IFUGAO | The Road to Batad Rice Terraces | Lakad Pilipinas

The path was muddy and the sky gray; it was constantly drizzling and it was not helping at all as we navigate the not-so-easy path to the amphitheater rice terraces of Batad in Banaue.

The PHILTOA crew started the day with a hearty breakfast at Banaue Hotel’s Imbayah Restaurant with hot mountain coffee, pastries, fried rice and regular morning Filipino fares. Clouds were rolling between the mountains across the window as we chowed down, storing up carbs for the long day ahead.

Due to the sullen weather, we were not allowed to topload and had to content ourselves to be seated inside the jeep. The day was dewy and everything seemed so fresh as we passed emerald landscapes of rice cascading down the mountains of Banaue.

Waving to local kids on their way to school, we pressed on towards our destination. The wind was chilling our bones as it passed through the open windows of our jeepney.

The road alternates from smooth concrete to rugged single-lane dirtpaths that plunges down to an endless ravine below. It was amazing to see houses seemingly hanging on for dear life perched beside the road. It might be an ordinary sight for the people of Ifugao, but for us who grew up on the flatlands of Luzon, it was a jaw-gaping thing to behold.

After 45 minutes, we finally we reached a fork in the road that would lead us to Batad’s saddle point where our hike would start. The previous night’s weather made the road muddy; it took all our jeepney’s horsepower to heave us through the uphill dirt road. We almost thought we would have to walk all the way to the saddle.

Everyone took a sigh of relief as we approached our trek’s starting point. After a quick distribution of snacks, walking sticks and plastic raincovers, we plunged down the trail. The path was really muddy and I was glad I chose my trekking shoes over my usual slippers.

Wrapping my camera in plastic, I was still able to capture a few images while trekking down to Batad. It was as if I was shooting in film though, with only the viewfinder settings to rely on. I was unable to view the camera’s LCD at all.

The path started wide and quickly narrowed down. Most areas we have to walk single file with overgrown weeds on both sides. The slope was quite gentle, with the ground made of dirt and rocks. There were some portions where the sides drop to sheer heights and it was at these places where the views were particularly spectacular.

There are four hut stopovers where one can rest a bit and buy a bottle of softdrinks or water before proceeding with the hike. The huts, which are basically wooden sheds, are strategically spread apart for the weary travelers. Not really fit for trekking, we naturally stopped in each one.

Passing disjointed rubber soles from the hikers ahead, we finally came upon the last hut. Soon after, a ghost of an Ifugao hut covered in mist revealed itself; the end of the journey was nearly at hand.
Batad Rice Terraces, a place I thought my eyes would not lay upon due to its relative remoteness and inaccessibility (well inaccessibility for someone not really fit for trekking like me hehe), was unbelievably only a few steps away.
 

Batad Rice Terraces
Address: Barangay Batad, Banaue, Ifugao

Batad Saddle Point
GPS Coordinates: 16.923123,121.126751
Click to view location on Google Maps

Batad Rice Terraces
GPS Coordinates: 16.93519,121.134911
Click to view location on Google Maps

THE IFUGAO HERITAGE WARRIOR CARAVAN RUN IS A FIVE-DAY FAMILIARIZATION TOUR OF THE IFUAGO ORGANIZED BY PHILTOA.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Monday, August 6, 2012

9 comments:

  1. mukhang mahirap ang daan pero sulit pagnakarating- Ang Ganda!

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  2. That house precariously sitting by the roadside looks like it is ready to take a plunge downward. Is anybody living there?

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  3. Pangarap ko to mapuntahan balang araw.

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  4. Whacky Adventures
    If you like hiking, yes masarap; if you're not into hiking, I'm not so sure :D

    Traveling Morion
    Sulit talaga Jeffrey! See my next post :)

    BertN
    Yes it's being lived on. There are a lot of those in the mountanous parts of the Philippines :)

    Juanderfulpinoy
    O diba punta tayo sa Nov? :)

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  5. How long is the trek before reaching the place? Mukhang tiring ang trek papunta dyan. How was it?

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  6. sounds like a cool adventure.. the weather sounds about the same when i was there a long time ago.. :)

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  7. Rian
    Cool adventure indeed bro, even the weather's cool :D

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