My Favorite Spot in the Philippines

Amphitheater-like rice terraces in Batad. The view outside my PhP 100 room a night.

This is one place I would love to visit again and again,definitely my favorite in the Philippines.. Batad. Cool weather, inexpensive yet delicious food, US$3 basic room, fireflies at night, zero pollution, magnificent view…what else can I ask for? Aside from relaxing and just enjoying the cool mountain air, one can hike along the rice terraces or to nearby Tappiya waterfalls without a guide.

The Tappiya Waterfalls. The cool, clear and clean water will refresh you after a long hike.

Both times I went to Batad, I stayed at the Hillside Inn. Myrza Addug, the owner, is no doubt the best. She was the town captain and I could tell she was a worthy leader. Even though she has given up her post, it’s still very much obvious how the residents trust and respect her.

The rooms are very basic, just a double bed and nothing more. An electric fan is not necessary since the weather is cool any time of the day. Temperature may drop during the night so if you plan to visit Batad, bring at least a long-sleeved shirt, pullovers or thick socks to keep you warm. The guest house provides blankets but during the colder months which is from November to January, it’s not enough. Bathroom is shared. Unfortunately, there’s no hot shower. However, you may ask for a pail of hot water for less than P50 or US$1.

Hillside Inn Batad owner, Myrza Addug and me.

At night, although the amphitheater-like rice terraces cannot be seen, you’ll be treated with another attraction.. fireflies! Some trees would be full of twinkling fireflies that it looks like a Christmas tree. It is the only place where I see fireflies just come and go in the room, like a small light bulb moving around.

Getting to Batad is a bit tricky though. There is no direct transportation. It may be a 2 hour hike from Batad junction or a 1 hour hike from Batad Saddle, depends on which jeep you have caught in Banaue, but it’s all worth it.

Hillside Inn, Batad. Breakfast with this view? Priceless =)

To get to Batad from the city of Manila, take the 10pm overnight bus going to Banaue, Ifugao from Autobus station (+6327358096). It is about 10 hours to get there including toilet stops. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.. when I was there last 2008, there’s no atm in either Banaue or Batad. Not sure of money changers though. Some travelers prefer to head straight to Batad upon reaching Banaue and some prefer to stay in Banaue and go to Batad for a day trip. I would always choose the former. When you arrive Banaue around 7am, don’t believe local men waiting around the Autobus depot that there’s no jeep going to either Batad Junction or Batad saddle then offer chartered jeep for a high fee. In the Banaue town market, near the tourist information center, there are jeeps leaving for Batad Saddle around 9am for P100/ US$2 and jeeps leaving for Batad Junction between 10am – 3pm for P50/ US$1. If you choose to get a tricycle (Philippine version of a tuktuk) all the way to Batad Junction, it may cost you P150/US$3 for 2 people. Tricycles may initially ask for double that amount but can be negotiated. You may also choose to leave some of your unnecessary luggage in any Banaue guest house for P25/ US$.50 per day but if you stayed there overnight, these guest houses won’t charge you a cent.

There’s only 1 trail going to Batad so you won’t get lost. It’s not a steep inclined pathway and a leisurely pace would get you there in 2 hours. Keep an eye for natural spring water marked by a fresh leaf where the water drops. It means it’s safe to drink.

Hillside Inn got the best view in Batad

And this spectacular view and cute cozy guest house awaits the adventurous one..

*An update on getting to Banaue! Read on! =)

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5 thoughts on “My Favorite Spot in the Philippines

  1. Mo Pestano says:

    I’m planning a trip to Batad and thank God I came across your site. I’ve been spending late nights for the past few days now to do a research about the place and so far yours is the most informative especially about transportation to Batad.

    If you went there alone, I’ll be following your steps. Thanks heaps. – Mo

  2. hi marniejan,

    do you think an overnight in Batad is “sulit” already or should a 2night stay be better if i’m not going to tappiya falls?
    another thing, is tappiya falls worth the trek of 1 hour or would immersing in the Batad town be better than the time spent in Tappiya?
    and lastly, now that you’ve been there , how would you suggest that i spend a 3days 2 nights stay between Batad and Banaue town.

    hope you could help out coz i’m about to go next week.

    thanks!

    • Hi Alain! Thanks for checking my blog =) 3D/ 2N is enough for Banaue and Batad if you’re on a tight sked. Usually the bus from Manila would arrive early morning in Banaue so you may go straight to Batad. A few hours rest once you reach Batad then you’re good to go for the hike to Tappiya. The waterfalls is a good place for a dip too =) Batad town is very small.. after the trek to Tappiya, you could spend the rest of the afternoon immersing yourself with the uniqueness of the place. Batad for me is one of the best place to relax so I enjoy spending more days and doing nothing haha =) So after spending a night in Batad, you can try to catch the morning jeep from the Saddle back to Banaue. Nanay Mirza of Hillside Inn knows the sked. If I remember it right, the jeep leaves around 8am. Roaming around Banaue Rice Terraces is possible by foot. You have 1 whole day to do that or you may trek the nearby rice terraces too =) Enjoy your trip to Banaue and Batad!

  3. Rick Brown says:

    Hello Marniejan,
    I want to stay at the Hillside Inn Batad and having trouble contacting the owner Myrza Addug. Do you have a email address for her so that i can contact her, i have her mobile number but i live in the UK and having trouble contacting her. I want to stay there around March 11/12th 2013.
    Thanks

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