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9 Activities You Can Do in Banaue

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Nine Activities You Can Do in Banaue Once The Lockdown Ends 

Given the current events that are driving fear and panic amongst us at the moment, it’s difficult to see light at the end of the tunnel and feel hopeful. The pandemic has serious effects on our daily routines including cancelling trips abroad, enjoying shopping at the malls and eating out… even the simple act of greeting someone hello now causes stress.

Times like these, our first instinct is to escape to a place where it’s safe to leave the vicinity and explore without worry. Taking a plane anywhere isn’t advisable so a road trip is the next best thing. Far away from the city is the province of Banaue where the air is fresh, the produce is pesticide-free and thoughts of viruses are a timeline away.

So what exactly can one do at the remote mountains? Lots!

Hiking
Do as the Ifugaos and walk, walk, walk! The best way to experience all the grandeur the place has to offer is by foot so you don’t miss a thing. Invest in good hiking shoes, workout gear that allows you to breathe, a hat to protect you from the elements plus a sturdy bag to carry all the essentials and you’re set. Don’t forget to get a guide—your safety is what matters most, the locals are the best navigators when exploring. This is their turf after all!

Sight-seeing
If you’re not the sporty type or aren’t confident with your hiking skills, rent a van and see the sights from the roadside. Rice terraces are everywhere in Banaue, one simply has to stop and seek the view from time to time, with a guide to tell stories, anecdotes and ancient rituals that make it even more intriguing and interesting. You can even stop at town and eat at the end of the day.

Swim at the waterfalls
Tappiya falls in Batad is a treasure in itself. You’ll need to exert effort to see its grandeur but those who have been swear it’s worth it. Nestled between rice paddies, it provides the residents and their crops much needed sustenance while visitors can enjoy the serene flow and dip at the pool after a long hike. It’s the reward after a long journey you wouldn’t want to miss.

Dip in the hot spring
Bogyah hot spring in Hungduan is a popular destination for visitors who want to experience a “Jacuzzi” amongst the mountains. The naturally heated water provides comfort for weary muscles and joints, heals the mind and soul and provides a rare glimpse of the simple things that bring joy.

Bird watching
There is definitely no shortage of endemic birds to the region that birders will appreciate. One simply has to sit still, be quiet, listen and watch these magnificent creatures; best of all, it’s free!

Drawing
If art is your escape there’s no better place to flex those muscles than the majestic sights of Banaue! Take your medium of choice to one of the viewpoints and get lost in the magic of your surroundings. Imagine the things you can produce!

Meditate
A quiet place to quiet the mind is something everyone needs now. Take advantage of it while on holiday here.

Write
Been procrastinating finishing that manuscript for a while? The serenity of Banaue is the perfect place to write and reflect with no distractions and vices that can get in the way.

Visit the museum at Banaue Heritage Hotel
Spend a few blissful hours getting lost in this space filled with artifacts from the Ifugao’s past. You won’t even notice the time pass as you peruse the many items and learn about their unique heritage while enjoying the cosy, homey space.

Stay safe, stay healthy and we will see you when it’s clear to travel once more!

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THE BANAUE HERITAGE HOTEL AND MUSEUM IS YOUR GATEWAY TO THE CORDILLERAS

One of the Ifugao huts or bale in the compound you can rent
Intricate sculpture made from one piece of wood
Peruse books about the region in this cozy nook.
One of the many bulus who live in the museum.
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What started as a dream to preserve Banaue’s rich culture and heritage of owner Atty. Jimmy Buhain has become a reality after he purchased the home and museum that contained the most extensive collection of artifacts in the province and turned it into a cozy boutique hotel and heritage space. The well-travelled Chairman of Rex Group of Companies is an avid collector of obscure pieces and ornaments from his many travels (he is Asia’s most travelled person), the older, more storied, the better and when it comes to preserving his country’s culture, he is intent on keeping things as is and where they should be, in his own grounds if needed. This is how he came to be the owner of the 3000sqm property above the clouds, which he named Banaue Heritage Hotel – an homage to the Ifugaos and Cordilleras. 

From rare bululs (rice gods), ritual boxes, outfits and ornaments, wood carvings and even pre-colonial Chinese porcelain and jewelry from the different tribes of the Cordilleras, the museum is indeed a treasure trove for scholars and common folk alike, who yearn to get to know the people of Banaue through their traditional practices and objects they used in everyday life. Guests are treated to a guided tour by the museum’s longstanding guardian Fe, who is quite well versed in backstories and secret anecdotes about the artifacts; there are also very interesting books about the region that visitors can peruse while sitting on the comfortable wooden benches in the first floor. Upstairs, more treasures abound with even more stories to tell; all one really needs is time to explore and be in awe of this region’s fascinating culture. 

The former owner’s home was converted into a fourteen-room boutique hotel with ten traditional Ifugao huts or bale that guests can also rent for a more authentic  experience and live as the locals did. The compound is filled with local flora and fauna, welcoming guests like a warm embrace as they climb up to their rooms and be greeted with the most spectacular views of the mountains and terraces. The sunrise can be viewed daily at the rooftop balcony, as well as mountains with actively working terraces. There is truly no other place more peaceful or serene in Banaue that’s complete with modern amenities for a most comfortable stay. 

Scrumptious local cuisine also await the visitors, taking advantage of the fresh produce from the markets like garden fresh salads, itag or smoked pork loin, upland dried fish and native, free range chicken and eggs. 

An on-call masseuse is also available for those who want to relax after a long day of hiking and exploring; for bigger groups, cultural performances of the highland tribal culture can be arranged. 

The serene surroundings are also home to a diverse species of birds and colorful and interesting insects, encouraging bird-watchers to come and explore. Writing and yoga workshops, meditation and wellness retreats are also welcome to fully take advantage of nature’s bounty in a peaceful, quiet and serene space. 

Welcome to Banaue Heritage Hotel and Museum. We hope you enjoy your stay.