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Travel Destination 8th Wonder Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Philippines A Day in A Life

Monday, April 24, 2017


Arrival Batad 

8th Wonder of the World Batad Rice Terraces Saddle Way Marker Posterity Selfie
It's kinda easy to picture a 3 kilometers walk going down from Saddle Point to Batad Proper in one's mind, however, combine the heat and humidity and pieces of baggage, re-think. Here I am with self-imposed strategic stopovers just to catch my breath, rest and document. Another important rule is always to travel fit and healthy. Never attempt a Batad journey/adventure if you are ill. 

8th Wonder of the World Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines Tourist Registration Center
Pay a Heritage Fee of P50.00. Registration takes into account of you as a warm human being for physical body count and statistical purposes. Never, never skip this. The community local folks have a way of monitoring you if you've skipped this process. 

8th Wonder of the World Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines Tourist Registration Center Incoming Tourists Registering
I noticed that tourists going up or down saddle have a make-shift wooden pole. This is used for balancing and support purposes. 

8th Wonder of the World Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines Tourist Registration Center Incoming Tourists Registering Tired and Wasted
Hint: Now you are just seeing just a fraction of what it takes to trek down from Saddle Point going to Batad. The keyword is penitence since it no easy-piecey. 
Self Portrature DSLR timed shot with Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao at the background
So whilst waiting for my turn to register, I got myself a shameless self-portraiture for personal and posterity purposes with the help of my indefatigable local Batad guide using my DSLR camera which I mounted to my tripod. At my background is Mount Amuyao which is the highest mountain nearly kissing the fluffy white clouds in the skyline. My rule of thumb is to keep photo-documenting and take advantage of the sunny weather.
8th Wonder of the World Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
"The 8th Wonder of the World" - The Batad Rice Rice Terraces. 
8th Wonder of the World Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines Batad Rice Terraces My Local Guide
Always to err on the side of safety. Hire (a must) a local guide which will serve you best whilst at Batad, Ifugao. Otherwise, you might end up getting lost or worst meet an accident whilst meandering through the pathways of the rice terraces. Batad local guides grew up in the locality and know every nook and cranny of the place. Again, don't get lost without one. What is good is that my guide also speaks Ilocano dialect and we instantly clicked when I met him at Saddle Point.To maximize your first day is again to always consult your local guide. Don't be shy to ask questions and information. In my case, I did not read or check for online information since it might influence my judgment. It's good to have an expectation which is grounded in reality. What you see is what you get. Hire a local porter to carry your water/beverage supply / extra bags/backpack/luggage. Make a deal when at the Saddle Point with the motorcycle/tricycle driver to pick you up when you go home.Don't be a scrooge. Reward generously hard working local porters/guides. Hire a guide who also agrees as a porter. That's double pay for them. No short changing. Bad karma, begets hundred-fold misfortunes.
Sun dried Just Harvested Batad Tinawon Rice Stalk Bundles
Upon checking in and storing my bags at the inn, me and my guide passed by this garden at Batad. Rice stalks being dried under the sun.  The Ifugao family who lives here in Batad celebrated a family occasion. The two fresh carabao heads are feast/fertility symbols and proof of the occasion. The two carabao skulls were both a by-product of a canao (e.g., indigenous dance/ritual held to celebrate weddings, birthday, etc.,) ceremony. Foreground is the "tinawon" - newly harvested rice stalks being sundried. The background is partial Batad rice terraces and Tapiyyah Water Falls near the eroded portion of the mountain and covered by the clouds is Mount Amuyao. 

Batad Local Town Folks


8th Wonder of the World Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines Batad Rice Terraces Local Folk Farmer The Oldest Woman Elder of Batad and her sons
In the heat of the mid-day sun, one of the oldest village elders (long white hair) joins his family members separate tinawon unhusked rice beads/grains from the stalks. Again, all using their bare hands and no mechanical implements whatsoever. Tender loving care and the highest respect to the Liddum ni Kabunyan "Skyworld rice plant" dubbed "tinawon" in short, meaning occurring yearly/annually. It's pretty laid back, no rush.
8th Wonder of the World Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines Batad Rice Terraces Local Folk Farmer
A short portraiture photo session. Whilst naturally engaged in a short and light chit-chat ... Don't disturb them in their chores.

8th Wonder of the World Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines Batad Rice Terraces Local Folk Farmer The Oldest Woman Elder of Batad
Make sure you ask permission before taking photos of people especially the elderly and children. They don't like having their photos taken. They don't like having their photos taken as they have this local belief of associating photos with death. Please respect differences, respect for their culture.

