it's been awhile since my last post and I promised myself to post more since my bday post. Hay naku. I have so much drafts now tbh but I just can't finish all of them. I have more time now (or I believe) and I will do my best to publish them soon enough.
Anyway, I'll be sharing to y'all one adventure that I never thought I'd do in this year.
Welcome to my journey to the Rice Terraces!
How to get there?
From Pasay, get the Victory Liner Bus to Baguio.
Fare- Regular Aircon : P455
First Class: P750
p.s. There is actually a direct night bus from Manila to Banaue.
The van terminal to Banaue is right in Alonzo Street, Baguio.
So if you won't be taking a bus to Sagada, get an accommodation in Alonzo. It's also close to the market place and session road.
Van Fare: ~P250-300 / 6 hours
It was a beautiful view midway to Banaue as we can see the beauty of mother nature.
WHERE TO STAY IN BANAUE?
There are various hostels in Banaue but do check out
THE PINK BANAUE HOSTEL
It's a new hostel in Banaue and they have a very nice receptionist over there.
It's a 5-10 minute walk from the main centre but it's not big deal.
Rate: P400/bed for a 6 bed dormitory room.
met fellow travellers at the hostel and had great conversations at night.
I recommend this hostel as it is clean and has a good view of the rice terraces in the morning. You get free toasts and coffee too during the day. Rooms are very clean and spacious enough. There's one comfort room in the room but the water supply wasn't the best during the day. There was barely any water coming out. Nonetheless, I was still able to take a good shower. Haha
For tourists, the first food stop that locals would often suggest is People's Place
went for dinner there and boy, the prices gave me a shooooktttt. Little did I know, it'd be the benchmark of prices throughout my trip! HAHA!
|Longsilog for P140. Yes, I requested a breakfast meal for dinner. Haha #tanyaeats|
|People's Choice for P200. mmm looks yummeh|
|It was cozy to eat outside. You can hear the streams|
p.s. there's also a curfew in Banaue which is earlier compared to Baguio (around 9-10pm)
|Supposed to visit Polla Village but we had to cut it... Know about it later ;)|
The plan was to trek Banaue to Batad to Cambulo to Pula.
We told our fellow travellers about it. We were gonna hike from Banaue to Batad and they were quite surprised about it since we could just hire a trike to Batad. But what is fun and adventure right?
Sweetheart, it wasn't easy peasy.
We were the only ones on the road. Every now and then, a trike or jeepney would stop and ask but we prefer the adventure. Plus there are a lot of beautiful landscapes down the road. It was worth it :) I'm very happy that we hiked Banaue to Batad :)
|view in Pink Banaue|
|morning at Pink Banaue Hostel|
We stopped by at GUIHOB RESTOBAR for lunch.
FYI, this was the only food place between Banaue and Guihob.
By the time we reached Guihob, I was hella starving already. Haha
They have cottages outside (not free) if you want to eat out and also a stream where you can swim.
The price of food starts at P100 ($2) and they offer fresh hito too.
Rain poured so we stayed longer there but they have videoke machine so it was cool there :)
I remember the song that was played before we left was Coldplay's-Yellow and yes it became our playlist for the rest of the hike to Batad. Haha
(Banaue to Batad was almost 18km with our heavy backpacks on and under the heat of the sun.
Before reaching the main village to Batad, there'll be a very steep uphill road and it got too hot and my back was honestly numb already... so we decided to ride a jeepney. We paid P25 each for the jeepney ride.
The ride won't take you to the village but there'll be a point were everyone should start to trek/hike.
We had to go down to see the village and have a closer look of the rice terraces.
There are several hostels/homestays in the village.
Average price per person is P200-300 ($4-6).
WHERE TO STAY IN BATAD?
|credits to willflyforfood|
Price starts at P300 ($6). There were P200 ($4)/ head accom but we chose this because it had the perfect view of the Batad Terraces. I believe they have the perfect location in Batad. The caretaker was also very nice. The restroom (common) and rooms were also clean and had good supply of water. They have traditional huts too but I think it'd cost more. We were the only guests too that night in the homestay. Also, yeah. We met Ramon himself and he was nice :) The caretaker is his nephew, he does mostly everything in the homestay (cooks, talks to guests, etc).
|the hut where guests can sleep|
|waiting for foooooooooooood!|
|Cornsilog for P120 ($2.5)|
It was a great night at Ramon, we chilled with the local kids after dinner.
