It’s more fun in the Philippines! And while there are more popular destinations in the archipelago, from the capital city Manila to Cebu, there are so many other places in the Philippines that are worth visiting even though they’re not as popular.
From Angeles City to Baguio, and this time… Dave of Silver Backpacker will also share how you could travel on the budget in one of the off-the-beaten-path in the Philippines: Bangued, the capital of Abra Province.
So, what could you get in the Philippines for $10? Check this out!
Budget-Friendly Things to Do Around Bangued, Abra in the Philippines
Bangued is a relatively small north Philippine town in the Province of Abra. Over the years it has been occupied by Spanish and American colonists who have left their mark on the town. An American bombing campaign at the end of the second world war destroyed much of the town and the Japanese army burnt and demolished much too.
Bangued was rebuilt after the war in a mix and match style with no town planning at all. Even so, Bangued is still worth a visit and can easily be toured in a day, much of it walkable for less than $10 (around 500 PHP)!
Did you know?
Compared to many other destinations in the Philippines, the landlocked province of Abra might not be as popular. However, you can still enjoy one of the largest river systems in the Philippines through the Abra River, while the region also hides many natural wonders that are also rich with culture.
Tips: The best way to get to Bangued from Manila!
The best way to reach the province is by taking a night bus from the Partas Terminal in Pasay, Manila which will arrive in Bangued at the early hour of 5 AM. (Ask the conductor to drop you at the entrance to Victoria Park)
1. Walk Up Casamata Hill
Now for some exercise and walk up Casamata Hill for a “sunrise” view over the town below and Mt. Bullagao, also known as Sleeping Beauty. Since the view faces west, you will only see the effects of the rising sun on the mountain range opposite. A good idea is to return later in the afternoon to enjoy the sunset over the river valley and mountains.
2. Enjoy the Abrenian breakfast and stroll around to see enjoy the view of Mt. Bullogao
It’s now Breakfast time. You can take a tricycle for 25 PHP ($0.50) or walk through the still quiet streets and go for a traditional Abrenian breakfast at Acostas Panciteria ($1). This dish of pork broth, egg, and noodles will fill you up for a while.
Take a tricycle for 25 PHP ($0.50) to Calaba Bridge, 2km from Acostas, which traverses the mighty Abra River and another view of Mt. Bullagao. The bridge is nearly 1km long and during the summer months is a favorite swimming place for locals.
3. Head to San Lorenzo Church and join the free guided tour of Bangued
When you have had enough of the river, head back into town to San Lorenzo Church. A tricycle will cost 50 PHP ($1). From here you can either arrange a free guided tour of Bangued with Abramazing Tours or just enjoy a DIY walk around the town.
For a taste of Abra, keep an eye out for local street food vendors. Depending on the time of year you can sample for 5 PHP to 10 PHP each, lumpia, turon, cascaron, grilled goby, chicken feet, banana cue, or patopat.
4. Stop by the Provincial and Municipal Buildings and St. James the Elder Cathedral
Feeling peckish?? The best bakery in town is the Green Valley Bakery on the crossroads of Santiago and Mckinley Streets. Grab a drink and some cakes or a small snack from the resto for less than 50 PHP ($1).
When you need a rest, head to the Plaza and sit down. Be sure to check out the nearby historic Provincial and Municipal Buildings and St. James the Elder Cathedral. Go to the Parish Office at the rear of the Cathedral and ask permission to climb the bell tower for some more fantastic views of Bangued.
5. Don’t miss the Gabriela Carino Silang Gallery of Fine Arts
Although not in Bangued, but just 4km away, if you still have time, one place not to miss is the Gabriela Carino Silang Gallery of Fine Arts. This small family owned museum is unique. You just have to see it to understand why. A tricycle would be 100 PHP ($2) return, and the Museum entrance fee is 100 PHP ($2) also.
At the end of the day, if you still have some of your $10 leftover or as an alternative to visiting the museum, you could go for a swim at Mt.Isla Bonita Resort. You can easily walk there too. Besides the pools, there are good sunset and town views from there. The entrance is 100 PHP ($2).
$10 will enable you to enjoy a whole day in Bangued. The only transportation around town is by tricycle which has fixed rates. Ask the driver for the rate card or bargain the fare before you begin a trip.
Bangued is very walkable too. Remember to wear a hat or carry an umbrella to protect yourself from the sun.
Contributor: Dave from Silver Backpacker.
Dave is a freelance travel writer and photographer who has been blogging as the Silverbackpacker since 2008. Having visited 60+ countries across six continents, Dave’s travels focus on cultural immersion, history, discovery and his incredible journeys and life of adventure. He has a strong passion for eco-tourism, aims to promote responsible travel experiences, and often steps out of his comfort zone to try new things. He is currently living in Abra in the Philippines.