In Ifugao, wall says it all | Inquirer Business

In Ifugao, wall says it all

/ 11:03 PM December 03, 2011

WALL OF STORIES. Romeo Nabannal operates Rita's Mount View Inn in Banaue, Ifugao, and one of its primary draw is this wall of visitors where guests post their photographs and calling cards after hiking through the partly-scarred Batad Rice Terraces, one of the relics enshrined in the World Heritage List. EV ESPIRITU/NL

BAGUIO CITY – The wall of Rita’s Mount View Inn overlooking the rice terraces in the village of Batad in Banaue, Ifugao, is a collage of photographs, calling cards and identification cards posted there by tourists who have discovered stories about the so-called eighth wonder of the world.

A German hiker, who spent hours walking through the terraces on November 11, returned to contribute his own photograph to the myriad faces on the inn’s wall.


An Australian couple spent some time looking at the faces and names on the wall, which included former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.


Sections of the Batad terraces were heavily eroded by recent typhoons, along with many other terraces enshrined in the World Heritage List. But these centuries-old mountain farms still attract Europeans and other repeat visitors no matter what state the terraces are in, said Purificacion Molintas, Cordillera director of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Heavy rains dumped by typhoons in September and October triggered landslides that damaged bridges and roads, isolating Ifugao for days.

Tourists were trapped in the province until the government opened a new bridge and cleared roads of debris.

Despite this, tourists continue to come, adding their photographs to the inn’s wall.

“Ifugao receives the highest number of foreign tourists in the Cordillera…. World Heritage Sites will always [draw] attention,” said Molintas.

Records from the Ifugao Tourism Office showed that 103,470 domestic and foreign tourists visited the terraces in 2010.


Ifugao Representative Teodoro Baguilat Jr. said 20 foreigners visited the terraces between November 10 and 12, taking in the sight of the scars made by the recent landslides.

“Most of the [Ifugao visitors] are European. They are backpackers who do not mind walking the extra mile because we still have closed roads,” Baguilat said.

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TAGS: Baguio, Business, Ifugao, Tourism, Travel

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