Lagawe, Ifugao: The Epicenter of Business, Trade, and Halu-Halo with Macaroni
Realizing my budget running short after 5 days of backpacking in the Cordilleras, finding an ATM easily solves the problem – but not in Banaue. No, it wasn’t quite a walk in the park, but a 1-hour jeepney ride to the Ifugao’s epicenter of business, trade, and commerce. You might run into the same situation as mine, so let me take you for just a quick side trip to Lagawe, the thriving business district in Ifugao.
An old lady selling tobacco leaves.
I wasn’t expecting tobacco in my cigarette came from these huge leaves.
Card capture was a common problem at Banaue’s one and only automated teller machine (ATM), according to locals. In addition, the machine goes offline most of the time. Therefore, the surefire way to get my financial concerns resolved and the traveling back on track, I went to Lagawe, Ifugao‘ s provincial capital. Land Bank of the Philippines (Land Bank) and Philippine National Bank (PNB) were the only banks available with ATM’s. Land Bank sits along the main highway and easy to locate, however, the overwhelming long queue took me for a walk across town towards Lagawe Public Market where PNB was located.
Facade of St. Mary Magdalene Parish Church.
Symmetrical interiors of St. Mary Magdalene Church.
Not far from Lagawe Public Market was a town square where most of the government offices like the provincial capitol, a municipal office, the police department, and several local government branches sit adjacent to each other. Lagawe’s local parish church, St. Mary Magdalene, stood within the same vicinity as Don Bosco High School. Nestled at the center of these structures was Lagawe Town Plaza, a place for the people where they could convene, hold events, or simply just enjoy a lovely day at the capital just like I did.
A traditional Ifugao hut surrounded with greens in Lagawe Town Plaza.
While walking on a sidewalk on my way to the jeepney terminal, I spotted this halu-halo which came with a twist. Food adventure is not really my cup of tea, but a halu-halo with macaroni simply sound so bizarre it got me really curious. For me, it sounds like adding pasta to a blueberry cheesecake. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it, and even bought another cup. Halu-halo with Macaroni, only in Lagawe (I think).
One of the halu-halo with macaroni sidewalk vendors in Lagawe.
First time to try a halu-halo with macaroni in it.
A lazy stroll around town made this quick side trip to Lagawe more than just an errand. Thus, my visit also gave me a glimpse on the daily grind of thriving capital of Ifugao. When I went back to Sanafe Lodge in Banaue, I researched about Lagawe and stumbled upon the “One Town, One Product” project which aims to revive the former glory of Lagawe in the coffee production industry. Reproducing the export quality coffee, Lagawe Arabica Blend, would boost employment for the locals of Lagawe, the entire Ifugao province, or maybe from all over the Cordillera Region, as the industry and economy grows.
A mother and child, and her child’s child in front of the jeepney.
While I was scanning the internet for information about Lagawe, the caves, Bintakan and Najtoban, and Ibulao River came out and they’d be probably among my next destinations in Lagawe, Ifugao (and try the coffee also).
Now, here are some fast facts that may help you on the trip:
1. Jeepneys from Banaue Terminal to Lagawe cost around P40.00. It leaves every hour.
2. If you’re coming from Manila, there are Ohayami Buses from Sampaloc leaving 9:00 PM, and costs around P400.00
3. Land Bank of the Philippines is located in Tumapang Building, J.P. Rizal Avenue, Poblacion.
4.Philippine National Bank is located in JDT Bldg., Inguiling Drive, Poblacion East.
5. More destinations in Ifugao.
6. Read more about this 7-day Backpacking Trip in Cordillera
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8. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter.
Resting under a traditional Ifugao hut in Lagawe Town Plaza. #selfie