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February 2017

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TAPPIYA FALLS: A Hidden Jewel Beyond The Rice Paddies Of Batad

Waterfalls are my first love so when I learned that a beauty as exquisite as Tappiya Falls is lying unperturbed within the extraordinary village of Batad, I wasted no time to see it. We were almost at the end of our 5-Day Baguio-Sagada-Batad Adventure which started off in the City Of Pines and I could tell my energy was already wearing down yet I also knew it would be a miss I surely regret if I let the opportunity of seeing this hidden gem pass. Hence in the morning of our 2nd day in Batad, off we went to hike the precarious trail leading to Tappiya Falls hoping I will survive the challenge with whatever vigor I have left.

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The trek started off early at 6 in the morning through a narrow and steep up and downhill concrete footpath from Mang Ramon’s Homestay where we stayed for the night. Ten minutes after, we passed by a fresh water source where we took a short breather then continued on until we reached the first resting camp. The resting camp was in one of the local houses and it has a souvenir store that sells carved woods, beaded purses and bags made from the same fabric of the Ifugao’s traditional clothing. After taking some time to admire the amazing craftsmanship of the natives, we then headed for the trail leading down to the rice terraces.

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We probably walked a hundred meters from the house before finally going down the pile of huge rocks which led to a concrete footpath at the side of the rice paddies. For the first time I noticed that each level of the terraces were carefully bound by rocks piled intricately together that, from what it seemed was designed to withstand anything even the worst of tremors from the Earth. I marveled in awe at the genius and creativity of the Ifugaos and the amount of work they had put into this magnificent creation. The amphitheater terraces of Batad is one heck of a beautiful and wonderful work which is definitely worth those hundred miles of painstaking journey.

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We continued trekking westward along the concrete footpath, going down the rocks following the trail leading to a couple more resting camps. We took some time to snap us photos of the golden sun which had slowly chased the cold of the morning away. I realized we were in a bit of a hurry since we were after catching the passenger jeep back to Banaue but there’s just this thing about sunrise that compels us to stop and savor the glorious ascent of the sun up in the bluest skies. We then resume trekking and after what must have been 30 minutes, we reached the local house situated atop one of the hills in the middle of Batad. There we rested for another 10 minutes before continuing with the descent to Tappiya Falls.

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Going down from the lone house atop the hill was a concrete ladder. It stretched to about another 200 meters. Although it was an established path, it was still too steep and slippery as some part of it were covered with moss. Passed the concrete ladder is another resting camp which leads to another concrete ladder going down. There we rested for another 10 minutes. In normal days. there would be vendors selling souvenirs, snacks and drinks but at that time it was empty. A warning sign was placed before the concrete ladder going down the trail to the falls. It read “Falling debris. Landslide prone area. No stopping at anytime.” I asked Kuya Tarzan, our guide, what it meant and he said that part of the trail leading to Tappiya Falls had just eroded. He reassured us that it was still passable but as the sign says there is no stopping for selfies and whatnot.

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We continued trekking down the concrete ladder which stretched to about 200 meters or so before it switched to yet another concrete footpath. The concrete footpath was then again a series of up and downhill trek until we reached the part where the earth have eroded causing a massive landslide. Passing by it was another struggle as it was filled with scattered rocks and we were literally at the edge of the cliff and ever the earth gives in, we would surely fall to our death. I followed closely our guide keenly observing as I mimic his every steps. Rhea followed behind me. Both of us letting out a sigh of relief after getting passed the most treacherous part. We continued with the up and downhill trek until we reached another concrete ladder going up which Kuya Tarzan said leads to the viewing deck.

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We might have taken 150 to 200 steps up the ladder before we finally reached the viewing deck. From afar, Tappiya Falls’ mightily pounding at its catch basin was such an alluring sound compelling us to hasten up but as we near the viewing deck, it was easy to tell that this gem of a waterfall is a powerful kind as it sings no lullabies, instead, like a tiger its voice is like a roaring thunder reverberating around the luscious forest.

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I was lost for words upon seeing Tappiya Falls. It was undoubtedly beautiful that the mere sight of it freed me from worries and exhaustion. While staring at the incredible beauty that was in front of us, I told myself just how lucky were we to make it that far. The hike to Tappiya Falls was probably the most exhausting part of our 5-Day Adventure but it was arguably one of the most rewarding. It made me wish we had more time to spare to discover some more hidden gems Batad has to offer.

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We took some time to snap us photos of Tappiya Falls but none of our shots could give justice to the beauty that it was but it didn’t really matter as its allure will forever be marked in my memory. As we traveled back to Banaue, I was thinking how short of a time we had in Batad that it made me look forward to coming back real soon.


THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE HIKING TAPPIYA FALLS


  • The hike to Tappiya Falls is physically demanding so make sure that you are fit enough to do it.
  • Bring water during your hike as you will badly need it.
  • The hike to Tappiya Falls doesn’t require a guide but if you are not too familiar with Batad then you are best to secure one from the Information area which will set you back P600.
  • The catch basin of the falls is deep so if you’re not much of a swimmer I would suggest you stay in the shallow part near the banks where the current is weak.
  • Hiking during rainy days isn’t really advisable as part of the trail leading to the waterfalls is prone to massive landslide.

