Marami ang nabibighani sa kagandahan ng Baguio at ng Banaue Rice Terraces—hindi lamang mga Filipino kundi pati na rin mga ibang lahi na nakakita na rito—aktwál man o sa larawan lamang. Subalit gaano man kasikát ang dalawang lugar na ’yan, marami pa rin ang hindi nakaaalam kung saang probinsya mismo ng Pilipinas sila matatagpuan.
The Mountainous Region
Situated in Luzon, Cordillera Administrative Region consists of six provinces: Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, and Apayao. The region covers most of the areas within the mountain range known as Cordillera Central.
One of the 17 regions comprising the Philippines, Cordillera Administrative Region is beloved by many Filipinos primarily because two of the most beautiful places in the country is found there—the City of Baguio and Banaue Rice Terraces.
The Summer Capital of the Philippines
The independent City of Baguio is usually the destination of many people—locals and tourists—come summertime. Situated at an altitude of approximately 1,500 meters, it boasts of cool and foggy early mornings and evenings, not typically experienced in the lower parts of the country. Although not a part of the governance of the province of Benguet, Baguio is geographically located in the said province. Significant spots located in Baguio include Loakan Airport, Camp John Hay Leisure Resort, Philippine Military Academy, University of the Philippines Baguio, Mines View Park, Burnham Park, and a number of shopping malls including SM City Baguio. The summer capital is home also to the annual flower festival known as Panagbenga.
The Rice Terraces
The Banaue Rice Terraces are the main tourist attraction in the province of Ifugao. According to some historians, ancestors of the indigenous people of the region carved these 2,000-year-old terraces into the mountains largely by hand, with minimal use of equipment. They built the terraces to provide level steps on which they could plant rice. Majestic and impressive as they can be, the Banaue Rice Terraces were not built in a day or even in a month, so to speak. They were a result of a long process which took years. Many surmise that the terraces had not even been finished. In fact, the Banaue Rice Terraces are only a part of the Rice Terraces of the Cordilleras – ancient human-made structures carved into various areas of the massive mountain range of Cordillera Central, dating back about 2,000 to 6,000 years. Rice terraces may be found also in the other Cordillera provinces, although the ones in the municipality of Banaue remain to be the most popular and well-tended. To this day, locals still tend rice and vegetables on the terraces; however, since that more and more Ifugao of the younger generation no longer find farming appealing and lucrative, the characteristic “steps” of the terraces have gradually eroded.
Sa Madaling Salita
Ang Lungsod ng Baguio ay nasa Benguet, samantalang ang Banaue Rice Terraces naman ay nasa Ifugao. Ang dalawang ito ay ilan lamang sa mga ipinagmamalaking lugar sa Pilipinas na pawang matatagpuan sa Cordillera Administrative Region.
Photos by Ron Cantiveros | Filipino Journal
Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordillera_Administrative_Region [06/20/08]