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Ifugao - Land Of The Eighth World Wonder

Ifugao is the home of the famous 8th wonder of the world - the Banaue Rice Terraces - mountains converted into ricefields like stairways to the sky. UNESCO enlisted this known terraces as the world's heritage.

Through the wisdom of the Ifugao forerunners, watershed management system was instituted to maintain the terraces as the primary food source of the Ifugaos.

The name Ifugao came from the word "Ipugo": the prefix "I" means from and the word "pugo" means hill. The Spaniards changed "Ipugo" to "Ipugaw", and the Americans altered it further to "Ifugao".

Ifugao is located at the foot of Cordillera Mountain Range, with a total land area of 251,778 hectares. It is approximately 320 kilometers north of Metro Manila. The capital of this province is the humble town of Lagawe, located just before one reaches Banaue. The whole province is politically subdivided into 11 municipalities and 178 barangays.

The province normally experiences dry season from November to April. The rest of the year belongs to the rainy season. It is, however, preferable to visit the rice terraces during the summer months, when there is no fog and one can get the clearest view of the spectacular scenery.

In the year 2000, baed on NSO census, Ifugao has a total population of 161,634. Ifugao dialect is basically used by the natives. The next dialect most often used is Ilokano, followed by Tagalog. The English language is widely comprehended by the people.

Farming, trading, services, manufacturing and food and beverages are the major industries of Banaue, alongside with tourism. The famous Banaue Rice Terraces was built more than 2000 years ago. It is composed of about 20,000 hectares of engineering marvel that spans the towns of Hungduan, Mayoyao and Kiangan. It was built by the Ifugao tribe using only their bare hands and primitive tools. This 8th Wonder of the World shows man's intelligence by turning moutain slopes and ridegs into a continuous source of sustenance.

As part of tourist destination of Asia, Banaue Rice terraces start from the foot of the Cordillera and reaches up to several thousand feet high. It is always described as "where the land merges with clouds to meet the heavens." Its span, if stretched from end to end, could encircle half of the globe.

After the trek and sight seeing of the terrace, experience the cool splash at the spring of Guihob and the magnificence of Tappiya Waterfalls.

Banaue Hotel offers catering services for picnic meals and a limited choice of meals in the mountain inns and lodges. Souvenir shops are present along the road, where one can buy precious mementos of the Ifugao experience, such as printed shirts, bags of various native colors and styles, wooden sculptures, handcrafted ornaments, and even authentic native costumes.

Aside from the world renowned Banaue Rice Terraces, there are also other rice terraces in the province. Batad Rice Terraces is unique in that it is shaped like an amphitheater. Bangaan Rice Terraces is another spot worth viewing from Mayoyao. It is an hour ride from Poblacion, Banaue, plus a 20-minute trek down to the village. 44 kilometers away from Poblacion, Banaue brings one to Mayoyao Rice Terraces, while 55 kilometers away from the capital town of Lagawe is the location of Hapao Rice Terraces.

In addition to these terraces, one can also visit the historical Philippine War Memorial Shrine at Linda, Kiangan, 10 kilometers or approximately a 15 minute drive from Lagawe. This was built in commemoration of the end of the World War II.




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