Sunday, October 28, 2012

Batad, Banaue

It all started with different individuals who met up at a chatroll with one common interest. SAGADA. 
That's why after a few months of chatting and discussing the love for the place, we decided to go to BATAD, BANAUE! Ha ha ha of course, this was our first stop and we decided to save the best for last.


We decided to take Cable Tours. Some had their good experiences and some did not. I have no comment as I've only tried Ohayami. I said yes to this because I'd like to have an experience on my own.

The terminal is near St. Lukes and Trinity College. You won't see it right away because you have to make a turn near Shakey's. When I first saw the bus . . . it was really old and it looked like it will not even get out of the terminal. But hey . . . I'm up for an adventure 
( I said that with fingers crossed) 
For PhP450 to Banaue, we left at exactly 8.30PM and arrived 6.30AM the following day with no problem at all! There were 3 stop overs . . . San Miguel-Bulacan, Cabanatuan-Nueva Ecija and Solano-Nueva Vizcaya.
It was fast. Aircon was good. But the seats were tiny. Not much of leg room.

UPDATE as of December 2013
Cable Tours was bought by Florida and may have changes on the information I have mentioned above.

I also tried Ohayami Trans which I recommend better.
My only complaint on this always is when the driver turns on the music too loud especially when everyone is asleep.

Our guide made us go to People's Lodge and Restaurant where we had breakfast. Prices was not bad at all.

We immediately went to the balcony where we had a view. We freshened up, we had our breakfast, fixed our things that we would be bringing to Batad ( we paid to leave our other things at People's Lodge ) and we just treated the place like our home ha ha ha too homey

The view of the town from People's Lodge

Beautiful photos of history at People's Lodge.
Too bad I was not able to read. We did not have time.

There was an activity when we got there. The locals said I should have a photo with the kids. Who am I to say no?

We rented a jeepney because the public jeepney leaves at 3PM.
Even if it was drizzling, we did a top load. The roads were rough and this by far has been the most tiring top load ever. Got tired from screaming because it was a bumpy ride and holding on to the rails.
(Town to Junction = 42minutes)

This is the Junction. More rough roads await us.

That's our destination!
Batad is one of the Barangays of Banaue.

This is the Batad Saddle Point and where we started the trek.
(Junction to Saddle point = 19 minutes)

Recommended. Rent a walking stick for PhP10 only.

This was where we started. The stairs going down. It was a bit hard for us because it was raining when we went down. It was slippery and steep.

Then at some point, it stopped raining.

The walking stick made it easier. Especially for me since my left knee started to ache.
Sign of aging? ha ha ha

There are sheds for people to rest . . . buy drinks or use the comfort room.

A lot of reminders from the Batad Environmental Tour Guide Association (BETGA)
Good job in keeping the place clean. 

According to my itinerary and research, it should be an hour of trek. But we got so distracted with the beautiful view, we can't help but take photos.

You know you're near when you see the different signage of the inns

This really depends on who's walking he he he

We reached the BETGA office to register. That's Gambo . . .  I think . . . if I remembered it right :)
(Saddle point to BETGA = 1 hour & 11 mins)


The Ampitheater.
It's nicer they say during summer as it's greener.

I still enjoyed it. 

Group shot with my adopted local kids . . .  Reamar and Rebecca.


I can only recommend what I have tried. That's where we stayed.
Steep stairs going down.
Can I just slide all the way to my room? ha ha ha my knee hurts when I go down the stairs.

For PhP200, our basic room. This can fit 4 people. 
No power sockets. You have to charge downstairs. PhP20 for phone/cam chargers and PhP50 for laptops
Common toilet and bathroom.
Hot shower for PhP50 each.

It's cute how nothing matches ha ha ha

View from our room

Other side of the window ha ha ha emo mode

View from our Inn

Food and Drinks are expensive in Batad.
1L of water = PhP75; 500ml of Gatorade = PhP75; Redhorse = PhP75
so buy your water in Banaue = PhP25 1L

My buddies kept ordering Fried Chicken with vegetables. 
I ordered Pork Adobo. The flavors was good. The texture of the meat was chewy but our guide told the cook about my feedback and when I ordered Chicken Adobo for dinner, it was good. I love adobo. 

One of the French guests tried the rice from the rice wine. Winner!
Yeah, I had the same reaction.

