Monday, January 14, 2013
Sagada via Banaue Part 1: The Banaue Rice Terraces
The Banaue Rice Terraces
Back several decades ago, when I was much younger, my uncle would always test me what are the 7 wonders of the world. After reciting correctly the 7 ancient wonders, my uncle would surprise me, "and what is the 8th wonder?" To his satisfaction, I would proudly say, "The Banaue Rice Terraces of the Philippines!"
Since then, I always had wanted to see the rice terraces which I heard often in our history class and read in textbooks. To me then, and up to now, it is a wonder of how thousands of men labored lovingly to create a beautiful landscape that describes native Ifugao's ingenuity and deep understanding of nature. Constructed more than 2000 years ago, before the colonization period, the rice terraces is a testament of the native's high level of knowledge of structural and hydraulic engineering to produce crops such as taro ( first crop produced), rice, and these days, a variety of vegetables.
Dyanamic Irrigation Employed by the Rice Terraces ( each terrace feeds water to the terrace below it )
Contrary to the popular belief that the Banaue Rice Terraces is a "World Heritage Site", the reality is that Banaue Rice Terraces failed to make it to the Unesco World Heritage list due to the presence of modern structures right now. :( The proliferation of modern structures in and around the area made it score low in the integrity criterion of Unesco. The rice terraces that are listed in Unesco's World's Heritage Site are Batad, Bangaan, Hungduan, Mayoyao Central and Nagacadan. Together, they form clusters of rice terraces named as "The Rice Terraces of Philippine Cordilleras". Even though Batad and Bangaan are under the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Banaue but they are not referred to as the Banaue Rice Terraces. Despite not making it to the UNESCO WORLD'S HERITAGE list, The Banaue Rice Terraces is a National Cultural Treasure under Ifugao Rice Terraces. The Philippine Cordilleras host some of the nation's National Parks, and one of the top tourist destinations is Sagada, which I will be sharing in my next posts.
My Father @ Banaue Rice Terraces
What makes my trip to Banaue Rice Terraces and Sagada very special is that it is a trip with my family. Back when we were younger, my father and mother always would talk about how great is our God to give men such intelligence to form the Banaue Rice Terraces. It was soooo inspiring listening to both nanay and tatay talk about the rice terraces then. How I wish nanay was also present during our Banaue trip, but her loving memories and wisdom shared to us will always live in our hearts. It was sooo good listening to tatay again like he would when we were younger about this magnificent gift we got, right there in front of Banaue Rice Terraces.
I Just Can't Help But Take These Roosters Pictures, them, being part of my childhood as tatay raised roosters when we were younger
Also, it was great to be wandering in nature and exploring nature's wonders with the 3 generations of my family: tatay the first; me and my brothers the second; and my nieces and nephew the third generation.
More about Sagada via Banaue in my later posts.......