The mountain top Ibulao Bed & Breakfast Restaurant in Kiangan, in the Philippine municipality of Banaue in Ifuao province, is about as close to paradise as you can get — especially if you love thick, verdant greenery and flowers as far as you can see. With a year-round average temperature of pretty much 75 degrees, and rainfall of nearly 130 inches, this small community never runs out of growing season as we do here in Saskatchewan!
Visiting the Philippines was a grand adventure, with the Ibulao B & B just my first stop in Banaue Municipality. My group had flown from Manila to Cauayan, a tiny airport in Isabela province, then continued by bus to Banaue. For locals and visitors, there’s both bus service and jeepneys to provide transportation.
The road up to the B & B was steep, so steep in fact that we ended up getting some afternoon exercise walking up the narrow, winding roadway! That was fine with me as it gave me time to breath in the fresh mountain air after spending the previous four days in Manila.
From the mountain top, the town of Kiangan nestled below me in the valley. The oldest town in the province, its name comes from the ancient village of Kiyyangan, which is believed to be the dwelling of Wigan and Bugan, mythological ancestors of the Ifugao people.
Our host, a former USA-based Obstetric-Gynecologist, Dr. Roberto “Toto” Kalugdan, left California to practice here in Ifugao province in the late 1990s. The people and countryside swept away any thoughts of his leaving the area.
While Roberto still practices gynecology, his creative side has taken over building the B & B and decorating it. Roberto is passionate about reusing items, and it shows in the creative ways he’s installed various “finds” into the decor.
He’s also a woodworker, carving much of the furniture and decorative pieces for the interior of the house.
Lunch at Ibulao, Ibulao Bed & Breakfast Restaurant in Banaue
While it was hard to tear myself away from the balconies, I was glad I had when lunch was served. My favorite dish — a salad of fresh cut greens with a sweet dressing. Delicious!
Luckily, I also got a peek into the kitchen, to get an insider’s glimpse of cooking in the Philippines.
Bedrooms at Ibulao, Ibulao Bed & Breakfast Restaurant in Banaue
The bedrooms of the house carried the same stamp of Roberto’s creativity as the rest of the house. One room, he’d built around a rock that jutted into the area he’d laid out for the house, so the foot of the bed rested up against it.
Another room used the natural rockface as a feature wall alongside the bed, and a higher level bunk built into it. The kids sure weren’t going to fall out of it.
And just in case you’re planning a honeymoon in the Philippines, there’s even a cozy treehouse for two built off of the main house.
Things to do in Banaue
Plan your visit to Banaue with information from the Banaue website – Click Here.
Visit the Ibulao, Ibulao Bed & Breakfast Restaurant
See the business card below to contact the B & B, and the map for its location.
My visit to Banaue was hosted as a post-trip to the TBEX Conference in Manila, Philippines, in 2016, where I presented a workshop for travel writers.