When the spirit is high and the world is inviting, how could I say no?
The rice terraces of Batad, Ifugao is a sight too grand to miss out on.
Listed as one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites, the terraces of Ifugao is something the Filipinos are very proud of. The amphitheater-like rice fields had been there since 2000 years ago, long before the colonial period. This speaks a lot about the ancient Filipino civilization, way before the influence of foreigners reached us.
On the very first weekend of March, this is where my feet led me, to the rice terraces of Batad, Ifugao.
Leaving Manila, we rode the Ohayami Bus to the province of Banaue. At the present, the only bus transport service that can get you to Banaue directly from Manila is the Ohayami bus. The bus left a little after 10 PM that night and we arrived in Banaue around 7 in the morning.
Banaue is a little town in Ifugao. From there, you can ride a jeepney or van going straight to Batad junction where you shall start your trek towards the Batad Rice Terraces.
When we arrived in Banaue, we had to wait for a little more time and while we did, we took our breakfast and then walked around.
The town really is small. There are no fastfood chains but restaurants are scattered everywhere. Most restaurants, if not all, serve typical Filipino dishes such as sinigang and adobo, as well as American food such as burgers, pancakes, etc. We tried to ask every restaurant we found if they serve something unique to Ifugao but we found nothing. The meals in Banaue (even in Batad) are quite pricey. A meal of adobo and rice can cost more than Php 150. Also, there are no ATMs in Banaue.
While in Banaue proper, we also made sure that we visited the viewpoint of the famous Banaue Rice Terraces.
Banaue rice terraces may be the most famous of all rice terraces in Ifugao but it’s not actually a UNESCO heritage site. There are 5 rice terraces listed in UNESCO but Banaue isn’t one of them (Batad rice terraces, however, is). Still, making a visit to see it is worth your time.
Seeing the rice terraces was wonderful indeed. However, I didn’t realize that it was just going to be something like a teaser for what’s waiting for us in Batad. 🙂
A few hours before lunch time was when we departed Banaue proper. We rode a van going to the Batad junction, and thankfully, the road is paved and it wasn’t so bumpy. The ride was a little dizzy though because we were going in zig zags in some parts of the way.
When we arrived at the junction, we did a 30 minute trek to the inn where we’re about to stay for the night. We ate our lunch there before we set out on our journey around the Batad Rice Terraces, which is, in one simple word, amazing.
With me are two of my decade-long time friends with whom I feel grateful for coming with me. It was an arduous trek and I’m just glad I’m with friends who found enjoyment in it. 🙂
What came as a treat for the leg exercises we did was none other than the beautiful Tappiya Falls of Batad.
At the end of the seemingly endless walking, this is what greeted us:
We were also able to pass by a traditional Ifugao house and we took the chance to take a look inside it.
It was absolutely a fun-filled day and aside from the quality time I spent with my friends (and with myself as well), I also got to meet new people.
How wonderful it is to engage in interesting conversations with them. 🙂
We spent the next day resting, with the view of the Cordilleran amphitheater before our eyes, from dawn until the sun rose in its majesty.
We were also able to buy souvenirs before taking the bus ride home. 🙂
To be able to see the ancient wonder of our country is a privilege indeed and I can never be deserving enough of all the opportunities like this that are given to me. And with all these beautiful things and with more amazing experiences to look forward to, it’s comforting to find that negative feelings really doesn’t linger for so long. 🙂