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Experiencing the Rice Terraces

Best Blogger Tips

Taking the Ohayami Bus to Banaue
Experiencing the Rice Terraces
Tappiyah Falls and Banaue Museum

Banaue-Batad Itinerary
Banaue-Batad Expenses

A tip from a friend who had been to Banaue several times before, advised us to buy return tickets as soon as we arrived in Banaue. Sometimes, the buses going back to Manila could run out of seats.

So we bought return tickets first thing after getting off the bus. The latest trip back to Manila was 5:30 pm on Sunday.

Then, as we were doing so, we were approached by people offering tours. Usually, even before we arrive at our destination, I would have everything planned and a contact would fetch us upon arrival to start our tour. But for this trip, I trusted my friend when he said to book everything upon arriving in Banaue. I was a little worried because it was a long weekend and there might be a lot of people and we'd run out of accommodation or transportation, but everything went fine.

View from one of the many viewpoints around Banaue
So we chose one of the people who offered tours, a guy who was himself the driver of the jeep. We agreed to pay Php 2000 per day for 2 days, which, according to my research, was the correct price.

By now, we were starving, so we followed our new guide to a nearby restaurant to have breakfast. One thing I specifically can't forget about Batad and Banaue is that food preparation takes a long time. And I mean LONG, especially in Batad. We joked that they were still trying to catch the chicken to serve to us. But in this case, it was probably true.

After breakfast, we started the tour. Our guide took us to see the popular rice terraces viewpoints. As far as I know, there are five viewpoints but my friend said it wasn't necessary to go to all of them, just the best ones. We visited 3 of them, including the view of the Php 1000 bill which is from the Aguian viewpoint.

P1000-Bill View from Aguian

A kindly old Ifugao woman (who spoke excellent English!) entertained us while we took photos with her and her cute granddaughter.

We also visited the Hanging House, a house built on stilts on the edge of a cliff. I doubt anyone really lived there, though. We did see some caretakers.

Donate to the people of Banaue and get a nice memory in return

After the Banaue tour, we headed to Batad, about an hour by jeepney from Banaue. The ride was rough and sometimes scary, as we skirted very near the edge of cliffs.

Jeepneys and other vehicles could only take us as far as the Saddle, after which, we had to reach the town on foot. Our jeepney driver promised to pick us up the next day at 2 pm. He also found us another guide who would take us to the town proper.

The Hanging House
Now, I was prepared for everything but this. Somehow, I didn't know that the trek to the town proper took about an hour. My feet hurt from all the walking on rocky ground. And to think this was the easy part since it was mostly downhill. Sigh. I knew I was NOT going to make it tomorrow when we needed to hike back up.

I hardly have any physical activity but for this trip, I started exercising two weeks before by climbing up and down our staircase everyday. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough and I still got tired very easily. Still, it was way better that I exercised because at least, I didn't almost black out like what happened in Caramoan. That particular experience was my greatest worry about this trip, because I knew I might have a repeat of the incident if I pushed myself too hard.

Batad Village

Tired but otherwise okay, we arrived at Batad just in time for lunch. We checked in at Batad Pension and Guest House. I originally wanted to stay at Rita's or Hillside Inn but they never contacted me back after several attempts at text, and no one was answering my calls.

But the view at Batad Pension was lovely and it was where our guide led us. Rooms were simple. No electric fan or air-con. At only Php 200 a night, I didn't expect anything, really. Besides, Batad is not a place for luxury hotels. We were there for only one night, anyway.

Carved souvenirs

Breathtaking Natural Beauty

We ordered lunch that took a looooongggg time coming. Like an hour or more. I almost fell asleep waiting. We resolved to order our lunch at 9am the next day so that it would be ready by 12.

After lunch, we did some trekking again. The view of the rice terraces from Batad was simply amazing. Some parts of the rice terraces were deteriorating and it was sad to see that they were falling into disrepair. I know that there was a volunteer group to help build the rice terraces but we didn't have enough time to help with the work seeing as we were only there for a day.

Around 4 or 5 pm, we went back to the pension house to take a bath and order dinner. Some of my friends and I, opted to get massages after an exhausting day. I befriended the therapist and she told me all sorts of stuff about Ifugaos. Mostly about how expensive Ifugao weddings were. Lol. She also taught me a few phrases in Ilocano!

Then, we just talked until it was time to sleep.


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