Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Banaue-Sagada Trip: Day 2


After a power breakfast of dried fish pandesal and green tea cereal, we hit the road for the 2-hour drive to Batad.

We stop at the Banaue town market to buy some cup noodles for tomorrow morning. (Instant noodles for breakfast is such luxury!)

Then my boo-boo. I fall on my knee getting off the jeep.


L1070555They pour alcohol on my wound. I cry like a baby.


L1070573Then we see these men putting the poor dog in a sack to transport him to his final destination. Human stomachs. Ugh.


L1070581This makes Frances so mad she cries


IMG_8972But tears turn into smiles when we stop at Guihop viewpoint for a photo op


guihop rice terracesGuihop Rice Terraces


IMG_8977The road to Batad is rough and narrow. We are driving so close to the edge I get some kind of sick pleasure peeking out the window.


L1070609It’s a two-way road, too. Aren’t we glad we hired a private jeep.


IMG_8983Our jeepney driver Jun drives scary fast but with great confidence, I must say.
That’s our tour guide Nora on the right.


hanging house souvenir shopWe make another stop at the Hanging House for these two souvenir whores


IMG_9013Local crafts


L1080035Pray that it’s not too windy…


IMG_9016…when nature calls.


IMG_8992I am loving this hanging bench


IMG_9009Taking a photo of Nikko taking a photo of the view below


IMG_9005Random tourists who later hitch a ride with us


IMG_9021The souvenir whores, Jamie and Frances


L1080021Jenny taking a break from her yaya chores


IMG_8995And me. (Sorry, I’m a little too boring)


batad rice terracesWe start our trek down to Batad Rice Terraces


tree fernHave you seen a tree fern before?


L1070678The trail starts out pretty easy


IMG_9068Then it becomes a bit pebbly


IMG_9049And narrow


IMG_9069And rocky


IMG_9071And tricky


IMG_9076But nothing can stop us from playing celebrity


IMG_9078That is why all other groups overtake us every time, everywhere


IMG_9060I’m so hot and sweaty


L1070767And so hungry! Our healthy snack.


IMG_9087Nganga, Nora’s healthier snack


batad rice terracesAnd then we continue on


batad rice terracesTaking a photo of Nikko taking a photo of me


Some interesting things we see on the way:

L1070744Workers’ shed


L1070791Knotted grass which signals you to keep off


batad rice terracesGlimpses of the Batad Rice Terraces


IMG_9121Little Ifugao porters


rice godRice God carvings on an Ifugao hut


IMG_9124Yey! We’re almost there!


IMG_9125Look what greets us before we reach the tourist registration center.
At least we know dogs here are on a healthy diet.


IMG_9132And finally, after almost 2 hours of walking, we are rewarded with the most
awe-mazing view


batad rice terracesBatad Rice Terraces. The Staircase of the Gods.


IMG_9141Local children are friendly and smiling


IMG_9142Lunch today is at Rita’s Mount View Inn and Restaurant


IMG_9146The restaurant’s wall is filled with pictures and cards (and even IDs!) of people who have traveled here


L1070924Of course, we leave our mark, too


batad pizzaBatad Pizza – vegetables, egg, cheese, tomatoes and tuna


IMG_9153 IMG_9156
                          Rita’s fried rice                                                       Garlic and cheese pizza


IMG_9158 IMG_9160
                    Peanut butter pancake                                                       Cheese omelet


The food is nothing to write home about. We attack our own supply of Cheetos, Doritos, Sun Chips and M&M’s.


L1070927The toilet is not in the very best condition


batad rice terracesBut really, with a view like this, who cares?


IMG_9183The main highlight at Rita’s is this authentic Ifugao hut. The owner, Romeo (Rita’s son),
lives here with his family.


IMG_9182When you enter the hut, look to your left and you’ll see the bed


IMG_9181Look to your right and you’ll see the kitchen and pots


IMG_9178How they cook


IMG_9179Look up and you’ll see the storage for rice harvests, chicken feathers from their rituals,
and lizard carvings (they are signs of good luck)


IMG_9190Other miscellaneous items hang from the roof


IMG_9187Romeo owns this skinny pig who runs as fast as a horse when people come close.
Don’t worry, piggy, I already had lunch.


L1070943This is Romeo making himself some nganga


ngangaScooping it out


IMG_9192He insists we do a wacky shot (Told ya I’m really bad with this)


Because we are fat, unfit and lazy peoples, we decide not to continue the trek down to the villages and the falls.

The hike back up from here is already dreadful enough.


IMG_9194We walk up the same way we come down,
but why is it so much harder this time?


IMG_9196Widening the road


IMG_9202That white speck is our driver Jeff. See, even he is struggling.
And he’s waaaayyy behind me, too. Ha!!!


IMG_9204Fresh mountain water


L1070968For the last leg of the hike, Nikko and I opt to take the stairs.
It is the shortest route, but also the hardest route.


L1070963Look how big the steps. They kill my legs. And my knee.


We started the hike back up at 2:15pm.


L1070972  L1070978
            Nikko reaches the top at 3:20pm                                                I at 3:21pm


IMG_1518  IMG_1469
                        Jamie at 3:32pm                                                       And Frances at 3:45pm


IMG_1524 L1070992
We share our coconut blessings with chickens and puppies


L1080003Life is so much simpler without iPads, Wiis and PSPs


L1080015Roadside barbershop


las vegas lodge and restaurantDinner tonight is at Las Vegas Lodge & Restaurant. Of course, we go to where the flavor is.


L1080050Nora arranges a pinikpikan dinner for us. She says it’s a must.


L1080045Cool ceiling. With a live lizard this time!


pinikpikanPinikpikan – prepared by beating a live chicken with a stick prior to cooking.
The beating bruises the chicken's flesh, bringing blood to its surface,
which is said to improve the flavour after cooking
. (Source: Wikipedia)
This is indeed richer and a lot more flavorful than regular native chicken soup.


IMG_1559  IMG_1560
                             Las Vegas soup                                                                         Sarciado


IMG_1576  IMG_1570
                                        Higado                                                                     Fried sweet potato


IMG_1569  IMG_1579
                                   Native rice                                                                       Native coffee


IMG_1585Okay, we will DEFINITELY be outta here by 9:30pm


IMG_1586We survive the day, time to celebrate!


Related Posts:

Banaue-Sagada Trip: Getting There
Banaue-Sagada Trip: Fairview Inn
Banaue-Sagada Trip: Day 1
Banaue-Sagada Trip: Day 3

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