Philippines 2011: Day 2 – Banaue rice terraces; trekking to Batad village

Date: 18th April 2011

The bus departed from Autobus station at around 10pm and not soon after the bus had started, we encountered a problem — the air conditioning wasn’t working. Which made sitting inside a small bus (ticket costs ₱450/$10/€7) all the more uncomfortable.

When I was doing my research, Autobus and GV Florida were the two bus companies that were popular for overnight trips to Banaue. Both had customers complaining about how cold the ride was because the A/C inside the buses were often so cold. How ironic that I experienced the complete opposite!

The passengers were getting quite restless as there were a few children in our group as well. Eventually the bus stopped just off EDSA and the bus personnel tried to repair the A/C. A good 15 minutes later, repair it they did… slightly. There was air being recirculated, which was essential, but not cool enough to call it ‘conditioning’.

Overnight bus ride to Banaue Philippines

We stopped halfway through the journey for a break

Full moon ride to Banaue

Full moon night

I tried my best to sleep, but given that I can hardly ever get sleep in bus journeys, this too was one of those journeys. We arrived in Banaue town just past 6am the next day. We were dropped just outside the main town and I had to take a trike to the area where all the hotels were.

As soon as I got down, the trike driver asked me whether I wanted to do a tour, to which I obviously said “yes,” but I told him I wanted to have breakfast first. I took a room at New Wonder Lodge (cost ₱250/$5.8/€4.1) which wasn’t a rice terrace facing lodge but given I was going to be out all day, I didn’t care much for the view. All I wondered was how long this lodge has been ‘new’ (hint: it wasn’t).

But I did hop over to the plateau facing Greenview Restaurant for breakfast.

Banaue town view from Greenview restaurant

The view from their balcony (Taken on Nokia E72)

Filipino breakfast Banaue food

My Filipino breakfast - rice, eggs, pork sausage, a pineapple slice and coffee

Post breakfast, I began shooting.

Banaue town view from Greenview Lodge panorama

Panorama comprised of 13 shots

Banaue town rope bridge Philippines Banaue town narrow bridge tourists Philippines

Banaue town river stream view from lodgeBanaue town rice terraces view from lodgeBanaue town houses lodges hilltop Luzon Philippines

Banaue rice terraces lodge view panorama

Panorama comprised of 6 shots

Banaue rice terrace farm Phillippines

The Banaue Rice Terraces are one of Philippines' most popular natural treasures

The trike driver who offered to take me around for a tour of the rice terraces was waiting outside and I asked around to find out how much the tours generally cost. They all said ₱900 ($21/€14) if going by trike (which is the most common). I hadn’t even slept properly so I asked the trike driver if we could go a bit later, say around noon. He said that’s not possible because if I want to trek all the way to Batad village and see the other rice terraces, we would have to leave now.

Guide trike riding through Banaue Philippines

So, I got in his trike and we set off

Driving to Batad from Banaue town

It was a bumpy ride

Driving to Batad Banaue village children

That's because the road aren't always smooth

Driving to Batad Banaue farmer kid

My guide told me this region is prone to frequent landslides

Guide trike window stickers Banaue Philippines

If there is one thing I learnt Filipinos love, it's basketball (and obviously the NBA)

Banaue rice terrace small farm Philippines

I just had to ask my driver to stop whenever I passed by such beauty

Arnel Banaue guide Philippines

My moma (beetel nut) chewing guide, Arnel

Banaue rice terrace small farm road Philippines

Banaue road to Batad hill Luzon trike

We moved on

Banaue bad road hill Luzon

Quite a dusty ride as well

Banaue road side dog Luzon

Banaue rice terrace farm Luzon Philippines

Had to ask Arnel to stop again. Beautiful, isn't it?

Banaue road to Batad landslide Philippines

Arnel wasn't kidding about those landslides

Banaue road to Batad curve hill

I guess there's a pretty good reason why they're not allowed to drive post sunset

Banaue jeepney passengers landslide road Philippines

If it isn't trikes, the not-so-frequent jeepneys are the only other mode of transportation the locals have to get to town

Banaue jeepney passengers trike Philippines

Couldn't help but imagine how tough life must be out here

Banaue mini waterfall road to Batad Philippines

Pretty now, dangerous during heavy rainfall

Banaue church hilltop remote Philippines Banaue jeepney stuck Philippines

Barangay Bangaan Banaue Ifugao sign Philippines

Barangay means village and Ifugao is the province Banaue is situated in

Banaue road construction Luzon hill Philippines

This was a common sight

Banaue hanging house cliffside Ifugao Philippines

This sight, wasn't :)

Banaue hanging house Ifugao Philippines

True to its name

Banaue rice terrace farm hill hanging house view panorama

Stopped here for a bit as well (Panorama comprised of 9 shots)

Banaue rice terrace Ifugao province Philippines Banaue hill rock god figureBanaue concrete roads Ifugao provinceAfter nearly 40 minutes since we left the main town, we finally arrived at our first stop on this tour.

Road to Batad rice terrace Banaue

No, this isn't Batad. This is the point from where, you have to go by foot to get to Batad

Batad rice terraces sign Banaue

I set off

Batad concrete road to viewpoint Banaue

You do have a stretch of concreted roads...

Batad rough road to viewpoint Banaue

...though the concrete stetches would often give way to rough ground

Batad road landslide Banaue Ifugao Philippines

Landslides here too

Road to Batad junction jeepney Banaue

Wait, they have a jeepney service here?! -_-

Batad jeepney kids hanging on Banaue

Yes kids, I'm walking it up

Wet road to Batad junction

After 15 minutes of trekking, I began to huff & puff. I stopped for a break.

Hill curve to Batad panorama

Panorama comprised of 5 shots

Banaue hills Ifugao Luzon Philippines

I had to stop, smile and ask myself: "Where on this earth am I?" :)

Road to Batad market Banaue Philippines

I moved on in the hopes Batad's rice terraces were just around the corner

Way to Batad junction Banaue hills Batad hill water collection Ifugao Philippjnes

Wooden pattern fossil Batad

I wonder what caused these patterns?

Batad tree wood shed Banaue

Trekking to Batad jeepney in sight

I could see a glimmer of hope I was getting closer to civilization again

Batad junction jeepney art Banaue Ifugao Philippines

Batad market junction jeepneys Banaue Ifugao Philippines

Finally!

It took me nearly half-an-hour to get to this point and I was only halfway through my journey to Batad’s rice terraces. Arnel had told me the walk would take me an hour. So I figured it would be another half-an-hour more.

Batad market shop Banaue Ifugao

It looked like there was only one way to get to Batad village

Batad viewpoint junction panorama Banaue Ifugao

At first glance, I wondered if the trek to the village was surely going to take *just* 30 minutes more

Batad local carrying goods on log Ifugao Philippines

Down was the only way to go

Steps to Batad village toilet hill Banaue Ifugao Philippines

Long way down (That shed is a toilet by the way :))

Batad hills Ifugao province dog Philippines

Batad tourist viewdeck Banaue Philippines

I decided to try and a get a better look before descending down

Batad viewdeck puppy dog Banaue Luzon

Awww...

Batad hills Banaue Ifugao Luzon

Yikes!

Batad hills Banaue Ifugao province panorama

Were those the Batad rice terraces?

Batad hill path road Banaue trek Philippines panorama

But I had already come this far

Batad chicken Banaue

And I didn't come all this way to watch chicken feed on rubbish

Trek to Batad steps downhill

So I took a deep breath, and took my first step down

Steps to Batad locals carrying suitcase

Locals were carrying tourist's suitcases and heading to the village

Villager carrying rice to Batad village Luzon

So I had to make way for locals carrying way more heavier loads than I was carrying -- and walking a lot faster than I was

Trek to Batad rice terraces villagers carrying rice

I was carrying around 5kgs in camera equipment -- these guys were surely carrying WAY more

Batad village electricity line Banaue hills

Apparently Batad village only got electricity until recently

Trek to Batad village narrow path Steps down to Batad village Banaue Ifugao

Steps to Batad village Banaue hill trek

It took a good 5 minutes for the steps to get over

Batad hills landslide Ifugao Luzon Philippines

More landslides up ahead

Trek to Batad rice terraces landslide hill

From here on, it was just rough terrain

Trek to Batad rice terraces landslide hill path

I had to tread very carefully

Just around the corner, I passed by an elderly American who nodded to me as if to say “Boy, this is tough!”. I asked him if he made it to Batad village but he said his legs couldn’t even make it halfway through the journey. On hearing that, I though to myself – “Maybe it’s because he’s old”.

