I’ve never imagined that mornings in Batad could be this beautiful.
Served with pancakes, omelette and coffee together with good friends, then to top it all the breathtaking view of Batad Rice Terraces, it was one of my best breakfasts ever.
And once the first ray of sunlight touches the rice paddies, it will definitely leave you speechless.
We slowly ate our breakfast, enjoyed every sip and aroma of our coffee. Even our conversations were deeper. We all took our time that morning, because we were about to face another challenge, hiking the majestic Tappiya Falls of Batad, Ifugao.
Stories were told, that the trek going there is arduous, that the famous line “I survived Batad” could only be shouted by those who conquered this waterfalls.
It’s true, that when you travel to Batad, don’t you ever forget the Tappiya Falls. Though it is a 2 hour grueling trek going there, it’s going to be an amazing experience.
Most travelers prefer the route of passing through the higher part of the Rice Terraces before going for the steep slope down towards the Tappiya Falls. But for us, we decided to go for the more difficult and less traveled path. Since we all wanted to visit the village at the heart of this UNESCO World Heritage site, we then trekked down going to the village and then hike going up to a ridge, a point where you would face another exhausting walk down to a valley where Tappiya Falls is located.
Before starting your trek, it is a must that you have your own walking stick, believe me it is a great help.
One of the hardest things about trekking down a steep slope of staircases and uneven pieces of rocks and soil is straining your knee, so be careful and just walk at your own phase. Or else you may just focus your attention to the beautiful landscape and mountains.
After about a 30 minute walk, we finally reached the village. It was such an amazing experience to get a glimpse of the people’s lives there, the kids and the elders were some of the warmest people you could ever meet.
I had a chance to talk to a grandma (lola) at the village, and she fondly told me that I would look good wearing a traditional Ifugao hat! She was so nice that I was convinced to buy one.
I wore that hat as the hike went on. And it was like the hat has a special power in it that it made me survive an unimaginable trek.
Once we reached the ridge or the point before going down to the falls, we rested for a while before we descend to the Tappiya Falls. Again be careful and take your time, the walk was another challenge with seemingly endless staircases.
As I walked further, one thing had crossed my mind, I just realized, it was going to be a lot more difficult going back. I was a bit afraid, scared of what to be endured by my overweight self. LOL!
Then finally, we experienced our first glimpse of the Tappiya Falls from a shed about a few feet from the waterfalls. It was just beautiful!
The 230 feet waterfalls was too inviting, we hurriedly went down to finally get a taste of it.
The water was so cool and calming, perfect for relaxing your tired body and beating the summer heat. I heard that people can only swim and enjoy the falls during summer, as the cold water is bearable. But during rainy season, the water is freezing cold. Well, we were lucky that we went there during summer.
Swimming and enjoying the cool water was also a chance for some wacky photo ops and also meeting a lot of really inspiring travelers from all over the world! Had a chance to chat to some Koreans, Japanese, Filipinos, Americans and some Europeans.
We were lucky to be there early morning, because we had some ample time to enjoy the waterfalls before heading back to our hostel for lunch.
For me, I really enjoyed every minute of it. As my whole body was relaxed in the cool water, I was surprised I was not afraid anymore…I was not afraid of the thought of the pain I would go through going back. I was calm and just enjoying the moment.
That moment was worth it. And it reminds me that in life, there are times when we are willing to go through hell because we know it’s worth it, that we know in the end everything is going to be alright.
Damn, this made me think of how deep and profound my learnings and realizations through traveling. That’s why I truly believe that we all must travel, we must find a way to travel…
And please do not forget Tappiya Falls on your bucketlist. You might go through hell to get there, but it’s worth it.
How to Get to Tappiya Falls
I highly suggest that you get a guide not only for your safety, but to also help the community and local tourism. Price is about Php 1,500 for your group, but it will also vary for other guides.
For a Travel Guide going to Batad and Tappiya Falls, please check out my article – Why You Must Visit Batad, Ifugao – A Travel Guide