Learn history and culture in Banaue

Travel Bucket List

Text and photos by Mica De Jesus

We lived in the city where the third largest mall in the world is located. Add to that all the other super malls within our reach, recreation should not be a problem at all. However, one day I noticed that my little girl, Hali, seemed to be not interested with malling at all. She would consistently ask what time we are to go home or would just complain how tired she is from all those strolling.

It occurred to me that I need to find other ways for us to bond. On weekends, I would take her to a "lakbay-aral" where we would visit museums, galleries, and historical places. This did not only introduce my daughter to learning outside the classroom but it also exposed here to the rich Philippine culture.

One of our best trips was when we visited Ifugao last June 2012. Back when I was in grade school I would see the majestic beauty of the Banaue Rice Terraces only in textbooks. Because we were set to migrate to Canada, I thought it would be a great idea to personally bring her to this wonderful UNESCO heritage site and have her witness this wonder.

I know Banaue is a very good place for trekking but since Hali is too young for that, we just explored the whole town, tasted the food, and admired the attractions nature has to offer.

To go to Banaue, take the Ohayami Bus whose terminal is located in the corner of J. Fajardo St. and Lacson Ave. Sampaloc, Manila. We took the 9 p.m. trip and traveled almost 9 hours to reach the destination. The ticket cost P450 at that time. You may check their website for the schedule of trips, bookings, reservations, and rates.

Banaue Hotel is most popular, but we stayed in Las Vegas Restaurant and Lodge which is located just across the Museum of Cordilleran Sculpture. The room rate is P250 per person but the owners were very nice and decided not to charge my 6-year-old daughter for her stay. You can send them advance orders for food or you can go downtown and choose from the different restaurants near the marketplace.

On our first night there was a power interruption and of course I did not expect for a generator in such a place. It was however one of our perfect moments. The breeze outside was really cool and as we peeked outside the window, we saw nothing but fireflies.

In Banaue, you can tour around town by tricycle with P10 as the minimum fare. The son of the owner of our lodge had a tricycle and offered to take us around. I just provided him with the itinerary and he would pick us up on agreed times. Going downtown would cost you around P 20 while if you are to go to the viewpoints, you need to prepare at least P200 specially if you want the driver to wait for you the entire time.

About the author: Mica De Jesus, 29, is a house wife who used to live in Quezon City but who has since migrated to Saskatchewan. She says she and her daughter, Hali, are still having their "lakbay-aral,” Canada edition.

Marvel at the majestic Mayon
Spend the night at enchanting Mt. Manalmon
Get close to 'stingless jellyfish' in Siargao
Ride the waves in Baler
Enjoy the waters of El Nido

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