Wednesday, April 30, 2014

3 Reasons Why You Should Visit Batad Rice Terraces TODAY

1. It is a  UNESCO World Heritage Site

Batad Rice Terraces are among the five clusters of terraces which comprised the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The other four (4) terraces are found in the Bangaan, Hungduan, Mayoyao and Nagacadan.  Among these five, the terraces in Batad are considered the most beautiful due to its amphitheater-like grandeur. Batad’s terraces are also stone-walled, unlike the terraces in other areas which are mostly earthen-walled.  

These rice terraces, carved by the Ifugaos more than 2,000 years ago using bare hands and primitive tools, are probably as old as Jesus Christ

Truly, these terraces are a remarkable feat of ancient engineering comparable only to the Great Pyramids of Egypt. I am sure personally seeing this man-made wonder will make you even more proud to be a Filipino.

(Trivia: Banaue Rice Terraces found in Banaue town proper and featured on the 20-peso bill are actually not a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is due to the presence of more modern structures in its proximity.  Banaue Rice Terraces, however, are considered as a National Cultural Treasure)

But then…

2. Batad might soon lose its charm

As of this writing there is an on-going major road repair and construction which stretches from Banaue town proper down to Batad Village. According to my guide, it will make Batad accessible to vehicles once the construction is completed. 

Batad actually charms backpackers and adventurers because it can only be reached by foot. To get there, one needs to take a hike from the Saddle Point down to the village. Do you think this charm would still be there once motorized vehicles could already reach the place?

Soon, more and more tourists would flock to Batad. There will be a need to construct more lodging houses, restaurants and other modern amenities for the guests’ convenience.  People would be competing for space at the view deck to have their photos taken with the terraces as their background.   If this would happen, Batad would eventually lose its quaint and serene atmosphere.  And worst, the presence of more modern structures might even get it off the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.  

But there is an even greater danger…

3.Batad Terraces might soon disappear

It may sound grim but, yes, it is actually a possibility. When I was in Batad, I learned that the younger generation of Ifugaos are now less interested in farming. They opt to earn quick bucks by working as tourist guides. What they would earn in farming for days or even weeks, they would earn by guiding tourists in just one day. On the other hand, those who were able to finish college would naturally seek employment in urban places.

This situation puts the rice terraces (not only in Batad but also in other areas of the Cordillera region) in grave danger of extinction. For if no one would continue farming, the terraces would eventually disappear.

I certainly hope that efforts would be made to preserve the terraces and make it last for (at least) another 2,000 years.  I believe that every able bodied Filipino of today and the future generation should experience seeing this man-made wonder that would make him/her more proud of his/her own heritage, culture and tradition.

Without a doubt, my recent hike in Batad ranks high among my life’s most memorable adventures so far. Getting up close and personal with the sights I used to see only in books, magazines and blogs was a surreal experience that felt like a dream come true. It is an experience worth telling to my kids over and over again and I hope that someday when they’re old enough, they would also get to experience it personally.

This is the fourth part of my Solo Backpacking in Banaue series. Click the links below to read the other parts of this series.

Part 2: Tricycle Ride to Batad Saddle Point 
Part 3: The Hike to Batad
Part 4: 3 Reasons Why You Should Visit Batad Rice Terraces TODAY
Part 5: The Hidden Beauty of Tappiya Falls
Part 6: Finally, Banaue Rice Terraces

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  1. wow nice article, thanks for post this. visit :

  2. Really amazing sharing your provided information is very helpful for all travelers who want to visit Philippine. Philippines pack many exciting things to see and do due to its pristine beaches and marvelous natural wonders to interesting historic sights. I have been there a month ago with bestbustour that was a wonderful experience of my life.

  3. With this post, I will now include this on my bucket list this year :) Thank you Sir!
    How I wish that the government should help preserve the beauty of this wonderful heritage site.


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