Dont Tell My Mother What Happened in Batad

Actually I didn't even mention Batad when my parents asked me where am I going that time. If I did, they might remember the case of Julia Campbell, a journalist who was murdered in Batad last 2007. I know that was just an isolated case and I strongly believe Batad is a safe place, but my parents wont take that risk.

After Dominic sold Batad and the Cordillera region to me, I've been wanting to go there as soon as my schedule permits me. So as early as last year, I reserved my January for a travel to Batad.

Florida bus to Banaue

Tickets to Banaue are being sold 2 days prior the trip. Phone reservations are not allowed. There are only 2 bus companies that operate the Manila-Banaue route, Florida and Ohayami (later on I found out that Ohayami when read backward is Imayaho, the surname of an Ifugao who owns this bus company.)

comfortable seats for the 10-hour road trip

I chose the couple who I met in the outreach I organized to be my travel buddies. We took the Florida bus at 9pm. Bus terminal is located across UST. Fare is P400 each. Travel time is 9-10 hours.

my travel buddies in Batad
private persons daw sila, bawal ipost ang picture!

After 9 long hours, we reached Banaue at last. Weather is not that cold as I expected. We were welcomed there by Dandy, a tourguide in Batad who was referred to me by Gareth (my tourguide in Sagada and the author of

for Batad's tour guides and rates of vehicles,
please contact Dandy Umhao at 0910.346.5310

Dandy advised us to purchase our return tickets first before we eat breakfast. After that, he discussed the tourist spots that may interest us. We only have one in mind that and that is Batad. He offered us to share the vehicle expenses with his foreign guests. That's where I met the French sisters Nadine and Stephanie.

breakfast at Las Vegas resto

wannabe ^_^

Right after breakfast, we board the jeepney that will take us to the saddle. The road is very narrow and very bumpy! This jeepney is awesome, parang 4x4 ride!

jumpacked jeepney

i told the French sisters they should experience the topload!

Our first stop is the famous Hanging House. And I wouldn't dare to have a house like this one.

the famous Hanging House, omg!

It's also a souvenir shop. The wood carvings are very interesting. This is where I 1st encountered a Bulul, a rice god in Banaue.

Bulul, the rice god
Every house has its Bulul sculpture. This is placed on top of their rice containers. Locals believe Bulul will give abundant supply of rice, and it also serves as guard too

And it's also a viewing deck of the terraces.

the terraces

and I

We finally reached the saddle after 1.5 hours. No more vehicles can pass thru at this point. Now everyone who wishes to see Batad needs to trek for an hour. Since Dandy assumed we have lots of energy, we took the short cut which is steeper than the usual route. This also consists of 400++ steps.

400++ steep staircase

And there's still more walking after the steep stairs. Not really that easy, but I enjoyed the view here the most compared to all the treks I made. This one's very refreshing.

oh yes, they carry all their supplies and pass thru the same trail. spell effort!

the kid vendor

the spectacular view

Sir Toto capturing the scenic view

French sisters playing with the water

A little more walk and we we're welcomed by a lot of signboards of guesthouses!

signboards all around

welcome to Batad

houses in the middle of the terraces

We registered in their log book and saw a lot of different nationalities who have visited this place too. Trivia: aside from the French Girls, I also saw a group of Portuguese, Canadian, and German. All of them included Sagada, Batad, and Palawan in their itineraries. Simply the Philippine's finest destinations.

Batad Elementary School

Hillside Inn

We went straight to Hillside Inn to check out their rooms. All of us are very tired to check other guesthouses, besides any decent accommodation will do for me.

Hillside Inn's room. P200/day.

the view from my window

the latest Philippine Peso Bill in the actual rice terraces kingdom

And as expected, the food is expensive. Having the fact that all supplies are no way possible to reach this village except to carry the supplies for 1 hour, understandable na mahal ang benta nila.

chicken meal for P150; P50 for a canned juice

At 2pm, we started to trek down Tappiya Falls. The view is really breath taking. All of us cant help but appreciate the scene. Dandy warned us that it's important to stop. Never walk while staring at the view. The trail is risky to miss a step.

the view along the trail

trek down the terraces

up until now, this view makes me breathless

but never walk while staring at the view.. else you die! ^_^

I didn't notice that we're already in the rice terraces! Im so amazed!
Sharing my blooper shots while going down the trail. (thanks sir Toto)

○ who says the blogger is not lampa?

tse! kala nyo di ko kaya yan?! LOL

And so I thought I already conquered the hardest parts of the trail, it's time for me to take a photo of our money in front of the terraces.

living in P1,000 bill

Okay, the trekking continues.

are we there yet?

