Showing posts with label Banaue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Banaue. Show all posts

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ifugao: Trek to Batad Rice Terraces & Batad accommodation

The Batad Rice Terraces are among the most spectacular of the Ifugao Rice Terraces. And aptly so since it's one of the five rice terrace clusters inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List under Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras. The other four are Bangaan, Hungduan, Mayoyao and Nagacadan. I've see the first three. And finally, I've been able to trek to Batad! Which leaves just Nagacadan on my list of rice terraces to visit.

We took the late evening bus to Banaue and arrived early the next morning. As soon as we arrived, we purchased our bus tickets home since demand is really high and we wanted to make sure we had our tickets back. For more information on getting there, read How to get to and from Banaue, Ifugao.

We then proceeded to the Banaue Hotel, the best accommodation in Banaue, where we stayed for the night. I spent the rest of the day catching up on sleep so that I'd have the energy to trek the next day. I actually spent the whole time at Banaue Hotel where I had all my meals, including the buffet dinner, since I was just too exhausted to go out.

Banaue Hotel is one of two places where you can hire accredited jeeps and guides at fixed rates. Be careful dealing with unaccredited guides and transportation since there have been not so nice stories from guests that were cheated or abandoned. The jeep to the Batad Saddle costs Php2500 while the guide fee is Php900.

The trip to the Batad Saddle was about an hour and thirty minutes. Unfortunately, it had been rainy the past few days. And since the road to the Batad Saddle is quite bad, when it rains, it can become impassable to vehicles. So we had to get off our jeep and walk a few more hundred meters up to the Batad Saddle.

Good thing, it's mostly downhill to the Batad Rice Terraces from the Batad Saddle. It takes another hour of trekking to get to Batad. I noticed the road was being widened and it seemed like they were building a road all the way to Batad Village.

One thing which is sad about Ifugao is that despite the fact it's one of the provinces most visited by foreign tourists, the roads are still bad. Maybe because foreigners don't vote? Well, it's part of the experience I guess. But the rice terraces deserve better roads. But it must come with stringent development safeguards to ensure that the rice terraces outside Banaue are protected and preserved even when infrastructure to get there is improved, so that they don't suffer the fate of Banaue.

At the entrance to Batad Village is a tourist information booth where visitors log and pay a donation to the community. It also offers a really great view of the Batad Rice Terraces. While many visitors stay overnight, we had to rush back to Banaue to catch our bus back to Manila. So after having lunch at Simon's Place (I had the Batad version of pizza), we made our trek back up. And that's the hard part!

But I did make it up in one piece and we finally got on board our jeep for the bumpy trip back to Banaue. We had about two hours to spare before our bus left, just enough time to freshen up and get a quick snack. Despite that quick stay, the trip to Batad was most worth it.

Where to stay in Batad
The accommodation in Batad is quite basic and not that many. Note also that mobile signal in Batad is close to none. So to book a place, send an SMS/text message and wait for the lodge to respond. Calling them would be difficult. Here's a list of places to stay in Batad Village:
Hillside Inn +63 (929) 1268340
Kadangyan Homestay +63 (920) 4686307
Ramon's Homestay +63 (929) 6124423
Rita's Mountain View Inn +63 (910) 8423076
Simon's Viewpoint Inn +63 (930) 5077467
Batad Pension +63 (921) 7371745
Cristina's Main Village Inn +63 (906) 9773771

For some activities in the area, you can visit some of my previous posts on Banaue, Hungduan, and Mayoyao. And here's a list of Banaue hotels and budget accomodation.

Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel
+63 (74) 3864087 / 3864088

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ifugao: How to get to and from Banaue, Ifugao

Banaue, Ifugao is the main jump-off point for various attractions in Ifugao and Mountain Province. It has become a major backpacker town and has seen an influx of foreign visitors in recent years. It has a decent hotel as well as several lodges and budget accommodation. Banaue is an attraction itself with its picturesque rice terraces as seen from the Banaue View Point.

