A visit to Luzon's cultures, rice terraces, and active volcano

Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, Philippines

Changi Airport Terminal 1

This adventure is: #adrenaline pumping, #on the weekend, #scenic

Tuguegarao City: A visit to Luzon's cultures, rice terrac...

Your Organizer

“Hi, it's u­­­s, Georg­i­n­a, Bri­tt­a, and ­Lee­ Lin­g­”

171 Adventures organized
4,848 Friends came along
Total ratings:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Highlights

The rice terraces of Northern Luzon are occasionally called the "Eighth Wonder of the World", a UNESCO site. It is commonly thought that the terraces were built with minimal equipment, largely by hand.  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!  Some believed that the terraces can be as old as over a 2,000 years old.  The Ifugao people since memorial of time have been the caretakers of the rice fields and naturally their culture revolves around rice.   

In Central Luzon we will be trekking the infamous active volcano, the Pinatubo make the most notorious eruption on June 15, 1991, the second-largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century.  It injected 20 million tons of sulpur dioxide into the atmosphere and its ashes fell as far as the Indian Ocean.

My plan is to start the visit with Pinatubo, we aren't trekking all the way as we will take 4x4 1.5 hour drive up, then trek for 2 hours to reach the crater lake.  Then move on to the rice terraces in Banaue and Sagada, visiting the Ifugao people, then finally exploring the Sumaguing cave in Sagada.

A visit to Luzon's cultures, rice terraces, and active volcano starting at Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, PhilippinesBatad Rice Terraces' stairway to heaven, photo by M0N FEDERE MD licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 

This is a picture of the most beautiful among the rice terraces in the Ifugao province. Built with limestones stretching to hundreds of kilometers long that looks like a gargantuan amphitheater from afar.

A visit to Luzon's cultures, rice terraces, and active volcano starting at Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, PhilippinesThis photo was taken while starting the short walk from the Batad village to its waterfall. We were among the rice fields when I saw this view that took my breath away!  Photo by Adi.simionov licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 

A visit to Luzon's cultures, rice terraces, and active volcano starting at Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, PhilippinesSagada terraces photo by jojo nicdao licensed under CC BY 2.0 

A visit to Luzon's cultures, rice terraces, and active volcano starting at Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, PhilippinesThe grandeur of Banaue Rice Terraces, photo by Cabajar  licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 

I am going during the raining season and we should be able to get this view where the terraces are filled with water.

Ifugao people and other tribal Austronesians have lived in Banaue for over 6000 years.  It is hard to imagine this friendly looking Ifugao people were once fierce head-hunters!  Fortunately, they aren't practicing this now.

A visit to Luzon's cultures, rice terraces, and active volcano starting at Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, PhilippinesThe Ifugao people, photo by Slava Myronov licensed under CC BY 2.0 

The dead all begin their journey into the afterlife strapped to a bamboo or wooden chair like that. It’s one of the many rituals in a pagan burial that’s still practiced in Sagada to this day.  Animist tribal folk believed that putting their dead in steep crevices made their loved ones nearer to the gods. Though the requirements are unclear, it’s important to note that not everyone is qualified to be buried in this way. To be eligible among many other criteria, the deceased must have been married with grandchildren.  Then, the deceased is placed in the coffin in a foetal position, this is due to the belief that a person should exit the world in the same position that they entered it.

A visit to Luzon's cultures, rice terraces, and active volcano starting at Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, PhilippinesHanging coffins in Echo Valley, photo by ginomempin licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 

Sumaguing Cave is the deepest cave in the Philippines with a depth of more than 152 metres.  We have to climb down a black pit ravine. Some may fear the darkness, for those that fear the darkness you can wait for us while we will move on to explore the cave.  We also have to rappel down in deeper areas of the cave wherein more beautiful rock formations are revealed.  I think it is worth the adventure.  I like this signboard at the entrance "While in Sagada  Take nothing but pictures, Leave nothing but footprints Kill nothing but time". 

A visit to Luzon's cultures, rice terraces, and active volcano starting at Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, PhilippinesOne of the formations in Sumaguing Cave in Sagada, photo by Andrew and Annemarie licensed under  CC BY-SA 2.0 

A visit to Luzon's cultures, rice terraces, and active volcano starting at Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, PhilippinesWe will be trekking in Sumaguing Cave, photo by Andrew and Annemarie licensed under  CC BY-SA 2.0 

A visit to Luzon's cultures, rice terraces, and active volcano starting at Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, PhilippinesAnother formations in Sumaguing Cave in Sagada, photo by Andrew and Annemarie licensed under  CC BY-SA 2.0 

A visit to Luzon's cultures, rice terraces, and active volcano starting at Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, PhilippinesView of Pinatubo crater lake, photo by Marc Reil Gepaya licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 

A visit to Luzon's cultures, rice terraces, and active volcano starting at Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, PhilippinesTrekking to Pinatubo crater lake, photo by Doods Dumaguing licensed under CC BY 2.0

Itinerary

Day 1 Singapore to Clark
Day 2 Explore Pinatubo
Day 3 7 hours road trip to Banaue, Ifugao
Day 4 Explore Banaue rice fields
Day 5 Explore Sagada, Echo Valley, Sumaguing Cave
Day 6 6 hours road trip to Tuguegarao airport, taking 2:50 pm flight back to Singapore