Finally a resting area. For sure Im close to dehydration, I only have a little water left. Tsk tsk.

nipa hut

view from the other side

At this point, the couple decided not to pursue the trek anymore. Good choice I say. I never imagined there's a more exhausting and riskier trail that awaited us before we can reach Tappiya Falls.

never stop exploring - TNF

yes, we're going down.. seriously!

mauna ka Stephanie ^_^

This trek is as risky as Sagada's Big Falls + Hanging Coffins combined. Grabe!
Wanna see how high is the cliff where we are standing?

the test of braveness bench

omg! if this is the bench, I'll just endure to stand as long as it takes
(walang sumandal samin, iskeri!)

And there's more, landslide happens! Err, thanks for the warning! haha

geez, thanks for the warning! haha

Dandy said we should proceed...
but I cant even see the trail

At that point, I stopped talking and taking photos. I just focused on getting down the falls. This is not easy at all. And finally after 1.5 hours, we reached Tappiya Falls. Whew, Im alive!

the mighty Tappiya Falls
im so proud of myself to see you upclose!

Dandy shared there's a Korean who insisted to swim here even w/out the tourguide's approval. The strong current took the life of that Korean.

I didn't plan to swim at all,
besides I don't even know if I have the energy to go back.

The couple made a good decision not to go down the falls anymore. The trail is very risky and exhausting. Aside from that, there's the pressure that we have to be back before the night falls.

And you have no idea how helpless I look as I trek back. It's a torture!
But I don't regret anything. Overcoming a thing I thought I could never do is priceless.

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
My Isolated Case in Batad

Our group tried our best to reach our guesthouse as fast as we could. When we're only 15 mins away, we heard a drunk man screaming. In his dialect, Dandy translated that this man is looking for his enemy. We didn't mind at first. But when we heard 3 gun shots, that's the time we got alarmed. Dandy instructed us to hide in the rock walls, just a few meter away from the shooter. He also asked us to remain in the dark and take away any colorful garments that we have (it may draw the shooter's attention).

Honestly, I didn't get scared (because I got another life insurance. haha). Seriously, because I know this will pass. And Im pretty sure the shooter doesn't have enough bullets to fire. And I know Im lucky enough not to be hit by his astray bullets.

Finally, we were able to seek help. A lot of the village people came and assisted us on our way to our guesthouse. We reached our place safely and the people started comforting the French girls.

Disclaimer: I shared this story not to give Batad another bad impression, but just to justify that this is an isolated case. This could happen anywhere, even right outside our homes. I hope this wont stop visitors to come in Batad.

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

Now, will I go back to Batad? Definitely!
The hardships are part of the beauty of this place. There are lots of falls in Pinas but this one's not for everyone to see. And now I think I understand why a lot of people keep coming back here, not only for the view, but because there's a lot of things to learn on our being Filipino, our preserved culture and tradition.

For more stories in Batad: please see Dong Ho's Batad series.

Life is about taking chances. Take it. No one gets out of here alive anyway! ^_^

61 responses:

Chyng said...

Besides, parents ko naman ang beneficiaries if ever ma-deads ako! ^_^

Chew On This said...

I love the pictures as usual. And my gosh, you rode on top of the jeepney like a local :) way to go! you're so adventurous. said...

nice set chyng. sarap balikan ang sagada.

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

naks! congrats Chyng you finally made it in Batad. I believe that what happened with Julia is an isolated case. More adventures to come! :D

Anonymous said...

ang ganda ng mga shots mo chyng..astig!

pusang kalye said...

kinaya mo yun? naimagine ko yung hike, di yan basta basta lalo slippery ang road. tibay mo talaga Chyng. amd about the isolated case, I agree with you. masyado lang pinalaki yung issue oldo authorities there should really look into cases like this. bad impression is still abd impression.

pusang kalye said...

to add: sugal buhay yung location ng upuan na yun. parang magdadalawang isip ka ata kung uupo ka o hindi kahait ganu kana kapagod.hahaha

empi said...

namiss ko yong pag sakay sa top ng jeepney. hehe. ganun kasi sa probinsya namin. :D

rob said...

