We’ve all had a taste of life’s ups and downs and sometimes drinking your heart out in the metro won’t be enough to drown all the blues away. Sometimes you need to breathe a different kind of air to clear up your mind. People usually go to Sagada for this experience, but why don’t you try this little village called Batad for a change? I really wonder it doesn’t have the popularity that it deserves.
What is Batad, really? Why should you visit this place?
A 10-hour bus ride from Manila (Ohayami transit in Sampaloc offers trips to Banaue), less than an hour in the Batad Saddle then another allotted for trekking. Sound like too much? Well, it’s worth it. Especially sincethere’s no cellphone signal nor Wi-Fi in Batad village itself, it’s a good place far away where you can rethink your thoughts.
No signal for almost two days may sound like a nightmare, but when this is your bedside window view? I’d take this over my Twitter feed almost anytime. It was a liberating feeling, really. The same way PCs need rebooting, so do we need an occasional disconnection from the world.
Here is a sample itinerary offered by Ramon’s Native Homestay.
Day 0 (Friday)
08:30PM Assembly at Ohayami Bus Terminal, Fajardo St. cor. Lacson
09:00-10:00PM Departure Manila to Banaue
Day 1 (Saturday)
07:00AM ETA Banaue; Breakfast (own pax)
09:30AM Ride Jeep to Batad Saddle Point
10:30AM Start Trek down to Batad Village
01:00PM Trek to Batad Highest Point and Tappiah Falls
08:00PM Bonfire and Storytelling
Day 2 (Sunday)
09:00AM Customs wearing and FREE time
10:001M Check Out; Start trek back to Saddle Point
12:00PM Ride Jeep back to Banaue
01:00PM Banaue Viewpoint
03:00PM Shopping City Tour
04:00PM end of tour
06:00PM Back to Manila
Day 3 (Monday)
03:00/04:00AM ETA Manila
END OF TOUR
There are many more inns and lodges around with really, really hospitable people, as well.
5 Reasons Why Batad, Ifugao is Where Broken Hearts Should Go
5. The people are hospitable.
Got issues of not feeling at home anywhere? Maybe you should try this place where the natives treat their visitors like family. I usually left my gadgets lying around and they remained untouched. The natives eagerly told stories from their legends, culture, and family to the most random things like their puppies and their names. A refreshing take from the normal skepticism we feel towards other people in Manila.
Even foreigners were captured by their utmost hospitality. Sweet people indeed.
They’ll even perform a cultural show for you. I got goosebumps listening to their welcome song with lyrics that went something like “we will take care of you, we will remember you” which the children sang. Goes to show that sincerity still lives.
4. The food is awesome.
I think awesome food would get me going to places anytime. Well, they’ll serve you the most tender chicken adobo coupled with the breathtaking view here which is 1000x better than the metro skyline view of the most expensive penthouse. I wasn’t able to take a photo of it, but they served us something like biko with chocolate on top of it, too. Really craving for some of that right now!
What more could you ask for with this in front of your dining table?
You can even join them in some stages of the food preparation. After this sight, I actually almost considered becoming a vegetarian, though.