By Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star)
BAGUIO CITY , Philippines – Cityhood for Bangued, Abra’s capital, is being given a push in the 16th Congress.
Bangued councilor Avelino Bello filed a resolution this week seeking congressional nod for the capital town’s cityhood.
With support from local officials, including Abra Rep. Ma. Jocelyn Bernos, the cityhood bid will be in the committee level of the House of Representatives when the new Congress opens.
If everything goes well, Bangued, with a land area of 10,570 hectares and population of 43,936, would be the third city in the Cordillera region after Baguio (1909) and Tabuk City in Kalinga (2007).
According to historical records, the word “Bangued” evolved from “bangan” or roadblocks or blockades which Spaniards put up to “protect” the town from locals who were against their occupation.
Old folk, especially in outlying towns, pronounce Bangued as “Banged.”
In 1692, Augustinians under Pader Columbo made Bangued an independent mission territory. Earlier in 1615, Fr. Juan Pareja organized Bangued as a mission center and baptized 3,000 Tingguians with the help of their chief, Manuel Domaoal.
The modern-day Bangued was formally organized in 1704 until it was decided to become the capital town of Abra in 1863. It has 31 barangays, seven of them in the town proper.