Monday, April 12, 2010

My World#65 Banaue Rice Terraces

This is Banaue Rice Terraces. Considered by many as an amazing engineering feat and recognized as a UNESCO Heritage site. For most Filipinos, they consider it as the eight wonder of the world.The more than 2000 year-old rice terraces were carved out from the mountains by the ancestors of the indigenous Ifugao people using minimum farm equipment.

(Wikipedia: The Banaue terraces are part of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, ancient sprawling man-made structures from 2,000 to 6,000 years old. They are found in the provinces of Kalinga, Apayao, Benguet, Mountain Province and Ifugao)

These particular rice terraces in Banaue are also featured on the face of the P1000 Philippine peso bill.

Photobucket

Photobucket


The rice terraces get their water supply from centuries-old irrigation system fed by the rainforests on the mountaintops.

Photobucket

Tourism has increased through the years for this beautiful place. When I first visited this place, those steps as can be seen from the picture were not there. Instead, the locals walked along the edge of the rice terraces by maintaining their balance to avoid falling off down the steep terrace. Most rice terraces are about 15-30 feet in height. Those steps were made for the tourists like me who wanted to experience walking along the ricefields without the danger of falling off the steep inclines.

Deterioration of some of the rice terraces all over the provinces were caused by increased population, migration, tourism, development and the El Nino phenomenon.

My only prayer is that the present generation would be more active in the preservation of this beautiful heritage of my country.


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13 comments:

Ebie April 12, 2010 at 1:26 PM  

One of the wonders of Philippines I really want to see! Those rice terraces are really gorgeous!

Sylvia K April 12, 2010 at 4:43 PM  

They are gorgeous and I would love to visit your world and see them! Your photos are fabulous -- the next best thing to being there! Hope you have a wonderful week, Marites!

Sylvia

Jossie April 12, 2010 at 4:46 PM  

Beautiful views of the rice terraces. Hope the tourists won't spoil the landscape.

J Bar April 12, 2010 at 4:53 PM  

The terraces are fascinating.
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Carolyn Ford April 12, 2010 at 6:56 PM  

Such a beautiful culture! I, too, hope the preservation of this magnificent sight becomes a priority in your country. I have seen such beauty in Japan. I really like how you centered a red bush in the foreground in one of your shots...that is so wonderfully composed!

ewok1993 April 12, 2010 at 7:11 PM  

It's one of the must sees. I wish to get my chance to see this some day.

Rajesh April 12, 2010 at 8:09 PM  

Amazing landscape and the history. They have been carved out of the mountains beautifully.

January April 13, 2010 at 12:03 AM  

one of the wonders of the world. medyo na tuyo nga lang dahil sa El Niño. Still all are lovely photos.

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Jenn April 13, 2010 at 1:32 AM  

I have many fond and terrifying memories of balancing along the terraces. Love your post! Sagada and Banaue... definitely one of my favorites.

Dave April 13, 2010 at 11:52 AM  

Wow! Im feeling nostalgic. thanks for dropping by my place.

Lianne April 14, 2010 at 2:17 AM  

love these beautiful pictures of the rice terraces. definitely one place i want to see!

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EastCoastLife April 14, 2010 at 5:34 AM  

I have watched a documentary on these rice fields. Amazing.

Carver April 14, 2010 at 6:26 AM  

The terraces are so beautiful and the flowers blooming in some of the shots are such a nice sight. I've always thought it must be such hard work to grow on terraces like these. I hope they will be preserved and your hopes fulfilled.

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