Feel like going on a trip to the Philippines? Maybe up north? Feel like visiting the Banaue? Well, a trip to this magnificent spot on God’s green Earth would be incomplete if you pass up the Batad Rice Terraces.
Of course the Banaue Rice Terraces are well known the world over for its magnificence, and even touted as the “Eight Wonder of the World”. But there are four other similar rice terraces which are equally beautiful and just as captivating. These are the Batad, Mayoyao, Itapao and Kiangan Rice Terraces. Situated in Barangay Batad in Banaue, but not referred to as Banaue Rice Terraces, the Batad Rice Terraces is one of the most serene and tranquil place you will ever encounter.
The beauty of Batad is its amphitheater-shaped terraces which lie at the heart of the village. Having visited this scenic land during the chillier month of December as the mist of the season hung over like a cool blanket of pure fresh air, the splendor of the terraces seemed to jump out as if from some big-budget-shot-on-location Hollywood movie. The epic grandeur of it all just simply takes one’s breath away.
How to get to Batad? From Banaue, you must take either bus or jeepney (that most ubiquitous mode of transportation one can see practically anywhere in the Philippines) going to the town of Mayoyao. Before reaching the town, get off at Batad Junction. Either walk uphill or rent a jeep to arrive at the Saddle, after which comes a forty five minute to an hour (depending on your physical condition) hike to the fabled terraces. For those seeking to forego the walking part, well, how can I put it gently?
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There is no other way to get there. The trek itself, as you will no doubt discover for yourself, is actually part of the experience. So, pack light and prepare for quite an enjoyable downhill journey through rocky paths. Since you will be passing along the same route when you return, the trip going back would be harder: you have to factor in the altitude which is about 1,500 ft. above sea level and the downhill trek becomes an uphill one. Again, if you are in good shape and feel you are up to it, then do not worry and it is really worth it!
Aside from the beautiful view of Batad Rice Terraces, there is another breathtaking wonder of nature waiting to be explored for another 30 to 45 minute trek. Tucked behind the Cordillera Mountains and the rice terraces, the Tappiyah Falls is a 50-foot waterfall that is cascading down and just begging you to dive into it. Truly, nature has an amazing way of rewarding those who take the time to get to know her better. And what better way of being intimate with nature than to swim in cool, refreshing, clear waters straight from the mountains.