Banaue (population: almost 20,500) is one place where time’s stood still. Their way of life appears to be different altogether. It is all about souvenir shops, art galleries, cafes with a view of the majestic terraces and mountains. Playstations are unheard of. Kids derive their enjoyment from riding makeshift wooden “scooters.”
I am posting here “10 Things to See in Banaue” to guide the traveler and also as a reminder to self. Been only to four spots, haha. Data culled from a Philippine Tourism Authority map.
1. Tam-An Village – A typical Ifugao Village where you can see bones of Ifugao ancestors “bundled, preserved and wrapped in colorful hand-woven blankets.”
2. Banaue Museum – View antiques and artifacts about the Ifugaos.
3. Viewpoint – Provides a good vantage point for taking your terraces photos. You can even hike up the terraces through the narrow cemented steps. Souvenir shops at the arrival area and a decent cafe to enjoy the view while sipping Cordillera coffee.
4. Hiwang Native Village & Viewdeck – Another panoramic place to enjoy the terraces in their full glory. Found here are Ifugao huts with more of their antiques and artifacts.
5. Hapao Rice Terraces – The place where it all started. Just as you see in the photos.
6.Poitan Village – More Ifugao huts in mountain slopes. Weavers and carvers can be seen doing their craft. Found here is the image of the “Rice God,” their most revered idol which is believed to protect the Ifugao harvest.
7. Guihob Natural Pool – Crystal-clear spring which is ideal for picnics and swims.
8. Batad Rice Terraces – Accessible by a two-hour hike, this place boasts of beautifully-contoured rice terraces rising 3,700 feet above sea level. Go a little farther and there’s the refreshing Tappiyah Falls.
9. Banga-an Village
10.Mayoyao Rice Terraces – A place which offers a sampling of yet more beautiful stone-walled rice terraces.