Going on a picturesque 5 km journey along a winding mountain road led us to the enchanting Tenogtog Waterfalls, tucked in barangay Mapawoy, within the charming municipality of Mayoyao, in the scenic province of Ifugao. Our guide for the Mayoyao rice terraces trek, Leandro Elahe, enlightened us that “Tenogtog” in the local dialect means “chopped,” harking back to a time when early Mayoyao hunters would gather at this very spot to prepare and distribute their game among comrades.
Aside from the majestic Mayoyao Rice Terraces, Mayoyao municipality also boasts some enchanting waterfalls steeped in local legends. One of them is the A’pfaw Mahencha Falls in Barangay Chumang. One morning, I, along with my media companions, Tourism Promotions Board, and Shroff Travel, set off on a 5–6km ride up to an overlooking Khohang Garden and Viewpoint for a picnic breakfast. The garden serves as a gateway to the falls concealed within the lush forest of Mayoyao.
The Ifugao Province is blessed with a culturally rich landscape, boasting five clusters of rice terraces inscribed under the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1995 as Living Cultural Landscapes. These include the Batad and Baangaan Terraces in Banaue, the Mayoyao Rice Terraces, the Hungduan Rice Terraces, and the Nagacadan Rice Terraces in Kiangan. Among these, the Mayoyao Rice Terraces stand out for their exceptional preservation, owing to their remote location, resulting in minimal tourist activity and thus, reduced environmental impact. My long-awaited journey to Mayoyao was made possible thanks to the Tourism Promotions Board, as we joined their Community-Based Tourism workshops in Mayoyao.