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Raul Echivarre | profile | all galleries >> The Early Years >> Travel >> Ifugao province >> The Ifugaos tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

The Ifugaos | A Landscape of Light and Shadows | Zenscapes | The Ifugao Province Adventure Team

The Ifugaos

So who are the people who live here and how do they look like? The Ifugaos are quite an interesting people both in terms of character and physical features. They bear a striking resemblance to the likes of Alaskan Inuits, Mongols and even Native Americans. Kinda makes you think and realize that we're all related somehow. These people, like the others that I compared them to, live a relatively hard life in that arable land isn't exactly flat and doesn't lend itself to the usual kind of planting and plowing. Weather up north can get really cold as well as they're living several thousand feet above sea level. All these make for a hardy group of people with simple wants in life (their terrain and relative inaccesibility doesn't exactly make for a cosmopolitan environment - it's literally lights out at 7pm in some areas like Batad as there is no electricity for the most part). Having said all that, their disposition is pretty remarkable and us city folks can learn a thing or two about being content.

Click on the images to read more about these interesting personalities :)
A high priest of sorts.  We saw him tilling his part of the terraces and was quite willing to have his photo taken... for a fee.  The usual line here is that they'll use the money for buying tobacco as chewing this yummy treat is a favorite past time.
Local priest
A high priest of sorts. We saw him tilling his part of the terraces and was quite willing to have his photo taken... for a fee. The usual line here is that they'll use the money for buying tobacco as chewing this yummy treat is a favorite past time.
That he was.  This is what teles are for ;)
Wary
That he was. This is what teles are for ;)
This photo, i.e. I was using the long end of my 70-200 and snapped this one real quick. I just saw this old lady taking a rest. After checking my quick snap, I looked down to check her out but she was gone in a flash. You'd be amazed at how nimble the older set is in these parts. They're more fit than the average city-bred 30 year old.
Stolen
This photo, i.e. I was using the long end of my 70-200 and snapped this one real quick. I just saw this old lady taking a rest. After checking my quick snap, I looked down to check her out but she was gone in a flash. You'd be amazed at how nimble the older set is in these parts. They're more fit than the average city-bred 30 year old.
My name is Charlie... Yep, but we're no angels, sad to say :)  

He's our porter and was walking infront of me, guiding the way, when he spotted a yellow flower.  He was motioning to one of our macro photographers of his find.  This guy isn't a native of Batad and came from neighboring Banaue.  I forgot to ask him why as Banaue has a bit more in terms of commerce compared to Batad.  But I guess porter work is in demand in these parts.  We paid Charlie around 200P (a little under 5USD for this particular leg of the trip).  A small sum for us, but enough for them to get through the day.  Life here is quite simple as you may well imagine.  He said that you'll survive here if you're industrious enough.  That smile says it all, really.  It's the kind of smile that tells you that he sleeps well at night and couldn't care less about what's happening in the world.
Charlie, the porter
"My name is Charlie..." Yep, but we're no angels, sad to say :)

He's our porter and was walking infront of me, guiding the way, when he spotted a yellow flower. He was motioning to one of our macro photographers of his find. This guy isn't a native of Batad and came from neighboring Banaue. I forgot to ask him why as Banaue has a bit more in terms of commerce compared to Batad. But I guess porter work is in demand in these parts. We paid Charlie around 200P (a little under 5USD for this particular leg of the trip). A small sum for us, but enough for them to get through the day. Life here is quite simple as you may well imagine. He said that you'll survive here if you're industrious enough. That smile says it all, really. It's the kind of smile that tells you that he sleeps well at night and couldn't care less about what's happening in the world.
That's because he's an ex-mayor turned local store owner.  After having lunch with them, I pointed at my cam to ask if I can take his photo.  It must be second nature to him as he instantly stopped goofing around and gave me this serious pose.  Amazing, eh?  This fellow's quite friendly in a sincere way and I must give his wife top marks for a sumptuous lunch of fish and veggies :)
This guy can pose...
That's because he's an ex-mayor turned local store owner. After having lunch with them, I pointed at my cam to ask if I can take his photo. It must be second nature to him as he instantly stopped goofing around and gave me this serious pose. Amazing, eh? This fellow's quite friendly in a sincere way and I must give his wife top marks for a sumptuous lunch of fish and veggies :)
These kids just got back from school.  At first they didn't want to pose for the cam but when I took their photo and showed it to them, they started messing around, showing me their pet kitty.  The boy on the right was a bit camera shy and was pointing at his brother for me to photograph instead.  These are your typical kids from Batad.  Not as hip and well dressed as their Banaue neighbors but the smiles are all the same.  Fantastic :)
Smile! You're on candid camera...
These kids just got back from school. At first they didn't want to pose for the cam but when I took their photo and showed it to them, they started messing around, showing me their pet kitty. The boy on the right was a bit camera shy and was pointing at his brother for me to photograph instead. These are your typical kids from Batad. Not as "hip" and "well dressed" as their Banaue neighbors but the smiles are all the same. Fantastic :)
This kid was quite elusive.  Didn't really liked to be photographed.  I nicknamed him the Golden Child because he reminds me of that boy from that Eddie Murphy movie.  And, yes, he actually has a pony tail :)
The Golden Child
This kid was quite elusive. Didn't really liked to be photographed. I nicknamed him the "Golden Child" because he reminds me of that boy from that Eddie Murphy movie. And, yes, he actually has a pony tail :)
Yep, that's her name alright.  Grander than your garden variety Vizier, of course, as her eyes and overall cuteness are quite endearing.  This is how the kids of this age here look like... nice golden brown complexion, beautiful set of eyes, and a general aura of innocence that's just a bit different than city-bred kids.
The Grand "Vizier"
Yep, that's her name alright. Grander than your garden variety Vizier, of course, as her eyes and overall cuteness are quite endearing. This is how the kids of this age here look like... nice golden brown complexion, beautiful set of eyes, and a general aura of innocence that's just a bit different than city-bred kids.
We saw a group of kids resting a bit after horsing around on these sacks of rice. Little did we know...
Taking a breather before "hitting the sack"
We saw a group of kids resting a bit after horsing around on these sacks of rice. Little did we know...
After that rest, I saw them carry these sacks of rice on their backs and off they went!
"Hitting the sack"
After that rest, I saw them carry these sacks of rice on their backs and off they went!
The Dreamweavers of Hungduan
The Dreamweavers of Hungduan