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Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines, literally throbbed with activity — trikes scooting along with passenger sidecars, jeepneys, full to capacity with young boys leaning off the top like an illustration in a children’s picture book, cables crisscrossing overhead connecting cement and wooden structures as if they were processors inside a computer.

Village of Banaue in Ifugao province in the Philippines.

Village of Banaue in Ifugao province in the Philippines.

There was just so much the senses could take in without overloading!

That was my introduction to what some call “a ragged collection of tin-roofed edifices along a ridge,” and I call amazing. To me, Banaue could have been the inspiration for one of my favorite science fiction television series, The Expanse, and the colonies in the asteroid belt whose inhabitants are known as belters.

Village of Banaue in Ifugao province in the Philippines.

Village of Banaue in Ifugao province in the Philippines, as it nears closing time for the day.

 

Banaue Village

Banaue Town Hall in Ifugao province of the Philippines.

Banaue Town Hall in Ifugao province of the Philippines.

Banaue is 333 km away from Manila, capital city of the Philippines. My trip to Manila had been great, with a direct flight from Vancouver, and a reasonable connecting flight from my home airport, Regina. After speaking at the TBEX conference for travel bloggers, I’d arrived for the adventure segment of my trip after a short flight to Cauayan and bus ride to Banaue.

There are just nine towns in landlocked Ifugao province. Historically, the two-thousand+ year old state was prosperous with one of the best technologically developed agricultural areas in Asia. Thus, of course, the nearby Banaue Rice Terraces stand out — indeed, they’re sometimes called the eighth wonder of the world and have been designated a UNESCO site.