After the bus ride from Manila to Banaue, the jeepney we were riding on was heading into the town center of Banaue. We first stop at a lodge with a restaurant. Breakfast was definitely on my mind and stomach, but I had to make sure that we get a jeepney and hopefully we would get others to join us to lessen the cost.
I approached the guy who was helping us arrange the jeepney to Saddle Point in Batad. He was already talking to another tourist.
He told us that the price for the jeepney rental from Banaue Town Center to Batad Saddle Point was 2,800 Pesos/jeep and we had to split it among the passengers. Lucky for us that the other group was composed of a family of 7 persons. Since we are 3 persons, the payment for the jeepney would be 280 Pesos/person.
The guy continued explaining that it was now different from my previous visit to Batad. The roads are cemented and extended nearer the Batad which cut the hiking time from 1 hour to around 20 minutes.
Hearing the walk was just only around 20 minutes, the other group’s leader quickly decided that they would no longer have breakfast. Since we were outnumbered (3 is to 7) we could not say no. So in the name of “more affordable jeepney ride” we decided to let go of the restaurant menu, think non-food happy thoughts, shut up the hunger, endure on walking out of the restaurant and proceed with will power alone. #GoodbyeBreakfast
The family went inside the jeepney first and we got the best seat in the
house jeep, the topload.
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6:58 AM The jeepney started to move and I will let the pictures talk by itself.
7:43 AM We have reached Saddle Point. A quick stop and we were moving forward and downward.
7:55 AM (57 minutes jeepney ride) We have now reached the end of the road. Got down from the roof of the jeep and collected our bags.
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The jeepney driver asked us if we needed to be fetched the next day just like the other group. We told him that we were not sure of our itinerary yet as we might decide to head to Hungduan the next day, but we could also decide to stay at Batad for another night.
A tour guide then approached us asking if we could avail of her services to guide us to our accommodation in Batad. I already knew where we were going so we do not need her services but since we were there to help the local economy and to provide livelihood to the community, we agreed to let her guide us to tour accommodation for 300 Pesos.
The other group got a different guide.
8:01 AM We thanked the jeepney driver and started walking. I will let the pictures start talking by itself again.
8:22 AM We arrived at the Batad Tourist Information Center where we could already view the Batad Rice Terraces. But first things first, we had to pay the 50 Pesos/person Heritage Fee. Asked a few questions about the place and continued our walk to where we wanted to stay.
8:27 AM (26 minutes hike) We were now at Simon’s Viewpoint Inn. Confirmed our reservation. Got inside the rooms, settled our things and rested on their dining area and ordered breakfast. #Finally.
I’m happy for the locals because the roads have really improved compared from my visit there last 2011 but I’m also worried because they might have the same problem as Sagada is having now.
Since Batad is now very accessible, it is now easier for tourist to visit the place. Over tourism would be a future problem.
With a lot of tourist more trash will be produced in the place. Add to that the irresponsible tourists who just throw their trash everywhere because they find it convenient. It’s hard to go around Batad since you have to go up and down the rice terraces and trail so it would be easier for tourists to just throw their trash anywhere than carry them and just reason out that they did it because they are tired.
With more tourist more water will be used that might lead to lack of supply of water. That would also lead to more contamination of water.
Then it would lead to locals realizing that they would earn more with accommodation than planting in the rice terraces, which would make them convert their rice terraces to accommodation. Even though they know the fact that people go there for the rice terraces. I’ve seen this happen in other tourists areas.
There are many other problems with over tourism but all I can do is just watch on what will happen to Batad. I just hope the local government would do something to maintain the beauty of Batad.
Yes, I am paranoid when it comes to tourism.
On a lighter note, I am very happy for the locals since it is now easier for them to get out and go back to Batad. I have seen their struggle before and they deserve to have things easier.
They can now respond faster to emergencies.
No more bumpy ride. And it is now faster to clear landslides.
- Drinks, Chips, Soap, Biscuits, etc. are more expensive in Batad so I would advice that you buy your essentials in Banaue where the stores sell them for a standard price. Prices in Batad are more expensive due to the fact that they would need to hire a porter just to bring the goods from the road to the town.
- Bring enough cash when you are traveling to Banaue or Batad. There are no ATM in Banaue nor is there in Batad. The closest ATM is in Lagawe, Ifugao. Lagawe is an hour away from the Town Center of Banaue via Jeep.
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- Upon arrival in Banaue Town Center you need to pay a 25 Pesos/person Environmental Fee at the Municipal Tourism Center.
- Upon arrival in Batad you need to pay a 50 Pesos/person Heritage Fee at the Batad Tourist Information Center.
- There is no cellular network in Batad both for Globe and Smart. Locals who have a celphone needs to look for a location where there is a weak signal and leave their phones there.
- Get ready physically when visiting Batad. It’s a physically demanding place to go around that even I who loves to walk had a hard time going around the place.
You can ride a public jeepney from Banaue to Batad. The rate is 150 Pesos/person (one-way).
In Banaue, the jeepney is located at the marketplace.
In Batad, the jeepney is located at the end of the road. I think they call the place Hadchag, I’m not sure though. Most of the time they still call it Saddle Point.
Schedule of Departure both for Banaue and Batad are 8:30 AM and 3:00 PM. Don’t expect the jeepneys to leave on time though, they have to wait for the passengers.
In Banaue you can hire a jeepney to take you to Batad Saddle (end of the road in Batad). The standard rate is 2,800 Pesos/jeepney.
I tried inquiring if the rate is roundtrip or not and I tried to ask around. According to the person I asked, the rate for a daytrip in Batad is 2,800 Pesos/jeepney which is roundtrip for a day.
If you want the jeepney to wait for another night for you you would need to pay an additional 1,400 Pesos.
You can hire from the Municipal Tourism Center and the accommodations but it would be best to hire directly from the jeepney drivers in the Public Market.
You can hire a tricycle to Batad Saddle Point. The rate is 1,000 Pesos/tricycle. I’m assuming that this is a one-way trip because if this is a roundtrip the tricycle will definitely not earning money for his family. Better to ask directly with the tricycle drivers.
Disclaimer: Please note that the rates that I have posted here are the standard rates when I visited Banaue & Batad last June 2015. The details may change without prior notice. Better if you would carry extra money with you to offset the changes.
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