Stairways to Heaven

This fascinating region in northern Luzon is known for being largely untouched by Western civilization and gives a glimpse of the true Philippines. In a string of villages around Banaue people live according to age-old tribal traditions. The main attraction in the area is the Banaue Rice terraces, dubbed the Eighth wonder of the world Constructed about 3,000 years ago the terraces start from the base of the Cordillera Mountains and extend upwards for thousands of feet, cleverly irrigated by channeled streams and springs. The terraces bear testimony to the ingenuity of the ancient Ifugao people. There are more terraces at Batad village, which also sports a waterfall and natural swimming pool, and at Sagada there are a series of ancient burial caves in the mountainside with the famous "hanging coffins" perched on limestone outcrops.

Nestled deep in the heartlands of the Cordilleras Mountains and rising to an altitude of 1525m (5000ft) are the Banaue Rice Terraces. The terraces were carved out of the mountain range over 3000 years ago by the Ifugaos, the oldest mountain tribe in the area, using only the most primitive tools. The irrigation system uses gravity to harness water from the forests 1800m (2185ft) above thus ensuring a continuous supply of crops. Measured from end to end, the terraces would stretch a total length of 22,400km (13,919 miles), enough to encircle half the globe. They are often dubbed the eighth wonder of the ancient world as their age and scale is comparable to that of the official seven wonders, of which only the Pyramids of Giza remain.

Kankanaey is the major dialect spoken although English, Ilocano, and Tagalog are also widely spoken.

The province has two seasons - dry from November to April and wet for the rest of the year.

The furniture industry is a growing venture in the province. Fixtures and furniture are made from raw materials like pinewood, bamboo, and steel. Bamboo and rattan basketry is presently diversifying due to product development. Back strap weaving, an age-old handicraft, expanded to the use of loom. Colorful costumes are now designed for product lines like bags, purses, tapestry, ethnic costumes, blankets, linen, and fashion accessories.

Source: Link

No comments: