A Journey, Shade of Green and Blue depicts
“Batad Rice Terraces and Tappiya Waterfalls”
Site: Batad Rice Terraces and Tappiya Waterfalls of the Philippine Cordilleras
Location: Barangay Batad, Municipality of Banaue, Province of Ifugao in Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon, Philippines
Description: These terraces shaped resemble an amphitheatre, it is a living cultural landscape beautifully illustrates human harmony with nature and serves as an example of sustainable agriculture with traditional techniques. The Waterfalls is a beautiful 70-meter falls about a 45-minute walk from the village. A natural cascading body of water with its enormous natural pool for swimming.
Category: Man-Made and Natural Attractions
A friend of mine and happened my travel partner referred me to a travel group in their office who’s planning to hike in Batad Rice Terraces which include the Waterfalls in Banaue. I’ve wanted to go there since I saw it in book when I was then a pupil to student. Because of the beautiful pictures that I saw, I was hesitant and decided to join them. Initially, I thought that the hike will just be an easy one…so my plan was really to appreciate the scenic view of the mountains and just take a lot of pictures.
THE BATAD RICE TERRACES
Captured by: Ms. Caroline Espejon
The Batad Rice Terraces in Banaue or the “Hagdan-hagdang Palayan” are commonly referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, they are fed by an ancient irrigation system from the rain forests above the rice terraces. The system comprises of dams, streams, channels and bamboo pipes, which are open and closed in co-operation with each owner. They were built using hand tools only.
Batad is a village in the Cordillera Administrative Region of the Island of Luzon in the Philippines, is a village of fewer than 1500 people, situated among the Ifugao rice terraces. It is definitely the best place to view this UNESCO World Heritage site, as mentioned by the locals there, tour guide. The landscape is truly stunning and the nearby waterfall offers a lush swimming point (if you have the energy to hike there and back, around 1 hour each way)
The rice terraces here are magnificent, and so perfect like a stairway to heaven. Reaching the highest point at the side is so worth the view. The scenery is incredible and the local people I met were really friendly.
Captured by: Ms. Caroline Espejon
The trail to the rice terraces was easy at first but then it became really hard for me after a while since we needed to pass between the rice terraces and it was slippery and one wrong step can be very dangerous since you’ll fall to a high muddy rice terraces. To top it, the rain was also pouring little by little… but in spite of this… the view was beautiful. So it was all worth it.
I had seen photographs on line of the rice terraces but they do not come anywhere near being there and seeing them for myself in actual. It truly a spectacular achievement the way they have been constructed and maintained.
Captured by: Ms. Caroline Espejon
We hiked just over 14 kilometres down steep uneven steps and up many other uneven steps in just under 5 hours. My legs and feet really did not want to know me anymore and although it was a trip of a lifetime, at the end of the day I was tired.
TREK TO TAPPIYA WATERFALLS
Beside the magnificent rice terraces lies the Tappiya Waterfalls where we spent hours of swimming even though the weather temperature at that time was so cold. All in all, our experienced really paid out the expenses we incurred. It was like feeling recharged due to stressful daily activities in the lowland where life is sometimes as busy as toxic. Try visiting this place for your eyes to see.
About an hour’s hike from Hillside Inn (our homestay place), the trek to Tappiya Waterfalls is one of the most popular things to do in Batad. It’s popular because it’s a relatively stress-free trek (by Batad standards) that even moderately fit people can do.
Tappiya Waterfalls – a beautiful 70-meter falls about a 45-minute walk from the village. A natural cascading body of water that fall with its enormous natural pool for swimming. The views were spectacular and the falls was refreshing. It’s a great place to go and visit with.
The trek through the rice terraces and down a path with high stairs is carefully walk along the paddies of the stone of rice terraces. With that said, it isn’t without its risks, that element of danger perhaps adding to its overall appeal, full of stamina is needed.
So just a word of caution for visitors who are not very with bending exercises or running in steep terrains, the trek will certainly hurt. This will be felt afterwards, on the way back to the Terraces as there is no other way but up.
If you want to have a quiet vacation, stay here for 2 nights. There’s nothing much to do except to appreciate the man-made marvel of rice terraces, made using only stone and clay and by the people of Batad and the natural cascading body of water that fall with its enormous natural pool for swimming. The views were spectacular and the falls was refreshing, Tappiya Waterfalls.
Just to let you know…This is another world…Absolutely, a breath-taking life changing…
Totally loved the trip – one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen!
We hired van from Banaue (P150/head) that will bring us to the end of the paved road down from to the junction or saddle in Batad. No road leads to the village of Batad. From the saddle of the road it’s around an hour walk bit mud to reach our accommodation stay, Hillside Inn Homestay in Batad community.
Since no road leads to Batad, there are no motorized vehicles to be found anywhere in the village. This means, of course, that one must get around on foot. Walking is mostly possible only on the walls of the rice terraces which are wide enough for 1 person.
You will find a lot of local people wanting to guide you through the various interesting places of the village for a negotiable prize depending on the itinerary you want.
Before finishing the hike, you’ll get to see one more picturesque view of the rice terraces…but you got to be fast because the view can be immediately covered by fog…
Overall…the hike was very much worth it.
“I indeed enjoyed everything about this adventure, you know? The trekking and climbing and the balancing strikes on rice terraces pathway, to view into green destinations; the steps and walk needs stamina going to the trip stairs of Tappiya Falls…it had a huge bit of everything.”
THINGS TO CONSIDER AND REMEMBER
- Dress warmly and buy your bus tickets in advance
Be sure to reserve your ticket a day in advance before you travel to guarantee yourself a seat. You can visit the Ohayami Trans for information (http://ohayamitrans.com/index.html) on how to reserve a ticket. Be sure to bring a sweater or jacket too because these overnight buses can often feel like iceboxes on wheels.
- Bring cash and order every meal in advance
Batad is a tiny, rural village without any banks or ATMs. No establishment accepts credit cards or traveller’s cheques either, so be sure to bring enough cash to fund your trip. The home style restaurants in Batad can’t handle too many guests at once. To avoid long waiting times, be sure to order every meal in advance especially if you’re traveling on a tight schedule.
- Step up your cardio and bring enough important things in bag pack
Batad is physically stamina’s demanding. With most of the trails at a vertical slope, even getting around the village requires effort. Most of the paths are dangerous so you don’t want to be stuck out at night. And be sure to carry enough important things in bag pack. It will make the trek much easier.
- Get a tour-guide and trek early as possible
Some of the sights like Tappiya Waterfalls are easy enough to find on your own, but I suggest hiring a guide for your own safety and peace of mind. On top of that, guides add value by sharing stories of information on the site attractions. It’s important to start your treks as early as possible as well. That way you don’t get caught by nightfall before finding your way back to the village.
- Disconnect and enjoy the view scenery
There’s little to no cellular coverage site signal in Batad, so you’ll pretty much be detached from the modern world of any social media while you’re there. Take the opportunity to disconnect, slow down, and enjoy the sight background.
Not surprisingly, hiking into the terraces is a popular activity among visitors to the region. But the emerald hillsides appear lovely even without the walk and outstanding picnic spots abound. Plenty of guided tours are available in Banaue.
I’m not an expert on Batad but I do hope that you find this post useful. I’m only sharing some of the things that I learned from our trip. If you have any suggestions or simply want to share your own experiences, then please feel free to do so in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks very much… Ms. Caroline Espejon, Ms. Jo-Ann Malvas, Ms. Jen Cabunas, Mr. Marlon Manalo and Mr. Aris Enero all of them from Davao Christian School, a privilege for inviting me to be with the group, Maraming Salamat, Shokran!