I love rice. Rice pudding, fried rice, red beans and rice, rice krispies, wild rice, sticky rice, and even young rice ice cream (there really is such a flavor in Saigon!). I even applied to be on the show Survivor once; that’s how much I like rice. However my passion for rice pales in comparison to Filipino’s passion for rice. The Philippines is all about rice. They eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is probably why there are thousands and thousands of rice terraces dotting the landscape up north. As I traveled through the north, I learned how their lives and traditions revolved around rice; 2,000 years of rice culture.
I had hired Nora, my female trekking guide to join me for 4 days and 3 nights while in the Banaue region. She put together the most sensible itinerary and helped me find some lodging in Banaue at the Fairview Inn Guesthouse. It was a modest little guesthouse outside of the town proper with a lovely terrace and view of the town/mountains and rice terraces. I was able to negotiate a double room for the price of single room ($10US) since I seemed to be the only person there! The hotel had all of the necessities; hot water, electricity, a café, and it was run by a lovely couple, Benedict and Raquel, who spoke great English, and were a joy to talk to. What I liked the most about the room was the view and the fact that it was quiet. The only noise I could hear was the roosters which seemed acceptable after living in Asia now for 6 months.
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