Chasing Ironies

Batad

Posted on: September 26, 2008

I was browing one of my thesismate/classmate/college kada‘s Friendster this morning, when I saw this picture:

jade, sarah, mama rie, bibhet, moi

jade, sarah, mama rie, bibhet, moi

It’s Batad!

Can’t believe how much I missed the place. Sarah was the only who got photos, because she was the only one who had a camera phone that took clear images back then (mine was too blurry). We were freezing, but we were all happy.

I’ts so nostalgic. I remember a lot of things, like the long trail we took just to get to the hidden valley. The one hour tricycle ride, then the three hours of nonstop walking. I remember how darkness fell, and how we panicked because our flashlights were dying one by one.

It was pretty late when we reached the lodge. We couldn’t even see the terraces anymore. We were all exhausted from the long journey, so we gobbled down some dinner and fell asleep almost immediately. We woke up early the next day, excited to see the magnificent terraces.

We decided to begin another hike. This time, we were going to the famous hidden Tappiya falls. It was another loong walk on a sunny, but chilly day. This time, we weren’t climbing mountains, we were climbing green terraces. Tiring, but we didn’t mind. Just seeing the terraces’ beauty made it all worth it. (I think I still have the raw footages at home). Plus we were having so much fun (and to think we’ve got a thesis to finish).

sarah and jon

jon and sarah. daya, sila lang may picture.

So we climbed to the top of the Batad terraces. That took an hour. Then, we have to climb down to the hidden valley, through steep, slippery steps made from earth and rocks. That took another hour. We left the lodge at around 7 am and reached Tappiya at around 9 am.

the magnificent Tappiya falls

the magnificent Tappiya falls- got this from the Internet, we didn't take it. hehehe.

None of us were prepared to go swimming. We even said, “It’s too cold anyway.” But at the sight of the water gushing down the clear rocky stream, we couldn’t resist. We dived in, wearing nothing but our panties and t-shirts. Hahaha. No one was around but us anyway. (Well, there was Jon, Sarah’s boyfriend, but he—and we—didn’t mind) 😀

The water was cold and the rocks were slippery, yet we giggled and splashed around like kids. (note: our paper! OUR PAPER!!) A few times, the current pulled us off our feet. While my thesismates just hung out beside a large boulder, I clambered over the slippery rocks, nearer to the falls. I wanted to swim closer, but the water was too deep. And too cold. So I stayed sitting on the pebbles, clear water gushing around me. It’s meditative. Relaxing.

It’s like nirvana. Just colder, though.

Sigh.

We went back to the lodge after a couple of hours (wearing nothing beneath our thick sweaters and jogging pants, hahaha!), had lunch and had a long, scenic (think steep cliffs, small clear rivers, slippery rocks to climb, and breathtaking undiscovered terraces views) three hour walk/one hour trike ride back to Banaue civilization. Our bus was going to leave in ah hour, so we had to hurry. As soon as we were seated, we dropped down to sleep. Nobody talked. We were all eager to return to Manila and our comfy, warm beds. Resume our normal, city lives.

Back then, I was too occupied with our thesis and school work to appreciated our Batad trip. Now I realize that it was an adventure of a lifetime. One that a million people would die for. I’ve got a poor memory, but everything I saw during that short Batad escapade will stay with me for a long, long time.

And yeah, I’m going back there someday. And I’m bringing a bikini. Woohoo!

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