The Cordillera Region has become synonymous with Banaue Rice Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If each of the 2,000+ year old terraces were to be connected to one another other, the total distance is estimated to be about halfway around the globe. Today, Banaue Rice Terraces continue to attract thousands of both local and foreign tourists every year.
But did you know that in the remote parts of the region, you’ll find equally stunning rice terraces? Sure, it may take an adventurous spirit to reach them. But once you’re there, expect nothing less than sheer amazement.
So when planning your itinerary to the Cordilleras, you might want to check out the following rice terraces.
Belwang Rice Terraces
Belwang Rice Terraces is one of the most remote in the country, located high in the mountains. It takes more than an hour of a trek from the town center to reach them. These stone-walled rice terraces nestle on a steep mountain slope and fed by a large irrigation canal. The best viewpoint is on the edge of Belwang community, where the mighty Fowa-as Falls and Angoten Cave are also located.
- Location: Brgy Belwang, Sadanga, Mt Province
Lubo Rice Terraces
Set amid the backdrop of towering mountains are the rice terraces of Lubo. These terraces signify the engineering skills of the indigenous inhabitants. They are best seen from September to December when the grains ripen. Some hikers start their hike here going to Mt. Patukan, also known as the Sleeping Beauty of Kalinga.
- Location: Brgy Lubo, Tanudan, Kalinga
Bayyo Rice Terraces
You can view these rice terraces when traveling to and from Banaue, Ifugao. There is a vantage point along the national highway where you can take pictures with a local guide wearing indigenous attire. From here, you can also view majestic Mt. Kalawitan, one of the highest peaks in the Philippines. There is also a nearby waterfall where you can swim and frolic all day long.
- Location: Brgy Bayyo, Bontoc, Mt Province
Kangao Rice Terraces
Kangao Rice Terraces may not be as extensive as those found in Banaue. But these terraces are replete with cultural and historical value. It used to be a thriving community, but an epidemic wiped out the population. Today, only a few farmers from neighboring Lias community till the terraces for rice production. Dense tropical forests surround Kangao Rice Terraces. That is why you can often see hawks and eagles hovering around. You can also spot Rafflesia, the biggest flowers in the world, along the way.
- Location: Brgy Lias Silangan, Barlig, Mt Province
Buscalan Rice Terraces
If you’re visiting Apo Whang-od, the Philippines’ last traditional tattoo (batok) artist, you’ll get the chance to relish the beauty of Buscalan Rice Terraces. For a community with few forests and dwindled water supply, these terraces are crucial to the subsistence of the locals. Nestled on the high mountains, the terraces are best seen during the early morning when the sun’s rays slowly unravel them.
- Location: Brgy Buscalan, Tinglayan, Kalinga