.. isusumbong kita sa nanay mo!

.. katarik naman ng mga dinaanan nyo, picture pa lang nalulula na ko, haha. naalala ko si julia, very tragic. nabasa ko yung blog nya e.

_rhovic_ said...

Ang sarap mong magkwento. Para na rin akong nakarating sa Batad sa kwento't pictures mo.

Sana makarating din ako dyan. Pero ngayon di pa ako ready, financially, physically and schedule-wise.

Another THUMBS UP entry.

fetus said...

awww... kelan kaya ako makapunta ako dito??? i want to be here right now! hehehe....

the place really makes me spellbound.

mishi said...

congratulations for enduring another risk chyng! haha! Kung kilala ko nanay mo, isusumbong kita definitely!haha! :) ang galing! kainggit! :)

Anonymous said...

ang ganda chyng! panalo ang view ah

gillboard said...

buti walang nangyari sa inyo dun. katakot yun ha.

Josiah said...

Ang ganda ng Batad and ang galing mo kumuha ng mga pictures. And I love the details of the trip that you gave. Magagamit ko yung mga yun kapag pumunta na ako sa Batad. :)

yayyadanda said...

ganda! waaah! inggit ako! Hehe!

poot said...

HAHAHA. Your title is nice. You got me there, huh. I'm also a fan of that NG travel show. So nice & informative. Hay, the host is a very lucky man. :)))

I've been waiting for this article to come out. Dun sa previous post mo kasi Ate Chyng medyo na-curious ako on why the French girls (I think they're nice) cried.

Natawa ako dun sa sinabi mo na "di naman ako natakot, may life insurance kasi". Well, that's not exactly the words but what the heck! Hahaha. You're such a brave young woman. And I soooper admire you for that.

Anyway, medyo maiba naman. You know naman siguro Ate that you're one of the first few bloggers that dropped by my blog when it was still young. Now, two years na yun. & it means na two years na din tayong magka-kilala. :))) I really treasure our friendship. I wish na sana magtagal pa ng many, many more years ang friendship natin.

& I'm looking forward to have a travel with you a few years from now.

Love, Jubert/Hoobert/Jubibo

PS. Nice photos as usual

Manila Girl said...

Hahaha your captions and side comments are so amusing. I swear, I think yours is the funniest travel blog evah. The view is AWESOME!! I wish I could see it up close but for now I'd settle for your photos. Haha duwag pa talaga ko. Pag walang decent hotel hindi ako pwede pumunta. :-P

Pinoy Boy Journals said...

i love everything about this post: the honesty, the objectivity and the story-telling. seriously, i felt i was there with you. good thing, as it's not that easy! but yes, it's an isolated incident. question, why does he have a gun, in the first place? how?

JeffZ said...

from the view to the shooter experience.. BREATH-TAKING!.. :)

yung view from the "test of braveness bench" hindi ko na matagalan, yun pang shooter experience.. ? haha good luck naman..

another experience worth sharing.. thanks chyng!

nina said...

Langhiya ka, di mo ko nawarningan na taboo topic pala yan nung nagkita tayo lol

micamyx said...

Waaah grabe this post is quite unpredictable. Ganda ng pictures and i am glad na kwinento mo talaga what happened from the start of the trip hanggang makabalik kayo sa guesthouse. Gusto ko rin pumunta ng Batad and this year, Luzon talaga priority ko. I bet super duper sarap ng feeling nung finally nakaabot na kayo sa falls :D

Anonymous said...

wow! BATAD!!!!! i have good memories of Batad way back in the 90's. Thrice na akong pumunta sa Banaue at once we hiked from Banaue to Batad. We left 5 am...nakakapagod, but fulfilling,ang sayang experience. I really love the place. Ito ang mga namimiss ko since I transferred here in Europe. Salamat talaga for posting pictures of Batad...teary eyed....wink! wink!

Anonymous said...

another suggestion, maybe not this year but next year...SAGADA CAVE!..exciting!

markpogi said...

WOW!!! Buti ka pa nakapunta na ng Batad.

