By Ellson Quismorio
Ifugao lone district Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr. is wondering why the Department of Tourism (DOT) is nonchalant over the important part that the famous Cordillera rice terraces played in the mega-superhero crossover movie, Avengers: Infinity War.
“I’m surprised that the DOT is not reacting,” Baguilat said.
“That the producers and writers chose the terraces as the most powerful being’s retirement place to watch the sunset is a testament to the Ifugao terraces’ appeal,” reckoned the three-term congressman.
That “most powerful being” Baguilat was referring to is the mad titan Thanos (Josh Brolin), who at the end of the latest blockbuster Marvel flick is seen calmly sitting in a small hut, absorbed in the breathtaking view of the hand-made rice terraces that look like stairs, waiting for the sun to set.
Oh, before that, he snapped his fingers and wiped out half the life in the universe–including the likes of Black Panther, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, and Nick Fury–with the help of his completed Infinity Gauntlet.
That’s why a great sense of accomplishment was evident in the scene, which was shot in Barangay Batad, municipality of Banaue, Ifugao province.
Inhabited by less than 2,000 people, Batad is known to the have the best preserved section of the centuries-old rice terraces. It is also home to good homemade thin-crust pizza.
The terraces has long held the unofficial title of “Eighth Wonder of the World” and is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site.
There’s more to explore
For Baguilat, the unprecedented exposure received by the rice terraces in Infinity War presents a great opportunity for the country. The movie now officially owns the biggest opening weekend in history, raking in $640 million worldwide.
“Promoting the terraces can impress on tourists that there’s more to Philippines than just Boracay,” he said, alluding to last week’s closure of the Aklanisland and de facto main tourist attraction of the country.
The world-famous vacation resort described as a “cesspool” by President Dutertewas ordered closed for rehabilitation for six months starting April 26.
Baguilat said: “I think fans of the Avengers:!Infinity War should highlight this in their social media pages because many don’t know about this fact.”
While the visual impact of the galactic overlord holding up the Infinity Gauntlet is awesome, him visiting the terraces to munch on Batad pizza would be just as cool.