We are all familiar with the famous rice terraces in Banaue, the majestic ones in Bali, Indonesia and Sapa, Vietnam. Not many of us know that this ancient irrigation system also existed in the Philippines’ Visayas region: Candijay, Bohol.
A two-hour van/bus ride from Tagbilaran will take you to this quiet municipality that boasts itself with a farming system and rice terraces that not only are proof of their ingenuity but a source of pride for being one of the top rice-producing towns in Bohol. Rice terraces are found in the highlands of the villages of Panadtaran, Canawa, Cambane, Abihilan, Lungsoda-an, Tambongan, Luan, Anoling but the ones in Baranggay Cadapdapan are considered the most beautiful.
Curious? Here are reasons why Cadapdapan should be in your next travel list:
1. LOCAL HISTORY. The rice terraces were formed from elevated areas converted into farmlands by the natives of Barangay Cadapdapan long time ago and the terraces’ dominating color is golden yellow – a color that reminds them of the wealth left for them from their ancestors.
2. BEAUTY. Though not as high as the terraces in Banaue, the view in Cadapdapan won’t disappoint. When you enter the premises, you are allowed to explore the terrain so you can see the rice paddies up close and personal. There’s a hill in the middle where I easily climbed on and from where flew my drone. Appreciate the beauty and patterns of the terraces from there and if you’re in a chatty mood, you can even talk to the terraces’ caretakers who live at the foot of the hill.
3. WATERFALLS. Below the vast land where the terraces are is Bohol’s tallest waterfalls, Can-Umantad Falls. The cascade lies along Cadapdapan River that supplies irrigation to the rice terraces nested above it before flowing downstream and from the entrance of the terraces, you can take a 15-minute trek going down the waterfalls. Note however that the waterfalls has a different entrance fee. I must say, Can-Umantad is one of the best waterfalls I’ve seen and I just spent the whole afternoon being awestruck by its ethereal beauty.
4. NO PEOPLE. Then again, who wants a crowded tourist destination? I was practically the only one in Cadapdapan when I went there. Even more alone at the hill where I could do what I want without other visitors strangely judging me.
5. TWENTY PESOS. That’s how much you have to spend for the entrance fee. Understandably so, because Cadapdapan Rice Terraces is a private property. Before getting to the terraces, you have to pay the baranggay an environmental fee of P30 per person. How much is that compared to the unforgettable romantic experience of being one with nature?
HOW TO GO THERE?
Starting point: Anda, Bohol. The best way to go to Cadapdapan is by a private vehicle or just rent a motorcycle for P300-350 a day. I am not quite sure if there are hotels to stay in Candijay but there are a lot of cheap resorts in nearby coastal city of Anda, a thirty to forty-five minute travel by motorcycle. So, when are you going to Cadapdapan?