LAGAWE, Ifugao – This world heritage province is now presenting to the local residents and visitors new tourist attractions which is expected to help increase the project tourist arrivals in order to contribute in spurring economic growth in the different parts of the province.
As the 7th poorest province in CAR, Governor Denis Habawel continues to venture on all possible interventions that can actually leap on agri-economy and tourism that can sustain economic development without changing the lifestyle of the Ifugaos.
As an Ifugao heritage, the province is depicted by antiques and to preserve this, the Lamut’s IFSU museum attributes the ancient time practices, customs and traditions of the ifugao people with souvenir items such as woven materials, handicrafts, woodcarvings and other small items. Hapao, Mayoyao and Batad rice terraces are also terraces like the Banaue rice terraces with the same beauty but unique settings for a better appreciation of the village, people and the culture. Behind the canopies of the striped mountain slopes also awaits a cascading 47-meter high waterfall in Batad called Tappiyah water falls. While the Pagangawan cave will be the next big thing in Ifugao. With the same body of water extended all the way to Sagada, Mountain Province, their Sumaguing Cave is as the same nature of Pagangawan cave.
The provincial government of Ifugao is also preparing an airport, heliport, and visitor centers for tourists but Habawel said that they still need to abide with the rules set by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) like the tram line proposed to be a form of transportation inIfugao but UNESCO did not approve on pursuing this so the provincial government still has its limits in building these kinds of plans. However, UNESCO is still invited to help in the master planning.
As for the maintainance and preservation of Banaue rice terraces and other tourist spot, Habawel said that maintenance is still being lived by the people and a steady source of fund is reserved for the preservation of Ifugao’s heritage sites.
Habawel concludes his statement by saying that the people must not only view the Banaue rice terraces but to explore the different places in Ifugao and observe its culture. Even without Banaue rice terraces being the 8th wonder of the world, Ifugao is still a wonder in itself. By Breach Belle L. Chinayo