THE PROVINCE OF IFUGAO is a landlocked province in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Its capital is Lagawe, bordered to the west side by Benguet, to the north side by Mountain Province, to the east by Isabela and to the south side by Nueva Vizcaya.
The 2000 year old Banaue Rice Terraces are the main tourist attraction in the province. In 1995, the site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the 17th century, Spanish settlements were established in Bagabag which is now known as Nueva Vizcaya. The name of the place was derived from the word “Ipugo”, meaning “Pugo” as hill and the prefix “I” means from. The Spaniards changed “Ipugo” to Ipugaw and later on changed by the Americans to Ifugao. The Ifugaos resented the Spanish colonization that led various raidings by the Ifugaos in the said settlements. It was in the year 1767, when the Spaniards were defeated by the Ifugaos in the town of Kiangan. Ifugao territory became a part of the province of Nueva Vizcaya in 1839.
Upon the arrival of the Americans, the latter fostered friendly relations with Ifugaos and other tribes of the Cordilleras Region. In 1908, old Mountain Province was created and Ifugao became one of the sub-provinces of the old Mountain Province. After World War II, by virtue of Republic Act No. 4695 the old Mountain Province was divided into four provinces - Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao, and the Mountain Province on June 18, 1966.
Ifugao has a total land area of 251,778 hectares and is home of the famous Banaue Rice Terraces. The extensive mountain ranges that dominate the landscape have been terraced by hand for growing rice because there is hardly any level land. Even the nearby villages are on the mountain slopes. Numerous rivers and waterfalls drain into the lowland valleys.
The current population of the province is 161,634 and the predominant dialects used are Ifugao such as Tuwali and Ayangan, followed by Ilocano dialects and Tagalog. Many Ifugaos are also fluent in English. On the other hand, the climate in Ifugao province has two distinct seasons, dry season from November to April and rainy season during the rest of the year.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY IN IFUGAO
The main economy of the province is based in agriculture, hunting and forestry. They raise rice, rootcrops, vegetables, coffee and cotton in the rice terraces or in kaingins. Wood-carving and the making of traditional handicrafts are also additional investment. However, tourism potentials are still being further developed to boost the economy.
ART AND CULTURAL HERITAGE IN IFUGAO
Ifugao culture revolves around the rice which is considered a prestige crop. Thus, vast rice thanksgiving feasts are celebrated especially after harvest time. Partaking of the rice beer or bayah, rice cakes and betel nut is already a practice during the festivity.
YEARLY SPECIAL EVENTS
Ammung ad Alfonso Lista This is a harmonious celebration of various ethnolinguistic groups in the Alfonso Lista municipality.
Banaue Imbayah This is a 3 days festival celebrated after every 4 years, featuring ethnic parade and ethnic games.
Freedom Day Celebration Commemorates the surrender of General Yamashita to the American Forces and marked the freedom of Kiangan.
Gotad ad Hingyon
This is a feast celebrated by the Ifugao royal class to please their gods. Modern Ifugaos celebrate Gotad in April in the municipality of Hingyon.
Gotad ad Kiangan An Ifugao prestige rite highlighting singing, dancing and drinking wine.
Igkumtad ad Mayoyao An annual community ethnic festival usually held in May 1 with singing, dancing and drinking rice wine.
Tungoh ad Hungduan
This is celebrated every April with cultural songs, dances, ethnic parades and ethnic games. A climb to Mt. Napulawan for the adventurous group is another highlight of this event.
Products are based on trading industries such as gift, toys and house wares; special garments and textiles, and other food and beverages.
MUNICIPALITIES OF IFUGAO
The province is politically sub-divided into 11 municipalities and 178 barangays:
CITIES AND MUNICIPALITIES
Aguinaldo Alfonso Lista (Potia)
Apfo’or Burial Tombs
Large stone mausoleums containing the bones of the town’s ancient warriors and elite.
Banaue Rice Terraces
Dubbed as the “Eight Wonder of the World". The rice terraces start from the base of the mountain range and reach up to several thousands feet high.
This is also located in Kiangan with Ifugao artifacts.
Makaliwagha and Lebhong Burial Caves
Wood coffins and the remains of the first people of Mayoyao.
Philippine War Memorial Shrine
This is located at Linda, Kiangan, commemorating the end of WWII built in a concrete pyramid type structure resembling an Ifugao native house.
Carved woods and hand woven products are sold to travelers.
Other places to visit:
CULTURAL AND NATURAL SITES
General Yamashita’s Surrender Site
Million Dollar Hill
Bagnit Waterfalls and Numbungug Waterfalls
Pula and Cambulo Native Village
Bangaan Rice Terraces
Batad Rice Terraces
Mayoyao Rice Terraces
Ifugao can be reached by major bus transportation from Manila; and from Baguio City through Ohayami Bus, Dangwa Tranco Bus, and KMS Bus.