Trek to Batad rice terraces landslide hill road Philippines

Over in the distance, there was a group of villagers carrying a wild boar on wooden logs. Thing is, the boar was still alive, and squealing so loudly you could hear its anguish echo through the valley

Batad trek hill landslide path blocked Banaue

Nearly half an hour into the journey, I thought to myself just much further I had to go

Trek to Batad village Banaue landslide path

Mentally, I kept telling myself "Slowly, slowly" as I crossed such paths

Steps fall Batad

And just after I took this photo and stepped on the stones up ahead, I trip!

I tumble once but fortunately I didn’t roll any down any further. My immediate reaction was: “Oh shit, my camera!” Fortunately the 7D is built to take a bit of a beating so nothing happened to it. The only damage was a few scratches on my arm and on my knee. I got up, washed the very same parts of my body but realized I wasn’t carrying any band-aid with me!

So I had no other choice but to continue walking towards the village. I didn’t walk back because I wasn’t sure how far along I was — whether the Batad village was closer or was I much closer to the viewpoint junction back uphill.

Trek to Batad rice terraces store Banaue

They have a few small stores on the way to the village but this guy didn't stock any band-aid

Trek to Batad village Banaue

I moved on, limping a little

Batad trek path Banaue Luzon

Batad trek locals carrying wild boar comfort room

I caught up with the wild boar group at the 'comfort room' stop on the way

Batad village Rita's View Inn banner ad

I kept hoping the village was right around the corner

Batad village homestays banners Philippines

I must be near, right?

Rice terrace Batad trek Banaue

Did I walk all this long for a rice terrace this big?

Getting to Batad village Banaue trek Ifugao

Few minutes later, my first glimmer of hope

Entering Batad village Banaue Philippines

This should be it right?

Arriving at Batad village rice terraces

Finally!

It took nearly an hour to get to Batad village — and that was just from the junction, not including the trek uphill from where Arnel had dropped me.

So, were the Batad rice terraces worth the trek?

Batad rice terrace village Banaue Ifugao

I guess so

But the rice terraces could wait. I approached a store and asked if they had band-aid, fortunately which they did. I asked where I could wash my wounds and the store lady pointed down to the basement.

I washed up, plastered up and sat down for a while. I needed to rest my legs!

Had something to eat and drink before resuming my photography.

Batad village baby boy store BanaueAs I check out the surroundings, I feel something touch my legs.

Batad village little girl running Banaue

It was this small girl

Batad village small kids playing Philippines

Looks like they wanted to play a little hide 'n' seek with me

Batad village small children playing Philippines

Felt sorry for them. Guess they don't get to see many new faces, let alone some Indian.

Rita's Mountview Inn Batad rice terraces

There's aren't that many places to stay in Batad -- but then again, I'm sure there's enough accommodation for the number of tourists who make it here

Hillside Inn restaurant Batad Philippines

One of the bigger inns

Batad Pension Inn restaurant Batad rice terraces

Pension inns are the name used to refer to cheap, simple accommodation all across the Philippines

Batad Elementary school Banaue village

Decided to walk to the school

Batad rice terraces shed

Batad Elementary school village basketball court

Batad Elementary School

There were village kids following me asking for money (don’t want to use the word ‘beg’), and I gave them ₱10 each, out of sympathy.

Path to school Batad village

Walked back up

Batad rice terraces valley Philippines

Batad bible church village BanaueBatad rice terrace view window

Batad rice terraces village Banaue Philippines panorama

Panorama comprised of 5 shots

Batad rice terrace village Banaue Philippines

I really wanted to go all the way down to the village but I knew my legs couldn't take it anymore

Batad rice terraces steps valley

Batad village rice terrace steps Philippines panorama

That thin line are steps... I could only imagine myself walking down those from here

Batad village rice terrace hill

If at all I dare do this again, I would spend a night here and only leave the next morning

Batad village rice terrace plateau panorama

Imagine waking up to a view like this at the break of dawn

Batad rice terrace farms sunlight Banaue Philippines Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay in Batad any longer. It was already 12:30pm and with an already tired body, I knew I was going to take another one hour just to get back.

