Luzon, Philippines

Batad Banaue Ifugao DIY Travel Guide

We were fooled, convinced by our elementary education system – of textbooks telling us that the best and must-see rice terraces in Ifugao is non-other than the Banaue Rice Terraces.

It was only when I got obsessed reading travel stories and blogs years ago that I’ve become aware that there are way better than the famous Banaue. Actually, Banaue Rice Terraces is not even on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Yes, you have to be aware of that.

Batad Banaue Ifugao
Batad Rice Terraces

In Ifugao province, there are 5 sites declared as UNESCO World Heritage, these are Batad Rice Terraces, Bangaan Rice Terraces (both from Banaue), Hungduan Rice Terraces (in Hungduan), Nagacadan Rice Terraces (in Kiangan) and Mayoyao Rice Terraces (in Mayoyao).

A few months ago, I read an article about Batad, and I was just in awe that I couldn’t take it away from my mind. I told myself, “I have to go to Batad.”

More research and readings made me realize that it is not easy to go there. It requires hours of trek, a serious challenge for my overweight self. LOL!

No one among my circle of friends at that time was willing to join me, so I courageously decided to travel there alone.

But as I surf online, a pleasant surprise came. I saw a Facebook invite from a fellow blogger, Mike of the Traveling Panda, for a trip to Batad. I didn’t have any second thought of clicking the “join” button.

Batad Banaue Ifugao

The Way to Batad Rice Terraces

There were nine of us. All strangers to one another, but this group of people have become one of the best travel buddies I’ve ever had.

I met them at the  Florida Bus Terminal (10PM night trip) in Cubao when we were about to board the Dangwa bus bound to Banaue. It was a long 9 hour trip, quite surprising to know that most of the passengers were foreigners.

Another option to go to Banaue is by taking a bus at the Ohayami (website) bus terminal in Sampaloc, Manila.

Batad Banaue Ifugao
Inside the Bus
Batad Banaue Ifugao
Banaue! 🙂

After about 3 bus stops, we’ve finally arrived in Banaue.

Just a walk down the curved road and you’ll see the Tourism Office of Banaue, beside that is the terminal. There are two jeepney trips bound to the Saddle Point, the farthest part where public transportation could reach going to Batad.

But to tell you honestly, as most of travelers would say, no one really knows the exact time or schedule of these jeepneys.

So most of the time, you would see fellow travelers waiting for that mysterious jeepney for hours. Like Ryan and his friends, a Canadian traveler, who politely asked to hitch with us going to Saddle Point. Good thing Mike had contacted someone in advance to get us a jeepney to Saddle Point.

If you are willing to wait for that phantom trip, the fare is about Php150.

Or you can rent an entire jeepney for Php 1,500 one way, good for 20 people. Just look around for fellow travelers. Another option is to take a tricycle, good for 2 to 3 passengers for Php 150 each. Though riding a tricycle in a mountainous road is a bit inconvenient, but it is definitely better than the long wait at the terminal.

Batad Banaue Ifugao
Our jeep from Banaue to Saddle Point. Credit: Diego Ong

Once we reached the Saddle Point, we all knew the next part was going to be a tough one.

The only way to reach the secluded village of Batad is through trekking for at least 1 to 2 hours. For a Batad local one hour walk is enough, but for someone who hasn’t done any serious cardio work out for a while, it is better to allot two hours.

It is important before going to Batad to at least prepare yourself physically for the grueling hike. As I walked through the lush green sceneries, I couldn’t help but blame myself for eating too much and not having enough exercise. LOL!

Good thing I was with really inspiring and fun loving travelers, it did make my hike less tiring. And the best part was, we took a lot of pictures of ourselves. LOL!

Batad Banaue Ifugao
Selfie while trekking. Credit: Ronald Ruiz
Batad Banaue Ifugao
Credit: Ronald Ruiz
Batad Banaue Ifugao
Just a few more minutes before Batad.

