provinces of Abra,
and the Mountain
Province comprise the Cordillera Administrative
Region, the only land-locked region of the Philippines.
The Cordillera region lies within the the largest mountain
range in the country, the Cordillera Central range of Luzon,
and is home to numerous indigenous tribes collectively
called the Igorot.
Baguio City, the Summer
Capital of the Philippines, is its regional
center and a convenient take off point for those traveling
to the Cordilleras.
the most famous tourist attraction in the region is the
world-famous Banaue Rice Terraces in the province of Ifugao.
The Banaue Rice Terraces are 2,000 to 6,000 year-old
man-made stepped rice paddies painstakingly carved into the
mountains by generations upon generations of Igorots. They
are also found in the provinces of Apayao, Benguet and the
Mountain Province, and are a UNESCO
World Heritage Site. Experts estimate that
if these terraces were joined end to end, they could
encircle the world many times over.
tourist attractions of the Cordillera region include the
Sumaguing Cave in Sagada
and world-class white water rafting along the Chico
River in the province of Kalinga. Cassamata Hill, Mount
Pulag, Mt. Data and Balbalasang-Balbalan are
national parks immensely popular with mountain climbers and
the Banaue Rice Terraces and the natural attractions of the
region, a Cordilleran cultural and historical attraction has
captured the attention and the imagination of the world
after recently being featured in the Discovery
Channel. Fire mummies, (also known as Kabayan mummies,
Benguet mummies and Ibaloi mummies) are well-preserved human
mummies first found in burial caves in Timbak, Bangao,
Tenongchol, Naapay and Opdas -- an area around the town of
Kabayan in the Benguet province. Made by members of the
Ibaloi tribe, many were stolen then and later,
including the "smiling mummy" (stolen in the
1970s) and Apo Annu (the mummy that brought bad luck to all
those who disturbed his grave and took possession of his
mummified corpse). Learn
more about the Fire mummies
fire mummy child as it was published in the cover of
July/August 2000 issue of Discovering Archaeology
(from the editors of Scientific American). The
article by Robert Locke is entitled "Saving
Sacred Mummies." (Photo edited to remove
cluttering text, our apologies. Click
here to see the original photo.)
mummy of Apo Annu as it was published in the
Philippine newspaper, SUARA MERDEKA.
Sacred Kabayan Mummies have been declared a National
Treasure of the Philippines. Moreover, the Fire
mummies' caves have also been designated as one of the 100
Most Endangered Sites in the world by Monument Watch, a
non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of
important monuments and sites. In fact, the National
Museum of the Philippines have begun research and studies
into the preservation and development of the mummy sites.
Some mummy sites can still be visited, though and we
fervently hope visitors will care for these fine
archeological specimens as well as respect the dead.
the cultural, historical and scenic attractions of the
Cordilleras with Baguio City as your convenient take off
point! While in Baguio, stay in Hotel Veniz.