Thursday, April 07, 2016


             Had two chances already of visiting the world famous rice terraces of Banaue a few years back.  The first time was when during an Easter break I brought my assistant priests with me for a tour to Banaue, Bontoc and Sagada in the Mountain Province.  The second chance came four years later when, the priests of the Vicariate decided to have an excursion also to Banaue and the Mountain Province. Since I had been there already, I became the tour guide and I brought them to the same places that we went before.

            During the first time that we visited Banaue, we took the bus from Manila.  There were six of us on this trip as aside from my four assistant priests another parish priest came along also.  In Banaue we hired a van to bring us to places there and also in going to Sagada.  We stayed at the Banaue Viewpoint Inn both times.   I liked the place because one gets a very good view of the terraces from the hotel itself. The second time since there were about fifteen of us, we had two vans which we used starting from Manila. 

            Made a walking tour around the town and some villages near the town of Banaue.  We also went by car to Hapao where one  also has a good view of another part of the terraces.  The highlight however of the trip was the trek to the village of Batad where one gets to see an amphitheatre-like terraces with the small village nestled at the middle of it.  To get to Batad one has to take a van or a jeepney for a ten kilometre rugged mountain ride to the Saddle. From the Saddle point one needs to hike for thirty minutes to an hour up and down a mountain range to get to the village.  After an arduous trek one gets the reward of looking at a magnificent view of a terraces which is really quite unforgettable.  On our first trip, we went further from the village to go  to the Tappia Falls.  One has to cross over the village to the other side of the mountain terraces and pass through a steep slope of a mountain side for about a kilometre in order to get to the falls.  On the second trip that he had, we were no longer able to go there as some of our companions were not physically fit. It also rained  the second time we were there, that the road became slippery and it was not advisable to go to the falls anymore.   One of our companion priest who was a heavy smoker had to be assisted with walking sticks where he had to hold on to held by two priests before and behind him.  Later on, he had to be carried in a hammock back to the Saddle as he could no longer walk.  

Banaue Rice Terraces as seen from the town of Banaue. 

The  Banaue Rice Terraces as viewed from the Mexicali Restaurant. 

A view of one of the Rice Terraces from the Mexicali Restaurant. 

The town of Banaue under a heavy morning fog.

View of the Banaue Rice Terraces from the Banaue Viewpoint Inn.

Another view of the terraces from the Banaue Viewpoint Inn. 

Hapao Rice Terraces

A hanging bridge in town. 

Skeletons of ancestors of  the Ifugaos are usually kept in the house. 

Going down the mountain to Batad Rice Terraces. The village of Batad is ten kilometers away from the town of Banaue. Upon reaching the place they call the Saddle, one now has to walk for at least thirty minutes if you are fast enough.

One has to traverse some  mountain range in going to Batad. 

View of Batad Terraces from on top. 

Passing by Ifugao houses 

View of Batad Rice Terraces from below. 

Nestled among the rice terraces is the community of Batad. The terraces forms like an amphitheater with the village in the middle of it. 

Resting after a long trek up and down the mountain at the same time enjoying the view of the terraces. 

The skulls of hunted animals are displayed inside an Ifugao house. 

A pose in front of an Ifugao house. 

The beds inside an Ifugao house.

Rocks which protrude from the walls of the terraces are used as steps for climbing. 

A child carrying her younger brother. 

Lunch at a restaurant in Batad. 

Fr. Lito had to be assisted with walking sticks. 

Later on he had to be carried in a hammock as he could no longer walk. 

About a  kilometer away from the village of Batad is the Tappia Falls. 

No comments: