Have you ever wondered how it’s like to sleep at one of those native Ifugao houses? Waking up with the cold mountain air and opening your windows to the soothing sights of pine trees swaying? The first time I went to Banaue, I was able to sleep at one of those native houses on top of a terrace in Bangaan. I enjoyed the cool space and walking the wooden floors with my bare feet. Little did I know that there’s a place closer to Banaue town proper until we found Banaue Ethnic Village and Pine Forest Resort.
From Banaue town we took a tricycle to take us to Banaue Ethnic Village. It’s about 2 km away past the main Banaue Viewpoint which is also approximately 6km from town proper. But the ride didn’t feel that long since the road is well paved. Our driver dropped us off at the entrance and would wait for us there.
From the entrance we were already impressed on how neat the pebbled road and tall pine trees led to the main area of the resort. The area was spacious and very picturesque, sitting on a gentle mountain slope surrounded by pine trees. My GPS reads that we were already 1600meters above sea level which explains the cool wind.
We were able to take a tour of the place and see what it offers. From the conference area, we were led to the lodging area. The lodging here are the native Ifugao Houses which are slightly modified in the interiors. But the exterior is still done how the ifugaos naturally do it. Just below is a natural pool with water coming from the mountain spring.
The place is also flanked by a river on one side so there is a nice boating and fishing area. I heard that they also plan to put a cable car for additional activity. One scenario I could imagine here are campfire stories there at night.
Aside from the Native Lodging houses, the resort also host cultural and educational activities. They have a live museum where you could see the evolution of ifugao houses. Apart from that, they have lectures on ifugao Culture and Traditions, Cultural Shows and Native Ritual Performances.
I really like this place as it is very relaxing and ideal for learning. This is where the first Backpack Photography Workshop would be held. If you are interested to learn Photography on this idyllic backdrop while immersing in Ifugao culture, join the Backpack Photography 101 Workshop on March 19-21, 2010. Check here for more details.
Banaue Ethnic Village and Pine Forest Resort
Aparnga-O, Viewpoint, Banaue, Ifugao,
Tel: (074) 386.4082
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.