Among the popular destinations you could reach via Banaue are the Batad Rice Terraces, Bangaan Village, and the Hungduan, Hapao and Mayoyao Rice Terraces (all UNESCO World Heritage inscribed rice terrace clusters) and Sagada, Mountain Province.

To/from Metro Manila, GV Florida and Autobus have daily trips to Banaue. Here is the daily schedule of trips:

GV Florida Transport (Php450)
22:45 Manila to Banaue
20:00 Banaue to Manila
Manila Booking - (02) 7433809
Banaue Booking - (074) 3864042

Autobus Transport Systems (Php400)
22:00 Manila to Banaue
18:30 Banaue to Manila
Manila Booking - (02) 4934111
Banaue Booking - (0929) 7663494 / (0915) 9849266

To/from Clark Airport is a bit complicated. One option is to hop on a bus to Baguio right at the Clark Airport, and catch a bus to Banaue early the next day (unless you can catch the last evening bus at 9:30 p.m.). Or you can take a bus to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija also at the Clark Airport, catch a bus to Cagayan Valley (Tuguegarao, Cagayan or Isabela) in Cabanatuan and get off at Solano, Nueva Vizcaya. From Solano, you can easily find transportation to Banaue. The third option is to take a bus to Manila and and catch the bus to Banaue from there.

To/from Baguio City, trips on Dangwa, KMS (Php415) and Ohayami are daily and last about 8 hours. Here is the daily schedule of trips:

Baguio to Banaue
08:00 Ohayami
08:00 KMS
19:00 Dangwa
20:00 Ohayami
21:30 KMS

Banaue to Baguio
06:45 Ohayami
07:00 Dangwa
07:00 KMS
16:30 Ohayami
18:00 KMS

Banaue Hotel jeepney hire rates and tour guide fees
The good thing about hiring jeeps and guides from the Banaue Hotel is that you can pay via credit card. Here are the standard rates for some of the popular destinations:

Banaue Operators and Drivers Association standard rates
Banaue Viewpoint - Php800
Bangaan Village - Php2,000
Batad Saddle Amphitheater - Php2,500
Hapao Rice Terraces - Php2,000
Hungduan Rice Terraces - Php2,500
Hiwang Village - Php900
Poitan Village - Php700
Bontoc Museum - Php3,000
Sagada Caves - Php4,000
Mayoyao Rice Terraces - Php4,000
Mt. Data and Sagada - Php5,500
Lagawe - Php1,700
Kiangan - Php2,200

Banaue Tour Guide Organization standard rates
Banaue Viewpoint Trek - Php700
Poitan Village - Php500
Bangaan Village - Php650
Batad Rice Terraces - Php900
Batad plus Tappiyah Falls - Php1,200
Batad and Bangaan Trek - Php1,200
Hapao Rice Terraces - Php650
Hapao plus Hot Spring - Php750
Hungduan Rice Terraces - Php750
Mayoyao Rice Terraces (escort fee) - Php750
Kiangan Rice Terraces - Php850

For some activities in the area, you can visit some of my previous posts on Banaue, Hungduan, and Mayoyao. And here's a list of Banaue hotels and budget accomodation.

Ifugao: Trip from Mayoyao to Banaue

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
Imbayah Restaurant
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
+63 9195325605

Wonder Lodge
Common Php200 (single); Php150/person (double)
Private Php250 (single); P200/person (double)
+63 906 8133822

Uyami's Greenview Lodge and Restaurant
Common Php250/person
Private Php900
+63 74 3864021
+63 920 5404225

Las Vegas Lodge and Restaurant
Common Php200/person
Family Php150/person (9 pax)
+63 918 4409932

Related entry
How to get to and from Banaue, Ifugao

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ifugao: Journey across the Ifugao heartland

The day after the harvest, we began our trip back to Manila. The group passed by a different route in order for us to see more of Ifugao. From Mayoyao, we boarded our rickety bus again for another bumpy ride deeper into the Ifugao heartland. But before we left, we stopped by a view point of the Mayoyao Rice Terraces.

