It took us more than 10-hour bus ride to get to Bangued, Abra from Manila. I was assigned there recently to cover an important event. I’ve seen mostly of the Cordillera except this province, which is now under the control of the Commission on Elections following reports of violence related to the elections and the existence of private armies (allegedly controlled by politicians).
We stayed in a hotel just a few minutes away from the town center. Given only a few days to go around and check the place out, I felt sad that that the locals fear that violence might erupt after the May polls due to the intense political rivalry in the province.
When I was there along with other journalists from Manila, Bangued looked vibrant and peaceful. I saw a lot of small businesses in the town. People were all over the place. I hope to see a peaceful election there come May 14.