The Banaue Rice Terraces of the Philippines have been said to be like the 8th wonder of the world. They were carved from the hillside by the tribes people of Ifugao about 2,000-3,000 years ago. The tribes people did this with their bare hands and crude implements, without using machinery to level the steps where they plant their rice, which is what makes this wonder so attractive, aside from the fact that the rice terraces are still used today.
This is considered to be one of the greatest engineering feats of mankind, because if each one were connected end to end, then they would reach halfway across the globe or be 10 times as long as the Great Wall of China. It was not until only 13 years ago (1995) that the Banaue Rice Terraces were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The rice terraces are like stepping stones stretching towards the sky, where some of them reach almost 5,000 feet in altitude and cover about 4,000 square miles of land. They are now beginning to show signs that they are eroding, and some of them need maintenance, while the Ifugaos’ new generation is migrating to nearby cities in search of better opportunities.
Even though it is about 8 or 9 hours from Manila in a car, the Banaue rice terraces are known to be one of the most spectacular places to see in the Philippines. They have transformed the Cordillera mountains of barren stone into ledges that are fit to grow rice.
Baguio City and Rice Terraces
Rising 1,500 meters above the sea, Baguio City enjoys a relatively cool weather throughout the year. Baguio City is at least eight degrees cooler than any place in the lowlands. Not surprisingly, Baguio City has become the “summer capital of the country.”
It is endowed with a variety of cultural, historical and scenic attractions that make it an important and interesting destination. As early as March, tourists and locals take the six-hour trek up the zigzagging Kennon Road. Within the city, the sweet scent of pine trees and flowers already permeate the air.
Designed by Daniel Burnham during the American occupation, Baguio City is situated in the midst of pine-covered hills.
Having visited Baguio City, a tourist should not miss the historic and breathtaking Banaue Rice Terraces that is also known as one of the wonders of the world. The terraces planted to rice remains to be a wonder among local and foreign tourists.