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8th Wonder Tapiy-ya Falls Experience the Philippines

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


8th Wonder Tapiy-ya Water Falls Experience the Philippines Batad Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region
Man made landscape structures found on the mountain slopes of Ifugao located in the northern Cordillera Administrative Region, the Philippines is - Batad which is famous not only for its ancient rice terraces. Hidden behind the "8th Wonder" rice terraces is a scenic and refreshing waterfalls dubbed as Tapiy-ya


Batad Rice Terraces Under A Hot Miday Sun Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

After reaching the inn where I booked and dropped off my duffle bag, my local Batad guide cum porter (shown above) and I immediately head off to Tapiy-ya waterfalls. The time is around 12:30 noon and the sun's heat is unforgiving. This will be a challenging trek as I haven't quite rested and recovered much yet from the long downhill trek from Saddle Point just this morning. The sight of rice stalks growing in the rice terraces fields is just irresistibly a beautiful sight and another photo documentation adventure is about to happen.

For first time readers of this series, let me teleport you first to the following blogs below (following top to bottom order prerequisites):


Firewood Batad Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

Earlier along Saddle Point we passed by this fresh scent of wood being dried under the sun. Self-reliance and self-sufficiency are prominent traits of the Ifugao Batad community. Well sun-dried firewood is sold mainly for cooking food purposes and bonfires for night public dance cultural presentations.

Souvenir  Shop Shed Batad Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

Different forms of community livelihood thrive well in Batad and one of them is a souvenir shop which sells "I Survived Batad' tee-shirts and other ethno-indigenous novelties like woodcarvings, bead works, etc., I might sound like a broken record just like in my previous blogs when it comes to any form of livelihood where I don't encourage the practice of haggling for lower prices for products/services.  Bargaining for lower prices defeats the purpose for ethno-indigenous people to earn a little extra which is not even considered profit to offset the labor costs associated with their hand to mouth livelihood. The pay when you hire a local tourist guide only is pegged at a different rate when you hire a local tourist guide cum porter. You have to pay a separate porter fee. 

Unseen hardships like going to market at Poblacion, Ifugao then transporting the products/produce to Saddle Point and then walking two hours with stopovers for rest to reach Batad is literally "blood, sweat, and tears". Imagine the weight of the products/produce plus the muddy downhill unpaved pathway. Now, add the Mother nature's elements of rain, etc., It's not an easy task. Then here comes a smart aleck city guy haggling hard just to lower prices. In the end, they'll end up agreeing to the given "standard" local guide tour/trek price. So, it's pointless to haggle. Give that modicum of conscience and factor in the unseen hardship I've just mentioned. By a little extra means, you are balancing the karmic (action) weighing scales that you'll not be indebted to their action. It's 50-50 even. I've heard stories of first-time smart alecks who didn't avail of local tour guide services and unfortunately met an accident.

Tappiyah Sidescene Landscapes Batad Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
The heat of the afternoon sun slowed me down a lot coupled with my being physically unprepared for another long downward trek. I kept drinking mineral water and pouring a handful to wet my face and wash off sweat whilst we moved down towards Tapiy-ya falls. I'll not disclose the total time spent from the inn to Tapiy-ya waterfalls so that it will remain a blind spot for future trekkers. I'll stick to my no spoiler policy. 

Tappiyah Sidescene Landscape Structures  Batad Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
The sound of around two or three different kinds of birds chirping and the rushing river water  ... gets you in a meditative state. You just hear your breathe as the lush green mantle mountain dwarfs you. At this point, I saw this roof structure beside the river. What could that be I asked myself.

Tappiyah Sidescene Riverside Batad Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

Tappiyah Riverside Sidescene  Structures  Batad Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Now, the structure earlier we saw from afar is a small shed...

Arrival at Tappiyah Riverside Deck  Batad Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

cacophony of heavy cascading waterfalls is obvious as that the clear white liquid streak can be seen as I take a quick snap. My guide on the left side who is a local Batad takes a well-deserved rest. He's also responsible as my porter who carried my lightweight backpack and tripod. The woman on the right is a tourist who arrived much earlier figuring out her camera.
Tappiyah Waterfalls Deck  Stop Over Batad Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Photo tip: Always have a wide angle lens handy to enable you to capture landscapes.

Tappiyah Waterfalls Middle View Batad Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

I immediately went down to the riverside however, I can't get any closer since the water mist of the waterfalls instantly causes surface fogging of my camera lens. I decided to stay midway and took this shot quickly which was a tripod mount assisted capture.

Tappiyah Waterfalls Deck  Stop Over Exposure Photography Batad Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

Tourists gather in a makeshift cogon hut in the Falls area who probably all finished swimming. The powerful downpour of the cascading waterfalls is considered dangerous especially when it rains (say yesterday) since the weight of the water is so strong and massive in volume that it can push you below the rocks and may cause severe injury/death. I immediately decided that it's worth the risk and took quick shots whilst wiping in between pauses my camera lens. 

Tappiyah Waterfalls Deck  Stop Over More Tourists Arrive Batad Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
More tourists arrive at the area most of them carrying walking sticks/rods for balance and support.
Tappiyah Waterfalls Deck  Stop Over Exposure Photography Batad Ifugao Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
I finally got my first long exposure shot of Tapiy-ya falls. 


-fin (part 1 of 2)-

(Part 2 of 2 of concluding Tapiy-ya Falls series  ... in the works... Till next blog post.)


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