We had no detailed plans for this trip, except to see the terraces and Tappiyah Falls. We told Dandy, our awesome guide (contact him at: 0910.346.5310), of our bare plan and he told us that if we weren't in a hurry, we could hike to Cambulo. Thank you Dandy! I have not heard of Cambulo, a neighboring community reachable by 2-3 hours of trek.
That was the masterplan.
Finally, it was time to walk along the terraces.
We went on the month of August, and the village was in the middle of the harvest season. That explains why some fields are empty while others still have lush green stalks. The rice terraces is at its greenest during the months of April-May and October-November. For more info on the planting/harvest seasons, please visit Meanne's post.
Notice how some of the huts' roofs are made from GI sheets? The roof of a traditional Ifugao house is made from cogon grass, but this needs to be changed after several years of wear and tear. The practicality of using GI sheets win over the effort of maintaining a cogon grass roof, so here comes the dilemma: when should we choose preservation of millennia-worth of culture over the convenience of modern technology?
We passed by a hut with animal skeletons hanging on the walls. In the olden times, this signifies that the family is wealthy. However, nowadays, these people who stuck with the culture are no longer the richest. The family who has kids who finished college and now working in the city are the nouveau riche.
It's a sad tale of how the government does not provide enough, enough for the people to be inspired to keep and preserve the heritage.
Ok. Back to the trail. After more than an hour of balancing on the terraces, we finally heard the strong gush of water nearby.
We passed by a fork where the water from the falls flows around a curve. From afar, it looked like an elephant with its tusks and trunk.
A few more steps away, we finally saw Tappiyah Falls in its majestic glory. The current was strong that day because Typhoon Mina was raging in the highlands.
I think this was the time when my Canon G10 started showing signs of giving up on me. See the drops of water on the lens? :) Well, I kinda forgot that G10 is not water proof when I saw the falls.
The guys went nearer but I stayed behind, too afraid to lose my balance. I couldn't swim either, it was too cold. There were no other people around except for the three of us, so I just sat on a huge rock, dipped my legs into the water, stared at the falls and let the sputter of water drench me. That explains the emo photo above!
On our way to back to Mang Ramon's, we saw a carving of Bulul, an Ifugao rice god. I was fascinated by the simple way they have fashioned their god. The figure of an all-knowing man with both arms resting on his knees has calming effects on me. I keep one on my desk at work.
We made it back to Mang Ramon's homestay in time for lunch.
Photos by Aaron Manila, except of course, the ones he's in. :)
Call Ohayami Transit for your bus reservations. Manila-Banaue tickets cost P450 as of August 2011. Contact Number: (632) 516.05.01
When in Batad or in neighboring rice terraces, contact Dandy Umhao, our knowledgeable and accommodating guide. Contact Number: 0910.346.5310
This is part of the Day 2 of a long weekend trip to Banaue:
Day 1: The Road to Batad
Day 3: Fireflies at Cambulo