On the night of our departure, everyone was excited and came in very early at Autobus terminal. Since my travel mates came very early, even when I arrived on the dot, they thought I was already late. This time around, our bus was in good condition compared to the bus I took a few months back which was almost dilapidated.
Next day, we reached Banaue and had our breakfast at my favorite Las Vegas Restaurant. We bought a few bottled waters for the trek. On our way to the saddle area, we had few stops for photo ops. Finally when we arrived at the saddle, my travel mates were surprised to see a lot of mountains because all the while they thought I was kidding about the hours of trekking. It was the start of our grueling two-hour trek before we reach our lodging house. Actually, we were lucky that my friend/guide (Denwil Batangog 0918.4369055) had a van that took us near the saddle area which cut our traveling time by almost an hour. Going up and down the mountain and the countless stops we made took us practically more than two hours just to reach our destination. Upon arrival at Rita’s Inn (0910.8423076) , we immediately had our lunch and rested for an hour.
Since it was my fifth time to go there, I became their guide going to the village and the Tappiya falls. It was raining at that time and some of us opted to walk in the rain. Some of us were carrying umbrellas and even if one of our umbrellas was left in the waiting shed, nobody took it; we found it exactly where we left it. People in Batad are truly very honest!
On the way to the falls, there was a warning regarding falling rocks but still, we continued to walk. It was a bit difficult to go there because of the landslides. When we reached the place we were awed by the beauty of the falls that some of us decided to swim. After which, we had to go back to the house and it was another difficult climb and every stop we made, we had to drink soda worth P50 (that only costs P10 in Manila ). Nobody complained about the price because everyone needed the boost in order to continue the ascending walk.
When we got back to Rita’s lodging house, everyone was eager to have dinner. There, we had the opportunity to see unhampered view of the clear night sky and shooting stars. Some of us appreciated the fact that there were still fireflies in the area. It was cold and yet very relaxing; it was the perfect time to share a few rounds of beers and exchange stories about our trek.
On Day 3 of our trip, we had yet another exchange of stories over breakfast and had our photos taken with the very accommodating owners of Rita’s Inn . Finally, when it was time to return to Banaue town proper, we posted some cards on the Rita’s wall to mark our stay there.
Upon reaching the saddle, we decided to take the jeepney going down to ease our trek. In the town proper, I arranged with the lodging house owner to allow us to use their bathroom for a wash-up and we paid fifty pesos each. Again, we had our sumptuous meal at Las Vegas Restaurant and then decided to see the rice terraces printed on our 1000 Peso bill and buy wood carvings as souvenirs. On the same day, at around 8 pm we took our bus going back to Manila .
It was truly a memorable holiday with my colleagues but definitely, it’s not the last time for me to visit Batad and have more adventures!
Visited last August 21, 2009