I was really thrilled when I found out that Hapao Rice Terraces was included in our Weekend Ifugao Heritage Warrior Caravan itinerary. I’ve been to Hungduan town already but it’s my first time to visit the rice terraces in Hapao. Just like Batad Rice Terraces in Banaue, Hapao Rice Terraces in Hungduan is one of the five rice terraces in Ifugao that has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We left Banaue hotel at around 8AM, most of us are still sleepy but I guess everyone was also excited to explore this side of Ifugao. It was full of fun and excitement from the time we left the hotel till we reached our stopover, Why? Because we were all enjoying the scenery and the cool weather while seated on top of the jeepney:) Indeed, Joyride is more fun in the Philippines.
While on our way to Hungduan we had a short stopover at the Native Village Inn & Restaurant. The hotel owner graciously served a slice of scrumptious chocolate cake and unforgettable Benguet coffee for our sleepy heads. The native Ifugao huts for rent are really gorgeous, the views are phenomenal and the food their restaurant is so good.
After our short hotel inspection, we were back on the road for yet another sightseeing tour. The road to Hungduan was rustic and scenic, being on top of the jeepney gave us a panoramic view of endless green and yellow rice fields. The harvest season already started and if you look at some of the rice fields from afar, they are full of farmers that look like a group of ants working together to collect food.
Ifugao’s are warm people, each time we pass by a house or waiting shed with a group of kids or people in general, they would always wear a smile or simply wave their hands that simply shows you are welcome to their ancestral domain. Our second stop was at the Hungduan Town Hall where we met the local officials. The local tourism official gave us a short briefing about the historic town and their heritage preservation efforts.
After the short orientation, we proceeded to the Hapao Elementary School to turn over school supplies and other tools for the school which was collectively gathered by members and officers of PHILTOA. After the short stopover at the Hapao Elementary School, we headed to the Mayor’s resort located in the middle of the Rice Terraces just right beside a beautiful Hapao river.
The town of Hungduan was recognized by GIAHS or Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems because of its well constructed and effective irrigation system. The global recognition from GIAHS was just proving that the rice terraces of Hungduan are of universal importance and significance.
Hapao Rice Terraces in Hugduan Ifugao houses some of the most beautiful rice terraces in the Philippines. This place has attracted many tourists with its raw appeal attributed to its lush green rice terraces followed by forests and waterfalls that give a memorable experience to its visitors.
Visitors can also walk around the rice terraces for getting that unique joy of watching the rice terraces and people engaged in farming. Travelers can gain first-hand experience on what it would be like to wake up in a native house in the middle of the rice terraces.
Local people here are friendly and cooperative. Guides are also available for assisting the tourists during their walk around the rice terraces. Farming in the rice terraces and tourism is considered to be one of the main sources of income for local residents here. Visitors can also have a taste of the traditional Ifugao food from the hotels that are located near to these rice terraces.
The most sought after attraction in Hungduan Rice Terraces is the hot spring of Bogyah. The water that flows through this spring is crystal clear. Visitors usually involved in walking and hiking across the terraces take their time out to relax in the rocks adjacent to the hot spring. Unfortunately, we were not able to visit the hot springs due to lack of time but I already included it in my bucket list…
Almost a few meters away from the resort, visitors can have fun by swimming and playing in the cold waters of Hapao River. The cool breeze blows continuously thereby providing refreshment to the tourists. The experience is incredibly impressive and the scenic beauty of the place will surely keep your cameras busy as you will be tempted to capture the essence of the area in every frame.
Jeepneys are the most common form of transportation in Hungduan Rice Terraces in Ifugao. Visitors can avail of the service of a jeepney to get breathtaking views of the rice terraces from the top viewpoint. The heritage village is also a major source of attraction where visitors would get a hands-on feel on how the houses are constructed and how the locals get on with their livelihood. Hungduan’s Hapao Rice Terraces is certainly a must-visit place for all those visitors who plans to explore the beautiful province of Ifugao. The trip and the short hike can be tiring but it was very very fulfilling.
Our visit to the Hapao Rice Terraces in Hungduan is part of our Ifugao Heritage Warrior Caravan Tour that was organized by PHILTOA together with the members of the media. In the upcoming 23rd Philippine Travel Mart, PHILTOA members will be offering tours to various heritage sites of Ifugao. They will also offer affordable travel and tour packages, discounted hotel rooms, and super discounted airline tickets.
The 2012 Philippine Travel Mart will be on August 10-12 at the SMX Convention Center in Mall of Asia, Pasay City.