Batad village locals garbage signThey were requesting visitors to make a donation to the village for its ‘upkeep’. Whether it was for Batad’s development or just for the locals to make good use of the money for their daily lives, I still donated ₱100.

I also asked if any local was willing to carry my bags as I just couldn’t walk uphill with the load I was carrying, now with an injured leg. One of the villagers agreed to carry my bag uphill for ₱100.

Batad village Banaue Philippines panorama

I took one final panorama (comprised of 7 shots) and bid Batad's rice terraces goodbye

Batad valley rice terrace hill Banaue farms

Walking back to Batad junction local guide

The local who offered to carry my bags (forgot his name unfortunately)

Trekking from Batad village to junction Banaue

He was always ahead of me and would often stop until I caught up

Batad trek landslide damaged path

Batad trek uphill landslide terrain

Just to give you an idea of the terrain

Batad trek back to junction

I tried to match his pace but I couldn't

Eventually he too had to stop for a break and we rested for a few minutes at one of the makeshift stores along the way. I bought him something to drink and I asked him how long he has been walking these hills. As a native of Batad village, he told me they’ve been doing this since they were little. Young boys are made to carry goods up and down the hill, so their bodies get used to it as they age.

I even saw a small boy carrying a load of potatoes on a log uphill and the expression on his face was nothing short of hardship. It really was revelation of sorts for me. Here I was on this trip, to take my mind off from being laid off from work and yet, here are people who have been living like this for decades… all because of their lineage. Few make it out of Banaue, let alone their own village, and move to bigger cities.

I asked the local what their primary source of income was. He told me it was mostly farming, but a lot of the rice that’s grown in their rice terraces are for their own consumption as very little is sold in the markets. Of course, tourism is now helping them a bit as well.

As we moved on and neared the junction, I caught up with the American I crossed paths with earlier on my way down. He still hadn’t reached the top. I told him about my ordeal as we walked up together.

The American (again, forgot his name as well) told me about a different path up but I decided to just stick to the steps and follow the local who carried my bags. I told him I’ll catch up with him later.

Batad trek alternate road

The American took that road, which is an alternative to the steps

Batad hills Ifugao Luzon Philppines

I took one final shot before climbing the hundred steps up

Once I reached the junction, I paid the local ₱150 instead of the agreed ₱100. He was grateful, and I had no reservations about my actions. I thanked him for carrying my bags and he headed back to his village.

Sigh.

The American reached the junction at about the same time I did, and we both sat at a store because sitting was exactly what we needed! A few minutes later, we were joined by a Brit who was with his trekking guide. With all three of us sweating profusely as evidenced by our shirts, needless to say, our conversations immediately began with how each of our experiences were. The Brit was concluding his nearly 4-day trek across Batad and was panting as he spoke. He spoke of how his guide (surely a local) just wouldn’t break a sweat and how he couldn’t do without his trekking pole.

Anyway, myself and the American couldn’t sit there forever and though we thought of taking a jeepney back, none of the jeepneys looked like they would be moving until they had enough passengers. So as one final effort, we both decided walk back down to where our trikes were waiting for us.

The trek back down was easier this time simply because, one, it was downhill, and two, there were concreted patches of road. Also, speaking to each other about topics ranging from the world economy to where else both of us had traveled took our minds off of how much distance we had to cover.

Thirty minutes later, we were back to the starting point. The American and I parted ways but he suggested that we catch up for a beer later at night once I’m back in town.

Once I was back in Arnel’s trike, more than beer, I just wanted to get back to my room to wash my wounds properly and then rest.

But instead, Arnel took me to the next stop on this tour:

Rice terrace near Batad panorama

Another rice terrace village, but I forgot its name (Panorama comprised of 8 shots)

Rice terrace village in Banaue Philippines

Arnel told me I could walk down there but it would take some time. I told him my legs couldn't take anymore climbing and asked him to just take me back to Banaue town for the main rice terraces.

