History and Government
More than a hundred years ago, Dolores then known as Bucao was a big barrio of the municipality of Tayum. The Spanish sovereign's objective of spreading Christianity made the birth of a new town imminent.
In 1884, Bucao and its adjacent sitios were combined into a new municipality which was later named Dolores, in honor of the wife of the Spanish Governor, who in gratitude donated the image of the patron saint, Nuestra Señora de Dolores.
Don Rosalio Eduarte was the founding Gobernadorcillo. He saw the growth of Dolores from the Philippine Revolution to the American Era extending from World War I to the Commonwealth Period. His colorful career was highlighted by his term as Governor of the sub-province of Abra.
In the advent of American rule, a structural plan was laid out in the Poblacion. A plaza stood at the center with a school building erected to its east and on its north, a church and a town hall.
In 1927, the largest barrio of Dolores and its surrounding sitios seceded to form the town of San Juan. The historical change adversely affected Dolores, losing more than half of its land area, natural resources and population. The pre-war years, 1920-1940 were characterized by factionalism. Two feuding political parties, Barbero of the west and Buenafe of the east literally divided the town into two. The first Abra strongman, Don Quintin Paredes, Filipino senator and an eminent statesman, came to the town's rescue. He successfully convinced the feuding parties to come into peace terms. In 1939, the reconciled factions built a bust of Don Quintin Paredes at the town plaza. This bust became a symbol of reconciliation and brotherhood.
During World War II, the town suffered under the siege of Japanese troops. Economic depression hit the people more acutely than other past upheavals. Wanton massacres, rape of women and plunder of natural resources were the order of the day.
The municipality's past to present chief executives are: Rosalio Eduarte (1884-1885), Nicomedes Guzman (1885-1887), Mariano Zapata (1870-1889), Elias Balaoro (1889-1891), Ambrocio Zapata (1891-1893), Rosalio Eduarte (1894-1897), Placido Angco (1900), Rosalio Eduarte (1901-1903), Eufromio Guzman (1904-1905), Elias Balaoro (1905-1907), Pedro Balmaceda (1908-1910), Augustin Llaneza (1911-1913), Rosalio Eduarte (1914-1916), Mariano Llaneza (1917-1918), Marcelo Barbero (1919-1924), Roque Balaoro (1925-1927), Victor Barbero (1928-1930), Primitivo Guzman (1931-1936), Rodalio Eduarte (1937-1938), Ildefonso Castillo (1938-1939), Isabelo Buenafe (1940-1941), Venancio Guzman (1942), Nicasio Guzman and Gregorio Zapata, Jr. (1943), Constante Valera (1944-1945), Venancio Guzman (1946-1947), Monico Velasco (1948-1951), Ernesto Zapata (1952-1955), Agapito Rigor (1955), Fidel Baldos (1956-1960), Domingo Buenafe (1960-1963), Florencio Velasco (1964-1967), Eugenio Eduarte (1967), Danilo Zapata (1968-1985), Roberto Barbero (1985-1986), Cipriano Blanco (1986-1995) and Leo Valera (1998 to date).
The municipality is composed of 15 barangays: Bayaan, Cabaroan, Calumbaya, Cardona, Isit, Kimmalaba, Libtec, Lublubba, Mudiit, Namitingan, Pacac, Poblacion, Salucag, Taping and Talogtog.
Dolores is situated in the central western part of the province of Abra. It is approximately within 120°50' east longitude and between 17°35" and 17°40" latitude. It is boudned on the north by the municipality of San Juan, on the east and southeast by the municipality of Lagangilang, on the west by the municipality of La Paz and on the southwest by the municipality of Tayum and the Abra River.
Dolores has a municipal land area of 4,050.03 has. representing 1.02% of the total provincial land area. Among the municipality's barangays, Kimmalaba has the largest land area with 663.03 has. while Cabaroan is the smallest with an area of 93.53 has. The land use pattern is as follows: built-up area - 99.05 has. or 2.45% of total municipal land area, forest land - 252.72 has. or 6.24%, agricultural - 2,411.72 has. or 59.5%, bamboo land - 461.30 or 11.39%, stony land - 373.84 has. or 9.20%, rivers/creeks - 407.07 has. or 10.05% and roads - 44.96 has. or 1.11%.
Compared to other municipalities, Dolores is not so hilly and mountainous, though it has several hills. Among its hills are Immitlog, Namilagan, Cabuloan and Apaz. Valleys are mostly located along the banks of the Abra and the Malanas-Tineg Rivers.
Due to its rather flat terrain, the municipality has a relatively warm and moderate climate. Evenings are moderately warm and dawns are humid during the months of June to October, very warm during the months from March to May and cool during the months of November and December. Season is wet and dry with the driest months occuring from January to February. The months of July and August are "heavy downpour months" when typhoons usually occur. During these months, rivers and creeks overflow flooding practically all barangays destroying properties.
In 1968, Dolores had a population of 4,065. After 12 years, in 1960, the population increased to 5,065 or a 24.60% growth having an annual increase of 2.05%. Between the year 1960 and 1970 the population change was 33.29% with an annual increase of 3.33%. For the next 10 years, from 1970 to 1980, the population growth was 12.76% or an annual increase of 1.23%. During the 1995 Census of Population, Dolores had a total population of 9,560, a household total of 1,750, an average household size of 5.46 and a population growth rate of 2.05% for the year 1990-1995. Most of the residents are Ilocano-speaking with some of them speaking "Tinguian". The majority belong to the Roman Catholic Church, about 85%, with the remaining 15% distributed to other religious denominations.
The municipality's economy is basically agriculture with farming as the main source of livelihood, covering 50% of the municipality's total labor force. Of the total agricultural area of 2,411.72 has., only 30% is devoted to farming. The main crop is palay with 1,358 has. irrigated and 1,177.0 has. unirrigated or rainfed. With the unirrigated riceland almost equivalent to the irrigated riceland, farmers can only have two cropping seasons with only some, having an abundant irrigation having three croppings a year. Cornland has an area of 856.17 has. Planting time for corn is May while harvest time is September. For palay, planting time for the first cropping is May to August with harvest time from October to December. For the second cropping, planting time is January and harvest time is March.
Tourist Attraction and Place of Interest