I remember telling my friend, Des, that I want to visit Batad. I kept on saying, “Tara, Batad tayo.” It was an idea inspired by reading the Batad blog post of The Pinay Solo Backpacker. I keep on reading the blog post and telling myself that I will visit it on 2014. It’s like a mantra for some months. And it did happen! I was with travel enthusiasts: Des, Tim, Karen and Buboy.
But you know, I was expecting that it will be on March since it’ll be summer by then. I was surprised when Des announced that we will take the Batad trip on the last week of January. She did the itinerary, bus reservation and taking to Mang Ramon’s Native Homestay staff to accommodate us. It was too early and the weather of January is too cold to visit the North but I didn’t mind. The trip was really great. I did enjoy the nature, the long hours of travel, the exhausting trek, the uneven steps to reach the perfect view of Batad rice terraces and chilly Tappia Waterfalls, talking to both aloof locals and friendly foreigners and lastly, the jeepney topload back to Banaue.
I was a little afraid at first doing the topload knowing the zigzag and steep-sided road. But I survived it! Hahaha! I’m not afraid of heights and topload is definitely a good thing on this kind of travel. I enjoyed the view while heading back to another municipality of Ifugao. Did I mention that it was my first time doing the topload? 😀
By the way, the food in Batad is a bit pricey because they have to carry the goods via trekking/hiking for an hour on uneven steps. So, if you’re working on a tight budget, bring some canned goods and bread but try to buy food on their menu as a way of helping the locals. I also recommend their cooked rice because it’s a delicious one. You can actually eat the cooked rice without any viand.
We’re also brave enough to take a bath without heater. Though the water is really cold and it’s creeping in through our muscles, we had to clean ourselves. We’re brave enough to survive the below 10 degrees Celsius Batad for almost 3 days. Even staying inside the native kubo didn’t help to keep us warm but it was all good.
We’re glad that our guide, Kuya Jonathan, was patiently waiting for us when we took some rest from the trek. He got some stories too about the life of locals and problems they encounter when it comes to environmental issues. He even lent us two sticks to use for trekking. Hiring a guide is a way of helping the locals, so that’s recommended.
P.S. Thank you, Des, for planning the trip and well, making my dream come true. 🙂
Next blog is about the Tappia Waterfalls. 🙂