We left Mayoyao shortly before lunch and traveled through remote barangays of the town. We had a late lunch in Barangay Tula-ed before continuing our journey. The views started getting really picturesque when we reached the bridge which connects Mayoyao and Banaue. If only we could stop at every barangay to enjoy the view. But we had a bus to catch. I especially liked Ducligan which they say was the setting for the 1996 film "Mumbaki." Another village with noteworthy terraces was Kinakin.

But I was pleased to know that this Ifugao mountain road passed through the Bangaan Rice Terraces, one of the five clusters declared by UNESCO as World Heritage. It would have been great if we got to hike down the village of Bangaan. But we didn't have time to do that as well save for a few minutes to take photos.

Bangaan is unique for its main village, a cluster of houses at the foot of the terraces. I saw old colored photos of the village when it was still all Ifugao houses. But like in most of Ifugao, new concrete houses have started to sprout all over.

The road also passes through the jump-off point for the Batad Rice Terraces, another UNESCO-inscribed cluster. But you still have to do a lot of walking to see them.

We knew we were nearing Banaue since we saw a large concentration of concrete structures from a distance. We finally arrived in town at 3:45 p.m. and went straight to the bus station to purchase our tickets back to Manila. Since the bus was going to leave at 8 p.m., we had enough time to visit the View Point area to check out the Banaue Rice Terraces. There are actually a lot of vantage points to choose from along the way.

The group had a hearty dinner at the Banaue Hotel before boarding the bus for our trip back to Manila. I've already put the planting rice tour in my January calendar!

Part 1: Trip to Mayoyao, Ifugao
Part 2: Mayoyao Rice Terraces in Ifugao
Part 3: Rice harvest experience in Mayoyao, Ifugao
Part 4: Trekking along the rice terraces of Mayoyao

How to get to Banaue, Ifugao
Florida Bus has a regular trip from Manila direct to Banaue. It leaves Sampaloc, Manila (Lacson St. cor. S. H. Loyola St.) at 10:45 p.m. Or you can take any bus that goes to Cagayan Valley and get off at Solano, Nueva Vizcaya where you can catch regular trips to Banaue and other towns in Ifugao. From Baguio, KMS Bus Lines and Ohayami Trans leave for Banaue at least twice daily.

How to get to Mayoyao, Ifugao
Take a bus from Manila to Santiago, Isabela (any bus to Cagayan or Isabela passes by Santiago). There are mini-buses from Santiago to Mayoyao which leave thrice daily at 6 a.m., 11a.m. and 3 p.m. From Banaue, there is one daily trip to Mayoyao from Solano which passes Banaue between 12 to 1 p.m.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Ifugao & Nueva Vizcaya: Banaue mornings and a stopover in Dupax

Imagine waking up to the cool Banaue morning with a view of the rice terraces and tree-covered mountains just outside your window. That's what I experienced at the Banaue Hotel for the past few days, with rooms, function rooms and a restaurant that provides panoramic views of the rice terraces. That's one cluster of terraces in the Banaue poblacion which is still free from eyesores and other unsightly structures.

It was our last day in Banaue and I'll definitely miss the cool mountain air and the great views. Before leaving for Manila, we listened to Ifugao Governor Teddy Baguilat talk about the challenges they have been facing in the preservation of the rice terraces and possible solutions to these problems. It's indeed very difficult to push for the preservation of these terraces when almost every young Ifugao dreams of making it big in the city, when G.I. sheets and hollow blocks become a status symbol. But there is definitely hope since the community realizes now that they are custodians of a legacy to the world.

On our way back to Manila (I was asleep again for most of the trip), we made one last stopover at Dupax del Sur to check out the San Vicente Ferrer Church which is a National Cultural Treasure. We had lunch there too. Anyway, it's back to school for me.

