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Ifugao Province

This province is home to a host of very famous and historic rice terraces that have been carved into the sides of very large mountains, starting at the very foot and working their way to the top. The famous terraces have been noted as one of the most awesome wonders of the world. They appear to many tourist as a massive stairway that reaches for the sky. The terraces are part of UNESCO, a World Heritage list of a cultural landscape. No less the the US Association of Civil Engineers described the rice terraces as an engineering marvel put up by unschooled men who were free, (unlike other old structures in other parts of the world that had been built by slaves). 

Ifugao is also home to a thriving ancient culture. This could be attributed to the inherent wisdom of Ifugao forefathers. The native huts that still abound across the area could be considered as among the first prefabricated homes in the world. The huts do not use even a single nail or metal products to fasten spare parts. 

About Ifugao

The province is landlocked in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. It covers a land area of about 2,600 square kilometers with a population of just about 180,700, among the 10 lowest in the Philippines. The province is composed of about 11 municipalities. The provincial capital is Lagawe. Ifugao borders Mountain Province to the north, Benguet to the west, Nueva Vizcaya to the south, and Isabela to the east. 

The tourism attractions are spearheaded by the Banaue Rice Terraces, known as the ‘8th Wonder of the World.’ The Batad Rice Terraces are shaped like an actual amphitheater. Bangaan Rice Terraces are comprised of clusters and villages showcased in a typical Ifugao community. Mayoyao Rice Terraces and Hapao Rice Terraces are other nearby terraces. 

Many tourists also come to enjoy mountain biking at the rugged Cordillera Mountains. Doing so is an ideal way to enjoy the fabulous scenery and observe the fascinating tribal groups. This makes Ifugao also a good destination for extreme sports enthusiasts. 

Because of its colorful culture, it is not surprising that Ifugao is host to a number of festivals. 

  • Igkumtad ad Mayoyao – held every May 1 at the town of Mayoyao is a yearly community ethnic festival wherein there is a feast of dancing, singing, and drinking of local rice wine. 
  • Tungoh ad Hungduan – held every April is a cultural night of dances and songs. It features ethnic parades of local wears and games. 

How to get there

The only means to reach Ifugao, particularly Lagawe, is through riding an overnight bus from Metro Manila (designated bus terminals). Most of such buses are used by locals. The ride usually takes about 10 to 11 hours.