At one of the viewpoints of the famous Banaue Rice Terraces, an old man suddenly asked donations for the children who swept the floor every morning. “O sige po, basta papicture tayo.” I was planning to get his picture and report him to the tourism office.
Since I got a picture and will be “donating” some of my hard earned money I might as well get some information. I asked his name, he answered “Aguian (Agi – an)” and pointed to one of the metal plates.
THERE’S NO AGUIAN ON THE LIST! Does he really think he can fool me to get some of my hard earned money?
He continued pointing and I continued looking. “Wala naman po kayo sa listahan.” “Tingin ka sa may taas.”
THE VIEWPOINT WAS NAMED AFTER HIM!!!
I bombarded him with questions. You own the viewpoint? You own the rice terraces nearby? You stated the names of your ancestors before getting this land? He answered YES on all questions! Kuya Kevin (out tricycle driver) also confirmed it. He was definitely the owner of the viewpoint and the large rice terraces nearby.
I quickly changed my mindset from the cautious and doubting to the humbled and interested.
I asked a lot of questions and he was eager to answer them all. Here’s a list of what I found out about him and the rice terraces.
- Not all rice terraces have walls made of rocks. If the soil is compact and strong there is no need to put riprap to support it. Surprisingly, a large part of the famous Banaue Rice Terraces are one of them.
- The red plant is planted every after harvest to know that they have harvested on that time. Why are they few? Some wither and many are uprooted by the children.
They plant on a small patch of land in one of the terraces for the seedlings, then they get it and plant the many rice terraces.
- They hire people to plant and harvest the rice terraces.
- His wife was the one we saw planting rice sprouts in the terraces.
- The view printed on the Old 1,000 Peso Bill was actually from Manong Aguian’s View Point
Donation: 50 Pesos. Talk with one of the owners of the famous Banaue Rice Terraces, Priceless! 😀