01/13/2015 02:15 pm ET Updated Jan 13, 2015

A Look At Pagan Communities In Catholic Philippines

Patrick Meier via Getty Images

Banaue, Philippines - Pope Francis arrives on Thursday in the Philippines - a country with the third-largest Catholic population in the world - marking the first time in 20 years the leader of the Catholic Church visits the island-nation of 100 million people.

Catholicism has flourished here since Spanish colonists arrived in 1521, but on northern Luzon island - where the sky meets rice terraces 1,500m above sea level - former headhunting tribes have lived uninterrupted by outsiders for at least 2,000 years. They even defied the Spanish conquistadors who ruled the Philippines for 300 years until 1898.