After a seemingly endless walk, we’ve finally reached Batad. A small amount of php 50 will be collected from all the visitors as environmental fee.

We were welcomed by this tiny village with the breathtaking view of the world famous amphitheater-like Batad Rice Terraces. It was like being in a different portal, a different place. We were lucky to witness the rice terraces at its greenest.

Batad Banaue Ifugao
My photo overlooking Batad Rice Terraces.
Batad Banaue Ifugao
Going down the village
Batad Banaue Ifugao
On our way to Batad Pension House.

 

We stayed at Batad Pension House. Its restaurant has an amazing view of the terraces, perfect for dining and relaxation.

Once we ordered some food, it was a chance for all of us to really sit down and have a nice talk. One thing I realized is that when you’ve all gone through the same arduous trek or experience, it becomes easier for one another to open up and genuinely share stories. That’s what happened during the time when we were waiting for our food.

The place was instantly filled with laughter.

No holds barred. We were all tired, and damn we just all wanna have some fun! (yeah?! ahoo ahhoo!) We were all laughing like there’s no tomorrow.

It’s unbelievable that I’ve spent the next three days exploring, hiking and laughing with these people. And I just couldn’t believe to wake up one morning to this beautiful view of Batad Rice Terraces.

Batad Banaue Ifugao
Good morning while sipping coffee… Look at the view 🙂 Creidt: Ronald Ruiz

 

 

6 Things To Do in Batad

1.  Trek to Tappiya Falls

Your travel to Batad would not be complete without going to the famous Tappiya Falls!

Again, trekking there is not as easy as it seems. It’s about 2 hour hike from your hostel going to Tappiya Falls passing through the entire Batad Rice Terraces and conquering endless trail of stairs and rocks.

But once you get to there, every sweat and labor is worth it. It’s beautiful and majestic!

Batad Banaue Ifugao
Tappiya Falls! Credit: Ronald Ruiz
Batad Banaue Ifugao
Swim! wohoo! Credit: Ronald Ruiz

 

2. Explore the Batad Rice Terraces

The 2,000 year old terraces must be treated with respect when you dare to explore it.

I mean you just have to give yourself and your travel friends extra care in trekking and balancing! Pathways are sometimes as wide as one person and the steep slope is not recommended for those who have fear of heights.

But the reward of overlooking the entire terraces as if your at the top of the world is priceless.

Batad Banaue Ifugao
Exploring Batad Rice Terraces

Batad Banaue Ifugao

 

3. Be a Local 🙂

I will never forget the moment when I was talking to some locals there. They told me that it’s rare to find a fat person in Batad. So I just stood up and told them, okay I’m gonna go home now. LOL!

The smile and laugh at their faces is something that a traveler like me should definitely treasure. Talking to the locals especially the kids is one of the best things you could experience in Batad, aside from drinking their rice wine.  🙂

Batad Banaue Ifugao
It’s the hat, that makes you a local. LOL!
Batad Banaue Ifugao
Israeli travelers, playing basketball with the kids.

 

4. Interact and be friends with fellow travelers

I’ll never get tired of saying this. But again, the new friends that I’ve met in Batad are just oh so amazing and inspiring that I couldn’t wait to travel with them again.

And aside from your travel buddies, you’ll continuously meeting new people on the road. Be open and talk to them. It’s a refreshing experience to talk to strangers, listening to their stories and adventures.

Batad Banaue Ifugao
Nakataas kamay ko, pansinin niyo ko. hahaha

 

5. Give Back . Organize an Outreach Program for the locals and kids.

One of the main reasons why I instantly clicked that Join button on the facebook invite was the fact that I was not just joining a travel, I was also helping organize a program to give school supplies and sweets to the Batad children.

Once in a while, in our routinary lives, allot some time to give back and help others.

Batad Banaue Ifugao
Mike, leading the outreach program for kids.
Batad Banaue Ifugao
Pogi!

