Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines

Monday, 28 October 2019 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage

© panoramio.com - gbuschner/cc-by-sa-3.0

© panoramio.com – gbuschner/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Banaue Rice Terraces are terraces that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao in the Philippines by the ancestors of the indigenous people. The terraces are occasionally called the “Eighth Wonder of the World“. It is commonly thought that the terraces were built with minimal equipment, largely by hand. The terraces are located approximately 1,500 metres (4,900 feet) above sea level. These are fed by an ancient irrigation system from the rainforests above the terraces. It is said that if the steps were put end to end, it would encircle half of the globe.

Locals up to this day still plant rice and vegetables on the terraces, although more and more younger Ifugaos do not find farming appealing, often opting for the more lucrative hospitality industry generated by the terraces. The result is the gradual erosion of the characteristic “steps”, which require constant reconstruction and care. In 2010, a further problem encountered was drought, with the terraces drying up completely in March of that year. Anthropologist Otley Beyer has estimated that the terraces are over 2000 years old, but several researchers dispute this and contend that they were built much later. There are also giant earthworms (“olang” in Ifugao) of the genus Pheretima or Polypheretima elongata which are supposed to destroy the terraces, as well as rodents of the genus Chrotomis mindorensis, and snails

The terraces are found in the province of Ifugao and the Ifugao people have been its caretakers. Ifugao culture revolves around rice, and the culture engenders an elaborate array of celebrations linked with agricultural rites from rice cultivation to rice consumption. The harvest season generally calls for thanksgiving feasts, while the concluding harvest rites called tango or tungul (a day of rest) entail a strict taboo on any agricultural work. Partaking of the bayah rice wine), rice cakes, and betel nut constitutes an indelible practice during the festivities. The Ifugao people practice traditional farming spending most of their labour at their terraces and forest lands while occasionally tending to root crop cultivation. The Ifugaos have also been known to culture edible shells, fruit trees, and other vegetables which have been exhibited among Ifugaos for generations. The building of the rice terraces entails constructing retaining walls with stones and rammed earth which are designed to draw water from a main irrigation canal above the terrace clusters. Indigenous rice terracing technologies have been identified with the Ifugao’s rice terraces such as their knowledge of water irrigation, stonework, earthwork and terrace maintenance. As their source of life and art, the rice terraces have sustained and shaped the lives of the community members.

© Cabajar/cc-by-sa-3.0 © CEphoto, Uwe Aranas/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Ericmontalban/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Magalhães © panoramio.com - gbuschner/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Agricmarketing
<
>
© panoramio.com - gbuschner/cc-by-sa-3.0
The Banaue Rice Terraces refer to the cluster close to the Banaue poblacion as seen from the viewpoint. Contrary to popular belief perpetrated by its inclusion on the twenty peso banknote, the Banaue Rice Terraces are not a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They were not included in the UNESCO inscription Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras due to the presence of numerous modern structures, making it score low in the integrity criterion of UNESCO. The five clusters inscribed as part of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras are Batad, Bangaan, Hungduan, Mayoyao Central and Nagacadan. Batad and Bangaan are under the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Banaue but are not called the Banaue Rice Terraces. The Banaue Rice Terraces were declared by the Philippine government as a National Cultural Treasure under Ifugao Rice Terraces by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 260 in 1973.

Another thriving economy in the Banaue Rice Terraces is tourism. The Tourism industry has developed a number of activities for visitors which may include traditional sightseeing of the terraces and visits to the tribes at the foot of the terraces. A Mumbaki (traditional Ifugao witch doctor) is also recommended to visitors: these doctors can perform spiritual healing rituals. Domestic tourism however has gone down over the past few years. A contributing factor to this is the treatment of domestic tourists by the local guides in the area where it has been reported that local guides are more willing to entertain foreign visitors. The Batad Environmental Tour Guides Association (BETGA) in association with the Batad Baranguay authorities are currently laying a concrete track down from the Batad Saddle to the village proper. The park is featured on the reverse side of the 1985 series of the Philippine one thousand peso note as well as the reverse side of the 2010 series of the Philippine twenty peso note.

Aside from the Banaue Rice terraces there are 4 other similar terraces: the Batad Rice Terraces, Mayoyao Rice Terraces, Hapao Rice Terraces, and Kiangan Rice Terraces. Soil types in this mountainous province are similar to that used to fabricate clay pots or clay jars (also used in construction by firing clay). The Batad Rice Terraces are located in Barangay Batad in Banaue, these terraces resemble an amphitheatre. The Mayoyao Rice Terraces are for a rice variety called “tinawon”, a rare type of organic rice which is grown in red and white varieties in these terraces. The Hapao Rice Terraces are located in Hungduan and are stone-walled from Sagada rock formation and date back to 650 AD. The Kiangan Rice Terraces are in Banaue, on which are grown the rice varieties of nagacadan and julungan.

