Banaue Rice Terraces and Sagada – Blast from the Past

May 2008

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Good Morning, Mountain Province!

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Banaue Rice Terraces after the rain

I really cannot remember what happened during my whole trip to Banaue and Sagada but I will try my best to share what I can. This trip was also with my college classmates so I really do not know how much the hotels/guesthouse and tours cost. I just paid Php3,500 inclusive of our transportation, the guesthouse stay and meals and Banaue and Sagada Tours.

We left UP late in the evening and arrived at Banaue at 7AM. We passed by Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and Nueva Viscaya. It was a long trip (I think almost 10 hours). At least the bus was comfortable enough for us to sleep in.

Upon arriving at Banaue, we had our breakfast at the guesthouse. We were also assigned with our rooms which I shared with some of my classmates. The rooms do not have aircondition because even if it was summer, it was still cold. We just opened our window to feel the coolness of the air. We also used heater when taking baths.

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Houses in Banaue

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View from our room

After resting and eating breakfast, we went to a nearby ethnic village where they showed us Ifugao relics like the Bulul or Anito, remains of their Ifugao ancestors, and their traditional clothing. We also saw traditional Ifugao bahay kubo. Some of my classmates even tried wearing Ifugao clothes.

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Ifugao Remains

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Ifugao Bulul or Anito

We also visited the Banaue Rice Terraces. It is considered as the Eight Wonder of the World. It looks like a huge staircase up the mountain which the locals are using to plant rice. We rode a jeep to take us there. Around the viewing area of the popular terraces, there were several souvenir shops selling keychains, t-shirts, wood carvings, bags and Mt. Province delicacies similar to what you can buy in Baguio.

It was sad because it rained so the terraces looked like brown steps. I think it is more beautiful when it is green.

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Another view of the Rice Terraces

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After enjoying the picturesque view, we visited a resort up the mountain. It was odd because the rain was pouring and some of my classmates still swam. I just enjoyed the scenery in a hut with my groupmates.

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Model of old Bahay Kubo

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Resort in Banaue

At night, we had a small cultural presentation where some Ifugaos showed us their traditional dance. Some of my classmates and even the tourists in our guesthouse participated in the performance. It was so fun to watch.

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Cultural Show inside our guesthouse

On our second day, we traveled early from Banaue to Sagada. It was endless mountains, skies and roads. We had a stop over in one of the highest point in Mt. Province for some rest.

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One of our stopovers

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Another rice terraces on our way to Sagada

Upon arriving at Sagada, we visited the Sumaguing cave. We experienced spelunking. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures since I was afraid that my camera would get wet inside. And true enough, we climbed rocks, gripped ropes and swam inside. It was one of the most thrilling experiences I had.

We also visited the public cemetery and the Echo Valley. It was really fun testing if the echo would be loud enough. On the other side of the valley, we also saw the hanging coffins which is a traditional burial rite in Sagada.

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Public Cemetery

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Hanging Coffins

Another must-see spot in Sagada is the St. Mary the Mother Church which has a very unique architecture with altar made of rocks. There were also several souvenir shops nearby and the popular Yoghurt House where you can order your favorite yoghurt and toppings

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St. Mary the Mother Church

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Stone Altar

Later in the afternoon, we returned to Banaue. It was very tiring but I enjoyed every part of my experience. I also had to do some pasalubong shopping from the nearby souvenir stores.

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Old Bell near the church

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