How to get to Banaue, Ifugao
Florida Bus has a regular trip from Manila direct to Banaue. It leaves Sampaloc, Manila (Lacson St. cor. S. H. Loyola St.) at 10:45 p.m. Or you can take any bus that goes to Cagayan Valley and get off at Solano, Nueva Vizcaya where you can catch regular trips to Banaue and other towns in Ifugao. From Baguio, KMS Bus Lines and Ohayami Trans leave for Banaue at least twice daily.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ifugao: Rice terraces in Hapao and Hungduan

Today was a fantastic day! I finally visited one of the UNESCO-inscribed terraces, the Hapao and Poblacion clusters in Hungduan. There are five all in Ifugao and the cluster in Banaue poblacion is not one of them! These five are Hungduan, Mayoyao, Nagacadan in Kiangan, and Batad & Bangaan in Banaue.

It was a one and a half hour jeepney ride from the Banaue town proper to the Hapao Rice Terraces in Hungduan. Then from there, we motored to the Hungduan Rice Terraces in the Poblacion. We were welcomed by the mayor and other city officials. Lunch was served in front of the municipal hall. Around the area were examples of traditional Ifugao dwellings.

Before proceeding back to the hotel, we then passed by Lagud Village Learning Inn, a community-based tourism project where tourists can opt to stay in traditional Ifugao dwellings. In fact, there have been five Japanese exchange student living there for several mounths now, immersing with the community. We also donated P200 for kids to a plant tree in our name, part of reforestation and fund-raising efforts for the education of the young Ifugaos.

We finally got back at 4 p.m. and I decided to take a power nap before our next appointment. Dinner was at a campsite in Banaue. Kudos to the Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo) for organizing this great tour and for taking the lead in the preservation of the rice terraces.

How to get to Banaue, Ifugao
Florida Bus has a regular trip from Manila direct to Banaue. It leaves Sampaloc, Manila (Lacson St. cor. S. H. Loyola St.) at 10:45 p.m. Or you can take any bus that goes to Cagayan Valley and get off at Solano, Nueva Vizcaya where you can catch regular trips to Banaue and other towns in Ifugao. From Baguio, KMS Bus Lines and Ohayami Trans leave for Banaue at least twice daily. From Banaue, you can get transportation to Hungduan.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Nueva Vizcaya: We're off to Banaue

Today, the delegates of the ICOMOS-CIAV Scientific Conference 2007 proceeded to Banaue where we will be staying for the next few days. The scientific conference is an annual meeting of vernacular heritage experts from around the globe. I was asleep for most of the trip since I did not get enough sleep the previous nights. We stopped by Balete Pass along the way. More popularly known as Dalton Pass, this marks the boundary between Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya, and therefore Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley as well.

We had a sumptuous lunch at the Governor's Hotel in Solano town. As we arrived, we were welcomed by a marching band from the local elementary school. After lunch, we were off to Banaue. Again, I was fast asleep so there's nothing much I could say. And the next thing I knew, we had arrived.

The view from my room in the Banaue Hotel was great. Imagine waking up in the morning and the first thing you'll see are rice terraces and tree-covered mountains. Dinner was superb too! It looks like I'll be gaining more pounds if they keep dishing up this great selection of dishes.

How to get to Banaue, Ifugao
Florida Bus has a regular trip from Manila direct to Banaue. It leaves Sampaloc, Manila (Lacson St. cor. S. H. Loyola St.) at 10:45 p.m. Or you can take any bus that goes to Cagayan Valley and get off at Solano, Nueva Vizcaya where you can catch regular trips to Banaue and other towns in Ifugao. From Baguio, KMS Bus Lines and Ohayami Trans leave for Banaue at least twice daily.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ifugao: Restore the Ifugao Rice Terraces before it's too late

We seem to forget there is a delicate balance between man and nature that needs to be preserved. Such a balance was close to perfect in the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras until neglect came into the picture. I've always lamented the fact that the Banaue Rice Terraces are now the Banaue House Terraces with so many unsightly structures built on them. I understand the need for more homes in the area to shelter the growing population. But can't they be built the traditional way so as not to destroy the landscape, the very cultural landscape which gives them funds to build their new structures in the first place?

