MOUNTAIN PROVINCE Maligcong Rice Terraces endorsed to NCCA as National Heritage Site
BONTOC, Mountain Province — The Provincial Board here has passed a resolution asking the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to endorse the declaration of the Maligcong Rice Terraces as a National Cultural Heritage Site.
The local legislative branch action came after barangay Maligcong officials acted on the residents’ request seeking the terraces’ inclusion on the list of heritage sites.
Located in a remote area, the Maligcong Terraces is 30 minutes away by jeepney from the capital town of Bontoc. It is one of the favorite destinations of local and foreign visitors because of the picturesque beauty of the man-made stonewalled rice terraces. Its stone walls make the terraces more stable and withstand erosion.
One has to see it to appreciate its unique characteristics from the other terraces in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
Believed to have been built centuries ago, the Maligcong Rice Terraces is among the structures in the Mountain Province that exemplify the richness and abundance of the culture and history of the province and its people.
The provincial board said that the Maligcong Rice Terraces is a testament to the ingenuity, indigenous engineering skills, workmanship, and industry of the villagers.
A copy of the resolution was furnished to Felipe de Leon Jr., of the NCCA.
Maligcong, one of the barangays in Bontoc town has six sitios. It has a land area of 1,500 hectares. Maligcong came from the word “ligcong” which means to level land for a rice field.
Stories have it that after years of labor, the people had to carve the mountains and steeps on the mountainside into terraces for their fields and other crops.
The time came when the whole village was surrounded by rice fields, the people then named the village Maligcong, meaning surrounded by rice fields.
There is no entrance fee for those who visit the Maligcong Rice Terraces. One can just walk along this attraction while going to the barangay proper. The rice terraces here are a sight to see because the main village is right at the center of the sprawling fields.
Maligcong is also considered a pride of the village people because it is a source of quality organic and indigenous rice as well as “malagkit” or glutinous rice.
Some visitors have called it “Stairways to the Sky.” For first-time visitors, it is advisable for them to wear rubber shoes and a hat because it is quite a long walk. It is also wise to pack food and water.