dishes so I am writing this based on the fact that I tried them (dishes) not as a customer of a restaurant but as a visitor of an Abrenian dwelling.

Abra Capitol

[BANGUED] Selfie-ing in front of the Abra Capitol

Since Abra is a half-Ilocano country (the other half owned by the native Itneg tribes), expect that the Ilocano culture is present on their dishes with the Abrenian love. The food dishes I am going to feature here are those that were offered to me during the course of my stay in Abra from March 6-9, 2015. Take note that these were 'home-cooked' for us.

Home-Cooked Dishes from Our Host

The first stop is no other than the house of the incumbent Vice Governor of Abra. We were welcomed with plethora of Ilocano cuisines with the spice of warm Abrenian hospitality. Since I am also an Ilocano (nga napekpeklan), I am familiar with the dishes served but with Abrenian delight.

Lomo-Lomo with Pig Brain: The first photo above is the lomo-lomo or lumo-lumo. It is an Ilocano soup dish made of pork. While this dish is not new to me, it is in Abra where I first saw and tasted  lomo-lomo with a whole pig brain. Usually, what I've always tried in my hometown #VIGAN


is the lomo-lomo with the ground brain so it is already mixed with the soup.


[BANGUED] Abra-Made Longganisa

Abra Longganisa: Another familiar food the Vice Governor offered us is the longganisa of Abra. The Ilocano flavor of this longganisa is much closer to the version of Vigan or ILOCOS SUR


compared with ILOCOS NORTE


's. The sour and garlicky taste were perfect for us. This longganisa was the sold-out food of the night. The plate was emptied.


[BANGUED] Imbaliktad nga Baka

Imbaligtad: Imbaliktad is an Ilocano term which means 'turned upside down.' The said method is applied in cooking this dish hence the name. The beef is stir-fried then after you 'imbaliktad' it, it's cooked! Awesome right?


[BANGUED] Igat is an eel from the great rivers of Abra.

Fried Pinindang nga Igat: Igat is a mainstay in the great rivers of Abra and their tributaries. They can grow as long as 8 feet, or probably longer. We were served with a fried Pinindang nga Igat (sun-dried eel) and the exotic vibe of Abra instantly came in the house.


[BANGUED] Pork Galore with Bagnet

The house became magical for the appetite when an Abra-made bagnet was served. Hey folks! Do I need to say more?

Home-Cooked Dish from Padaya 2015

Padaya 2015 is Abra's Kawayan Festival trade fair. A collection of the One-Town-One-Products of the province were all displayed here but of course, we were not spared from the miki craze since we're visitors. The miki here was served for public consumption but the home-cooked qualities remain.


[BANGUED] Abra Pancit  Miki

Abra Miki: Another Ilocano home-cooked dish to die for in Abra is their flagship dish - the Abra miki or pancit miki. Although very common in the Ilocano republic, Abra's miki is unique in the sense that it is linked to the bi-culture of the Abrenios. More commonly recognized as an Ilocano cuisine, the Itneg tribes of Abra have also embraced miki to be a flagship dish in their province. The Ilocano palate emanating from the Ilocano's culture has been adapted by the Itneg people. I've been to different Itneg tows in Abra and I was surprised to learn that it is not only the Ilocanos who serve miki. In Abra, both groups of culture take pride of the Abra miki.

Abra miki's difference from the rest of the Ilocandias aside from the cultural harmony that it represents is the 'soup'. Ilocos miki is very colloidal (very thick that it all turns solid when dried or refrigerated) compared with Abra's. Abra's version is full of soup where you can even do the refill (like the mami noodles) which I really love.

Home-Cooked Dish from Agsimao, Tineg

One of the greatest things that happened to me during this 4-day Abra visit is revisiting a cultural paradise called Agsimao, the poblacion of the town of Tineg. Our host, Jinky Gavino, prepared what she thinks the best native dishes we can taste from their super-remote village.


[TINEG] River Fish aka Palileng

Paksiw a Palileng: Agsimao is very rich in natural resources including this river fish called palileng. They grow in the clean rivers of Tineg abundantly. This home-cooked palileng dish was just an exotic Tineg gastronomic experience.


[TINEG] Wild Boar Dish, the Baboy Ramo challenge

Linenggeng nga Laman: The term laman means 'wild boar meat' in the Adasen dialect of Tineg. Linenggeng is the term for the dish. I loved the freshly picked cabbage with the laman. It was organic and smelled goodie fresh. Tineg is very exotic and these food are just teasers.

Ending Thoughts

Abra has more local cuisines and exotic food to offer but as I've mentioned, these food dishes I've featured here are those I've only tried during my 4-day stay in the province. I'm going to feature more Abra food in the future. I had fun in Abra. Indeed, Abra's surprises and intangible beauty is unparalleled, at least on my personal experience as a traveler. You can't understand this unless you devote yourself understanding and exploring Abra in a long term basis. Happy eating! Happy town exploring! ▬ end

Acknowledgements: Big thanks to the Vice Governor of Abra, Hon Chari Bersamin for making this Abra experience possible. I would also like to thank Ms Jinky Gavino of Agsimao, Tineg for coordinating the Agsimao adventures for our safety and security. To Elric Regulacion of VG-Office and the rest of the team, thank you for being with us. Agbiag ti Abra!

Abra #TownExploration Series

Map showing the Location of Abra



[VIGAN] ▬ Crispy Bagis: Deep-Fried Pork Intestines with Suka

TEASER ► "From longanisa, empanada, sinanglao, warek-warek and pipian to name a few, one can conclude that Bigueรฑos are not Vegans."

[VIGAN] ▬ Chula Saloon Bar: a Museum-Feel Restaurant Bar

TEASER ► "Restobars like this one make Vigan a more interesting place to visit."

[TINGLAYAN] ▬ Chewed, Swallowed Frogs in Buscalan, Kalinga

TEASER ► "We talked with joy behind the darkness. That dinner unleashed the real us. The candlelight was a silent witness of our fears, happiness and life's perspectives."

[BATAC] ▬ Batac Empanada: So What Makes it Special?

TEASER ► "I have to say that I was so tired and had no breakfast at all but this 30-peso empanada gave me the energy."

[VIGAN] ▬ Exotic Vigan Food: Edmar is Certified Frog-Eater

TEASER ► "If you don't have a strong stomach, tasting it would let you vomit. But I must, say, it is all in the mind. It is 'safe' to eat anyway."

[NAGA] ▬ Camarines Sur: I Ate Squid After 13 Years (Bicol Express Squid)

TEASER ► "I thought I will never eat squid again but my travel infection is manifesting that conquering your fear and eating the food you never attempted to taste (or eat again) is part of the symptoms."

[VILLASIS] ▬ I Didn't Know there's Tupig in Villasis, Pangasinan

TEASER ► "Villasis is booming, many industries are flourishing, trade and commerce are doing well, but tupig, one little cheap food remains to soar high with pride from the community."

[BANGUED] ▬ Peace for Abra: Roasted Cow for Peace

TEASER ► "The roasted cow served as a sign for unity, it was only one yet it can feed many which can simply be related to the goal of P.E.A.C.E. for Abra group to unite the people in one with peace and harmony."



Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano-Cordilleran. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For collaboration or partnership, email your business proposal at

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