Banaue History, Philippines
Any man-made wonder constructed some thousand years ago is a remarkable achievement. With that, Banaue takes pride for being home to Banaue Rice Terraces considered as the “Eighth Wonder of The World” built centuries ago. This is as fantastic as the Great Wall of China.
The local natives of Banaue are called Ifugaos. They’re industrious and brave, which they must have inherited it from their ancestors who went through years of land tilling more than 2,000 years just to mold the amazing mountain terraces forming the world-renowned Banaue Rice Terraces. It’s the same land that past generations and current farming residents have been cultivating. Maintaining the beauty of the terraces is their goal to entice more tourists from all over the world.
There’s no agreement of ownership of lands except for the right to plant, cultivate and harvest passed on to every family’s successors. It’s a serious task to consistently uphold the strength of ancient stone walls on the fields. Back in the old days, rifts and head-hunting voyages were worse scenarios. The Ifugao forefathers had to be proud and courageous people to sustain the tribal wars. Some Aetas or Negritos can still be found inhabiting the town. They’re dark-skinned, shorter and muscular.
Banaue Rice Terraces are irrigated through springs and mountain streams that are coursed through the canals downhill. They’ve stood up fine despite the earthquake in 1990 and the El Niño drought that attracted several soil-eroding earthworms. Before these catastrophes could damaged the spot, the land formation had extended to Cagayan and even south of Luzon. Rice growing is an integral aspect contributing to the agricultural growth of the Cordillera Region. In Philippine history, it’s the most amazing engineering project man has ever done that manifests how skilled Ifugaos really are.
The importance of having a large multi-purpose bladed knife called bolo is much appreciated by each of the 3,952 households as surveyed in 2000. It’s needed to till the land, of course. Traditions have been handed down to the younger groups to wear the traditional loincloth or tapis during special festivities. Elders wear them for photo souvenirs with the tourists. You’ll see them smiling widely as you trudge the steps of the terraces.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) acknowledge this town located on the Cordillera Mountain Ranges for having a World Heritage Site. It’s sure to give you a trip of your lifetime. Visualize yourself stepping on those terraces; you can do it. Fly to the 8th Wonder of the World and feel wonderful about it!
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