Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ifugao Tourist Attractions : Mayoyao Rice Terraces

The Mayoyao Rice Terraces are among the five clusters of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras included in the UNESCO World Heritage inscription. It is one of the least visited cluster due to its remote location. The most visited probably is the Batad cluster due to its accessibility and it is closer to popular tourists destinations like Sagada.


During my birthday week, I decided to pay a short visit at the Mayoyao Rice Terraces in the town of Mayoyao in the province of Ifugao. I didn't know how to get there so I did my research and I was already warned that the trip from Santiago, Isabela going to Mayoyao is butt-numbing not to mention it would take about six hours to reach the place. I looked at the map and it seemed like it was just close. I thought it would be crazy if it will take 6 hours to reach Mayoyao.


I arrived at the terminal very early in the morning from my Baler trip. Actually I came in straight from Baler. I only slept a bit in the bus and I decided to go straight to the Santiago City Bus Terminal instead of checking-in in a hotel. The first trip to Mayoyao was scheduled at 6AM. I was already at the terminal at around 4AM, it was quiet and there were only few people. 



At 6AM, I hopped on the bus. I was praying that it would leave soon. It did, and I was happy but after about an hour it stopped again somewhere in the town of Ramon in Isabela. The driver was waiting for passengers for around 2 hours. If it was a private car, it would have taken about 3 hours only. But, I had no choice but to be patient. 



We finally arrived in the town proper of Mayoyao around 12NN. I didn't have time to take lunch so I bought some bread from the nearby grocery store from the terminal and brought it with me while exploring the town. I was informed that the bus would leave around 2:30PM so I over two hours to explore the town. I hired a tricycle and the driver became my instant tour guide. He brought me to the municipal hall and the market and then later on we visited the Mayoyao Rice Terraces. The view was amazing. Going down was pretty much easy but of course going up was another story. It was hard especially for me.










After almost two hours of exploring the town, I decided to go back to the terminal so I wont miss the bus going back to Santiago. If I had enough time, I would have stayed overnight. Unfortunately, my scheduled was so tight so I had to leave on the same day. One day, I'll go back to Mayoyao and spend more time appreciate this UNESCO World Heritage site.



Where to Stay in Mayoyao?
Pfalay Ta-o’ Inn, Poblacion, Mayoyao (2-storey, 4-bedroom house) with hot shower, Php250/pax 
Milcah Lodge, Poblacion, Mayoyao (4 rooms share T&B, 1 room en-suite) no hot shower, Php250/pax

How to get to Mayoyao:
From Santiago City: Take a bus from Santiago City Integrated Bus Terminal, first trip is at 6AM and second trip at around 11AM. Travel time 6 hours

From Solano/Banaue: Buses from Solano to Mayoyao pass by Banaue between noon and 1PM just right in front of People’s Lodge. 


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