The Great Escape

There was not much to write about my first trip to Tuguegarao in October last year.  Maybe because we had a full schedule ahead so there was not enough time for some serious sigh-seeing.

So when I was back there last Monday (again, for work) I was kinda hoping there would be an opportunity to see the tourist spots in the region.   We were able to visit Cauayan and Bayombong too – its nearby provinces – but all I could see are cows, rice fields and corn fields.

Imagine our joy when we were told by our counterparts at Bayombong that the Ifugao province is just a few hours away from there, and seeing that we’re done with our work anyway, we asked if we could troop there for a chance to see one of the 7 Wonders of the World, the Banaue Rice Terraces.

I was extremely pleased when they happily obliged to our request.  And when we finally got there, I immediately felt awe when I saw how beautiful it was.  I tried to capture its raw beauty with my camera but nothing beats looking at it ‘live’.  The colors of the rice fields – a medley of green and yellow- are vibrant, and even though we arrived late in the afternoon, the terraces looked fresh as if just bathed by the morning sun.

I can’t help but marvel too at the sheer genius of our ancestors who were said to have built the terraces with minimum equipment, largely by hand (source: Wikipedia).   The irrigation system that they made just above the terraces continues to feed the steps of rice fields until this very day, relying on the rainforest to provide the water nourishment.

Sigh, I can look at this for hours… what a great escape from our hectic schedule at the region.

So happy to be here!

We viewed this wonder from the NFA Aguian View Deck, one of the 3 viewpoints in the area that can give you a panoramic view of the Banaue Rice Terraces.  To get to the  Viewpoint (NFA Aguian View Deck), just get a tricycle from the town proper.  I wasn’t able to ask on the cost of the tricycle ride to and from the view deck but for sure it’s tourist-friendly.  Tourism now counts as the top income generating activity for the Ifugaos,  with farming sliding down to the bottom part of the list.

Such an irony, noh?   I really hope that this beautiful and sincere pledge made by the Ifugaos to their beautiful Banaue Rice Terraces, as shown in this marker, will still be fulfilled by the remaining indigenous families there.  After all, the magical stairways of Banaue remain as the only standing legacy of their ancestors.

 

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