The rain continued to pour down but that didn’t stop us from further exploring the eastern side of Ifugao for our ocular. Our tricycle drove 10 more kilometers from Hapao Rice Terraces (which is already 15km away from Banaue town proper) to reach the Rice Terraces of Hungduan, one of the 5 Rice Terraces enlisted under UNESCO World Heritage Sites which also includes, Batad, Bangaan, Mayoyao and Nagacadan. Banaue Rice Terraces is not part of the UNESCO list but it is declared a National Cultural Treasure.
My head would occasionally hit the steel ceiling of the tricycle we were in. That’s how rough the road was, and on occasions we had to go down so the tricycle could easily pass through the slippery and muddy tracks. It was mostly whiteout but views of the country side seeping through now and then from the road. Our driver would also recommend a few stops to take pictures until we reach the Rice Terraces of Hungduan.
Some text also refers to the Hungduan Rice Terraces as Bacang. From the view deck, I noticed how the terraces nicely spreads out on all direction from the central peak, which may also attribute to it’s other name as the “Spider Web Terrace”.
We hadn’t had lunch yet and there’s no eatery nearby, and only a small sari-sari store. There were some noodles, eggs and a few breads which we happily took and cooked from the humble home of our tricycle driver. Satisfied with our lunch we head out to Hungduan Village and School as we were told it has a nice vantage point.
The village is small and everyone seems to know everyone especially our driver. With the rain clouds still hanging, it was hard still hard to see a good view from there but we were satisfied enough to leave. Hungduan not only has good looking terraces but also played a role on our history. General Yamashita, the head of the Japanese Imperial Army made his last stand here during the World War II before he surrendered at the nearby Kiangan.
We made our way back to Banaue and made a few stops and observed some farmers still working under the rain. It was nice to visit Hungduan Rice Terraces which is not often seen by people but deserving the look. I’d surely go back here given the chance and on a good weather.
Join our Backpack Photography Workshop, Photography 101 at Banaue at March 4-5, 2011 and Island Hopping Photo Tour in Batanes on April 17-23, 2011.
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.