Batad Local & Foreign Tourists/Visitors/etc.,

Batad Sidescenes Under a cool shade
One cool shade From left to right the -guy standing and woman in maroon shirt are French nationals; the seated woman in black is a German national with Filipina friend (holding a wooden make-shift cane used for climbing/walking support) and the lady holding an umbrella is their Batad local guide. All of them just came from the Tappiyah falls. I chanced upon them in this tool shed at the Batad Rice Terraces. It was like 12 noon. The brief stop-over was a chance for a short chit-chat and sharing of experiences. The French guy sports a Sony NEX-7.
Tourist Mountain Paradise Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Philippines
Whilst I was catching my breath, I stopped by another cooling shed at Batad Rice Terraces, Banaue, Ifugao. These guys showed up Left- the lady with a camera from Canada, The guy who sports a rasta dreadlock is from Brazil and guy with shades holding a plastic bottle is from Africa. The seated woman is from Korea. 5 minutes more of under the cool shade then I head down to the slopes to Tappiyah waterfalls. 
Refreshed Tourists at a Batad Store Enjoying the Cool Shade
A seated Korean mother with his son and daughter and a Batad local guide (seated lady). The guy at their back is an African backpacker. This is just one of the cooling shed where thirst quenching beverage of gold price is sold. The lady seller (standing) facing back was too shy to be photographed. 
Selfies unlimited
Korean nationals doing a selfie at Batad Rice terraces.  

I will be featuring Batad Rice Terraces Tappiyah waterfalls in a separate blog post.

Batad Rice Terraces Landscape

8th Wonder of the World Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines Batad Rice Terraces High Noon

8th Wonder of the World Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines Batad Rice Terraces Local Guide


Ifugao Batad Rice Terraces Upclose
As the rain clouds looming above casts its veil over the Batad Rice Terraces my guide and me were coming from a very tiresome trek from Tappiy-ya Falls, my guide led me to this part of the terraces where I see a local boy navigating the rice fields. and by chance, I spotted a little boy, a local of Batad, in a hurry and on his way home. 

Batad Rice Terraces is one of my landscape photography places. It's a rural setting, quiet, peaceful and very laid-back. You don't hear any cacophonous karaoke bars, etc., but the chirping of crickets. This is a
nother stop over at the lowest part of the village to catch my breath and get absorbed in the beautiful scenery. 

Batad Rice Terraces Rice Farms and Farmers

I came across a scene where this little girl is volunteering herself to help in .....

Local women Batad-folks tend to the harvesting of rice. This is my first time to witness a Cordilleran rice field produce harvest.
Local Kids of Batad
Batad local children watch and wait whilst their elders are harvesting rice. Well mannered, well behaved. Try speaking to these young children and they will give you a reply in English. They're very good at the language which is proof that education in the community/Ifugao is high. 
Freshly harvested rice talks
Freshly Harvested Batad Rice "Tinawon" Bundles 
8th Wonder of the World Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines Batad Rice Terraces Local Folk Farmer and a local Batad child
Here a local a little girl who is a local of Batad was offering to help harvest. One of farming lady folks who was harvesting replied "Wait till you are of the right age, then you will have your turn to harvest tinawon rice."  

8th Wonder of the World Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines Batad Rice Terraces Local Folk Farmers Harvesting Mature Rice Stalks
Local women Batad-folks tend to the harvesting of rice. This is my first time to witness a Cordilleran rice field produce harvest.This is not only backbreaking but one has to endure the sweltering heat of the summer sun. It takes years of experience for Batad womenfolk to do tasks like this. No mechanical/machine interference, all just being done with the tender loving care of picking/gathering the golden rice stalks using one's bare hands.

8th Wonder of the World Batad Rice Terraces Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines Batad Rice Terraces AvianQuest nearlytrouching mature rice stalks



Batad Rice Terraces Tinawon Golden Rice Ripened Stalks

Batad Day's End
A Batad local townsfolk who is a rice terraces farmer with a bundle of freshly harvested rice bundles "tinawon" and his two small children on their way home. Day's end.

Batad Sidescenes A Batad Hut
The sky was getting dark, the air getting colder as I head up back to the inn where iIwill sleep over for the night. This is a typical Batad Village afternoon moreover, the June rains share cool waters to irrigate the rice fields. 

Batad Rice Terraces Hut

Beautiful Batad Rice Terraces during afternoon rain and fog
Whilst waiting the rain to stop, I took this rare opportunity of taking a landscape image of Batad Rice Terraces in a moody and atmospheric state. Eighty more steps from where I stand and I will be in the warm and dry comfort of the inn where I will be spending my first night at the Batad Rice Terraces, Ifugao, Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines. 

-fin-

Check 'em out.









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