Priceless Cultural World Heritage Sites in the Philippines

Banaue Rice Terraces by the Ifugao People of the Philippines
Banaue Rice Terraces by the Ifugao People of the Philippines | Source
An Old Chair in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines
An Old Chair in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines | Source

Cultural World Heritage Sites in the Philippines

A cultural melting pot in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is a country that practices traditions and customs from the Malays, Spaniards, Americans, Chinese, Japanese, and countless other ethnic groups from its about 7,107 islands.

These traditions and customs are also reflected in valuable cultural world heritage sites found in the country.

In ancient times, Arabs, Japanese, and Chinese people settled in the Philippines and brought with them Asian foods, religions, games, and festivities.

The Philippines was also visited by the Malay people from the neighboring countries in Southeast Asia who introduced early Filipinos to concepts of world religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.

Many years afterwards, the colonization of Spain for 300 years created an indelible mark on Philippine culture, particularly its language, festivities, religion, architecture, cuisine, and pastimes.

Later on, the rule of the United States in the country acculturated Filipinos to American culture.

Because of its complex historical background, the Philippines now has several impressive cultural world heritage sites.

1. Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Cordilleras, Philippines

For over 2,000 years, the Filipinos in the Ifugao province in the Cordillera region of northern Luzon, Philippines, used their hands to harness the mountains and transform them into towering terraces of rice plantations that would eventually be recognized as a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site.

They passed on their knowledge of carving and building according to the contours of the mountains from one generation to another, allowing them to build the world-renowned Ifugao Rice Terraces after two millennia.

Today, the Ifugao Rice Terraces is considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Philippines.

It earned this title for it is a testament to the Ifugao people's historical labor practices, value of sustainable and ecological harmony, and exemplary land use and sense of beauty.

While the Ifugao Rice Terraces is expansive, UNESCO specifically recognizes the value of five clusters of rice terraces in Nagadacan, Hungduan, Mayoyao, Bangaan, and Batad areas as cultural world heritage sites.

2. Historic Town of Vigan in Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Established in the 1500s during the early years of the Spanish colonization in the Philippines, Vigan has stood the test of time and has remained gloriously intact until it was declared a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site in 1999.

In fact, a trip to Vigan would bring one back in time with its cobblestone streets, large colonial houses, and colonial urban landscape.

Vigan was considered a cultural world heritage site because nowhere else in East and Southeast Asia but in Vigan is there a place that manifests Asian fusion in building designs and European colonial architecture and planning.

Vigan was an important trading center in the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines. It traded directly with China and Mexico. The ships that docked at Vigan went on to trade in Europe, resulting in cultural exchanges among Filipinos, Chinese, Mexicans, Spanish, and North Americans.

3. Baroque-Style Catholic Churches in the Philippines

There are four churches in the Philippines that are inscribed the honor of being called a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

These Catholic churches are the Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo; Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur; San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila; and Church of San Agustin in Paoay, Ilocos Norte.

The four churches were honored as world heritage centers for they are the finest examples of how Filipinos craftsmen interpreted the Baroque style in order to suit the physical conditions of the tropical Philippines.

All the four churches were constructed using locally sourced materials and their decorative motifs were mostly inspired by the locals.

Thus, they can be said to be fusions of the European and Philippine church designs.

Copyright © 2011 Kerlyn Bautista

All Rights Reserved

Vigan - a Cultural World Heritage Site in the Philippines

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Comments 15 comments

kathleen1630 profile image

kathleen1630 4 years ago from Philippines

im so proud Ive been to these places mentioned above and yet there are still a lot of places to visit. :)


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@travel_man1971 Among all these places, the Ifugao Rice Terraces would have to be my favorite :)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

Awesome pictures, especially the Rice Terraces of Ifugao. This hub is really priceless, too!


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@mquee Glad you found it informative. Thanks much for your comment. Really do appreciate it.


mquee profile image

mquee 5 years ago from Columbia, SC

This is a great hub, very informative, and enjoyable to read. There is a lot to be learned here. Very good!


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@prasetio30 The Ifugao Rice Terraces is so much more beautiful in person. Come and see for yourself! My FB page is facebook.dj/kerlynbautista. Please go and visit :)


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

This was so fantastic place. I really enjoy the picture and the video also. Especially Ifugao Rice Terraces, because I had wrote about this before. I had add you on Facebook, please confirm my friend request. Thank you very much. Vote up!

Prasetio


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@Princess Pitt ineng,you're perfect too,of course... LOL! :-D


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@Eiddwen Oh you're very kind, thank you :)


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@cheerfulnuts Thanks for your message kababayan. Awww, since you live in Manila, why not start with San Agustin Church in Intramuros? ;)


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@Kenny MG So glad you liked it. Thanks for your comment.


Princess Pitt 5 years ago

wow ate....your perfect !..LOL..

excellent hub!*****


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A brilliant hub which I vote up all the way.

Take care

Eiddwen.


cheerfulnuts profile image

cheerfulnuts 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I haven't been to any of these beautiful places, even if I'm living in the Philippines. I hope we'll be able to protect these gems, esp. the Rice Terraces.

Love the pictures. Love the videos. Love the writing. Voted up.:D


Kenny MG profile image

Kenny MG 5 years ago from A Child of the Universe

This is so very beautiful, a real treasure trove, thanks.

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