We were supposed to simply just go straight to Isabela to do the traditional pamamanhikan with my brother’s fiancee’s family but my Mom decided that we had time to swing by Banaue and stay for the night. I was feeling disappointed at not being able to go to Cebu, and couldn’t care less about where my Mom wanted to drag us to, but one look at the Banaue Rice Terraces immediately changed my mind. The view was breathtaking.
Sure, the Banaue Rice Terraces is considered a UNESCO heritage site and we should all be proud of that distinction, but I think another thing we should be proud of is the fact that the terraces are one of the very few ancient man-made structures constructed by free men and women. The Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon — all these were created by slaves devoid of free will.
Our ancestors who created the terraces were people who believed in an idea and who saw that it could benefit them. Unlike the efficiency of slave labor where control was wielded through a whip, the construction of the terraces was probably in great parts messy, chaotic and uncoordinated. I’m sure the tribe leaders sometimes wished that they were dealing with slaves as it would make the work easier. There were probably many brawls and bickerings, not to mention loud sighs and whinings.
But they got it done. As free men and women unbridled by chains and by whips. It probably took much longer and with a lot of rough edges, but it doesn’t matter now. Thousands of years from their creation we are still held in awe by the majesty and grandeur of the terraces and we remember that they have been built by a people proud, fierce and free.
Next stop: SAGADA! Was supposed to join my friend Danny and a bunch of people who went there for the weekend, butI have a scheduled hearing on Monday so, so much for that. I’m deadset on going to Sagada this summer, though. Beaches are SO last season. 🙂