Adventure: Banaue & Batad Rice Terraces

2:37 AM

During the 26th till the 29th, we had a family trip to Banaue to see the rice terraces. I actually suggested the trip since they just wanted to go to Baguio which I think is just boring and would be filled with people going there for their Christmas breaks just because it's less than 15c there. It takes around 10 hours of driving from the capital, Manila, to Banaue.

On the road.
It's always nice to drive on the north of the country because you see alot of rice fields and trees. The road is smooth and beautiful, and its as if the branches and the leaves of the tree act as roof for the road.

One thing that amused us was the clouds, and the fog; on our journey, we noticed that we were going so high that you can see the clouds touch the mountain. And we got into "that cloud" well which was the fog or I don't know; living in a city which is always 30c, it's very rare to see them. And oh yes, it was so amusing when we could all see our "breath" I guess some people from a cold country would be laughing at us for being amused at it. But hey, I live in a tropical country.

For our second day, we set out early in the morning, sadly, for some viewpoints, it was so damn foggy you can't see a thing. So I guess it's not that good to go at cold seasons; but the fog clears up sometimes, it also brings some weak rains with it. Temperature was around 15c - 20c at highest.

One of the viewpoints there, so you'd see how foggy it was.
 I'm the one who has the DSLR. And I'm the one who takes pictures of everyone. It's a photographer's curse, really, because you never have good pictures of yourself, but I excused myself some :)

Wonderful View.
This is the Banaue Rice Terraces, though there are MORE rice terraces around. I like the one in Batad more than this one, I guess because there are less houses, less people, and you actually have to climb mountains, I think around an hour and a half hike. It's a bit untouched. Don't expect 5-star services or an internet shop in there. This is the panoramic view in Batad. It has a little village in the middle of it, where the farmers and natives reside.

A bit fair warning going here: make sure you're wearing comfortable gear, and don't bring too much heavy stuff. The mountains is VERY STEEP, and near the ravine. If you fell down the wrong way, you can go straight down. Going there, the road is mostly downhill. 

Close up at the Batad Rice Terraces

Always check the weather forecast before going to take a hike here. Because you do not want to walk 2 mountains and see nothing, but I guess that applies on rainy seasons here such as June, July or December, where it's chilly.

You have to walk maybe 45 minutes to get to this point, starting from the village.
Panoramic view of Batad
So, this one was the hardest part, going to the waterfall. I think it was another hour and a half walk, 2 mountains, VERY STEEP climb down. Going back up was hella harder.

Tappia Waterfalls, Pictures do not do it justice, it's very beautiful there, the water is ice cold, but tolerable. After a long walk, it's nice to take a bath here.

Going back was damn hard, going down was easy but climbing up was a real challenge. So in summary you have to pass two mountains to go to Batad Village, two to go to the middle of the rice terraces (which was relatively easy because the road was straight). If you want to go to the waterfalls, that's additional two mountains. We went through all of them so we actually climbed eight mountains on foot. My foot hurt so bad, I even felt its less painful to cut them off, lol.

We got back on the road at 6, tired and cold, it was foggy and raining, not to mention the road was muddy. AND THE RAVINE IS JUST A METER AWAY. We were driving really careful because a mistake might cost us our lives. We started making some jokes which were both funny and scary at the same time. So it went like this, I was so hungry, and I asked my mom if she could ask the guy at the hotel we were staying and ask to have food prepared for us. Coincidentally, his name was Jesus. So I was like "Jesus is probably worried we're not back yet, Jesus is waiting for us." WHILE WE WERE CROSSING THE DARK, MUDDY, FOGGY ROAD WITH THE RAVINE A METER AWAY.
It was either we safely go back, or go to heaven literally.

Some other jokes I had was when we were climbing up the road, it was already around 5:45pm, foggy and rainy, dark, but you can still see (there are no street lights anywhere). When we were climbing up the steep mountain, you can only see one light, which was the house at the top, where the journey both start and end. I blurted out "That's the kingdom of heaven, where we would rest, and there are no suffering" everyone bursted laughing, it was nice to have some humor every now and then on a hard trip.

When we got home, we all collapsed on our beds, we had our dinner, and I had to say...
"We have to thank Jesus we are all alive."

As bad as it sounds, it was the first time I had felt so energized and thrilled, my first to walk those distances and mountains which I thought I never could. I took a lot of pictures and spent time with my family. It was one heck of an adventure!

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