Batad Rice Terraces, Ifugao Province
I was able to witness the beauty of rice terraces in the past when I visited Sagada and Buscalan but this was my first time to walk by the rice fields and have seen this amazing farming architecture closer. It was a great experience as I’ve finally seen up close this magnificent agricultural wonder that has been captivating visitors for centuries.
The rice terraces in Batad, located in the Cordillera mountain range, are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts tourists from around the world with their stunning beauty and unique design. In fact, on our way back to our jump off point, we came across many tourists (I guess, they are from Spain) who were on their way to Batad. I felt proud because foreigners were also interested and appreciated the beauty of our rice terraces that seem to be large green amphitheaters that cascade down the mountainside.
Visiting the Batad Rice Terraces allows one to immerse with the rich culture and history of the Ifugao people. The terraces are surrounded by lush greenery, offering a serene and tranquil environment.
Trekking to Batad Rice Terraces
Exploring the Batad Rice Terraces involved trekking through the rugged terrain, navigating stone paths and occasionally crossing small bridges. The effort required to reach these terraces was well worth it, as the panoramic view that unfolded before my eyes was truly awe-inspiring!
I joined the Batad x Maligcong event organized by Wander Twins together with my long time friend, Irene.
It was her first time to see the rice terraces personally so she was excited. At least that was what I thought. Hahaha! She mentioned that she only saw the rice terraces in text books so this was her chance to finally see the breathtaking landscape in the north.
Since she was not accustomed to trek for hours, she did not continue when we made a stopover at the store.
Irene rested her tired legs and sat by the bench outside of the store while she exchanged stories with the locals, and said “hi” to all passing tourist with this beautiful view.
As a good friend of her’s, I continued my journey with our group and left her in the store. Hahaha! But seriously, I felt sorry for her as she wasn’t able to continue.
I left her because I knew she was safe with the locals and it would be better not to continue than to push herself and then feel sore after. LOL!
From the store where I left Irene, the trek was easier as the ground was mostly flat. At the end of the trek, we needed to climb a few more stone paths to reach the peak. Lo and behold, below was the view.
Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a cultural explorer, or simply seeking breathtaking landscapes, a visit to the Batad Rice Terraces of Ifugao Province is an unforgettable experience that will leave with lasting memories of the Philippines’ natural and cultural beauty.
Every Wander Twin’s event has social nights. This is the time when joiners get to know each other.
During this trip’s socials night, we had fun with some of the games prepared by Inch (Wander Twin’s coordinator).
It was a good night especially when we played the King’s Cup. Everyone joined the game even some of the ladies who do not drink gin (yes, mix of gin-grape and gin-orange). One guest of the homestay who was not part of our group, Milo, also joined the game and socialized with us.
After the game, the group called it a night. Nis, Milcah, Christian and I stayed for a while and continued drinking. I enjoyed the company. We shared our happy and painful stories while drinking beer and enduring the cool breeze of the mountain.
Since the call time was at 4 AM, the group decided to sleep at around 1 AM to get some rest and be recharged for the next trek in the morning.
Mt. Maligcong Rice Terraces, Mountain Province
The trek to Mt. Maligcong was an amazing adventure!
Located in Bontoc, Mountain Province, Mt. Maligcong is also known for its beautiful landscapes, terraced rice fields, and rich cultural heritage. The mountain stands at an elevation of around 1,912 meters (thank you Google!) and offers a relatively moderate trekking experience.
I wasn’t planning to join the trek. I wanted to stay at the homestay and check on Irene as she was experiencing leg cramps. I wanted to stay to be her server (alalay). When I learned that Carlo and his brother were not going, I changed my mind. Hahaha!
I joined the group to trek going to Mt. Maligcong
Our trek to Mt. Maligcong began in the village where we stayed overnight. The trail took us through the lush green landscapes, and the wonderful view of the rice terraces, forests, and streams along the way. As we ascend, we were rewarded with magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
When we reached the summit, we were greeted with a stunning view of the vast rice terraces, which are among the most beautiful in the Philippines. The terraces were carved by the indigenous people of the Cordillera Mountains, and their intricate design is both impressive and captivating!
Overall, trekking Mt. Maligcong was an unforgettable experience that allowed me to savor the beauty of nature and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the region. The view was worth the pain and thousands of sweat.
I was happy to meet new friends who shared wonderful stories and experiences too. I hope to meet and travel again with them in the near future.
When is the best time to visit Batad and Maligcong?
I researched about the best time to visit the rice terraces. Some people said it should be around summer during the dry season as it is easier for hiking. Some people said it should be May or June during the growing season as the view is more breathtaking.
I went there in July during the harvest season which to me is the best time.
The fields were not lush green like during the growing season but the people in the village were happy because finally, they could now reap the fruits of their labor.
The best season to go is up to you, but if you go to Batad and Maligcong, do not forget to take the time to enjoy the journey with your friends.
Note: It is recommended to have a basic level of fitness and endurance. It is also advisable to bring proper hiking gear, sturdy footwear, breathable clothing, sun protection and plenty of water to stay hydrated.