I had been hearing about the amazing beaches in the Philippines for years now, so I always had it on my list as a ‘must see’. I had the perfect opportunity to travel to the Philippines for my niece’s softball tournament so I thought this would be my chance to finally experience the Philippine beach hype. I researched it all on the internet, found flights out of Manila to Boracay, searched for cheap hostels and then something happened; a friend mentioned trekking.
He said that there was a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the northern Philippines which highlighted rice terraces in the mountains created 2,000 years ago. Yup, you read that number right…ancient rice terraces built high into the lush green mountains. Right before I booked my beach plans, I decided to research these ancient rice terraces a bit and googled images of ‘rice terraces Philippines’. The first picture displayed and that’s all it took. My heart yearned for green mountains and fresh air; my heart yearned for come cardiovascular exercise; and my heart yearned for photography and culture. The beach sunset was a fading fast in my head and my heart took over.
The Banaue terraces are part of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, ancient sprawling man-made structures from 2,000 to 6,000 years old. I arrived in the small northern town of Banaue with no plan. I thought I would try ‘real’ backpacking on this trip and arrive at my destination and figure it all out from there. These still doesn’t come very easy for a type A personality like mine, but I resisted the urge to pre-book a tour, guide, or lodging and threw caution to the wind.
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