Batad Rice Terraces (Banaue)

Batad Travel Blog

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finally in Batad

I almost backed out from this trip. I arrived at the bus terminal on Friday evening and was surprised with the hundreds of people lining up to get bus tickets. I did not have a reservation and upon checking with the ticket sales clerk, the next trip with available seats for Banaue leaves at 4 am. I was already thinking of just going home and go to Baler, Aurora the next day. But not to be deterred, I still hopped on the bus, agreed to sit on the middle aisle (I was literally sitting on the floor for some time before the conductor borrowed some plastic chairs for us to sit on) and after almost 10 hours of sleepless bus ride, I found myself in Banaue.

Upon alighting in Banaue, I bought my bus ticket for the ride home.

I don't think I could go for another long sleepless bus ride. But when I thought my misfortune has been wearing off, I realized that my mobile has slipped from my pocket. Though the phone was kinda cheap and I just had it for less than two weeks, the idea of going to the mobile store and undergoing the hassle of requesting for a replacement sim plus buying another phone was something I would avoid to go through. Thinking that the bus I was riding has already gone somewhere, I thought my mobile was lost forever. But I snapped out of this petty misery and realized that the bus hasn't left yet and went to ask the conductor if someone saw a phone. Well, someone did and the conductor was honest enough to return it to me.

Now, for the real Batad story.

As recommended by a fellow traveller in another site, I planned to stay overnight in Batad (which is a district of Banaue) and the next day was to be spent in Viewpoint. Batad boasts of having an amphitheater-like rice terraces. I saw some pictures of it online and can't wait to see them with my own eyes.

I was meaning to see if there are other travellers going to Batad, but as it turned there was none. I contracted a tricycle driver to bring me there for (P300). Well, he didn't actually bring me there since he was able to drive up to the junction since the road to the saddle point (this is the main entry point to Batad) was really bad. After alighting in the junction, I had to trek all the way to the saddle point for at least an hour. After a really exhausting trek, I reached saddle point and was approached by a tour guide.

He offered to bring me to the waterfalls for P700. I thought the price was kinda hefty since I've learned beforehand that the tour should be only be for P350. I insisted P350 but he haggled for P400. I called it a deal.

The tour guide whose name was Panhon then guided me on the way to the Inn I was planning to stay in. The detour down to the village is another exhausting trek lasting for about an hour. The steep step downwards are as equally challenging as the trek to the saddle point. The trek was almost endless. Things started to look good when I was beginning to get a good view of the rice terraces. Then it got better when we got to the main Batad viewpoint. This provides you with the best view of the rice terraces sans the tiring trek among the terraces. After a while, Panhon brought me to Ramon's Inn where one can stay in authentic Ifugao huts for P250 a night/pax.

I was meaning to stay at Hillside Inn but the experience of sleeping in this hut was something I can't pass up on. I settled in on my hut and had lunch while discussing with Panhon the plan for this afternoon. I asked if we could go to the peak of the terraces and then to the falls but he asked for a raise in his fee to the original price of P700. I haggled again to P600 and he agreed (only to give him the original price after our trek).

After lunch and after taking a quick nap, Panhon and I started trekking to the peak of the terraces. With short stops for photo ops, we made it there for almost an hour. I think this is the best place to enjoy the rice terraces in its vastness. We met a couple of tourists along the way who made it to the top sans a tour guide.

Probably next time, I could do it on my own.

Next stop was the Tappiyah Falls. Another challenging trek since the steps down to the falls were really steep. But as soon as we got to the falls, I quickly forgot the hardship I dealt with going there. The water was ice-cold and there's a vendor in the area who uses the water as her organic cooler. I could only stay for a short while in the water as I do not have a tolerance for subzero temperature. Pun intended.

We noticed some dark clouds approaching and decided to go back to the inn. Well, the dark clouds came faster than we estimated and soon rain poured down this heavenly sight. We were stranded for almost an hour among the terraces moving from one hut to another when the rain partly subsides. Good thing was that I was stranded with a wonderful couple (Brian and Lori) who filled in the silence with their travel stories.

It's really great to swap stories with other travel enthusiasts.

When we thought the rain wouldn't end, it did. We parted ways with the couple and made it to the inn before dusk. Upon reaching the inn, I showered and arranged my things realized that I lost my house keys. Not again! Probably some spirits were playing practical jokes on me.

After having dinner of cup noodles, I stayed in the restaurant and chatted with the owner's niece, Cecilia. She filled me in with interesting tidbits about Ifugao culture, the terraces and other facts. Feeling really tired, I called it a day and dozed off in my cool Ifugao hut.

mightor20 says:
Enjoy! :)
Posted on: May 16, 2013
rheagirl says:
can't wait to be there. thanks for sharing! :)
Posted on: May 16, 2013
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finally in Batad
finally in Batad
way to the saddle point
way to the saddle point
51 km (32 miles) traveled
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photo by: planisphere