The Province of Abra is now known as the ""Natural Dye Capital of the Philippines"" because it is blessed with abundant natural dye-yielding plants. Natural dyes are extracted from the barks, leaves, fruits, and roots of these plants, and used to color food, beverages, textiles, cosmetics, furniture, and pharmaceutical products. The revival of Abra's dyeing tradition had been the project of former Governor Ma. Zita Claustro-Valera. It started in 1992 with the Katutubong Foundation, Inc., headed by former First Lady Amelita ""Ming"" Ramos, with the help of designer Patis Tesoro who is renowned for using ethnic designs and fabrics for her haute couture creations. Another revival project that is related to the province's natural dye industry is loom weaving and embroidery.
Abra is an inland province bounded by Ilocos Norte and Mountain Province on the north, Ilocos Sur on the south, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur on the west, and Mountain Province, Kalinga, and Apayao on the east. Total land area comes to approximately 397,555 hectares. POLITICAL SUBDIVISION The province is composed of 27 municipalities and 304 barangays, namely: Bangued (31), Boliney (8), Bucay (21), Bucloc (4), Daguioman (4), Danglas (7), Dolores (15), Lacub (6), Lagangilang (17), Lagayan (5), Langiden (6), La Paz (12), Licuan-Baay (11), Luba (8), Malibcong (12), Manab (11), Penarrubia (9), Pidigan (15), Pilan (15), Sallapadan (9), San Isidro (9), San Juan (19), San Quintin (6), Tayum (11), Tineg (11), Tubo (10), Villaviciosa (8). CLIMATE The climate of the province is characterized by two pronounced seasons, dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year.
Abra had a population of 195,964 as of May 1996, or 16.33% of the Cordillera Administrative Region's total population.
Based on the 1995 census survey, Ilocano is generally spoken by 73.65% of the region's total population. 25.18% speak Tinguian/Itneg, 0.16% speak Tagalog, and the remaining 0.54% speak other dialects.
As of 1990, there were 743 cottage industries in Abra, of which 208 are registered with the Department of Trade and Indusrty. 59% are engaged in bamboo and rattan craft making, both leading industries in the area. In 1992, the natural dye industry together with loom weaving and embroidery were revived by former Governor Ma. Zita Claustro-Valera. Other popular industries are piggery and poultry, garment craft, and needlecraft.
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