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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