In the fastness of the Cordillera mountains, 250-km north of Manila, Ifugao tribespeople have carved a livelihood from bare rock. Over the centuries, generations of Ifugao have laid stone after stone constructing dikes to hold back what little soil washed off the mountainsides creating vertical gardens that rise as “stairways to the heavens.”

Rice Terraces in Batad, Ifugao Province

Rice terraces are common throughout Asia but nowhere are they as spectacular as in the rugged mountains of northern Luzon. The Ifugaos have resisted integration into mainstream society and still practice their traditional farming and religion although headhunting is on the wane.

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Rice Terraces in Batad, Ifugao Province

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