Have I triggered your curiosity and made you pack your bags and see Tappiya Falls? You might find my Batad Travel Guide post useful or if you are to visit the other gems of The Cordilleras then our 5-Day Baguio-Sagada-Batad Adventure might just be another great read.

Until next time lovelies. Ciao. 🙂

BATAD: Travel Guide, Budget, Itinerary & Useful Tips

Batad is a secluded community up in the heart of The Cordilleras. It is home to the remarkable amphitheater rice terraces which is one of the UNESCO Heritage Sites in the World. Surrounded by formidable mountains such as Aya and Amuyao, Batad for a long time is a paradise safely tucked away from the prying eyes of the outside world and only those who brave the unknown knew what an exquisite beauty it once was. It still is a marvelous sight today and what made it so interesting is that their culture has remained untouched. The locals still practice their olden rituals, speak their olden tongue and remained unchanged amidst the surge of foreign influence.

Batad is definitely a priceless treasure, a remant of a great culture which has once thrived in the mountainous Ifugao province and is a vital part of our civilization. In the moments when the bright light of our cities make you lose sight of your essence as a proud Filipino, look beyond the skyscrapers obscuring the evening stars and simply remember that up in our mountains, our cultural heritage lives on.


HOW TO GO THERE


  • From Manila – Ride an Oyahami Bus from their Sampaloc Terminal to Banaue (P450; 10hrs). Once in Banaue, charter a tricycle or a van whichever suits you to take you to Batad (1hr). Another option is to wait for the public jeep which ply Banaue-Batad scheduled to depart at 3PM everyday (P150). From the drop off point, walk for 20 minutes to Batad village.
  • From Sagada – Ride a jeep to Bontoc (P45; 1hr). Once in Bontoc, ride a bus or a jeep to Banaue (P150; 2hrs) then follow remaining instructions above.
  • From Baguio – Ride a bus to Banaue (P450; 7hrs) then once in Banaue, just follow remaining instructions above.
  • From Tabuk – Ride a jeep going to Bontoc and get off in Banaue. Follow remaining instructions above.
  • From Tuguegarao – Ride a bus going to Baguio and get off at Bagabac Junction. Ride a jeep going to Banaue. Follow remaining instructions above.

THINGS TO DO


  • Trek to the view deck – A trek for over an hour will enable you to marvel at one of the best views you’ll ever see in your lifetime which features the genius of the Ifugaos.
  • Trek to Tappiya Falls – A 2-hour trek to this gem may be the toughest you’ll ever experienced while in Batad but I assure you it is totally worthwhile.
  • Visit the main village – A great way to know the more about the people and traditions of Batad.
  • Trek Mt. Aya or Mt. Amuyao –  If you are craving for some wild but rewarding adventure then a trek to these two mountains is certainly the answer.
  • Join the bonfire session with the natives  – Learn more about their culture by interacting closely with the natives as they narrate some of their interesting folklore through a cultural show over a bottle of beer and the blazing bonfire.
  • Sleep in the Batad’s traditional hut – Go local and spend the night in the traditional huts made of cogon and other native materials.

WHERE TO STAY IN BATAD


Cellular signal in Batad is weak and there are parts wherein it is completely not available so you would do best to reserve you accommodation in advance with booking websites such as AGODA especially if you are going on high season. Here are the list of budget accommodations and their corresponding contact details.

IN BATAD

705902_14082014590021380342Mang Ramon Homestay

Contact #: 0975615541 | 09975683317

Check Rates & Book with AGODA

951212_16121511410049690795Hillside Inn and Restaurant

Contact #: 0917 757 4411

Check Rates & Book with AGODA

930079_15070212580031549982Batad Transient House

Contact #: 09351302911

Check Rates & Book with AGODA

720559_14090312210021799808Batad Top View Point Homestay and Restaurant
Contact #: 09975683317
Check Rates & Book with AGODA

1030632_15082012320034682411Batad View Inn and Restaurant
Contact #: 09169848380
Check Rates & Book with AGODA

785547_14122315010024135173Batad Pension and Restaurant
Contact #: 09177574411
Check Rates & Book with AGODA

IN BANAUE

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Uyami’s Green View Lodge
Contact #: 09175910981
Check Rates & Book with AGODA

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Banaue Wonder Lodge
Contact #: 09991813031
Check Rates & Book with AGODA

terraceville11

Terraceville Inn
Contact #: 099165070126

Check Rates & Book with AGODA

 

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Banaue Hotel
Contact #: (074) 386 4088
Check Rates & Book with AGODA


USEFUL INFO


  • Ayangan is the local dialect in Batad but Tagalog and English are also widely spoken.
  • You might find the prices in Batad over the top but please bear in mind the tremendous effort the locals put just to make these commodities available for you.
  • Activities in Batad require a great deal of trekking and can be physically demanding so make sure to prepare in advance.
  • Public jeep leaves Batad at 9AM and returns from Banaue at 3PM so make sure to take this into consideration while doing your itinerary unless you don’t mind paying for a more expensive transfer.
  • Please consider dropping by the Tourism Office of Banaue so you will be assisted with arranging you Banaue-Batad transfer to avoid being overcharged as there are still some locals who have bad habits of exploiting tourists.
  • Mobile signal in Batad is weak or worse may not be available in most areas so let your loved ones know where you’re headed and that you might be out of radar for a while before going there.
  • The best time to go to Batad is during the summer months of March – May.

