Batad Rice Terraces (Banaue)
Batad Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
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.
Now, for the real Batad story.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.