Sunday, December 13, 2009

Batad's Tappia Falls: A walk through the terraces and thru time

Batad Tappia Falls 1Paddies point. Seeing the rice terraces even from afar, one can't help but be overcome by the compulsion to step onto the paddies and tread the rice fields our Ifugao ancestors walked on millenia ago. Considering the ephemeral quality of most of mankind's architectural creations, you can't help but wax poetic about these terraces, painstakingly carved with primitive implements and iron will before our Lord Jesus Christ was born.
Batad Dramatic Light over the AmpitheaterThe sky was wearing hues alternating between pale blue and somber shades of grey when we set off for Tappia Falls. Tappia is hidden from view, located on the other side of the mountain where the Batad ampitheater can be found. The ampitheater-style terraces are visible from the vantage point of the inns but trekking the terraces is harder than it appears. The trail is steep and rocky in some parts, muddy and slippery in others. And since we came towards the month of December, most of the paddies are full of water and in the process of preparing them for planting come February. One can slip and fall into the pool of mud lest he/she be careful. And one more thing, the terraces are much bigger when viewed up close, with some steps dwarfing us.
Batad Lolo walking the Ampitheater PaddiesIt was mid-afternoon when we came to the last stopover before descending to the falls. The Koreans we shared the van with were panting and straining coming up. God bless my friend Erick's kind heart, when he volunteered to lug around my tripod as hiking became increasingly a struggle (reminder to self: go back to the gym soon).
Batad Tappia Falls DramaticChasing waterfalls. We came to a viewing deck some distance from the falls and I very nearly didn't descend the final set of stairs (some steps were just the size of an average foot) because God forbid, I didn't want a replay of my Camiguin Nikon D200 mishap. But the lure of the falls proved too good to pass up and I didn't come this far to miss out on this. It was already dark when we trekked back to the inn. The light rain made it much trickier but painful kneecaps and quivering legs aside, it was a glorious day (and night) to hike.
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