“I’ve seen things, you people wouldn’t believe…”

After nearly 5 miles of climbing up a mountain (see the roofs of little houses in the background of the photo below? That’s where we started) with 2 backpacks weighing over 50lbs and a DSLR in one hand. . . .


A lot of people have been e-mailing me asking how this trip was first conceived, so I modified the About page on how and why we’re doing this.

Perhaps it’s too early to quote Roy from Blade Runner in the blog title, and I don’t think I can top “attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion” or “C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate” (if you have no idea what I’m quoting, do yourself a favor: give in to your inner nerd and rent a copy of Blade Runner) but the rice terraces of Banaue/Batad come pretty close.

In fact, it’s not Banaue but Batad; in other words all the images you see when you Google “Banaue Rice Terraces” is not of Banaue but of Batad. Although Banaue is certainly pretty, it has transformed into a tourist town that is relatively very well developed with a large population. But if you take a 1.5 hr, treacherous (the guide books need to clarify that this is NOT an easy hike for anyone carrying 50 lbs of stuff; Annah twisted BOTH her ankles during the initial descent…it got so bad one of her ankles swelled up to the size of a baby pumpkin and she never made it out with me and Corrine to the Tappiya Waterfalls afterwards) climb and descent off a few mountains, you’ll hit a remote village that is both serene and mesmerizing: Batad. Want the perfect “ooh-ahh” moment? It’s in Batad.


Apparently this guy shows up in every photo for anyone who manages to get to Batad

Trekking through Batad


Speaking of giving into my inner nerd, I felt like I was playing a game of Myst the entire time I was trekking through Batad’s village.


Village in Myst 2: Riven

Village in Batad for Comparison…ok I’m a nerd.


Seriously…if you have no idea what I’m referencing, then forget it. After another 7 mile trek, climb, descent, climb, and descent a few mountains, I reached the gorgeous Tappiya Waterfalls, a 30m-high deluge that is unbelievable to witness in person, or let alone, swim in…which is exactly what I did when I got there.


Tappiya Waterfalls


Unfortunately the internet connection in the mountain town of Banaue is a tad slow, not to mention that there have been a few power outages already…so I’ll save the “how-the-hell-did-we-get-there” instructional manual for tomorrow when I have a more secure internet access.

In the meantime, enjoy the pictures…there are a lot more coming up.

The Batad Rice Terraces just got served

Total Distance Walked: 15 miles yesterday + 5 miles today = 20 miles

Coming up next:

  • Instructions on how to get to Banaue/Batad
  • What to expect, see, and how to get around in Batad
  • Reviews of food in Manila and Batad
  • Reviews of our homestay in Manila


- At time of posting in Banaue, Philippines, it was 91.4 °F -

Humidity: 66% | Wind Speed: 3km/hr | Cloud Cover: partly cloudy

From the Moleskine
Dreaming of Batad


  1. Thanks Roxy!

  2. thanks Cynthia. :)

  3. MYST! i totally know where you’re coming from Calvin.

    I haven’t seen Batad yet myself, I’m so glad you have the camera that you do… it does the terraces justice.

  4. this looks UNREAL. absolutely amazing

  5. The sky looks the same in the 4th and 5th pictures! lol

    I can’t wait to see what the rest of your trip looks like :D

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