Visit the Open Air Museum in Nagacadan

Experience this unique hike trough the rice fields of Nagacadan in Kiangan and learn more about the ingenuous culture of the Ifugaos.

In the Open Air Museum of Nagacadan you immerse into the world of the Ifugao farmers nowadays and their history. A comfortable pathway leads you through the rice fields, the forests, the villages and over the rivers of Nagacadan. During the walk you will encounter several native houses and granaries where you can experience the Ifugao agri-culture with all your senses; you may listen to the Hud-Hud-Chants sung by the Ifugao women while harvesting the rice; you read about the different Ifugao rituals, closely correlated to the rice cycle – the basis of the Ifugaos livelihood; you enter a native house to know the traditional way of live; you try yourself to tie the rice bundles and make them ready for storage or to carv a Ifugao ceremonial figurine called Bulul. At the same time you’re surrounded by this unique landscape of the GIAHS and UNESCO World heritage site of Nagacadan. You’re accompanied by a local tour guide, who will explain you the history of the place. You may meet the friendly people of Nagacadan who enjoy to share their stories with you.

Goal and Objectives

The Open Air Museum that will help to establish a sustainable community based eco-cultural tourism industry in the World Heritage Site of Nagacadan, Kiangan contributes to the restoration and enhancement of the tangible and intangible heritage of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, and directly improve the socio-economic conditions of indigenous community that built and maintained the terraces.

1)  To have an organized and controlled open-air museum in Ifugao that will present a microcosm of the Ifugao culture to visitors at the least intrusive manner.

2) To assist local communities in the development and management of community based eco-cultural tourism activities.

3)  Strengthen institutional capacity and provide the needed training for barangay officials, local guides and indigenous communities that focuses on sustainable community-based eco-cultural tourism development.

4)   Ensure that a Heritage Conservation Fund from a portion of tourism revenue is re-invested into cultural enhancement and socio-economic improvement programs for terrace farmers.

5)  To promote and market the Open Air Museum as an eco-cultural destination that embodies its values as a living cultural landscape.

The Open Air Museum will give the visitor a sense of being in situ and at the same time be less intrusive in the regular way of life in the living cultural landscape of Nagacadan.


Concept of the Open Air Museum in Nagacadan


The rice terraces cluster of Barangay Nagacadan of Kiangan, Ifugao is a World Heritage Site, inscribed as a living cultural landscape. For visitors to fully appreciate this phenomenon and for the residents to fully harness the value of their being a heritage area, the living cultural landscape can be experienced as an Open Air Museum.  This museum is featuring the salient elements of the Ifugao culture without being intrusive and exploitative, through the use of a number of control measures.
The Open Air Museum in Nagacadan is a community-based project, initiated by the local Municipality in collaboration with the GIAHS project (FAO). The museum is managed by the Barangay community, involving all important associations of Nagacadan. The benefits flow directly to the community and are used for the valorization of their culture. Partly for the maintenance of the museum itself, partly for the repair and maintenance of the rice terraces, the irrigation systems, the festivals according to the Ifugao year or for traditional ceremonies. The concept of the museum sets a great store by keeping the way of the return of investment as short as possible.


How to get there

Kiangan, once the capital of the Province, lies in the heart of Ifugao. From Lagawe you take either a Jeepney leaving for Kiangan every other hour or you hire a tricycle. Once in Kiangan, you will be welcomed at the tourism office behind the municipality hall, where a tour guide will be waiting for you, to bring you to the Open Air Museum in Nagacadan (10 min. ride on a tricycle).
If you plan the itinerary of your trip in advance, it may be good to inform the tourism office about your arrival – everything will be ready as soon as you arrive.

Where to go next

There are so many places to visit in Ifugao that it makes it difficult to decide where to go next. You have various possibilities starting from Kiangan: Either you return the same way you came here, back to Lagawe to head further to Banaue. Or, if you are the adventurous type, you may hire a tour guide for another day – guiding you over the local mountain chain, where you’ll enjoy the breathtaking view over the northern Cordillera, down through the village of Maggok reachable only by a small footpath, further to the Asin river and up to the famous spider-web shaped rice terraces of Hungduan. The hike will take you 6 hours – but you always can decide to stay over night in Maggok and continue the next day. Once in Hungduan, you may spend a night in a local homestay and visit the GIAHS- and UNESCO world heritage site the next day. From Hungduan, there are Jeepneys going to Banaue leaving at 10 am, or tricycles (400-500 PHP to Banaue).