Savoring the Banaue Rice Terraces from the Viewpoint


Banaue Rice Terraces

My first trip to Banaue took place in the early 2000s. I had a consulting work that has something to do with the evaluation of one of the program components of the EU-funded CECAP. When you go to Ifugao and see those signages that say "CECAP", that's the project.

The trip was a mix of anticipation, excitement and a bit of anxiety. Finally, I thought, I would be able to see one of the wonders of the world! I also dreaded the fact that I would be conducting workshops with Ifugao people who could barely speak Tagalog or even Ilocano, but we were able to settle with a bit of English during our discussions. Be that as it may, everything went well and nobody got lost in translation.

The better part of the work, however, were those quiet mornings while sitting in the breezy veranda of Sanafe Lodge while drinking their freshly brewed coffee or those chilly sunsets while enjoying my bottle of the old San Miguel beer before dinner after those tiring rocky road trips to project sites and interviewing people involved in the program.

The best part, I think, is having coffee or beer while savoring the view of the rice terraces that seemed like within your reach. Since then, I told myself that this would be the kind of job I wanted to do more often. Kabunian perhaps heeded my secret whispers, and I am living that dream.

The downside of that trip, however, was the fact that I did not even have a camera with me to document those treasured moments! For that project, I even had two trips, and I even stayed the second time in the famous Banaue Hotel, which, was expensive, by the way. It was a regrettable night when I went down for dinner and watched the cultural presentation afterward--without even the slightest chance to document the event.

Why did I not have a camera back then? Yeah, I had a point and shoot film camera, but why did I not bring it? Oh, well! I am glad I could still recall those 'first-time' moments and the wondrous feeling of staying in Banaue for a few days.

In 2009, I had the chance to be a tourist in Banaue and no more work this time! After witnessing the Lang-ay Festival in Bontoc, then a jaunt in Sagada, we exited via Banaue. Since the trips to Manila is at 7pm, we decided to have an adventure-filled day tour.

First, we wanted to see more of the rice terraces. We could, at most, see Hiwang, and Hapao terraces, then go up the Viewpoint to see the terraces in Banaue. In fact, from Hiwang, one can have a better view of the rice terraces of Banaue, and why we still entertained the idea after seeing and walked one too many rice terraces that day?

Actually, I was the one who insisted. It was already raining but I told my companions that we should make the most out of the free time, and since we were just 5-minutes away, I told them that we, nonetheless,  should feel and live like tourists! (Smile!) Plus, I had a hidden agenda--that is to photograph the iconic Banaue Rice Terraces I have always been seeing in postcards and magazines and to finally document what I saw the first time I went to Banaue. So, there.

Although my photography was ruined by the strong rains, I managed to capture good ones before it rained so hard that afternoon.

Enjoy the view!

Banaue Rice Terraces
The iconic part of the Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces
Zooming into this beautiful arrangement.

Banaue Rice Terraces
Looking at the winding stairs

Banaue Rice Terraces
The sight of the water cascades after the rain makes one realize how ingenious the irrigation system is.


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Aside from my day job, I love photography and storytelling. Going places--be it a cliche destination or the far side of the road--stoke and free my soul. I dig deeper into the people’s psyche, culture and ethnicity, and heritage. I love to observe how they thrive and build social institutions, preserve their culture and traditions.

6 comments :

Pinoy Adventurista said...

I love your job! Sarap naman nun na you get to travel and also work at the same time. Good thing you have a point and shoot film camera, di mo lang dinala. Ako, my family never invested on one, so i don't have a photos of some of my trips when I was young.

Buti na lang nakabalik ka in 2009... I never heard about Hiwang... Check ko nga... Thanks for shring Ding! :)

Riz said...

Nice! At least nung bumalik ka meron kana camera at ang ganda ng mga shots! Inde pa ako nakapunta jan. sana next yr mpuntahan q to. :)

Ding said...

Thanks, Mervs! yeah, the fringe benefits! Hiwang, for me, is heaven! I have yet to experience staying at least for overnight in that place.

Ding said...

Riz, you should go there. It feels like heaven to be there....thanks!

Asiong32 said...

i totally enjoyed the view especially the last pic. it was awesome! real beauty! kelan kaya ako makakapunta dito? u

Ding said...

@Asiong, dapat soon! you will feel relaxed and forget your worries there...

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