 

6. Spend some time alone.

Ehem.. I traveled to Batad for a reason. There’s reason why I clamored to be in Batad in the first place.

At that time, I needed to think, relax and disconnect myself to the world for a while to be able to find some clarity. I needed some time alone, and in a peaceful place like Batad, you can always find a sweet spot to reflect.

Batad Banaue Ifugao
Stolen shot by Diego Ong. Naks!

 Travel Tips to Batad

  1. Get a guide going to Tappiya Falls for your safety. By doing this, you’re also helping the local tourism. Price is about 1,500 for your group.
  2. Of course, there’s no ATM in Batad so bring enough cash.
  3. There’s no mobile signal in Batad. Perfect to disconnect and reflect. 🙂
  4. The best time to travel to Batad is during summer like April and May when the rice terraces is at its best and greenest. When you travel there by August to October, the terraces is usually golden brown.
  5. Most of the hostels and Inns in Batad are like homestays, so please order your food in advance. It is a very secluded village surrounded by mountains so do not expect to have a restaurant-like food and service. “Bawal ang maarte sa Batad.” LOL!
  6. Bring some jacket, blanket

 

Where To Stay in Batad?

batad pension

We stayed at Batad Pension House and Restaurant! The room was clean and the friendly service of the staff especially Gemma (the funny gay staff) is commendable. Check Room Rates and Book Here!

 

Other Accomodations,Hostels and Homestays in Batad

 

That’s it!

Have you been to Batad? or planning a trip? Share your insights at the comment section below. 🙂

 

21 Comments

  1. Francis

    Hi Sir. Nice story-telling. I’m planning to go this Friday. Alone. Kung di umulan. haha. I would just like to ask? Is it safe to go alone there? Thank you 🙂

    Reply
  2. jbrix

    hello, thanks for you blog, very informative and it gave me a clear idea of the place nad how to get there. anywy, just wanna ask wat month dd u come there? i so love the green terraces . i am going there first week of feb but i think they’re not that green pa cguro.

    Reply
  3. starr

    hi jon – i really wanna go this weekend – im afraid of heights 🙁 – can i still go with my friends? please ;( – if you can give some tips ;( thanks

    Reply
  4. Miko ramos

    Hi Sir John, its indeed a bueatiful place. Il be be here next year most probably april or may as what you suggested. 🙂 pero aside from the journey and the great views, i was amazed by the objective of the group, to give/help the community. Punta ko next year and whats your suggestion sir na pwede kong maitulong/mabigay sa community esp sa mga bata. Thanks. Reply would be much appreciated. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. JON

      Hi Miko,

      Grabe sorry sa late reply. Kailangan ng mga bata dun ay mga school supplies for the next school year, damit, laruan.

      Just in case wala masyado malikom, naku candy lang tuwang tuwa na sila. Alam mo naman, malayo ang lugar nila sa bayan, tagong tago ang Batad at malayo layong lakaran. Kaya appreciate na appreciate nila yung mga candy at konting chichirya.

      Lapis din at papel gusto nila yun.

      Thanks sa plan Miko to do an outreach program sa lugar. Mababait ang mga tao dun sa Batad.

      Regards,
      Jon

      Reply
  5. The lush stair-like greenery looks so magical in your photos. It is certainly a perfect place to find peace and serenity. I have been dreaming of going to Batad. Thank you for the valuable tips and for sharing your experience. It is as if I have been transported to that place by just reading your post. I am bookmarking this for future reference.

    P.S. I love the idea that you went to that place not only to enjoy but also to give something back to the community. It’s very rare to find travellers like you, who would combine enjoyment with charitable works. Keep it up! 🙂

    Reply
    1. jontotheworld Author

      Hi Enz,

      Thanks for your kind words. Sure, just bookmark it and include Batad on your bucket list. Ganda dun!

      Yes, the outreach program was also a big part of joining the travel, and at the end of the day, I’ve gained more. More new friends and experiences!

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *