Sunday, September 8, 2013

Preview of Cordillera's Rice Terraces

On our way back to Manila from Sagada, we chose the Ifugao-Nueva Vizcaya route instead of passing Baguio City. It was another zigzagging traverse of the Cordillera roads, with views of mountains and pine trees. Yet Halsema highway would not be included on the world's most dangerous highways, if not for ravines and rock/mud slides we've encountered on a rainy roadtrip.

Aside from various waterfalls which I have no opportunity to take good photos, we have also seen many rice terraces, where we made two stops along the way. The first one is at Bay-Yo Rice Terraces in Bontoc, Mountain Province above.

Second stop is on a portion of Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao. Below are the views from the Dyanarra viewpoint, where about 4 shops are selling wooden souvenirs for tourists.

The Banaue Rice Terraces are believed to have been constructed about 2,000 B.C. by Igorot ancestors, to be able to grow rice on the mountainsides. They are recognized as historical engineering feats by various local and international civil engineer associations.

You will see the local inhabitants' houses mostly on top of the rice terraces. What separates these mountains are rivers in between.

And when there are rivers, there is a possibility of finding waterfalls, like the one below.

The two rice terraces above are just samples of what the area can offer. But the grander rice terraces, those included on UNESCO's World Heritage List, are still far from where we've been to. 

If my plans until end of this year push through, I might see 2 out of 5 of those in UNESCO's list, the Hungduan Rice Terraces and Batad Rice Terraces. The latter is the famous amphitheater-like terraces, the one always featured on the postcards.  

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