ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Priceless Cultural World Heritage Sites in the Philippines

Updated on September 23, 2012
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

The Philippines on the Map


get directions


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • kathleen1630 profile image


      8 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 imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

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

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      9 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

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

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

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

    • mquee profile image


      9 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 imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

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

    • prasetio30 profile image


      9 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!


    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

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

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

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

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

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

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

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

    • profile image

      Princess Pitt 

      9 years ago

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

      excellent hub!*****

    • Eiddwen profile image


      9 years ago from Wales

      A brilliant hub which I vote up all the way.

      Take care


    • cheerfulnuts profile image


      9 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

      MR Black 

      9 years ago from UK, Europe

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


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)