Despite being a bumpy ride back, because of how tired I was, I still dozed off in between.

Banaue road repair bulldozer

Only to wake up on occasions when a heavy duty machine had to clear up debris on the road due to a landslide

Once back in Banaue town after nearly an hour, Arnel drove me up to the first of three viewpoints for Banaue’s rice terraces.

Banaue Nfa-Aguian view deck rice terraces

This was the first view point

Banaue rice terraces first viewpoint Philippines

Banaue rice terraces first view panorama

Panorama comprised of 8 shots

Banaue rice terrace wet farmsBanaue rice terrace farm Ifugao

Banaue house on rice terrace Ifugao

Walked past this house to get to another viewpoint

Ifugao rice terraces placard description Banaue

Panorama comprised of 9 shots

Banaue rice terrace wet farm Banaue rice terrace farms first viewpoint

Banaue tinawon rice plantation

The sign was describing the stage during which rice seeds are planted

Banaue rice terrace mud farmBanaue rice terrace farm sky viewWe moved on higher up to the second viewpoint.

Banaue rice terrace second viewpointBanaue rice terrace waterfall

Banaue rice terrace second viewpoint panorama

Panorama comprised of 16 shots

Banaue rice terraces viewpoint middle panorama I asked Arnel to take me to the final viewpoint.

Banaue rice terrace tribals at shop main viewpoint

You need to walk down to the platform

Banaue rice terrace view from platform

Banaue rice terrace steps down to house

My worst enemy: steps

But this being the last stop on my tour, I decided to push my legs one last time and walked down the steps towards the house.

Banaue rice terraces hill Ifugao

Banaue house facing rice terrace

The plan was to stand in front of the house and take photographs

Dog house facing rice terrace Banaue

But as I got down the steps, the dog in charge of the house came barking at me... so I stayed right where I was and didn't venture any further

Banaue house white dog

Oh well, good dog doing its job

Banaue rice terrace steps burning smoke

Took the 70-200mm lens out for these shots

Banaue rice terrace farm levels locals steps

This gives you a scale of just how big these rice terraces really are

Banaue rice terrace level farms size

Imagine how many man hours it must have taken hundreds of years ago to carve these lands

Banaue rice terrace long steps

It's no wonder these rice terraces are considered by Filipinos to be the '8th Wonder' of the world

Banaue rice terrace hill levels Banaue rice terrace wet fieldsBanaue rice terrace farms wet fieldsWith that, I decided I had taken enough from the main viewpoint.

Banaue steps to main viewpoint

Now came the tough part

My legs were really quivering with each step I took. I had to use my tripod as support to raise myself to take each step. I was that tired!

Banaue rice terrace paddy field Ifugao

Misty hills Banaue Ifugao

It was a really misty day today

Banaue 8th wonder sign

Thanks, but I was done!

Banaue road shanty houses locals

Walked back to Arnel and asked him to take me back to my lodge

Banaue main viewpoint chicken crossing the road

Don't ask me why the chicken crossed the road

As we drove back, Arnel told me if it wasn’t so foggy today, I would have gotten a better view of the entire Banaue rice terraces. I said it’s fine, because at this point all I wanted was to take a hot shower and give my feet the rest they needed.

Arnel dropped me back and I paid him ₱900 plus a ₱100 as a tip, simply because I felt like it. I first went to a store to buy some biscuits and cake in case I woke up too late. Because here in Banaue, there is a 9pm curfew and just about every shop closes by then. It’s wise to stock up on essentials before the sun sets.

Back in the room, I first took a hot shower and felt so much better. After that, I just crashed on the bed. Given the fact I barely slept at all the previous night due to the bus journey, and after all the tiring activities from today, it only took me a matter of minutes to doze off.

I hadn’t forgotten to meet up with the American from earlier, but when I did wake up…

Banaue town at night People's lodge

... this was the scene outside

Banaue town at night curfew

It was past midnight

Yes, I overslept. But I didn’t care, I needed the sleep.

