IFUGAO | Challenges of Going Back to Batad Saddle


So I’ve already seen the world famous Batad amphitheater-like terraces and dabbled my feet on the freezing waters cascading from Tappiya Falls. I am now ready to shout, “I CONQUERED BA..,” but wait, I realized that I’m still in Batad Village and I need to go back to Batad Saddle first before I can officially state that I trounced the activities of the destination, considering the trek going to the village.


Most travelers consider the trek from Batad Saddle to Batad Village to the Tappiya Falls and back to Batad Saddle as one of the most strenuous trekking experiences they had. Well, worthy enough for the century old terraces and captivating falls as rewards.

After having a morning walk on the terraces, going to the highest viewpoint and another couple of hours trekking to Tappiya Falls, we had breakfast to officially end our visit to Batad. We packed our backpacks and prepared to leave. Since we spent overnight in the village, there will be no guide anymore to lead us back to the saddle.

The reward: Batad Rice Terraces.

We just decided to trust our navigation skills and convinced ourselves that the trail is not difficult. Our guide accompanied us to the registration area and bade goodbye. A group of teenage locals asked us if we need porters to carry our backpacks to ease our trek back to the saddle. We refused and thanked them. Off we went.

The trek started with us laughing hard about our experiences that morning: saw a snake on the trail to the highest viewpoint, the exhausting up and down trek, and the “dog fight” we encountered. I was in front of the line and was asking the other members of the group if we were still on the right track, luckily, yes. After minutes of walk, the difficulties slowly invaded us: backpacks were already heavier, breathing got harder and the pace went slower.

We found ourselves resting every 10 minutes and cheering each other to continue the trek. It was high noon and we were thankful that some parts of the trail were covered with trees and by the fact that it was also cloudy that afternoon. We were the only group going back to the saddle at that moment and I was worried about what might happen on the trek. A sign of relief was felt when another group of travelers appeared next to us.

Going to Batad Saddle. We didn’t manage to take photos when we trekked back to the saddle.

We again stopped on a house selling wood carvings. I asked if we were already midway to the saddle. He just laughed and pointed the marker for the midway of the trek. We continued the trek. We did everything we can do to disregard the burden being experienced by everyone.

The group of teenage locals who asked us if we wanted to hire them to carry our bags passed us. I can imagine them bragging us the consequences of not hiring them. It was alright though since it was part of the experience. After a couple of stops, we reached the short cut and long cut marker. I asked the group and I got the unanimous “Short Cut” answer because according to them, we have no idea with the other path since we tried the short cut when we headed to the village the other day.

You decide. A unanimous “Short Cut” answer.

Other members of the group were already exhausted and tired. I just advised them to ascend one step at a time and don’t hurry. Thanks to the locals at our back who entertained and talked to the group, we still managed to make friends during the arduous trek. Valent on the other hand almost cried during the last part of the trail but the locals managed to calm her and together we cheered her up until she reached the saddle.

The moment I reached Batad Saddle, my heart was thumping while whispering in between the deep breaths, “I CONQUERED BATAD.”



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