Read more on Wikipedia Banaue Rice Terraces (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Puerto Rico in the Caribbean

Puerto Rico in the Caribbean

[caption id="attachment_151044" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Coast Guard Barque Eagle in front of the 16th century Fort San Felipe de Morro in San Juan © United States Coast Guard[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Puerto Rico, officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, literally the "Free Associated State of Puerto Rico"), is a United States territory located in the northeastern Caribbean. Puerto Rico is an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of small...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Frankfurt - German Architecture Museum

Theme Week Frankfurt - German Architecture Museum

[caption id="attachment_165025" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © dam-online.de[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The German Architecture Museum (Deutsches Architekturmuseum) (DAM) is located on the Museumsufer in Frankfurt. Housed in an 18th-century building, the interior has been re-designed by Oswald Mathias Ungers in 1984 as a set of "elemental Platonic buildings within elemental Platonic buildings". It houses a permanent exhibition entitled "From Ancient Huts to Skyscrapers" which displays the history of architectural development...

[ read more ]

Olympic Stadium Berlin

Olympic Stadium Berlin

[caption id="attachment_24096" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Olympic Stadium © Nikolai Schwerg/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Olympic Stadium is a sports stadium in Berlin. There have been two stadia on the site: the present facility, and one that is called the Deutsches Stadion which was built for the aborted 1916 Summer Olympics. Both were designed by members of the same family, the first by Otto March and the second by his son Werner March. It is the second biggest stadium in Germany behind Signal Iduna Park. ...

[ read more ]

Frankenmuth in Michigan

Frankenmuth in Michigan

[caption id="attachment_171478" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Zehnder's © AndrewHorne/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Frankenmuth is a city in Saginaw County in Michigan. The population is at 5,000. The city is located within Frankenmuth Township survey area. Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, which bills itself as "the World's Largest Christmas Store", is located in Frankenmuth. The city's name is a combination of two words. "Franken" represents the Province of Franconia in the Kingdom of Bavaria, home of the Franks, wh...

[ read more ]

Jewish life in the historic center of Berlin, around the Oranienburger Straße, Rosenthaler Straße and the Scheunenviertel

Jewish life in the historic center of Berlin, around the Oranienburger Straße, Rosenthaler Straße and the Scheunenviertel

[caption id="attachment_196740" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Oranienburger Straße and New Synagogue © Rohieb/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Oranienburger Straße is a street in central Berlin. It is located in the borough of Mitte, north of the River Spree, and runs south-east from Friedrichstraße to Hackescher Markt. There are also two lesser known streets named "Oranienburger Straße" in Berlin, in Reinickendorf and in Lichtenrade. The name is derived from the nearby town of Oranienburg. The street is po...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Bangladesh - Chittagong

Theme Week Bangladesh - Chittagong

[caption id="attachment_201072" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Ethnological Museum of Chittagong © Tanvir87bd/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Chittagong, officially known as Chattogram, is a major coastal city and financial centre in southeastern Bangladesh. The city has a population of more than 2.5 million while the metropolitan area had a population of 4,009,423 in 2011, making it the second-largest city in the country. It is the capital of an eponymous District and Division. The city is located on the banks of the ...

[ read more ]

Canal Street in Manhattan

Canal Street in Manhattan

[caption id="attachment_163165" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Canal Street, at the corner Baxter Street © Pacific Coast Highway/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Canal Street is a major east-west street in Lower Manhattan, New York City, running from East Broadway between Essex and Jefferson Streets in the east, to West Street between Watts and Spring Street in the west. It runs through the neighborhood of Chinatown, and forms the southern boundaries of SoHo and Little Italy as well as the northern boundary of Tribeca. ...

[ read more ]

PortMiami in the Biscayne Bay

PortMiami in the Biscayne Bay

[caption id="attachment_168586" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Marc Averette/cc-by-sa-1.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]PortMiami, formally the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami, is a major seaport located in Biscayne Bay between Miami and Miami Beach in Florida. It is the largest passenger port in the world, and one of the largest cargo ports in the United States. It is connected to Downtown Miami by Port Boulevard—a causeway over the Intracoastal Waterway—and to the neighboring Watson Island via the Port of Miami Tunnel. The...

[ read more ]

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲
Potala Palace © flickr.com - Christopher Michel/cc-by-2.0
Theme Week Tibet – Lhasa

Lhasa is a prefecture-level city, formerly a prefecture until 7 January 1960, one of the main administrative divisions of the...

Old Gyantse and Palcho Monastery © Antoine Taveneaux/cc-by-sa-3.0
Theme Week Tibet – Gyantse

Gyantse, officially Gyangzê Town, is a town located in Gyantse County, Shigatse Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region. It was historically considered...

© Sergey Korovkin 84/cc-by-sa-4.0
Moscow Cathedral Mosque

Moscow Cathedral Mosque is the main mosque of Moscow. It is located on Olimpiysky Avenue, close to the Olympic Stadium...

Schließen