So you’ve finally reached Day 2 of our Banaue trip. Well, good for you. But hang in there as I have more blog posts to follow. On Day 2, we woke up as early as 6:29 am. I was the last one to get down from the hut and they said that it was freezing outside so I wrapped myself in layers of jacket, bonnet, and hand gloves before getting out of the hut. True to their word, it was freezing cold.
No sunrise in sight because of the all-night drizzle and fog. The next morning was spectacular, though! For our breakfast that morning, Manong cooked sausages, eggs, and sardines. I didn’t think too much of the food until I tasted it. It was so nice to eat legit breakfast in a really cold place. I usually skip breakfast when I’m at home or I eat alone. So eating with a bunch of people and eating really good food was a refreshing experience. Aside from being naturally cold, it was also windy that morning. So just imagine how tingling it felt for us every time wind passed by.
It was this misty that morning. You can’t see anything.
Yum! I definitely didn’t mind a second serving.
Day 02 = Batad Day!
Day 2 was scheduled for Batad. But before heading there, we went to the local marketplace in Banaue to buy some food for dinner later that night. We went to the usual spots, like Serious’s, the man in this one particular store that never smiles (out of the years my family and I would go to Banaue, we never saw him smile even once), but it was my first time to go this cornered palengke down the road. Their marketplace is really small and you will really see the same things. If I’m not mistaken, they have only one source for particular products. Like, they have one store where you can buy different sorts of rice, only one grocery, only one bakery, etc.
I saw these kids playing on a gadget and I just HAD to take a picture of them. At one point, the kid in the green shirt noticed me and started waving at the camera. Cute!
After buying the ingredients and using the washroom, we finally left for Batad. It was about an hour away from the marketplace. Our tour guide, David, led us on our trek and even took me and my brother further down the rice terraces for better pictures. I didn’t want to go further anymore, but my brother insisted. It was his passion in photography that made him want to finish the trek even though it was so tiring. Oo nga naman, we might as well finish the tour since we were already there, right? And it was worth it!
We stopped by this view deck and I thought it was already The Batad and I was like, “Huh? This is it?” because it looked so bare and dull. But LOL at me because that was actually just the start of the trek. We were just allowed to rest a bit and fix ourselves before resuming.
Here’s an honest opinion, though. I personally didn’t think too much of the Batad Rice Terraces. If any, go there for the trek and the adventure itself, not just for the view. I’m not sure if it was because I’ve already seen too many rice terraces or Banaue has already grown too many houses in its rice terraces, but I didn’t find Batad that spectacular if you know what I mean. But I believe our opinions still differ. One thing for sure, though, I enjoyed our trek because we passed through forest-like paths and there were just lots of trees and plants surrounding us.
Seems like nothing, but these rocks were actually hard to pass through to. I wanted to stop then and there, but we had no choice.
This is sad, but that silver spot on the mountain isn’t supposed to be there. That’s a sign of man’s greed right there.
I walked in front of my brother so I got to the last stop earlier. I waited there while listening to the other Filipino tourists chat and look at the items from the souvenir shop. I think they were waiting for their van to pick them up.
Every man in Banaue could be “Carrot Man”, trust me.
Anyway, I was really hesitant at first, but I just decided to buy myself a souvenir since I was already there and I wanted a reminder of my hard work. It was no joke going down there all the way, guys. I got a necklace with an Ifugao house pendant (Php60) and a string of seeds necklace (Php40) for my mom.
Going down was scary because it was slippery, but going back up was freaking tiring because of the stairs (and because I didn’t let anyone put me down for cardio, so that’s my punishment right there in the form of rice terraces).
When we finally got up to the mini restaurant where mom and Manong stayed behind, they were having coffee while I just wanted a bottle of water.
Sadly, we already ran out of drinking water by then. But it’s a good thing we had an entire jug in the car. Hehe. We ordered a plate of pizza, walked by to our car, and then drove back to Banaue.
Going Back To Our “Camp”
My gear for that day. Having a stick with you really helps. If you don’t have any, you can rent it for Php10 before going down.
Some other trekkers that were obviously prepared with their weatherproof bags.
My gay-magnet brother. LOL. Blame it on the facial hair.
It was scary when we got to this part because the tour guides were shouting some things to each other and we couldn’t understand any of them because of the language barrier. Apparently, they were going to light up a dynamite to make a hole on the rocks, so they were guarding the routes and making sure that no trekker passes by suddenly. It was the first time that I heard a dynamite explosion and it was so scary and loud. I was SHOOKT!
We stopped by Banaue Viewpoint to take some pictures of more rice terraces. Mom also got some scarves for herself. We took a picture with the Ifugaos, one of which I uploaded on my Instagram account.
Ifugaos basking by the sun, patiently asking alms from tourists. I took a similar photo last year (a month earlier) & I still haven’t done the blog post on this trip (maybe I never will) because #sepanx. Taking a picture with or of them is free. But also feel free to give generous donations when you can. They don’t have a source of income anymore and most of them have been left behind by their families already; some of them chose to stay because they don’t want to leave Banaue anymore. It’s been a year since we last talked to them. I remember how the other tourists would look at us somewhat weirdly because we were talking to real native Ifugaos (please don’t call them Igorots. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be referred to as an Indio in lieu of Filipino). Most Ifugaos are fluent in English and in their native languages (if I’m not mistaken, it varies across towns). So it’s actually better that you talk to them in English. And don’t be afraid if they approach you; they’re not gonna harm you. They’re too old to even slap you on the arm. If you appreciate Banaue’s rice terraces, thank them. Because they made those for their livelihood.. and eventually, for your amusement.
Some failed selfies later, we went back to our Ifugao hut and prepared to cook dinner. I took the opportunity to take pictures of the plants and whatnot in the area.
Dinner that night were Ifugao rice, fried tilapia, and crab and corn soup. That night, I continued to edit the photos for a work blog post while Manong and mom had a massage for the 2nd time. My younger brother went out for about an hour to take pictures of the stars. He even got lucky as to catch a shooting star on his screen!
We all agreed to eat pancit canton that night just because we were craving it. As promised, after their massage, we all went down and Manong cooked pancit canton for us while we just huddled there. Of course, we also had bread along with the pancit canton because #Pinoys.