Kiangan is the oldest and most historic municipality of Ifugao. Enshrined in Cordilleran mythology, it is believed to be the dwelling of Wigan and Bugan, the fabled ancestors of the Ifugao people. Aside from being a heritage town, Kiangan is also considered one of the most prominent destinations in Ifugao that has potential for eco-cultural and historical tourism.
Points of Interest:
Awa Victory Site
Located 9 kilometers east of the town center is Awa, Julongan—the historical site that highlights the role of the Ifugaos in the revolution against the Spanish conquistadors. In 1889, at the height of the Spanish colonization campaigns in Ifugao, Spanish authorities put up a garrison at Awa to finally subdue the people of Nagacadan. In order to prevent the capture of their people, the Ifugao warriors attacked the garrison, killing all soldiers but one. The victory in Awa inspired other Ifugaos to orchestrate their uprising against the colonizers, thus weakening the stronghold of the Spanish regime in the North. In 1897, the Spanish military and missionaries finally withdrew from Ifugao. The Philippine National Centennial Commission officially declared Awa as a part of the Cordillera Branch of the National Freedom Trail (CFT) in 1996.
Kiangan War Memorial Shrine and The Ifugao Museum
This enormous monument resembling an Ifugao native house stands mightily in Linda, Kiangan—the place where the last battles of the World War II were fought. Officially known as the Kiangan War Memorial Shrine, it was erected in 1974 to commemorate the end of Japanese occupation and the lives of the brave Filipinos and Americans who fought for the Philippines. The shrine features a mosaic depicting historical events such as the local resistance movement, the Bataan Death March, and the surrender of the Tiger of Malaya. A deck on top of the shrine also provides a panoramic view of the town proper, neighboring barangays and Lagawe, Ifugao. The Ifugao Museum can also be found within the shrine compound. It displays Ifugao traditional and cultural memorabilia such as accessories, clothes, wood carvings, weapons, and musical instruments.
Nagacadan Rice Terraces and Open Air Museum
The Nagacadan rice terraces is one of the four rice terrace systems in Ifugao declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. More than 2000 years old and spanning approximately 10 hectares, it displays the Ifugao’s agricultural ingenuity. An Open Air Museum that traverses the Nagacadan Rice Terraces also offers visitors a glimpse to the daily lives of Ifugao farmers. The pathway leads to vast rice fields, traditional villages and adjoining rivers.
A small lake located at Barangay Ambabag, Ambuaya Lake is the go-to place of both locals and tourists for a taste of nature and serenity. Nestled on top of a hill, amidst a verdant forest and grass-covered landscape, it is perfect for camping and picnics. Similar to other eco attractions in the town, Ambuaya Lake is also surrounded with indigenous myths. One of the more popularly known legends is that of the lost village that once stood on where the lake is located.
Mount Pangaggawan and Caves
Aside from a panoramic view of Lagawe and Kiangan, a three-hour trek to Mount Pangaggawan in barangay Bolog also unfolds the largest cave system in Ifugao. A mountain trail enveloped in vegetation, locals consider Pangaggawan as the road less traveled. It has eight known caves that are home to four endemic bat species. The entrance dares thrill-seekers on an approximately 26-meter drop, narrow channels and slippery rock formations. It is also famous for a majestic waterfall located at the end of the cave, and towering at 20 to 30 feet.