We arrived at 7am in Banaue from Manila via the Ohayami Transit. After arranging a jeepney that will take us to Batad, we proceeded to People’s Lodge & Restaurant in Banaue town proper for our breakfast. I ordered a set meal of tapa and tea to kick-start my morning. The best part of the meal is the spectacular view of Banaue from the restaurant’s terrace.
We freshen up after breakfast, bought some necessities like drinking water, because they are gold when in the outskirts of town. By 8:30am we are already riding our rented jeep. Our driver Michael, who was referred to us by Rafael, the man I first talked to the minute I stepped out of the bus, gave us a rate of Php 1500. With the going rate of Php2500 for a jeepney ride, I think that’s a fairly good deal. Michael was also enthusiastic when I asked about riding on top of his vehicle. We did so once we were out of town. This is my first Banaue topload experience.
Sure it was a little dangerous but the awesome view makes up for any fear or doubt that I initially had. We topload three times, first from Banaue to Batad saddle, second, going back to Banaue, and the third is on our way to Sagada, while riding the Banaue-Bontoc jeepney. I will be posting a separate blog entry about toploading here.
It is also usual to pass by other jeepneys full of people. Some tourists, especially solo travelers opt to rent the cheaper motorcycle while others trek all the way to Batad. The journey took about 90 minutes, including stops. In one of those stops, we pass by this view of what locals refer to as “The Hanging House”.
We reached the Batad Saddle around 10am. There, we arrange to hire a guide going to the village & the Tappiya Falls which we plan to do in the afternoon. In the saddle we rented walking sticks because the trek to the village will test our endurance. For someone who doesn’t exercise, this involves a lot of effort as I always find myself catching my breath. This is one of the rest area for the long trek.
The post of our Batad trek can be found here. You know that you are in the Batad Village when you see the tourist inns & pension houses, and of course, a view of the Batad ampitheater.