Pwede mo rin ba ishare yung itinerary mo pati total expenses? =)

khantotantra said...

naks. nakapasyal yung new 20 bill sa batad. :D sosyal na perang yan :D

at masarap siguro sumakay sa bubong ng jeep habang lumalanghap ng fresh air

kg said...

chyng! me and my family also stayed at the hillside inn in batad....around 13 years ago! how cool is that? he he!

i love batad in the sense that their culture is so alive. sana ganun lang lagi. at seimpre ang kapaligiran....panalong panalo! ganda!

PS. from your title, i remember the TLC show "don't tell my mother" (ganun din, the host travels the world). :)

Dylan said...

I've been wanting to go to Batad and Sagrada for some time now. With this as a guide, I have to go within this year. hehehe

Thanks Chyng.

I'm glad that the shooting of the drunk guy was only an isolated incident. If it weren't, it would bad press for Batad and our country.

And oh, I'll keep this a secret. Your parent won't know. hahaha

Ang Babaeng Lakwatsera said...

yung sa pagudpud kabigan falls.. medyo napagod ako dun..dito malamang mas nakakapagod.. pero xmpre worth naman ang pagpapagod.. magandang view ang bubulaga pagkatapos ng pagod..

Sendo said...

sobrang naenjoy ko naman ang pagbabasa alam ko na kung ano dadalhin ko pag pumunta ako ng batad....bulletproof vest! ahw haha. wow chyng, plan namin ng pinsan ko makipagsapalaran sa sagada then batad ^^ naman blessed naman ako at kumpleto etong blog post mo..meron na usual hehe. ^^ tatawagan namin si dandy ^^ di ako apektado sa gunfire haha...pupunta pa rin ako!!! yeah..yan ang gusto kong trip, akyat baba sa bundok hehe

lakwatsera de primera said...

Batad, Batad, my favorite place, sarap balikan ng memories through your narration ang pictures,

lakwatserong tatay said...

Hi Ms. Chyng,

Bka naman po pede pasend ng expenses nyo sa email ko...plan ko po kasi bumalik dyn sa batad....namiss ko na ung pababa ng tappiya falls...hehehe...nadulas kc ako dun...2 years
thanks po ng marami...
and i do hope makasama na talaga ako kahit 1 sa mga trips mo...


Cedric said...

Sarap naman dyan. And masaya din siguro yung challenge ng pagdaan sa trails. :)

Robbie said...

Wohoooo! Batad batad! Effort talaga ang pag-trek no? Congrats! Ako ayoko na talaga bumalik. Wahaahah.

And graba nakakatakot naman yung nangyari with the drunk guy. Ang tapang mo talaga. Hehehe.

And toploading!!!! Nagkapasa ba kayo sa pwet? Hehehe.

Roninkotwo said...

Sobrang PROUD!!!! Ingat ka ha..kahit paano kinakabahan parin ako sayo..(kahit insured ka!!!)

freeswan said...

ang sarap naman diyan. i want to go there too! kamusta naman, takot ako sa lamig at kahit sagada umaatras ako.

Photo Cache said...

hindi sa kinukunsinti kita, but i would have done the same thing and go behind their back :)

one of my dreams is to see this place. why do i think of piolo each time i see a rice terraces?


finallyyy!!!! talagang inabangan ko tong post na to chyng!! IDOL! d ko kaya ung mga dinaanan nio! but id definitely visit this place pg ngkataon :] ipon energy and mgpapayat muna aketch! namiss ko sumakay ng jeep at mg topload. ganun trip namin nung hiskul pako haha ;]]] i kept on backreading your old post haha and pinapakita ko sa mga friends koo pra ma inspired din sila. idol ka namin chyng! nakakahawa positivity mo! :D sana tuloy2 na tlga mga goals ko for 2011! salamat po! <3

Pinoy AdvenTurista said...

matagal ko ng pangarap ang makita ang rice terraces... sana hindi ito manatiling pangarap na lamang...

nice account of your experience... i 'luv 'et!!!

Malditang "Kura"cha said...

grabe payat mong yan nahirapan ka... pano pa kaya ako. =( Iba ka. Wala talagang atrasan. Clap 3x!

Nung na-mention mo nga sakin yung Batad nung nagkita tayo nabother na ko dahil sa "isolated case" na yun. But you were able to conquer it still. Galing mo girl! way to go!

