Filipino netizens fume over Lonely Planet video featuring Banaue Rice Terraces
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Travel guide Lonely Planet is in hot water for publishing a video that claimed the famed Banaue Rice Terraces, dubbed by some as the "Eighth Wonder of the World," were built by the Chinese. The video was a feature on the "world's greenest places."
According to ABS-CBN, the Lonely Planet video noted that the rice terraces were "first built around 2,000 years ago by the Chinese." The video has since been taken down from the guide's Facebook page but users were able to take screenshots – as the internet always does.
Dear @lonelyplanet , the Banaue Rice Terraces were built by Filipino indigenous people, not by the Chinese. (Screengrabbed from a video posted in Lonely Planet’s facebook page) pic.twitter.com/HzHlOuE3we— Jose Ruperto Martir (@AltPCOOSec) March 30, 2019
The Banaue rice terraces, of course, were most definitely not built by the Chinese.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the terraces are an "outstanding example of an evolved, living cultural landscape that can be traced as far back as two millennia ago in the pre-colonial Philippines."
"They are all the product of the Ifugao ethnic group, a minority community that has occupied these mountains for thousands of years," the organization notes on its website.
"The Ifugao Rice Terraces are the priceless contribution of Philippine ancestors to humanity. Built 2000 years ago and passed on from generation to generation, the Ifugao Rice Terraces represent an enduring illustration of an ancient civilization that surpassed various challenges and setbacks posed by modernization," UNESCO further noted.
"Thank you for flagging this, we’ll share this with our editors who’ll take a further look into it. We’ll share updates/action points on this thread," Lonely Planet first said on Twitter, addressing a tweet with a screenshot of the mistake.
Eagle-eyed users were also able to point out that Lonely Planet, it turns out, has been consistent in the claim. On its website, it says of the rice terraces: "World Heritage listed, they're impressive not only for their chiselled beauty but because they were introduced around 2000 years ago by the Chinese."
The page has since been corrected.
Lonely Planet has since apologized for the mistake. "We now recognize that our claim that they were introduced 2000 years ago by the Chinese is misleading," the travel guide said in a tweet.
We would like to thank members of our online community for bringing our attention to the issue of the heritage of the wonderful rice terraces of Banaue. We now recognise that our claim that they were introduced 2000 years ago by the Chinese is misleading. 1/3— Lonely Planet (@lonelyplanet) April 1, 2019
The late Otley Beyer, an American anthropologist who moved to Ifugao in 1905, theorized that 2,000 years ago, a group of people from Indo-China who knew how to cultivate wet terraces, migrated and settled in Ifugao.
This skill was eventually passed on to mountain folk, who "applied their understanding of gravity and use of conduits to channel water from distant streams to water their fields," according to Ifugao scholar Manuel Dulawan. – Rappler.com