Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Banaue Bound Part 5 - Our Bangaan Moment

Since I was very young, I had been reading about the Banaue Rice Terraces, they were included in our social studies and Philippine history textbooks.  Billed as one of the "seven wonders of the world"  I always wished that I could see them one day.  Somehow I never quite got around to doing that -- until a few months ago.

After our visit to Batad, our guide John had another surprise waiting for us.  Instead of heading  back to Banaue, he brought us to Bangaan Rice Terraces, a few kilometers away.   Like Batad, it is one of the five terraces designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.  
Our jeep stopped by the roadside and we spilled out to see this fantastic view. 

A cluster of native huts lies at the foot of Bangaan terraces.  You can trek down to the small village via a staircase (the area I have encircled in red).  This view was postcard picture perfect.  
We spent some time taking photos until John told us that he had an ever better vantage point  from which to see the terraces, just a few hundred meters away (the area encircled in yellow). 

From this point, we could see what was not visible from the other side of the road -- a cascade of terraces layered between the Cordillera mountains -- not as symmetrical  as the Batad "amphitheatre", Bangaan's  terraces look as if some giant hand had strewn them down from the sky. 
The small cluster of huts in the midst of the terraces enhanced rather than marred the scenery.
I cannot say the same though for the electric wires that were right in my line of sight.

It was hard to tear oneself away from this extraordinary sight -- after all that I had seen on this short trip to Banaue I now understand why these terraces are called one of the "wonders of the world". 
Long may they continue to exist. 

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