Banaue is located on the Cordillera range in the northern region of the Philippines, approximately 348 kilometers from its capital city, Manila. This destination is famed for its astonishing rice terraces, often dubbed as the “Eight Wonder of the World” by the Filipinos. The Banaue Rice Terraces, locally known as the Hagdan-hagdang Palayan ng Banawe, have been in existence in over 2,000 years. These terraces are positioned approximately 5,000 ft above sea level and about 6,000 square miles of mountainside.
The Banaue Rice Terraces were built by the ancestors of the indigenous people for their livelihood through cultivation of rice. Apart from carving these terraces in the mountains, the builders also created an irrigation system to water these terraces. All these are said to be created with minimal equipment and mostly by hand. These magnificent nature splendors are listed on UNESCO’s heritage sites and among the renowned icons of the country.
Amidst these majestic terraces is a plethora of beautiful and natural destinations where one can experience one-of-a-kind encounters and activities. From old-world native villages, to mind blowing natural attractions like caves and waterfalls, and to witnessing genuine indigenous craftsmanship which reflect the rich culture and traditions of the Cordillera Region.
Banuae is not immune to threats of destruction and deterioration that’s why the local government is doing its best to implement programs and campaigns to sustain this magnificent destination and hope that they will be able to conserve these mountains of terraces for future generations to see.
By: Ling Gomez