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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Travel Rice Terraces, Headhunters and Yo-yo Bowling (Banaue, Philippines)
Rice Terraces, Headhunters and Yo-yo Bowling (Banaue, Philippines)
Wayfarer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2009
Posts: 300
From: Italy, but not by choice
Posted: 2013-04-30 10:32 am   Permalink

On my latest trip to the Philippines I visited the Ifugao rice terraces, which were made 2000 years ago by Ifugao tribesmen. Not precisely tiki but these people were headhunters, so close enough. While in Banaue, where the rice terraces are, I also went to Hiwang Village which is full of old Ifugao stone and woodwork as well as some remnants of their not-so distant headhunting past. I've been to Borneo a few times and this culture high in the mountains of north Luzon, isn't too different from the former headhunting tribe I'd seen there. The Spanish never quite conquered the mountain men like they did the lowlands so their culture is a lot more preserved as it was. Even today its a long trip through winding mountain roads to get here, but it was worth it!


This is the "1,000 piso (peso)" view of the rice terraces. The photo really doesn't do justice to the vast size of the things. It's the 1,000 piso view because the back of the 1,000 piso bill is an image of the terraces taken from this location. They're also on the 20 piso, but I didn't find a 20 piso view of the place.




This distinguished Ifugao gentleman posed posed for pictures (for a small donation) at the 1000 piso view. His remaining teeth are red stained from chewing betel nut, a stimulant commonly chewed in southeast Asia. When I was in town there were signs all over that forbid spitting betel nut, which is why you'd see cans covered in red spit lying around.


A view from Hiwang Village. Hiwang isn't a literal village, but rather a repository of Ifugao crafts and a few of the huts can be rented for a night.


Fog set in then it began to rain while we were up at Hiwang. I got to see the terraces on a sunny day, foggy day and during a rainstorm all within about four hours.




My little sister with a statue. To quote Velma, "What a ham."


These are traditional Ifugao huts. The entire house is hidden under that over-sized roof.


You know what I like to decorate my skulls with? More skulls. Most of these came from Japanese soldiers in World War II, a few from Filipinos. The horned animal skull is from an Asian water buffalo called a carabao.




A small grotto of stone statues, many are little gods like the rice god, but there were a few Buddhas in the lot as well. New idols had to be made for special occasions so there were a lot of these things tucked away in Hiwang.


What Rudyard Kipling called the "Great Gawd Budd"


A view inside one of the huts




Japanese helmet. I think the owner is hanging on the wall outside. Gives new meaning to the term 'skull bucket,' doesn't it?




Tam-an Village is an actual village between the terraces. Located directly below the Banaue Hotel they're used to tourists and the first shop you see will offer to let you play with their 'ancestors bones' for small fee. According to the shop owner each time they take them out it requires a small fee so they can pay to sacrifice a chicken. Personally I think they're the only fake bones out here, but hey, farmers have to make a living so we played along. That's me next to my little sister.


Tam-an Village, this is what a modern working village looks like, more or less.




A view of terraces from another terrace




Our hotel is at the top of the mountain here. It was built by Marcos in the 1970's. Not that it compensates for martial law and assassinations but he has probably done more to promote the culture and heritage of the Philippines than any leader before or since. I saw his mausoleum a few days later. He looks well for a man who's been dead twenty years.


See that top thing streaking toward the pins? The kid had that wound up on a string before letting it loose. The game is basically bowling with a yo-yo.


Winding the string about the top.









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Wayfarer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2009
Posts: 300
From: Italy, but not by choice
Posted: 2013-04-30 10:50 am   Permalink

I forgot to add these shots of Banaue proper. It has no bank and the ATM is just for show. Also, they don't take credit card here. Be prepared to barter with chickens for food and lodging. I'm kidding. But just barely. Hot water, like the internet or air conditioning, is a luxury here. Up in the mountains I also found American country music is quite popular.




Straight ahead is the tourist information center.




A jeepney, the automotive icon of the Philippines. Away from metropolitan areas like Manila and the Subic Bay Freeport Zone its common to see people riding on the roof and hanging off the back while it drives up and down the mountains. Further proof everything is more fun in the Philippines.


Las Vegas Restaurant and Lodge. Going by the decor Nanay (mom) said that this place was an acoustic guitar away from being a folk bar. Then after serving us the waiter busts out his guitar and his buddy pulls out some drums and they start jamming out on 3 Doors Down and Nickelback tunes.


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Hale Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 19, 2004
Posts: 1798
From: Pittsburgh
Posted: 2013-04-30 10:55 am   Permalink

These photos are awesome, thank you. I am, however, sad that the douchey-ness that is Nickelback has made it's way all the way to the Philippines.

Some really awesome photos. Looks like you had a heck of a trip, and incredible views!


 
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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 2980
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2013-05-01 07:47 am   Permalink

The pictures with all the skulls were very interesting and eerie at the same time. Thank you for all the info and pictures.

 
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tikilongbeach
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1186
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2013-05-01 08:11 am   Permalink

Great pictoral! I love the comment, "You know what I like to decorate my skulls with? More skulls." It was a great laugh!
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Wayfarer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2009
Posts: 300
From: Italy, but not by choice
Posted: 2013-05-02 08:42 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2013-04-30 10:55, Hale Tiki wrote:
These photos are awesome, thank you. I am, however, sad that the douchey-ness that is Nickelback has made it's way all the way to the Philippines.

Some really awesome photos. Looks like you had a heck of a trip, and incredible views!



That was only one day's worth of an amazing eleven day trip. I'd post more it if I thought TC would let me. Besides Banaue we also visited the Capas National Shrine & Final Bataan Death March Marker (the Shrine is on the site of the POW Camp and every kilometer of the Death March is marked with a white obelisk), saw the hanging coffins of Sagada (they traditionally hang their coffins off the sides of the mountain), the first Filipino flag in Baguio, the Spanish colonial town of Vigan, stayed in a 140 year old Spanish mansion, viewed the site of Gen. Yamashita's surrender, enjoyed fabulous mountain views throughout, saw the body of Ferdinand Marcos (who looks well for a man twenty years dead), visited Marcos' vacation home, went horseback riding on the northern shore of Luzon, saw the limestone beach formation called Kapurpurawan, saw "earthquake" baroque churches, took in a view from the base of Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, saw the beach windmills in Bangui & a beautiful red sunset and that's the short version of our trip! Oh, and I interviewed my friend's father, who as a child witnessed World War II first hand on Bataan. His father was a guerrilla.

Glad you guys liked the pictures.
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