Five months ago I got to visit the Rice Terraces of Hapao due to the insistence of a guide I unfortunately got introduced to. He kept on insisting that I should visit Hungduan since it was the greenest of all the terraces at that time. With really no other choice, being low on cash, I finally agreed.
It was my second time to check out Hungduan’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hapao’s sprawling rice terraces, this time with the cast and crew of PHILTOA as part of the familiarization tour in Ifugao.
Our hike officially started with me accidentally plunging down a small ditch. From then the group single-filed from Hapao’s Public School and proceeded down the slippery concrete steps into the rice paddies. This was much easier than yesterday’s hike through Batad. The paths we treaded were concreted field dikes, which is quite easy to navigate as long as you have proper balance.
In my observation, Hapao’s Rice Terraces looks more sprawling than the ones in Batad and Banaue. It seems flatter and more spread out than its counterparts.
Our objective for the day was to reach Hapao’s Hot Springs which was about an hour and a half away by foot. But since it was already lunchtime, we first proceeded to Giovanni’s Resort where the mayor of Hungduan joined us for a small feast.
While waiting for lunch, the grouped passed the time posing and shooting the rapids at the back of the resort.
A brief lecture was held before we started our trek again. It was interesting to know that Hungduan’s Rice Terraces are cited by GIAHS (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems) for their ingenious irrigation system which has been in use for thousands of years already.
It was almost 3PM when we resumed walking. It was unfortunately too late to proceed towards the hot springs, we have to go back. We again lined up single-file through the rice paddies, pausing every now and then to take in the panoramic beauty of the Hapao’s terraces.
One good thing though was that we didn’t pass the same way we came from. We traversed the terraces and headed for the original viewpoint which our jeepney passed earlier. The only real challenge was the never-ending steps back up to the road which took me three full stops before finishing.
Hapao’s rice fields were still as green as I remembered months before, the difference this time was I got to go down its terraces and walk along its narrow dikes; not a mere spectator of its panoramic beauty anymore.
Hapao Rice Terraces
Address: Hapao, Hungduan, Ifugao
Environmental Fee: Php10.00
GPS Coordinates: 16.88944,121.005925
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