Low rent. A quiet neighborhood. No traffic jams. Fresh air. Free-running mountain water. And waking-up to mornings enveloped by cool mist. Does that sound like your dream home? If you're a city slicker who's sick of the traffic and pollution, I already know the answer. But here in Banaue in the province of Ifugao, their young leave the terraces in droves for the big city, for its bright lights, and for the promise of a better future. Now what's wrong with this picture?
The Banaue rice terraces is one of the wonders of the old world, built over thousands of years, and a testament to human ingenuity and perseverance. Yet the land can't feed its growing population, with about half of their rice needs currently imported from the lowlands. How will all those imports be paid for? By the gradual export, or loss, of human capital. Will there be any farmers left to plow those green terraces in the next generation? Beats me. Pack your bags and head that way soon. Now showing and possibly for a limited time only. Enjoy.
(Pixel-peepers: In the early morning after the sun rises, the light is directional and can flatter a landscape like no other time. The strong warm light can make our pictures come alive. Now don't be sleeping when these wonderful hours present.)
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (firstname.lastname@example.org), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers. Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas. No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at email@example.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)
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