Ifugao's roads may be rough. But the scenery is bliss. The trip is about five hours. But passing through the different villages makes you feel no doubt that you are in Ifugao. We left Mayoyao at about 10 a.m. for our journey to Banaue. Along the way, you get to see other Mayoyao villages and rice terrace clusters tucked securely in the grand mountains of the Cordilleras.
We had lunch in Mayoyao's last barangay before crossing the border bridge to Banaue. I remember the view from the bridge was very fascinating. But the road was currently being paved and the sides of the mountain was full of rubble all the way down due to the blasting.
Ducligan, the first barangay, was the backdrop of the Filipino movie Mumbaki. The village worth stopping at is Bangaan. The Bangaan Rice Terraces are inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras.
If only we had time, I would have wanted to trek down to the village. Maybe next time. Also along the way is the jump-off point to another UNESCO-inscribed cluster, the Batad Rice Terraces. Sadly, you can't see it from the road and it requires a hike up and down a mountain to the opposite side.
We finally made it to Banaue at about 3 p.m. We went straight to the Banaue View Point. There are actually several places to view the Banaue Rice Terraces. One of them, the NFA-Aguian View Deck is the actual view found in the 1000-peso bill.
Further up the road is the Engineers Viewpoint where the marker of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers declaring the Ifugao Rice Terraces as an International Historical Civil Engineering Landmark can be found. But an even better view is further up the road. Just keep on going and once you hit a cluster of stores, that's it.
Anyway, we had dinner at Imbayah Restaurant at the Banaue Hotel, one of my favorite places to eat in Banaue, while waiting for our bus back to Manila. the GV Florida bus leaves at 8 p.m.
How to get to and from Banaue
Read How to get to and from Banaue, Ifugao
Where to eat and stay in Banaue
Banaue has a lot of accommodation to fit every budget. And most of the lodges have their own restaurants conveniently located at the ground floor of their establishments. Being a backpacker town, the lodges can also arrange trips, guides and transportation for you. Here's a list of Banaue hotels and budget accommodation:
Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel
Standard Php2,300; De Luxe Php3,000; Suite Php6,000
Hostel Php200/person (student); Php250/person (non-student)
+63 74 3864087 / 3864088
People's Lodge and Restaurant
Common Php400 (twin bed); Php600 (double bed)
Private Php500 (single room) to Php1,800 (8 pax/room)
+63 74 3864014
Common Php200 (single); Php150/person (double)
Private Php250 (single); P200/person (double)
+63 906 8133822
Uyami's Greenview Lodge and Restaurant
+63 74 3864021
+63 920 5404225
Las Vegas Lodge and Restaurant
Family Php150/person (9 pax)
+63 918 4409932
How to get to and from Banaue, Ifugao