Side Trip to the Historic town of Kiangan

Kiangan is the oldest town in the province of Ifugao. The town is believed to be the home of the Ifugao’s mythological ancestors Wigan and Bugan. It was the seat of government for more than sixty years from 1889-1949, it also served as the center for commerce and education and in 1949; the capital was moved to Lagawe. Kiangan played a pivotal role during the Second World War, where the Supreme Commander of the Japanese Army Tomoyuki Yamashita signed his unconditional surrender to the Allied Forces on September 2, 1945, ending the World War II in the Philippines.

Our side trip to Kiangan was my best friend’s idea, since her office mate lives in this town. Kiangan is 20-30 minutes jeep ride from Banaue and we enjoyed our half day stay in the place. We were happy to be accommodated by Jeanette and Loinaz during our trip. We get to see the Poblacion (town center) and were treated to a delicious home cooked lunch at Jeanette’s place.

Rice harvest time in Kiangan.

The baroque styled church of St. Joseph is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the province of Ifugao.

This is the Parochial school- St. Joseph’s School

The United Church of Christ planted the seeds of Protestantism in Ifugao and helped founded the nearby Ifugao Academy.

Founded in 1926, the Ifugao Academy is the first highschool in province.

The Kiangan War Memorial Shrine was built in memory of the Filipino-American soldiers “who died in defense of  peace.”

That’s the Ifugao Museum for you. The museum holds traditional and cultural materials of the Ifugaos.

On top the Memorial Shrine you can also view the whole of Kiangan’s Poblacion and Lagawe , Ifugao’s provinicial capital.

The view of Mount Kapugan  from the Kiangan War Memorial Shrine

The provincial capital Lagawe viewed from the Kiangan War Memorial Shrine.

The vandal inside the Shrine. It means Dating is prohibited inside. This made us laugh.

Bawal mag Dating d2 sa loob

Who says that? hahaha! That’s my best friend Cheenie (short haired lady) and our hosts the love team of Jeanette and Loinaz. 🙂

The wood carving in the Memorial Shrine.

In front of the Memorial Shrine.

On the grounds of the Kiangan War Memorial Shrine.

The beautiful wood carving of a traditional Ifugao house.

Ifugao House

The breathtaking view from the house. 🙂

Our half day side trip to the laid back town of Kiangan showed us the historical and cultural heritage of the town.

My Department of Tourism flyer (where this map was reproduced) also suggested the town’s natural sights like: Mount Kapugan, ideal for trekking and camping. If you’re into caving or spelunking, Mount Pangaggawan and Caves are suggested for this activity. It is the largest cave system in the whole of Ifugao province.

If you’re into mountain climbing, the Imbuliklik Rock is also worth the visit. Beautiful waterfalls like the Uttu/Inlayut can be found at the foot of Mount Kapugan. It is a venue for swimming and picnics. Meanwhile the Bagnit Waterfalls waters the nearby waterfalls.

Kiangan also have its share of rice terraces. Among the noteworthy rice terraces are; Bae Rice Terraces, which is a few minutes away from the town center. On the other hand, the  Nagacadan Rice Terraces is a UNESCO World Heritage site which is 10 hectares in size.

There is also the Yamashita Trekking Trails which traces the hideout of General Yamashita from Kiangan to the towns of Hungduan and Tinoc. The trail is surrounded by picturesque rice terraces, streams, rivers and forest areas.