Besides the cool breeze and delicious souvenirs, it looks like there’s one more thing to look forward to when Baguio City safely reopens to visitors in the future. Showcasing the culture and craftsmanship of the Igorot people, the “Igorot Stone Kingdom” is the city’s newest attraction.
Also read: Life in Baguio City: Here’s What It’s Really Like
What we know about the Igorot Stone Kingdom in Baguio City
Residents of Baguio City first spotted the Igorot Stone Kingdom as it was undergoing construction in March 2021. Immediately, stunning photographs of the attraction made waves on social media.
Surrounded by tall trees, the massive Igorot-themed park contains stone structures that appear like stair-like rice terraces. Visitors can stroll through walking paths that lead them to the top of the kingdom, while encountering rocks that are arranged in heart-shaped patterns along the day. Interestingly, the design of the outer walls of the stone attraction resemble a medieval castle’s fortifications as well.
“The Igorot Stone Kingdom is a cultural revolution. This is meant to once and for all wipe away the misconceptions and disinformation about us the Igorots,” explains its Facebook page.
“We once had a culturally advanced Igorot Kingdom that was lost and forgotten. We are now reviving this culture to show the world who and what we are. We’re proud, we are the Igorots.”
Filipino travellers experience the ingenuity of Cordillerans
Video footage of the Igorot Stone Kingdom was also captured by Baguio resident and YouTube vlogger Dhenz Nazareno (ibagew Vlogs), who discovered the attraction while biking near the area. In his video, Nazareno states that the site is located a few metres away from Tam-awan Village, a reconstructed village with traditional Ifugao houses and art exhibits. Watch the full video below:
In November 2021, Filipino traveller Nicollo Lagmay visited the site, which was then already open to tourists.
“I learned that the Igorot Stone Park is based on the tale of Sab-angan, an Igorot kingdom thought to have existed thousands of years ago,” Lagmay shared with TripZilla Philippines.
“Its owner, Pio Velasco, says the park is a symbol of both new and old Igorot culture. It also honours his Igorot mother, Rita ‘Rosing’ Gal Velasco, whom he regarded as a strong and patient woman.”
“The stone walls of the Igorot Stone Kingdom are inspired by the rice terraces of Batad in Banaue. Made of riprap with only stones or boulders interlaced, the walls are unconventional as they only use cement as a topper for strengthening,” he continues.
Also read: Should Travellers Visit Baguio During COVID-19? These Locals Say ‘No’
Know before you go
The Igorot Stone Kingdom is open daily, from 6am to 6pm. Entrance costs ₱100 for adults; and ₱80 for senior citizens and children from four to 12 years old. Toddlers three years old and below can enter for free. Parking is also available for free.
As of February 2022, walk-ins are allowed. However, all visitors must follow the standard health and safety protocols. Wear a mask and keep social distancing at all times.
How to get to the Igorot Stone Kingdom
To get to the Igorot Stone Kingdom from downtown Baguio, you can take any of the following modes of transportation:
- Via car or taxi: Pin its address, 362 Longlong Road, Pinsao Proper. Taking a taxi from the city centre will cost you around ₱80.
- Via jeepney: From the Otek Street terminal near Good Taste Restaurant in Burnham Park, ride a jeepney bound for Tacay-Longlong. You can also find a Long-long or Tam-Awan bound jeepney from Kayang Street. A one-way jeepney ride will cost you ₱20.
Tips for travellers who want to visit
Lagmay shares tips based on his experience visiting the attraction.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Akyatan talaga doon.
- Better to visit the place in the morning, dahil madalas umulan ng hapon. The rain might ruin the fun.
- Remember the leave no trace policy! Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.
- After climbing the terraces, you can rest and eat at their cafe. Mapaparami ka ng kain sa sobrang gutom.
- Souvenirs are available both inside and outside.
- You may bring pets inside the park, as long as you keep them on leash. Remember to bring a poop bag just in case.
All this said, do keep in mind that Baguio is currently under Alert Level 2 until 28 Feb 2022. As per EO 05-2022, Baguio Visitor Information and Travel Assistance (VISITA) will limit its approval of leisure travel requests depending on active cases and health care capacity. For the latest updates on Baguio travel requirements, read this.
Quotes were edited for clarity, style, and flow. All images credited to Nicollo Lagmay and Neil Armstrong Ymana.