The UNESCO has spoken: restore the Ifugao Rice Terraces or it's out of the UNESCO World Heritage List! Those shanties and other unsightly buildings must go! If new structures must be built, let them mimic the traditional Ifugao homes with cogon roofs and wooden walls. In fact, although it may be artificial, I feel covering all those structures with cogon would make a big difference. Or maybe the architects of the UAP can propose designs for affordable houses similar to the traditional ones which would give the Ifugao modern amenities but still preserve the cultural landscape. What do you think?

But in the long run, to preserve these terraces, we must endeavor to preserve the way of life which built them. That is tall order given the gradual growth and development these communities are undergoing. But it is one that has to be accomplished to save us from international embarrassment. Check out this article from GMANews.TV:

Unesco to RP: Restore Ifugao terraces or it's off heritage list
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) on Thursday said the scenic Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Cordilleras was at risk of being stricken off the World's Heritage List should the Philippines fail to restore it in two years.

Carmen Padilla, commissioner of the Unesco National Commission of the Philippines (Unacom), advised the government to take immediate measures to preserve and prevent further deterioration of the terraces, now included in Unesco's "Danger List" of heritage sites.

In a media forum at the La Dulce Fontanana in Greenhills in San Juan City, Padilla scored the construction of shanties and other structures on the centuries-old rice terraces in the upland Cordillera region.

Radio station dzBB quoted Padilla as saying that the structures may deface the site should an earthquake rock the region.

Other factors cited by the committee as contributing to the site's deterioration are the rising unemployment rate among farmers in the area as well as the deforestation activities in the land. Read more...

Taste of Asia Bloggers Meet
I arrived really late since I came from another event. More than half of the bloggers had left already. But at least the travel bloggers had fun. Here's myself, Anton of Our Awesome Planet, Ivan ManDy of Old Manila Walks, Eric of, and Nina of in the CliqueBooth.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Mountain Province & Ifugao: Up the mountain trail to Bontoc

Just got back from an exhausting but fulfilling day trip to the Cordilleras. Yes, you heard me right, it was a day trip! This time the HCS was off to Bontoc, Mountain Province where a rare American period upland capitol building still stands.

We all met up at Gemma's place at 11 p.m. Saturday night and were off at about 12 midnight. It was going to be a long drive up Maharlika Highway so we went to sleep for most of the trip stopping only for a short break in Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya. In Baliuag, we were caught in a major traffic jam in the brewing since an AUV had crashed into a telephone post and as a result, the wires were dangling quite low making it difficult for trucks to pass. Since it is a major truck route, imagine the long line that resulted from the accident. Anyway, we were able to manuever our way in just a few minutes but we could imagine the traffic jam we were to face if we had arrived minutes later.

From Maharlika Highway, we made a left in Bagabag towards Banaue. By the time we entered Ifugao, the sun was up. The scenery along the way was just surreal and we had wanted to stopover by a river for a breakfast picnic but had to abandon the plan since it was difficult to find our way down to the riverbank. We had made it past Lagawe, Ifugao's capital town when we decided to find a spot along the mountain road for our picnic.

We found a clearing where we parked. Gemma had prepared cold cuts, bread, cheese, and steamed brussel sprouts and carrots, a healthy treat indeed! Then we noticed we had a flat tire. And to make things worse, there was one stubborn screw which broke our tire wrench. So the driver had to hitchhike to Banaue to look for a vulcanizing shop for help. Anyway, we were stuck for close to two hours. And by this time, Gemma had sent an SOS to the governor of Mountain Province. So a vehicle was on the way. But Bontoc was two hours away! So we just enjoyed the view and watched an old Ifugao lady weave some cloth the traditional way.

