The cold midday breeze blasting through our faces was not telling of the current time; it was almost twelve noon yet it felt like it was six in the morning. We were on roof of a jeepney, zigzagging up the Nueva Vizcaya-Ifugao-Mountain Province road on our way to the famous Banaue viewpoints in Ifugao.
Our first stop was the Dayanara View Point; pretty strange title for an Ifugao viewing deck if you ask me. The place was named, as you probably guessed by now, after the famous beauty queen Dayanara Torres. The Puerto Rican stunner had a photo shoot at the deck and the locals promptly titled it after her, very Filipino right?
The view here is fantastic. I had been to this place a few months before and it was not as verdant with rice plantings as it is now. There’s a stone path leading down to the terraces if you want a closer experience with the terraces.
Along the stones steps one can also see a series of massive waterfalls cascading down from the mountains. Our guide says these wonders can also be trekked from our location if one so wishes.
Of the multiple viewing decks of the Banaue Rice Terraces, the grandest view can be seen from the Main View Point. It is an understatement to say that the view here is breathtaking.
The terraces endlessly run through the mountainsides as far as the eye can see. It is quite hard to fathom that all of these are made without modern tools two thousand of years ago by our ancestors. Its massive scale simply boggles the mind.
After a few hundred clicks from our cameras and a thousand oohs and aahhs, we were presented with an ending unique only to this part of the Philippines; a bike race, but definitely not your ordinary one.
Handcrafted engineless wooden bikes paraded and zoomed down the highway. Everything is made of wood, even the wheels. These mountain bikes have no pedals and depend only on gravity to move them.
The front of the bikes are usually adorned with very intricate designs; dragons, roosters, boars, monkeys, elephants, horses; every one of them painstakingly carved by hand.
It’s interesting to note that the Banaue Rice Terraces, the very same one depicted at the back our printed currency is not a part of the designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ifugao. This is in part to the numerous modern settlements now found on some parts of the area. It however does not lessen the beauty and grandness of the most popular Rice Terraces in the whole of Ifugao province.
Banaue View Point
Address: Nueva Vizcaya-Ifugao-Mountain Province Road, Banaue, Ifugao
GPS Coordinates: 16.90721,121.065012
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