Banaue Rice Terraces are rice fields built manually by ancient Ifugaos to provide themselves a source of livelihood in the highlands. This attraction around the Ifugao region has gained fame worldwide for its stair designed rice paddies carved along the sides of the mountains. It gives a picture of a stairway heading to the sky and if connected end to end, the length of it is ten times longer than the great wall of China. Considered the “eight wonder of the world”, these terraces are now 2000 years old.
It is a must to go hiking and discover more of the picturesque sites of the terraces. Tam An village, down steep steps behind Banaue Hotel has challenging tracks going to a village of local weavers and wood carvers. The hike on the tiny paths of the terraces gives more excitement along with Ifugao kids following around. Further ahead are more quality weavers and carvers willing to sell their works for the least price anyone can expect.
Life changes as generations pass by. Upon the invasion of tourism, these innocent highlanders begun embracing the life of the lowlands. The unsightly traffic of jeepneys, tricycles and buses clashing along narrow streets of Banaue, if you are new, could be extremely disappointing. This once quiet village previously of green background now became a site of tin houses and concrete buildings; totally destroying the fresh and clean environment of the town. Despite all these, however, Banaue residents retained its old heritage. They still practice their rituals and sacrifices for bountiful harvests.
To get there, take North Expressway from Balintawak and get off at Santa Rita Exit No. 38 where signs indicate the roads to Cabanatuan, Tuguegarao, etc. The road goes through the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Nueva Viscaya passing through Cabanatuan, San Jose, Santa Fe and Bayombong. After Solano, turn left to Bagabag. This route passes through Lagawe and reaches up to Banaue.