When the driver came back, they were able to replace the tire only to realize that the spare was soft as well. Oh brother! So we made a slow drive to Banaue where we had the tire inflated, pausing briefly for photos with the Banaue Rice Terraces. Sad to say, the view from Banaue town is now that of the Banaue House Terraces! Sigh! And you have to drive further out of town for better views. I wonder why the local government of Banaue did not regulate the construction and development in their area. Didn't they realize that they themselves are destroying the beauty of the rice terraces they are promoting to tourists?

A few kilometers from Banaue, we finally saw the vehicle sent by the governor and decided to transfer. Since the driver was already used to driving along the rough mountain road, we were moving faster now. Of course, we could not resist the photo opportunities along the way, views of mountain villages such as Bayyo, perched beside the rice terraces which their ancestors built. Then we saw Bontoc, the capital town which appeared like a hidden metropolis in the mountains. It's sad though that the current architecture in the Philippines is so nondescript and lacks character. The view of Bontoc would have been more charming if the architectural character of the place was maintained.

We went straight to the capitol to take photos for our 2007 HCS Calendar. The facade of the capitol had just been renovated in April, the wooden windows replace by metal ones. Sigh! But most of it was still intact. So we took our photos.

Governor Maximo Dalog, who had graciously sent his vehicle to rescue us, was there to meet us. Inside his office, he served us native coffee and patupat, their native rice cake which was shaped into small triangles. We stayed in his office for quite a while since Gemma interviewed him for her TV and radio show.

We had lunch at the Cable Cafe & Restaurant which was located in an old upland house. You could see the difference between the lowland and upland dwellings and sadly, there are not much of these colonial mountain homes and shophouses left. Before lunch, we were treated to an impromptu wine-tasting session as various lang-ay festival wines were brought out. They served us sorelle (cacao), bugnay and rice wines which were really great! I mixed some bugnay and sorelle wine with my pineapple juice and the result was a delicious cocktail which Gemma named Bontoc Embrace. Hehe!

After the hearty lunch, we were brought to the Bontoc Museum which was housed in buildings designed like Bontoc huts. Right beside it was an old Catholic school founded in 1911, the St. Vincent's Elementary School which was a complex of wooden and brick buildings (more photos here). I had noticed a sign which showed a new building and fund-raising efforts for it. So I asked where it was going to be built. And to my horror, they were going to demolish some old ones.

So I immediately talked to the governor and it turned out that the tourism officer who was with us was the president of the parents' association of the school. So we were able to make them realize the value of the old buildings and they will be contacting some heritage architects for advise on how to go about restoring them.

Our plan was to visit nearby Sagada and Maligcong Rice Terraces but thanks to our flat tire fiasco, we had to make our way back to Manila. Sigh! This time, we stopped along the road for more photos. Despite the rough road which the governor calls the "Bontoc Massage," the view of the natural heritage of the Philippines at its finest makes any trip up the Cordilleras most worth it. I hope it stays that way!

One of our last stops was the marker of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers (more photos here). Aside from being a National Cultural Treasure and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ifugao Rice Terraces had also been designated as an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. So that is more reason to preserve it, moreso since it was among the 100 Most Endagered Sites for 2000, and still among 34 sites listed in the World Heritage in Danger List.

This marked viewpoint offers one of the better views of the rice terraces in Banaue. I think this viewpoint was the highlight of our trip thanks to the magnificent view and the cool mountain weather. From there, we proceeded to the Banaue Hotel where we had some coffee.

After coffee, it was off to Manila and another long nap. And we thought it was all over when we realized when we stopped over in Cabanatuan that our aircon fanbelt was broken. Good thing the weather was cool so the trip back to Manila wasn't that uncomfortable and the next thing I knew, we were back in Makati, a little over 24 hours after we had departed. It's now time to get more sleep! Hehe!

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