My legs felt a little better and I sat on the bed, switched on my computer and ate something. As I transferred today’s photos on to my hard drive and reviewed them, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of achievement. Despite how my body felt, today really changed me in some ways. First, I couldn’t imagine where on earth away from India I was. Secondly, the trek really changed my perspective on life (in some ways). I shouldn’t be complaining about losing my job when I go back to my office. At least I had an office in a city to go back to. To the people in Banaue, life wouldn’t be that much different when they wake up tomorrow. Tomorrow, all I was going to do was see even more amazing places!

This is undoubtedly is the most epic post I’ve ever written (so far). 170 photos just to show you, my reader, what all I saw today. Over 3400 words to tell you what I experienced on my second day of sightseeing across Philippines.

I have been trekking since my college days and I enjoy walking, a lot. Trekking to Batad was undoubtedly the toughest trek I have ever undertaken. I cannot believe I walked 9kms up and down. A total of 18kms in Batad. And you know what? I didn’t even know it was 9kms to Batad village until I began working on these photos!

Go read the sign about ‘Batad rice terraces’ up above just after Arnel dropped me to the point I had to then go on foot. I didn’t notice the description and 9kms mentioned on the sign until I worked on that photo!

In a way, it’s a good thing I didn’t. I would have had second thoughts of trekking 18kms had I known the distance and the terrain I encountered along the way. Also, had it not been for the pleasant, not-sunny-at-all weather, there’s no way I would have gone all the way.

But would I do this again?

No.

:)

Edit (16/09/2011): I found the map I had with me that day

Bananue Batad Ifugao province tourist mapHere’s a much bigger version for reference.

Previous posts:

Philippines 2011: Day 1 — Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Fort Bonifacio

Philippines 2011: Flying over South China Sea for the first time

Other posts in this series:

Philippines 2011: Day 3 – Banaue town; heading to Sagada via Bontoc

Philippines 2011: Day 3 – Sagada’s Lumiang burial cave, Sumaguing cave, Hanging Coffins of Echo valley

Philippines 2011: Leaving Sagada for Baguio, and arriving in Angeles city (Days 4 & 5)

Philippines 2011: Day 6 – Good Friday in San Fernando, San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites

Philippines 2011: Day 7 – Leaving Angeles City for Manila, Mall of Asia

Philippines 2011: Day 8 – Manila tour: Rizal Park, Intramuros, Manila Cathedral, China Town

Philippines 2011: Day 9 – Cebu: Fort San Pedro, Basilica of Santo Niño, Taoist Temple

Philippines 2011: Day 10 – Bohol tour: Chocolate Hills, Loboc river cruise, Tarsiers, churches

Philippines 2011: Day 11 – Arriving in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Philippines 2011: Day 12 – Puerto Princesa Underground River tour, Palawan

Philippines 2011: Day 13 – Puerto Princesa to El Nido by bus

Philippines 2011: Day 14 – El Nido island hopping tour A and sunset at Las Cabanas beach, Palawan

Philippines 2011: Back to Manila, shopping, and my final thoughts about the country  (Last post)

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32 comments

  1. Diaz Samera

    Nice post.

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Thank you! :)

    [Reply]

  2. amazing photos, i was living in the philippines and visited baguio city but never seen this awesome photos….very bautiful…thank’s for visiting my country..

    what i am looking now, it’s just de-touring myself to your blog in thailand…this is one of the place that we want to visit this coming november…and thanks for the information that i gather:)

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Thank you, and yes, I’m sure you’ll find my Thailand posts useful :)

    [Reply]

  3. hi mithun,

    whatta great achievement! congrats friend, :)

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Thanks Catherine! :)

    [Reply]

  4. Hi! awesome pictures! i also went to these places just last aug-sept. from banaue to batad den to sagada. did the trip alone and it was so much fun and exciting! but sadly, my photos got corrupted.. :( i’ll be going back there! they are such beautiful places!

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Oh that sucks! Yes, go back, it’s worth it!

    [Reply]

  5. Yoliesel Limbaga

    Thank you for sharing this photo.