It was so nice to wake up with such beautiful view! Exactly the view from our room.
|view during breakfast <3.|
|calmest breakfast I ever had|
Ramon's caretaker :)
Usually, they have activities for their guests like rice pounding. However, we didn't have much time for it because we were gonna trek to Tappiya Falls and up to Cambulo Village. However, we couldn't miss the opportunity of being able to wear the traditional Ifugao Costume they offer for their guests. You can give a donation after it :)
Then we headed to Tappiya Falls.
We were suggested to hire a tour guide but we didn't. FYI, this whole trip was TOUR GUIDE-FREE and I'm so proud of that! Food especially throughout the villages isn't cheap. It's more than the average that I pay for in a daily basis. Thus, getting a tour guide would be an expense. And besides, I'm pretty confident with my intuition and navigation skills (!!!!) Hahaha... Tip: never fret to ask locals.
|I LOVE YOU BATAD.|
Tappiya Falls was the first falls that I've seen up close in my life.
But before that, going down to Tappiya Falls is a whole lot of stairs. Prepare yourself when you get back up because it was like a stairway to heaven experience. Nonetheless, I enjoyed swimming in the falls! Don't ever forget Tappiya Falls if you come to Batad.
Then we continued our trek to Cambulo Village
It was a smaller village compared to Batad but beautiful in its own as well.
WHERE TO STAY IN CAMBULO?
We stayed at Hiker's Homestay. This was also suggested by a local
Contact #: 09061650462
The hostel owner named Nanay Conching was very accommodating and warm to us.
The hostel is new and really clean. The restroom is also spacious and has heater.
We stayed the night there and on the next day we went to visit Nanay Conching's sister across a river.
We were supposed to go to Pula Village but decided not to continue as the weather wasn't good.
It rained in the morning and we were told that it'll all be uphill then it'd be not that safe to trek (extremely muddy). We decided to go back to Batad instead so we could get back in Banaue in the afternoon.
There was a typhoon in Luzon that time
We needed to get back in Banaue that day so rain or shine we continued our trek.
Trekking under heavy rain on terraces? Game!
We stopped over at Foreigner's Homestay for lunch and dried up some of our clothes.
Thank God it stopped raining.
|kids running downhill when rain was pouring hard - we were scared for them! haha|
We made it back to Banaue before the sun sets and so we decided to stay another night in Banaue since transportation to Sagada is only available in the morning. We stayed at Rice Homestay.
|lovely view in the morning|
I really liked the atmosphere in Rice Homestay.
The room we got was really nice too. It was very cozy and peaceful there.
Also, they have a beautiful view!
However, it is not close to the center/marketplace of Banaue.
p.s. There are many hostels near the center of town. Hostels are like everywhere in Banaue.
The next day we bought souvenirs and continued our trip to Sagada!
Banaue - starts at P300 ($6). You can e book online or visit the hostels (some you can haggle) but there are also sweet deals online.
Batad- I highly suggest Ramon Homestay. It's worth it. Not kidding. Costs P300 ($6)
There are a lot of homestays once you reach Batad. There are also homestays exactly in the village/terraces.
Cambulo- Hiker's Homestay
Batad/Cambulo - Meals are $2 up.
Water costs more as you get into the villages. P50-P70.
I'm happy I could drink their drinking water :). I was able to fill up my bottles with spring water. I liked it actually. Haha :)
FOR TREKKERS, THE USUAL ROUTE IS BANAUE- PULA-CAMBULO-BATAD
SINCE THE TRAIL WOULD BE DOWNHILL MOSTLY. BUT WE CHOSE THE PATH THAT WAS LESS TRAVELED. HAHA!
We went to Batad first (which offers the best view of the terraces and the biggest village too)
then everything's uphill to Cambulo :) It was an adventure as well. Y'all could choose that route too.
P.S. Once out of Banaue, there'll be no signal at all- at all. NO WIFI? NO PROBLEM :)
Prior to it, I didn't know that there'll be no signal. I've trekked some mountains before and it had high speed signal Haha. Totally wasn't expecting it but I tell you, it made the trip more special. Without wifi (which basically takes up half of our time in a day to day basis), it was just all about exploring and enjoying what nature can offer. It immersed me into a whole new level of realizations.
OVERALL. I CAN SAY THAT THIS WAS A ONE FOR THE BOOKS ADVENTURE (also Sagada). I REALIZED SO MUCH FROM THE JOURNEY (FROM THE PEOPLE I'VE MET). FROM EVERYTHING THAT I'VE EXPERIENCED :). WHAT I DID WAS DEFINITELY OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE AND I FREAKING MADE IT.
Will be posting The Sagada Adventure soon!