Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

The majestic Banaue Rice Terraces, the mountain ranges, the demanding hikes in Batad Village, the engaging sight of local villagers planting rice, the native Ifugaos. 

Banaue is a small endearing town of around 22,500 people, located in the Cordillera mountains in the province of Ifugao, famous for its magnificent rice terraces that earned its title as the 8th wonder of the world, at least among Filipinos.
Take a long hike by the highway to get the best exhilarating views of the rice terraces, take a minute or two break at each of the viewpoints, take in the sights, appreciate the beauty laid out and carved around the mountains by the Ifugao ancestors some thousands of years ago, marvel at the wonder of nature.

Banaue though has its share of flaws and madness, it’s a touristic town after all.  How many times have I been solicited for a viewpoint tour by tricycle drivers or a hiking tour in Batad where I was left to tend by myself back to the saddle point.  The annoying guides constantly badgering tourists arriving from provincial buses for a share of the tourism dough.  Looking for prospects, offering accomodations and eventually their tour assistance that you may never actually need.  I watch and listen to them every morning, hanging out in troops beside their vans on one side of the street in Poblacion soliciting customs from group of tourists passing by.  Sometimes, they’re assertive, but you can’t condemn them, it’s their source of income, this is a tourist town where everyone deserves a piece of the tourism pie.

Yet, don’t let those petty issues gets into you.  In the end, you might really need them.  Banaue is a wonderful place to enjoy, hike as you please, wander around to your heart’s content and revel in the scenery just as everyone else did.  I did, why else did I stay for more than two weeks if it did not please me?



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