Aside from beautiful islands and amazing beaches, the Philippines also has mountains with breathtaking views from above. It’s like we have the best things in our beautiful country! Well, except good road traffic. But then again, more reasons to just leave the city for a while, go on a trip, and get in touch with nature. On your next trip, challenge yourself to trek the beautiful terraces of Batad, Banaue, Ifugao.
How to Get There
There are few bus companies with trips from Manila to Banaue, such as Ohayami and Florida. Regular fare for 2×2 air conditioned bus starts at around P450. The trip usually last for 10 to 12 hours. You can also travel to Banaue from Baguio with a 5 to 6-hour bus ride. It could get a bit chilly inside the bus during the trip, so it is advised to bring a blanket or jacket. And you might want to reserve your bus seats ahead of time since there are only few trips per day.
We took a 9:00PM bus trip with Ohayami Transit. We slept the whole trip and arrived in Banaue at around 7:00AM the next day, just in time for breakfast. Make sure you go for a heavy breakfast as you’re in for some tough physical challenge afterwards.
After having breakfast, you can check in at your chosen accommodation. We checked in at Banaue Hotel where we had our breakfast. There are other cheaper options for accommodation such as inns, lodges, and home-stays starting at P250. Super affordable and ideal for backpackers! Once we checked in, we had some rest, and then rearranged our things so we would only have to take the essential stuff for trekking—bottled water, extra clothes, towel, cameras, and some cash. Aaand we’re all set!
We met up with our guide, Kuya Derik, who would lead our trail. Things started to get exciting when we took a top load ride going to Batad Rice Terraces! Aside from the fact that we were sitting on the roof of a moving vehicle, the roads in Banaue are pretty scary, too! Don’t worry though, the drivers of jeepneys and other modes of transfers already had years of experiencing driving around these curves and steep roads.
We spent about 30 minutes riding topload from the hotel to the start of the trail. We were awestruck with the view of the rice terraces on our way—a concrete reflection of the hardwork of the Ifugaos. Looking at the rice terraces made me feel nothing but admiration. Having built the terraces not only provided the Ifugaos their source of living, but also pride for creating something so beautiful that the whole world recognizes. In fact, most of the tourists in Banaue are from different parts of the world such as Chile, France, Germany, Holland, and many others.
Which is also actually another interesting thing in traveling to Banaue. There, you’ll get to meet different people from all over the world. All of them share the same passion for nature, sight seeing, and traveling, and you’ll learn most of them love the Philippines so much. I hope all Filipinos develop this kind of passion for nature as well. This will drive us to become more responsible citizens and start caring more for our environment.
Once we reached the start of the trail, the real challenge began.
You can rent walking sticks from some stores on the start of the trail for P10, or buy them for P20. A bit foolish for us not to get ourselves some walking sticks until the middle of the trail. So the first part of the trail was a bit harder for us bare handed. Look how excited we are not realizing yet what was in store for us!
The start of the trail was pretty easy. Only felt like walking on some slopes. Until the path turned rougher and rougher.
And the walkways turned a bit steeper!
Kuya Derik said during this part that we should lean on the left side of the trail so if we lose our balance and fall, it’s just some mud where we’ll land. Unlike falling on our left side, you’ll get some mud plus a lot of pain!
As the trail got more challenging, only the view of the terraces and our imagination of the beautiful Tappiyah waterfalls kept us going!
About an hour later, we finally reached the top view deck of the Batad Rice Terraces. It was definitely worth climbing, for it had the best view of the rice terraces.
Now we have to trek the trail down to the waterfalls! Let’s go!