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I had just finished my dinner at the lodging in the middle of Hapao Rice Terraces when I saw 4 flashlights coming down from the entrance of the lodge. One was Ate Veron, the lady I met at the road in Hapao who told me directions on how to reach my lodging and 3 others who I have never met. Turns out they were travellers too and they were also from Mindanao. 🙂
We had the usual get-to-know-you and how-did-you-get-here type of conversation. They told me that they were not planning to visit Hungduan but due to a series of unfortunate events they were fortunate to have arrived in Hapao Rice Terraces.
They cooked, ate their dinner and we talked about going to Bogyah Hot Spring early in the morning as the locals told us that it is best to go there around 6 to 7 AM. We planned to start walking around 5:30 AM as the walk to the hot spring would take around 30 minutes from the lodging.
Early the next day, we asked one of the lodging staff, Kuya Dondon, to guide us to the hot springs. A guide is highly encouraged bordering to required as you may get lost going through the rice terraces. It’s like a maze with rice fields representing the walls and the pilapil as your only choice of path.
The sun was not up on the sky but it has given us light to walk through the terraces without flashlights. The cool morning breeze made it conducive for a morning walk.
Because of conversations and picture-taking it took us an hour just to get to Bogyah Hot Springs. It did not matter if we were walking slow as it was fun to walk with other people and who could say no to taking pictures of the majestic Hapao Rice Terraces?
It worried me if irresponsible travellers walk on the same path as I was walking and just throw garbage everywhere, it would not be long before this location would be stripped off its beauty. I wonder where did they get that attitude of timidity. Were their parents not responsible enough to teach them to respect others property. Were their teachers absent when it was time to teach them the effects of their attitude towards the environment. I wonder how would they react if a visitor came into their room and started throwing garbage on their bed.
I fear contamination in the rice terraces.
When we got to Bogyah Hot Springs, there were locals relaxing in the hot spring. I did not mind, this was their place and I was happy that while dipping on the hot pool I get to know some bits and pieces of their life.
They told us the part of the small pool where there is cold water coming from Hapao River and the side of the pool that is the hottest. The taught us a technique that when you move the water the temperature significantly drops making it easier to adjust.
After the long walk on the rice terraces it certainly felt good to dip in the healthy sulfuric hot springs.
We rested a bit and then swam on Hapao River it as if trying to negate the heat collected from the hot springs because it was seriously cold.
Unfortunately, the travellers I was with had to catch the last trip of the jeepney to Banaue. So at 8:30AM we had to go back to our lodging.
As we were going back to our lodging, the awesome sceneries were the same as we passed by early in the morning but now there was life as we saw different people of Hapao doing their daily chores like tending to their rice fields and removing weeds.
I personally know how hard it is to work as a farmer. Somehow, I can feel that work in Hungduan Rice Terraces is much relaxing than working in the rice fields of Palawan because of the cool weather and awesome sceneries. I wish I could try working here.
We got back around 9AM. We were actually walking faster than the time we went there. Must be because we were now used to walking on the rice terraces.
We ate breakfast, freshened up and it was time again to say goodbye to new friends I met on the road.
To cousins Taz, Jacky Lou and their neice Aubrey, I hope to bump with you on the road again.
Bogyah Hot Spring Details
If you’re coming from Banaue, Ifugao you can ride the jeepneys to Hapao or the Poblacion of Hungduan. Just tell the driver to drop you at the Balenga Residence in Hapao. The Balenga Residence has a sari-sari store so you could buy supplies there. For the jeepney schedule and fare you can check it here.
If you’re coming from the Poblacion of Hungduan, you can ride a tricycle going to Hapao. Tell the driver to stop at the Balenga Residence. If you’re lucky the tricycle has other passengers then the fare would 30 Pesos/person. If not you’ll have to pay the minimum number of passengers which is 3 passengers (90 Pesos). Travel Time is approximately 45 minutes.
At the Balenga Residence you can ask someone to guide you there. Usual guide fee is 300 Pesos per guide for the 40 minute walk from the road at Hapao to Bogyah Hot Spring and back. You’ll be passing by the lodgings in the middle of Hapao Rice Terraces to get to the hot spring.
Same way as you did to get there.
When you get to the road at Hapao it’s either you ride a tricycle going back to Poblacion of Hungduan or ride jeepneys going to Banaue, Ifugao.
For the schedule of jeepneys to Banaue, Ifugao you can check it here.
You may find the availability of tricycles in Hungduan to be low, so when you go there talk to the driver to fetch you again at a designated time.
But why leave, when you can stay near the hot spring and wake up to the scenery of Hapao Rice terraces in the lodging there.
- Bogyah Hot Spring is located in the middle of Barangays Hapao and Baang.
- It is best to visit the Bogyah Hot Spring around 6 to 7 AM as the cool morning breeze is a perfect combination for the hot spring.
- You can buy supplies like snacks or drinks at the Balenga Residence sari-sari store at the road on Hapao. Please keep your trash until you can throw it in proper disposal bins.
- Only Globe has a signal in Hungduan. There no Smart and Sun Cellular signals there.
Let’s make an effort to preserve Hungduan, Ifugao as enchanting as I have experienced it.
- Keep your trash and throw it on proper disposal bins.
- Respect the locals.
- Keep the noise low as not to disturb locals and other travellers.
- Be mindful of others.
- Do not vandalize.
- And most of all, be contented with the simple life they have. What happens in the city should stay in the city.
- To trip organizers, whether personal or professional, you are responsible to educate the people you are with about responsible travelling and encourage them to practice it before going to any destination.
Let us not change Hungduan, let it change us.
This post is part of my 12 for 2012 Travel Project that aims to create travel guides to help travellers go around the Philippines.
Follow my Hungduan, Ifugao series
- 10 Things to do in Hungduan, Ifugao (overview)
- Hungduan, Ifugao Budget and Itinerary (helpful)
- How much did I spend on my trip to Hungduan, Ifugao
- How to get to Hungduan, Ifugao (helpful)
- Where to stay in Hungduan, Ifugao (helpful)
- Hungduan Rice Terraces
- Bogyah Hot Spings
- Hapao Rice Terraces
- Balentimol Falls
- Native House in Sitio Awa