The Gasoline Dude said...

WOW! Hindi ko pa nakikita ang Rice Terraces sa totoong buhay! :(

dong ho said...

an isolated case that almost happened again. when you shared it i was actually surprised and good that you got back to the hotel safely.

great that you made it to the falls. that's a good thing. going back up is an achievement. lol

this is indeed one of my favorite place in the country.

basa pala yung daan nung pumunta kayo.

Ed said...

galing nito. buti na lang you got back safe :D more adventures for you! galeng ng trip mo, you got to meet new friends too! :D

Yj said...


kailangan kong marating yang falls na yan at magpictorials ng nakahubo!


san ang next stop sis?

Ian said...

parang ang dulas ng trail kaya parang nakakatakot mag-hike...

pero magaganda mga view parang milestone magpakuha with the 1000php bills beside the real terraces... kaiinggit you had you're first travel of the year.

docgelo said...

inggit ako, di pa ako nakapunta dyan at higit sa lahat di pa ako nakasakay sa itaas ng jeep na mistulang 4x4 kung umarangkada sa bundok.

...baka di ako kayanin ng bubong ng jeep! hehe

Rizalenio said...

The best ka talaga, Idol.

Mark said...

Great post ! Fun and interesting to read.Batad is on my list .

Christian | Lakad Pilipinas said...

Uy bitin! more pa please!

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

Hope your parents are fine reading this. What about the French girls? Babalik pa kaya sila?

Good choice with Hillside Inn, dyan din ako nag-stay noon Chyng! A room with a view, the cheapest room I ever had in the Philippines.

Karla said...

Wow Chyng! ^_^ Ang ganda ng Batad. Sana makapunta ako diyan pero parang di ko kakayanin ang pag-akyat baba. Nakakalula ang pic mo. Buti nakaya mo yun!

Btw, salamat pala sa tips mo about Thailand. Nakakaaliw talaga yung penguins sa Siam Ocean World, hehe. Naaliw din ako sa free mini picture dun. Mini talaga na halos di na makita mga mukha, hehe :D

witsandnuts said...

Grabe, matagal ko ng dream makasakay sa ibabaw ng jeepney! Inggit ako!

Anonymous said...

Ganda! Yun lang! :D Gusto ko na sumakay ng bus papunta dyan.

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate when you said that the trek was a torture. Nung nagpunta kami sa batad before balikan lang kami so talagang bibigay na talaga yung mga paa namin. It's our mistake I guess. We should have stayed overnight. Mura lang naman pala yung mga guesthouse. And I agree that the hardships are all part of the beauty of Batad. Sulit naman lahat ng hirap sa trekking kasi sobrang ganda ng Batad :-) It's truly a great place to learn about our roots and culture as a Filipino :-)

matt said...

kaya pala hellish yung pagbaba dun sa falls ayon sa ibang blogs... yours is so detailed... na iimagine ko na bakit nila yun sinabe..

Kathleen said...

Ask lang po miss chyng! I haven't seen you wearing trekking/climbing shoes.. hindi ba mas nice pag nka shoes on your trips especially for adventures?

Chyng said...

^ good observation!

i dont wear shoes, i never wear them. may abnormality ang paa ko, cant breathe sa closed shoes. im more comfortable sa sandals and slippers.

Anonymous said...

it's sad to see that there are some people who would put up their houses in the middle of a beautiful man made creation.sad because they didn't take care of it properly. but nevertheless the place still looks breathtaking

Anonymous said...

it's sad to see that there are some people who would put up their houses in the middle of a beautiful man made creation.sad because they didn't take care of it properly. but nevertheless the place still looks breathtaking

Chyng said...

they are the owners. and they are the farmers too.
every lush green fields you see there, it's from their effort. so there's no reason to complain or to be sad. =)

Anonymous said...

Hello! I am from Ifugao and I am happy to see blogs about my province. I also know your tour guide, Kuya Dandy! I think that Banaue is underadvertised and the rumors that the terraces are destroyed, due to worms or houses(worms are the work of nature and the farmers need a place to stay, don't they?), are destroying its reputation. Nevertheless, there is no place like Banaue. It's more fun in the Philippines! Keep blogging.

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