There he was! Sitting on a platform in a fetal position with crouched legs. His head had an attractive piece of headgear and a necklace made of bones adored his neck. He had dressed like a Bulul the rice god. I heard a soft voice, “photo?”. The hopeful eyes of this wrinkled man looked at me.
Today is World Heritage Day. There are 30 World Heritage sites in India, and 981 in the whole world. Can anybody visit them in one life? Yes, I know of a person who visits only Heritage sites and he’s been doing it for last 6 years! Slowly, one by one. While I am not fortunate enough to be like him, I am contended with my own pace. When I look at the pictures of the sites I’ve visited, I feel quite happy.
Today I share pictures of few of the Heritage sites visited by me. I have many more but then this post will be very long. 🙂
More than fond memories of a place, some souvenirs show us the character of that place. They tell us history, culture and much more about the place. This wooden mug from Philippines is one such souvenir.
It was monsoon season when Vasu and I had landed in Batad in Ifugao province of Philippines. Batad, as we all know, is a UNESCO Heritage place in Philippines and its claim to fame is its many hectares of tall rice terraces; all of them hand built over thousand years back and their descendants still farming here!
During monsoon reaching Batad itself is very difficult with only one trip of Jeepney per day on a muddy one lane road on mountains. Invariably it gets stuck in the mud with no one in sight except its passengers. I won’t go in details as how we reached our guesthouse down in the valley. 😀
View from our window. Yes, in spite of incessant rains we crossed and went to the other side. 😀
The children of Batad village could not have impressed me more. They are tech savvy, fashion conscious, speak English and fond of latest English songs. All of them possess mobile phones as well.
From a four year old to a teenager, they all are comfortable with English language unlike in the capital Manila. They are very poor but have big dreams. While kids in cities play computer games, go to malls, blow parents’ hard earned money and kill time, these children of Batad work very hard to earn that extra penny which help them and their family in many ways.
Batad is a relatively tiny village in the mountains of Northern Luzon in the Philippines. Its big brother next door, Banaue (pronounced as banawe or बनावे) is the one you hear more about around Manila.
Elmer, our soft spoken, betel (पान) chewing 15 yrs old porter and guide.
Fifteen years old Elmer who carried our bags for going to Batad, offered his
Warning: This is a colorful post. 🙂 Before I start writing about my recent trip of Philippines and Malaysia, I thought it better to recollect how was the year 2010 for me in terms of travel. I think I will skip some of domestic travels since a few of them happened in a jiffy and I do not remember the details now. Also, I am not counting the local exploration of lesser known places of my town such as watching Flamingos at Sewri fort.