pilar

Seal Symbolism:

Plow and Fields symbolizes the main source of living which is farming,

Tobacco Plants: represents the secondary crop of the municipality, the famous Virginia Tobacco of great quality.

Mountains: depicts the terrain of the quality which is rolling and hilly.
History and Government:

Unlike other municipalities there are no legends to speak of about the origin of the name Pilar. The municipality’s name however, is derived from its Patron Saint, Nuestra Señora Del Pilar. On other hand, the municipality’s Poblacion or Baliwag is named after a merchant from Baliuag, Bulacan who settled early in the place engaging in commerce. The first settlers of Pilar were Tinguians from the province of Kalinga and Apayao.

In 1966, during the administration of Governor Don Joaquin de Paat  y Prella, a pueblo was organized in southwestern portion of Abra due to necessity of establishing a Roman Catholic mission. The new pueblo was named Villavieja. Formerly, was barangay Bollilisong, an interior territory. First to become the governadorcillo of the town was Don Pedro Manuel Laoeng . Villavieja covered the territory now occupied by the municipality of Pilar, San Isidro and Villavisiciosa including the southwestern part of Luba. In 1884, due to the very extensive area covered by Villavieja, a new pueblo called Pueblo de Lumaba was established at Barangay Lumaba upon order of Governor Jose Diaz  y Sala, a native of the place. Jose Prada Malaquiem was the first Governadorcillo of the new town thickly populated by Tinguans. Pueblo de Lumaba covered the ertswhlie portion of Villavieja town starting from San Juan, Baliwag and Maliplipit down north to Marcial and Dalimag.

In 1885, Juan Valear succeeded Jose Prada Malaquim as Governadorcillo. The center of government was transferred to a terrain west of Lumaba just accros the Sinalang River. The place was called Poblacion Del Pilar in honor of its patron saint Nuestra Señora del pilar. The people of the town, however, called the place Naguillan. As the seat of the new government, a presidencia, a military barracks, a church, and a school were constructed. Henceforth, the place was called Pilar.

In 1895, during  the incumbency of Lorenzo Anioay of Villlavisciosa, the town of Naguillan was completely burned. In spite of the efforts of the President Furtunato Sotelo of Dalit, Pilar to reconstruct the site with his personal money, the government center was never put in place again. Building scattered villages within the land they tilled, the people preferred to stay where they evacuated.

In 1903, the pueblos of Villavieja and Pilar were to for the new town named Villa Pillar, through act no. 1001, in accordance with the policy of the Philippine Commision towards consolidation. In the same year, due to cultural reasons, the town of Villavisciosa was created out the Tigguan Barangays east and north of Pilar. From 1901 to 1923, the seat of Government of the town, now plainly called Pilar, was volatile. The practice of elected municipal presidents of establishing the seat of government in their respective barangays was done ten times within a period of 23 years. The practice ended only in 1924 when Governor General Leonard Wood, through the intercession of the incumbent provincial governor Vigilio Valera, ordered the transfer of the seat of government permanently to its present site, the Poblacion.

Pilar is politacally subdivided into 19 barangays, namely: Poblacion, Patad, Maliplipit, Tikitik, Narnarar, San Juan East, San Juan west, Kinabity, Kinnabiti, Bolbolo, Dintan, Villavieja, Ocup, Dalit, Brookside, Pang-ot, Nanangduan, Nagcanasan, Gapang and South Balioag.