Nurturing our cultural and natural heritage

CLUSTERS of rice terraces lie in different municipalities of the Ifugao province. Two millennia ago, ethnic tribes used mud clay and stones to construct rice terraces and maintained these with water from mountains. Unesco (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) declared the sites a “priceless contribution of Philippine ancestors to humanity.”

Hailed as a Unesco Heritage Site, the opportunity to travel to Ifugao Rice Terraces beckoned. It was not the best season to travel, yet we had an awesome view of Banaue Rice Terraces, just as it is depicted on the P20 bill. The rice paddies were green, brown and yellowish. A red plant, called donglah, sporadically appeared to indicate lot boundaries. Our guide intoned the Hudhud chant, which is sung during the sowing and planting seasons.