I was puzzled as our jeepney passed the Hapao Rice Terraces viewing deck. Aren’t we going down the terraces, I asked myself as my ass bumped merrily against the hard metal deck of the jeepney’s roof.
We were riding topload again on the way to Hungduan for the third day of terrace-hopping. But before immersing ourselves into the rice paddies, it seemed we would be having a little detour first into the municipal hall of Hungduan.
The view from the top of the jeep was dizzyingly beautiful but we were forced to have a seat inside as it began to drizzle. I think the sour weather in Manila is finally catching up with us.
After an hour or so, we finally alighted at Hungduan’s Municipal Hall. I was surprised to see what seemed like a whole village of Ifugao huts. The gates were towered over by two huge sentinels, very Lord of the Ring-ish.
The huts inside the Heritage Village or Eco Village represents the nine barangays that make up the town of Hungduan. It was all quiet during our visit but this same village turns into a riot of activities during Tungoh Ad Hungduan, a yearly festivities celebrated during the third week of April.
I was impressed with the raised huts as I got to inspect them closely. These are not just utilitarian huts, one can definitely see the artwork painstakingly hand-carved in each wooden walls. It was also a wonder to know that these huts have not one single nails in them; the Ifugaos of yore used wood interlocking techniques to hold the structure together.
PHOTO OF GEN. ARTEMIO RICARTE’S MARKER COURTESY OF IVAN CULTURA OF WWW.IVANLAKWATSERO.COM
Hungduan’s municipal complex has one more interesting thing up its sleeve, the death marker of Artemio Ricarte, a Filipino General during the Philippine Revolution. He was the first Commanding General of the Philippine Army before being succeeded by Antonio Luna. The general died after taking flight from his captors in Ifugao.After a quick visit to the Office of the Mayor, we were off again. The slight rain has finally abated and we climbed up the jeep’s roof again. I readied my fat ass as we rode topload again. Trying not to mind the ultra-uncomfortable jeepney roof deck, I made do shooting the passing sceneries with a single hand .
I can truly say that green is the color of Ifugao during these months, there are no other colors but verdant green. Green, green and more greens; every shade of the color is represented through the endless rice terraces of Hungduan as we navigated the hairpin turns and rushed through the unpaved roads towards our next destination, the UNESCO World Heritage Rice Terraces of Hapao.
Hungduan Municipal Complex
Address: Barangay Poblacion, Hungduan, Ifugao
GPS Coordinates: 16.838863,121.005279
Click to view location on Google Maps
THE IFUGAO HERITAGE WARRIOR CARAVAN RUN IS A FIVE-DAY FAMILIARIZATION TOUR OF THE IFUAGO ORGANIZED BY PHILTOA