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Thank you for commenting! :)

    [Reply]

  6. I want to go to Batad soon!

    [Reply]

  7. Hi Mithun! I can’t believe it…if my family and I had gone a little earlier, we might have met. April 18th of 2011!

    Ever since I was a kid I’d dreamed of reaching those famed rice terraces…so in the summer break before my 18th birthday (very symbolic for young Filipinas), my family took me there! It was so enlightening, and refreshing. I went with some newfound friends to the top of the Batad terraces (they call it Pat-tê) and there I learned lots about life :) Plus, my father’s friend who is also one of my mentors in photography happened to join the trip with his own family…further consolidating the learning experience :)

    After Batad, I parted with my family and went with my friends to Sagada. But let me read first your blog post on that. :)

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Checked out your photos of the rice terraces too!

    [Reply]

  8. I went there last November with friends and it is a trip full of realization. It was my first time to try the jeepney topload and also my first time to trek for hours. Talking to the locals made me feel thankful and appreciative about my current life state. We here in the city whine about life a lot, while they live in a setting that requires them to bring heavy loads and walk for hours just to earn a living. Thanks for sharing your Batad experience :) Happy New Year! :)

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Thanks! Happy New Year to you too!

    [Reply]

  9. just behind that wall of Batad terraces is a huge waterfall Tappia falls…you didn’t go?

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Jay, I was injured. I could barely walk any further. If I had gone any further, there was no way I could have made it back on time to see the other places.

    [Reply]

  10. Hello Mithun, I found your blog not only very informative and entertaining, but also very inspiring. Someday, I will also visit the Philippines and take photos and write about it.

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Thanks for the comment :)

    [Reply]

  11. The views remind me of N-E States of India. Please try to visit Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal, Manipur etc.. you will get very very similar landscapes & greenaries… just fabulous…

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    I know, trust me, i want to! I have friends in Manipur and Nagaland to visit. It just requires a lot of planning as intend on travelling all the way from Kashmir to the far corners of the North East. The other deterrent is, every time I calculate the cost of a trip to NE India or Kashmir, I realize I can fly to Thailand or Malaysia for about the same or even less!

    [Reply]

  12. Claire Higa

    Amazing photos! Your shots make me put Banaue Rice Terraces as one of the places that I must visit next year. I’ve bookmarked your page & Im gonna check each and every post yours. Great blog! Keep ‘em coming :)

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Thanks Claire! :)

    [Reply]

  13. Enrique Paz

    Great Post, the info was very useful. I´m planning a trip to Philippines and I´m little short of time. You think it´s possible to arrive begin early in the morning and do the Batad Rice Terraces and Banaue viewpoints and come back to Banaue to take the afternoon bus (i think 7 pm) and return to Manila that same day?

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Depending on how physically fit, how much sleep you got the previous night, and you manage to reach Batad by around 10am, I guess you could. But it’s pushing it in my opinion. Just because I managed to see everything by evening doesn’t mean I’ll ever do this again! :-/

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  14. Hi there, it´s do you remember where did you hired arnel the tricycle driver and do you know if there are other drivers that usually do this tour? you did I mean batad + banaue viewpoints? Thanks

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    This was Arnel’s number in 2011 – 9099638620. I don’t know if it has changed. I found him just outside my hotel/lodge. Pretty much every tricycle driver in the town center offers these tours.

    [Reply]

  15. Remrick Patagan

    About the patterns on the wood that you were asking about… that’s the trunk of a fern tree and the pattern literally stems from the fronds that used to grow out of the trunk (although, of course, technically fern fronds are not stems). :)

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Thanks for your comment :)

    [Reply]

  16. Wow.., that was awesome, thank you for sharing this wonderful trip of yours. I’m from the Philippines and haven’t been to any famous places here so I get the excitement while reading and looking at the pictures you took. It feels like I was there with you doing the tour. I’ll keep on reading more about your journeys “because I felt like it”. ;-)

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Thank you Norbert! :)

    [Reply]

  17. Starstriker

    Interesting. I was there in 2008, and on my way down there I passed some men carrying that construction/pole for the baskedball netting that you have pictured in the schoolyard. They really had a major struggle. Nice to see that they finally got it in place!

    [Reply]

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