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8th Wonder Bangaan Rice Terraces Travel Destination

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bangaan Rice Terraces 8th Wonder Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
For 2,000 years, the high rice fields of the Ifugao have followed the contours of the mountains. The fruit of knowledge handed down from one generation to the next, and the expression of sacred traditions and a delicate social balance, they have helped to create a landscape of great beauty that expresses the harmony between humankind and the environment.

The Bangaan Terrace Cluster in the municipality of Banaue that backdrops a typical Ifugao traditional village that is nestled in amphitheatre-like semi-circular terraces with a village at its base. Rice Terrace Clusters of Banaue: Bangaan with coordinates : N16 57 49.00 E121 13 19.00 Reference
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

One Bangaan Road  Morning Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines.
This will be the first part of two series Bangaan Rice Terraces. 

My guide and I continue the travel to Bangaan Barangay via the Bangaan Road. It was a very sunny morning. 

By the way, here's where we previously left off with the link below as follows:

8TH WONDER IFUGAO RICE TERRACES AND HANGING HOUSE 

Bangaan Roads Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
The morning sun just touching the top of the trees as we pass Bangaan Road...
Bangaan Road Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Here's a well-lit view of Bangaan Road which is clearly "etched" at the side of a mountain which is partially blocked by a structure which appears to be a work in progress public waiting shed.
Bangaan Rice Terraces Bird's Eye View 8th Wonder Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
My guide stopped the motorized tricycle here and I quickly went near the edge of the mountain and behold a breathtaking bird's eye view of Bangaan Rice Terraces with the cluster community village below.

Reaching a higher altitude and being built on steeper slopes than many other terraces, the Ifugao complex of stone or mud walls and the careful carving of the natural contours of hills and mountains to make terraced pond fields, coupled with the development of intricate irrigation systems, harvesting water from the forests of the mountain tops, and an elaborate farming system, reflect a mastery of engineering that is appreciated to the present.

Bangaan Rice Terraces UNESCO World Heritage List Marker 8th Wonder Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Before proceeding to Bangaan Rice Terraces you won't miss this sign which reads ...

"BANGAAN RICE TERRACES
The rice terraces cluster in Barangay Bangaan, Banaue was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in December 1995 as a Living Cultural Landscape. Inscription in the Heritage List confirms the exceptional universal value of the rice terraces as a cultural landscape which deserves protection for the benefit of all humanity."

The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras were declared National Treasures in Presidential Decrees 260:1973 and 1505:1978. The terraces are likewise protected by the Republic Act No 10066:2010, providing for the protection and conservation of the National Cultural Heritage.

Bangaan Rice Terraces The Sackpack  8th Wonder Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
I spotted something out of the ordinary where a local Bangaan local with her improvised what I call a sackpack "backpack". You won't just get lost since there are many redundant signages. 
Bangaan Community Trail Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
I continue to follow a paved downward trail ...
Bangaan Elementary School Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Again, to confirm that you are in the right place, you won't miss Bangaan Elementary School which was closed since it was a weekend.
Bangaan Rice Terraces Landscape View 8th Wonder Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
I have to run down the trail as time is of the essence. I made a quick stop to take this beautiful landscape of Bangaan.

The rice terraces are a memorial to the history and labour of more than a thousand generations of small-scale farmers who, working together as a community, have created a landscape based on a delicate and sustainable use of natural resources.

The rice terraces are an outstanding example of land-use that resulted from a harmonious interaction between people and its environment which has produced a steep terraced landscape of great aesthetic beauty, now vulnerable to social and economic changes.

Bangaan Rice Terraces the Shed  8th Wonder Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
How ironic seeing a cool shade whilst I am also under a mountain's shade. 

The terraces illustrate a persistence of cultural traditions and remarkable continuity and endurance since archaeological evidence reveals that this technique has been in use in the region for 2000 years virtually unchanged. They offer many lessons for application in similar environments elsewhere.
Bangaan Rice Terraces Landscape Shade 8th Wonder Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
It's quite cool to be on this shaded portion of Bangaan ... 

The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras is an outstanding example of an evolved, living cultural landscape that can be traced as far back as two millennia ago in the pre-colonial Philippines. The terraces are located in the remote areas of the Philippine Cordillera mountain range on the northern island of Luzon, Philippine archipelago. While the historic terraces cover an extensive area, the inscribed property consists of five clusters of the most intact and impressive terraces, located in four municipalities.  They are all the product of the Ifugao ethnic group, a minority community that has occupied these mountains for thousands of years.

Bangaan Rice Terraces Communty Cluster 8th Wonder Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Ethno-indigenous cluster community is a unique feature in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) due to the terrain. In the future, I plan to document the community more thoroughly by staying for a day or two and do a cultural immersion of this place. 

The maintenance of the living rice terraces reflects a primarily cooperative approach of the whole community which is based on detailed knowledge of the rich diversity of biological resources existing in the Ifugao agro-ecosystem, a finely tuned annual system respecting lunar cycles, zoning and planning, extensive soil conservation, mastery of a most complex pest control regime based on the processing of a variety of herbs, accompanied by religious rituals.
Bangaan Rice Terraces Landscape 8th Wonder Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
I took this uncluttered landscape shot ...

The rice terraces are a dramatic testimony to a community's sustainable and primarily communal system of rice production, based on harvesting water from the forest clad mountain tops and creating stone terraces and ponds, a system that has survived for two millennia.

Bangaan Rice Terraces 8th Wonder Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
The Ifugao Rice Terraces epitomize the absolute blending of the physical, socio-cultural, economic, religious, and political environment.  Indeed, it is a living cultural landscape of unparalleled beauty.

Pride of place and culture, including the long term commitment of its indigenous Ifugao stakeholders, shall ensure the sustainability and conservation of this living cultural landscape over time.

Till next blog ... Part 2/2 Bangaan Rice Terraces.

-fin-


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