Photographer's Note

It's planting season at the famed Banaue Rice Terraces. Terracing the mountains in this part of the Philippines is a 3,000 year old technology handed over from onr generation to the next. The tribal people who till the land here are called Igorots. They are also skilled artisans and weavers. The Rice Terraces of Banaue have been designated as a UNESCO Heritage Site and is indeed in need of preservation as many young Igorots are no longer interested in working the land. While building rice terraces are ongoing, there are also stretches that are in need of maintenance and repair.

Miles and miles of mountains up in the Cordillera region of Northern Philippines have been converted to either rice or vegetable terraces in the provinces of Benguet, Mt. Province, Ifugao (as in this case), Kalinga, Apayao, Nueva Vizcaya, and even La Union and Abra.

The walls of these terraces are made of rocks arranged like a mosaic and then covered with mud; Igorots are so skilled in building terraces that they are highly sought after in terraces building for modern purposes as well as converting idle mountains and hills in other parts of the country into arable areas. Rice terraces are now, for example, sprouting in the Central highlands of Panay in the Visayas and some of those were built by Ifugaos immigrating from the highlands of Luzon to the islands of the Visayas.

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Additional Photos by Ken Ilio (flip89) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 537 W: 173 N: 576] (3418)
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