SUMMARY OF EXPENSES, ITINERARY & OTHER USUFUL INFO


Our trip to Batad was part of our 5-Day Cordillera Adventure which started in Baguio. You may refer to my other post ^^ for the full itinerary.

  
SUMMARY OF EXPENSES (Coming From Sagada)Jeep Sagada-Bontoc > P45
Van Bontoc-Banaue > P200
Jeep Banaue-Batad > P150
Native Hut @ P800/2 > P400
Guide (Trek to Tappiya Falls) > P250
Van Batad-Banaue @ P500/2> P250
Batad Environmental Fee > P50
Day 1 Dinner > P150
Day 2 Brunch > P150
Bus back to Manila > P450

Total <<>> P2495
SAMPLE ITINERARY (From Sagada)Day 1

1000 ETD Bontoc
1100 ETA Bontoc. Ride van to Banae
1300 ETA Banaue Lunch
1400 Ride Jeep to Batad
1500 ETD Batad
1600 ETA Batad Drop off point. Trek to the village
1630 Batad Village. Pay environmental fee. Trek to chosen accommodation
1700 Hotel. Settle in. Rest
1800 Dinner
1900 Bonfire Session
2200 Lights Out

Day 2

0500 Wake Up. Freshen Up
0600 Breakfast
0700 Trek to Viewpoint
0800 Viewpoint. Photo Ops.
1000 Tappiya Falls. Bathe.
1200 Lunch
1300 Trek to Batad Main Village
1400 Batad Main Village. Rest. Interact with the locals
1600 Trek back to hotel
1800 ETD Hotel. Wash Up. Dinner
1900 Get a massage
2200 Lights out

Day 3

0600 Wake up. Freshen Up.
0700 Breakfast
0800 Pack Up. Trek back to the drop off point
0900 Depart for Banaue
1000 ETA Banaue
1100 Banaue Rice Terraces Viewing Deck
1200 Lunch
1300-1800 Free time.
1900 Bus back to Manila

***Please note that this itinerary was made considering the time of public jeep to and from Batad. You can also visit Batad in one full day. Just be ready to shell out some extra cash for transpotation.
TOURS AND COST IN BATADPlaces & Viewpoints

Batad Information to Highest Viewpoint > P400
Batad Information to Main Village > P400
Batad Information to Tappiya Falls > P600
Batad Information to Hanging Bridge > P600
Batad Information to Tappiya Falls & Main Village > P800
Batad Information to Hanging Bridge & Best Viewpoint > P1200
Batad Information to Highest Viewpoint, Tappiya Falls, Main Village, Hanging Bridge & Best Viewpoint > P1500
Batad Information to Patpat (The furthest sitio in Batad) > P1500

Trek To Other Villages

Batad to Bangaan > P1200
Batad to Cambulo > P1200
Batad to Cambulo and Kinakin > P1500
Batad, Cambulo & Pula > P1500
Batad, Cambulo, Pula & Banaue (2-Day Trek) > P2400
Batad, Cambulo, Patyay, Mt. Amuyao, Barlig, Bontoc and Banaue > P1200/day

***Getting a guide is not mandatory however in a place as remote and as complicated as Batad, I'd say you would be best to have one for yourself.
TRANSPORTATION COST & SCHEDULEManila-Banaue-Manila

Oyahami Bus
Time of Departure from Manila: 8PM-10PM
Manila Booking Station: Cor. fajardo St., Lacson Ave Sampaloc, Manila
Contact #: 09276493055 | 025160501
Time of Departure from Banaue: 6PM-7PM
Banaue Booking Station: Poblacion, Marker, Town Center, Banaue,Ifugao
Contact #: 09058814361

Fare: P450/way

Bontoc-Banaue

Public buses and vans available at designated stations in both Bontoc and Banaue from 7PM - 4PM
Fare: P150-P200/way

Banaue-Batad

Public Passenger Jeep
Departure time from Banaue - 3:00 PM
Departure time from Batad - 9:00 AM
Fare: Locals P50, Non-Local P150

***Only has 1 trip for each day.

Private Van - P2500 2-way good for 10
Tricycle - P1500 good for 5



There you have it folks. Batad is such an exceptional place. It surely is a must see place while you are in the mountains of Ifugao. If you are planning to visit Batad soon, feel free to ask me some questions.

Are you following me on Facebook and Instagram yet? If not, then you are totally missing out. Bigtime!

If you like this post, share it! Until next time. Ciao. 🙂

SAGADA: Travel Guide, Budget, Itinerary & Useful Tips


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