The province of Ifugao is a lush, mountainous land that is rich in culture, history, and natural resources. Situated in the Cordillera mountain range, Ifugao is home to the UNESCO recognized Banaue Rice Terraces. But these rice terraces aren’t the only thing special about Ifugao. There’s much more to see and do, which is why you should add this amazing province to your travel bucket list.

I made my way to Hungduan to catch the rituals that the locals do in honor of the end of the harvest season. Check out my experience in the province below:

 

What else does Ifugao have in store for visitors to the region? It’s a province that’s best for travelers who are in love with nature and culture. Ifugao is one of the few areas untouched by colonization, so many of the locals were able to retain their traditions and rituals. If you want to immerse yourself in how Filipinos lived before colonization, then you definitely have to visit this place. There are no 5-star or luxury hotels and facilities, but Ifugao is still a rich province. It’s rich in age-old tradition, beautiful culture, and fascinating history.

There are several villages in Ifugao to visit if you’re looking to see how the people practice their traditions and rituals. Bokiawan Village is located 12km from Banaue. They also have their own rice terraces so you can learn about how the traditional Ifugao people cultivate their land. The Pula and Cambulo Native Village features the ancient craft of bark cloth weaving. They also offer homestays if you want to spend a truly immersive night or two in the village.

Ifugao Women in Banaue by Kobby Dagan

As much as the Ifugao celebrate and cultivate life in all forms, they also have a very spiritual relationship with death. You can check out their burial techniques that have been passed down for generations in the Apfo Tombs, or in the Makaliwagha and Lebhong Burial caves.

When visiting Ifugao, be sure to pack clothes for outdoor activities. There are a lot of spots for caving, hiking, waterfall chasing, and swimming in Ifugao. Lagawe is home to two caves: Bintakan and Nah-toban. Be sure to get a knowledgeable guide who can lead you through these caves, which are full of stalactites, stalagmites, and unexplored depths.

De-stress and unwind in the hot springs of Tocucan in the Tinoc region. These sulfuric hot springs help relieve you from internal problems like arthritic pain, digestive issues, and menopausal symptoms. The springs are at the end of a two-hour hike from Benguet, a relaxing reward after a tough journey!

If you’d like to stay in the Banaue area, visit the Guihob natural swimming pool for a quick dip or the Tappiya Waterfalls in Batad. There is also the Ducligan hot springs that is connected to a deep pool just 20 km away from the Poblacion.

Hungduan rewards those who can endure a challenging three-hour hike with the Buyukan Waterfalls. Other places to visit to see cascading falls with some age-old legend behind them are O’phaw Mahencha falls, Tenogtog, Bagnit and Numbungug waterfalls.

If you like to trek and hike through the lush forests and mountains, Ifugao is the place for you. There are three mountains in the area that you can hike, but they may be for more advanced hikers. Mt. Amuyao is the 8th highest peak in the Philippines that overlooks the Mountain Province, Isabela, Ifugao, and Nueva Viscaya. Mt. Napulawan is home to rare flora in its luscious forest. In the center of Ifugao lies Mt. Anapawon, one of the best places to go camping with a view of the Hingyon rice terraces.

What’s your favorite thing about Ifugao? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Erwan Heussaff
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