8th Wonder Travel Destination Ifugao Wooden Scooters | AvianQuests

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8th Wonder Travel Destination Ifugao Wooden Scooters

Sunday, June 4, 2017

One Fine Morning Banaue Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines


Ifugao province's landscape is generally characterized by mountainous terrain, sloping rolling hills and plateaus reach an elevation of 2,523 meters above sea level. The elevated terrain enables residents to enjoy semi-temperate climate all year-round. Covering an area of 251,778 hectares, Ifugao has 11 municipalities and 175 barangays. It has a population of 180,711; an annual growth rate of 1.55 percent; an employment rate of 90.58 percent; and a literacy rate Of 80.80 percent. The province has a literate labor force of 106,000 (NSC), 2007). Ifugao is 348 kilometers (km) from Metro Manila and 265 km from Baguio City. There are two land routes to the province: one is by way of the Maharlika Highway through Nueva Ecija, and the other through the Halsema Highway from Baguio City. The nearest access to air transport is Bagabag Airport in Nueva Viscaya. From there, it takes about 45 minutes by land to reach Banaue, a major municipality of the province.

Las Vegas Lodge ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
I arrived at Poblacion, Ifugao province early to get myself settled at a nearby lodge and whilst it was still early, I made sure to talk to the manager of the inn and inquired who knows of contacts for affordable tricycle/motorcycle rental. I cut the deal and made arrangements on what time the motorcycle driver will pick me up the next day my travel from Poblacion to Banaue Rice Terraces view decks then proceed to Bangaan, Ifugao and then to Batad Rice Terraces.
Poblacion Sunset Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Having secured my next day transportation, I walked to Poblacion Public Market. I was able to capture the golden sunset hour which is my first time at Poblacion. 

Moonlight Serenade Las Vegas Lodge Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
After buying food at Poblacion Market, I took my supper around 7 p.m. at the Las Vegas LodgeLights off at 8 p.m. with an excuse to do a quick photography session. Here's a moon shot from where I checked in at the lodge. After 10 minutes I made it a point not to forget to set my mobile phone's alarm clock active (mine's set to full volume). Off to dreamland zzzzzzz.

Tam-an Rice Terraces Dawn Landscape Ifugao  Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
I turned off my mobile phone's alarm and was listening to the sound of birds chirping as I woke up with this beautiful dawn scene from the lodge window. It signals a beautiful day and an adventure itching for an immediate scratch for relief. I all packed my things my bagpack and another duffle bag. My guide arrived to pick me up with his motorized tricycle. Off we went to Banaue Rice Terraces.

One Fine Morning Banaue Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
We reached the Banaue Rice Terraces Deck as the day was unfolding with morning sunlight slowly revealing the surrounding mountains of Ifugao.

Banaue Rice Terraces Bulul Fertility Idols Watch and Protect the Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Just a word of caution, don't start talking/playing around the three black bululs (middle picture above) or else you invite trouble/misfortune. The Bululs are not just symbols of fertility but they assume guardianship of the rice terraces.

There is only one place on earth that you will find these incredible two-wheeled vehicles - Ifugao, Cordillera Administrative Region. The effects of applied force/motion powers these ethno-indigenous homegrown/homemade wooden scooters of Ifugao which can reach up to speeds around 30 kph.  Mostly handmade and carved, the wooden scooter has long been one of the choices of transportation for Ifugao (“People of the Hill) in Banaue and is still being used as of today. Wood is a cheaper and eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered motorcycles and scooters. 

Banaue Ifugao Young Children Wooden Bike Riders Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
I spotted these two young kids riding proudly with their Ifugao ethno-indigenous hand/homegrown wooden scooter and wooden tricycle.
Young Kids Wooden Bike Riders of Banaue Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
They came to the Banaue Viewdeck area as I talked to them they responded fluently in the English language to my surprise. The two young boys also both agreed to have their pictures taken. I've never been to a Philippine province where young children will talk fluently in English. This is Ifugao- Cordillera Administrative Region, definitely exception folks.  

Youngest Kid Wooden Bike Riders of Banaue Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Seated comfortably with his tricycle type (3 wheeled). You'll never find any of these vehicles exactly the same.

Young Kid  Wooden Bike Riders of Banaue Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

This is a scooter which is two-wheeled riding version which requires more riding skill in balancing just like a regular bicycle. Behind him is the Philippine tricycle which my guide and I used to get here. 

These ethno-indigenous homegrown/homemade wooden scooters of Ifugao were created centuries ago to help people travel downhill at a very fast rate. The Ifugao indigenous community people had to walk up the surrounding hills almost every day to gather firewood and tend to their rice crops, and carrying the load back down was an exhausting task that took them hours to complete. The Ifugao indigenous community people started making scooters almost entirely out of wood and pushed them uphill whenever they had something to transport back to their village. At the top of the hill/mountain, TIfugao indigenous community people who own these wooden scooters would simply strap the load on both sides of their ride and let force, motion and the downward incline of the hill take them back down do the village in just   matter of minutes. In time, making wooden scooters became a homegrown art form, and masters of the craft began decorating them with all kinds of designs, from local animals and birds to human heads.

On to the next destination, Bangaan  Rice Terraces (coming soon).

You can take a jump from here and check out these related blog posts of Ifugao. Enjoy ! 😎

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