Mountain Paddies

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Today’s proof of the past

With no machineries but rudimentary tools, the ancestors of Ifugaos today have manually carved the slopes of the mountains into rice paddy terraces. Where there is water source, the natives can build terraces even if the slopes are rocky. The most important thing is the water source and of course, the incredible collective efforts of the Ifugaos.

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Structures seen on the slopes of┬áBatad village. The Ifugao rice farming methods haven’t changed much, but the houses have evolved

There are many articles out there about the history, the way of life, and rituals of the Ifugaos and their rice terraces. What I have here are few snapshots of the cultural landscape of the past that is preserved until today, as I trek from Batad village to Cambulo village and back.

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Light rain at the start of the trek but thankfully the skies cleared. Trekking in downpour can be precarious in the narrow paddy dikes

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Heirloom rice crop

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The view of the Batad rice terraces as I sat at the topmost paddy dike

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Verdant look before harvest time

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Walking in single file for it’s a steep drop at the other side

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