"Among the world heritage sites in the Philippines, the Rice Terraces of the Philippines Cordilleras have such a powerful presence that makes them one of the most outstanding places in the country. Lying high in the Cordillera mountain range, their setting cannot be replicated anywhere in the lowland tropical landscape of the Philippines – or even anywhere in the world, for that matter.
High in the remote areas of the Philippine Cordillera mountain range, scholars believe, slopes have been terraced and planted with rice as far back as 2,000 years. Mountains terraced into paddies that still survive in varying states of conservation are spread over most of the 20,000 square-kilometer land area (7 percent of the total land mass of the Philippine Archipelago) that is in the Northern Luzon provinces of Kalinga-Apayao, Abra, Benguet and Ifugao. The improbable site is found at altitudes varying from 700 to 1,500 meters above sea level, where terraces are sliced into mountain slopes with contours that rise steeply.
Existence in the Cordillera unites man with nature, and the unparalleled view shows how man has shaped the landscape to allow him to grow rice. The sheer majesty of the terraces communicates uniqueness and strength. Besides wind and rustling leaves, there is also the constant sound of water flowing downhill on the canals that irrigate the terraces. And there is nobleness in culture and environment expressed by the timeless tranquillity of the terraces. Most Filipinos regard the terraces as their greatest national symbol". -Article from the Department of Tourism (It's More Fun in the Philippines)
It was really a breathtaking site! I was there for one of my research jobs and was fortunate to be given the chance to enjoy and really feel this gift that God has given man to develop into a majestic and productive landscape.
How to get there:
By bus, there are 3 ways to get to Banaue from Manila. Manila direct to Banaue. Manila to Baguio to Banaue, or the Manila to Baguio and to Bontoc, and to Banaue trip.
or: Manila-Solano, Nueva Vizcaya-Banaue ifugao - buses heading to Tuguegarao (e.g. Baliwag transit, Victory, etc.) pass by the town of Solano. Several jeepneys ply the Solano-Banaue route or the Solano-Lagawe, Ifugao route. From Lagawe, one can then take another jeepney to Banaue.
Manila-Tarlac-Solano-Banaue - buses heading for Baguio pass by Tarlac. Vizcaya liner plies the Tarlac-Solano route at 5 am.
By car, the distance between the Balintawak Cloverleaf, in north Manila at the beginning of the North Luzon Expressway and the Welcome to Banaue sign, is about 332 km. The road is paved all the way to Banaue. Travel time can be as long as 9 hours due to the several blind curves through the mountains.
Once there, getting around is not a problem because there are plenty of jeepneys and tricycles or you can hire a van with the driver serving also as your tour guide
Boracay is a tropical island located approximately 315km (200 miles) south of Manila and 2km off the northwest tip of the island of Panay in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. It is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. The island comprises the barangays of Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak (3 of the 17 barangays which make up the municipality of Malay. Boracay Island is located off the northwest corner of the island of Panay, and belongs to the Western Visayas island-group, or Region 6, of the Philippines. The island is approximately seven kilometers long, dog-bone shaped with the narrowest spot being less than one kilometer wide, and has a total land area of 10.32 square kilometers. South-facing Cagban Beach is located across a small strait from the jetty port at Caticlan on Panay island, and the Cagban jetty port serves as Boracay's main entry and exit point during most of the year. When wind and sea conditions dictate, east-facing Tambisaan Beach serves as an alternative entry and exit point.