In the Cordilleras, they eat dog meat. I was telling this to the French couple and we had this puppy who chilled with us in the bonfire and we were joking that we hope it doesn't get too near the fire or else . . .


The Batad Village.
We were not able to visit it because the rest were too tired to go down. Maybe next time.

On our way to the Highest Point . . . surrounding us with beautiful view.

A few steps away and we were almost to the peak. But the view is as nice as up there. 

Yes, there are snakes. This guy was a dead one but my buddy saw a live one too.

The Tappiya Falls!!!
It's estimated around 40ft high

The ladies did not care about the cold water. It was fun.
The men just stayed dry.

Water is always fun.
Freezing water is more fun!

That's Mount Amuyao, the second highest mountain in the Cordilleras.


Enjoy the companionship of friends around you.

ann-d-explorer meets breakawayph

Poi dancing 
Since it was windy, a perfect place to do it. If you know how. I got hit on the head. ha ha ha


Drink rice wine with other guests . . .  I was with the French and the locals.

Meet other travelers. 
I met two batches of French people who spoke good english! Woot!

So many dogs there. Play with them. This dog is the sweetest and the most possessive dog I have ever met. She would snuggle and kiss you and when there are other dogs, she would snarl and bark at those dogs.

You can do a day tour in Batad and you can do an overnight tour. We weren't in a rush. We wanted to feel the ambiance of the place so we stayed. The following day, we did not get much photos of going up to Saddle point because it's pretty much the same. This time was a bit harder because if going to Batad was all downhill . . .  going back is uphill. 
Oh my knee . . . 

Saying goodbye to Hillside Inn and Batad

We did not have to take the steep stairs where we started as there was an alternative route . . . I guess you have to take the hard way for you to better appreciate the easier one ha ha ha

We left early as we need to catch the 9AM public jeepney. 
It took us 1 hour 39minutes going up.
Define wet look? I felt like I took a shower. The sun was out and I burned a lot of calories but it felt good. 

I still took the top load ride even if the rest was seated comfortably inside. I was the only woman up there. The men behind me offered a plank of wood for me to sit on. Our guide accompanied me up there. 

How was the experience?

The pictures says it all. Natural high!
It must be the fresh air!

* some photos taken from Mike del Rosario, Jane Lacson and Jan Ashlee Franco


We took a different route this time.
We trekked from Cambulo Village to Batad which took us 2 hours.
I saw these locals resting at the Highest point.


Of course, I had to join them and enjoy the view. 
It took me two hours of trekk. That's hard work too, you know!


I saw this local took this way. Who knew?
It wasn't the tourist way . . . the heck I tried it too.

My scary experiences on my second visit.
That shed is the Batad Tourist Information.
There were two guides manning the place.
They were DRUNK.
They were scary. 
They shouldn't be there in the first place. 
My guide made sure I was safe.
But these BETGA guides were such a turn-off.

I was able to witness two other scary incidents.
We passed by a local man whose head was bleeding. I was told that the man was drunk and he fell and hit his head.
Then a few minutes after, we saw men carrying a person. I was told not to take a photo as it would be rude. The person they said was sick.
I was told of these so I won't be scared. I later found out that a local person shot a gun and hit a woman.

Well . . . moving on.
This was something new that we did not see the last time . . . the signage!


Need to decide . . . 
Which "cut" do you think I took? 

Every time you reach the Saddle Point, you just got to have these . . .  a cold Coke and banana
. . .  and don't forget the SMILE!

We did once again a night trekk under the stars.
We walked from Saddle Point to the Junction with just one flash light.
It was beautiful though . . . here I saw some fireflies.
They're camera shy.

We've reached the Junction and we got our ride.


This time it was a Pula-Cambulo-Batad route.
From Cambulo, since it was drizzling at times and we left 4.30PM plus the fact we did not have any night lights with us, we had to walk faster. 
We reached The Highest Point in 1 hour and a half in time to see the view for a few minutes.

I was quite disappointed . . . I thought by now it would have been greener.

Then after a few minutes . . . it became dark.

The Ifugaos are very resourceful. 
We had halong with us.
It's a type of wood that is good for a torch even if it is slightly wet.

Same place . . .  Just different adventure.
Sometimes, it's not about the destination but the journey!
This was quite an experience but I can say survived it!

At the Saddle Point, we reached around 8PM. Of course, I had my cold coke first!
 and mah SMILE!