Banaue – A Photoblog

Apologies for the delay, but here it is.  Part one of my five-day adventure up in the Philippine Cordilleras.

After a ten-hour bus journey from Manila, we arrived in Banaue hungry and bleary-eyed.  Fortunately for us, our host arranged for a local guide and land transport between Banaue and Batad.  We were welcomed by hot coffee, a warm meal, and a glimpse of what’s to come.

View from People’s Lodge – our breakfast stop.

We spent the rest of the morning exploring the Ifugao rice terraces, a.k.a the image at the back of the 1000-peso bill.

The 1000-peso image.


The Banaue Rice Terraces were truly a sight to bold, but it was only a pit stop onto the main highlight.  We heard that the terraces in Batad were more picturesque, and are listed as UNESCO Heritage Sites.

Lean on me.

One of the things we’ve learned is that the Ifugao peoples believe in and worship a god of the harvest, called Bulol. Images are carved from a local plant that has a fibrous trunk. (Notice the fuzziness of the wooden statues?)

Father and son installing statues of Bulol.

One of my favourite photography subjects of late are the local people. I think every culture has its share of beautiful faces, both old and young.

Good morning, Apo! (Apo means Grandparent)
A paparazzi shot of our guide, Uly.
Beautiful Ifugao child.

We stopped by Banaue again on our way from Batad to Sagada.  This time, something different caught my eye.  Just below the rice terraces and all that concrete was a bubbling river.  It looked so quiet and serene, a world away from the heavy traffic just twenty metres above it.

A river runs through it.

It was an image of Banaue past, and present. A town clinging to its heritage, yet quickly being overrun by modernization. I wonder – and perhaps, fear – what that image will be in ten years’ time.

Zoom out.  Nature juxtaposed on the city. Or vice versa.

0 Replies to “Banaue – A Photoblog”

    1. indeed – my dad actually asked me what’s so spectacular about the landscape, as china has similar views, too. i just said, well, i don’t live in china, i live here! it’s more expensive for me to travel to china. haha!

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