Hagdang-Hagdang Palayan: Facts About a World Heritage

Surely, any Filipino knows this one significant tourist spot and Philippine pride found on the mountains of Ifugao which started about 2,000 years ago: this is what we know today as the Banaue Rice Terraces. Said to be built by pure hands where the ancestors used to plant rice, this structure is more than just how we know it. Here are a few interesting facts that will surely make the place worth a visit.

Geographically, the Banaue Rice Terraces is located 1,500 feet above sea leave with an area of 10,360 square kilometers at the side of a mountain.

The structure is one of the most impressive engineering works to have been created and accomplished in the world history. After calculations, if all the terraces are connected end to end, they would equal the length of half of the Earth’s circumference.

Today, water from catchment areas in the above rainforests provides irrigation for the terraces.

Unfortunately, the young Ifugaos of today are no longer interested in farming and because of that, the terraces are no longer maintained, started eroding and had to be redone.

Though there are still others that continue planting rice and vegetables in the area, most of them already prefer concentrating on the tourist dollars, making the structure a tourist destination because of its historic value.

The Banaue Rice Terraces was declared to be a world heritage center in 1995 by the UNESCO.

As high as 4,000 meters above sea level in totality, the terraces look like a giant stairs stretching towards the sky.

Ifugao is the term used not only for the Filipinos dwelling in the area, but also for the province itself.

During the festival of Tunggul, the locals are fond of doing fun activities that could promote their unity and bond. During this event, they prepare rice beer which they call “Bayah”, rice cakes, and betel nut.

There are still other rice terraces aside from the Banaue Rice Terraces: these are the Batad and Bangaan Rice Terraces, less spectacular than the former, but are definitely worth your view.

If you are planning to be in the Philippines one of these days, be sure to not miss the incomparable feeling after you get to see the ancient terraces.