Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back to Batad for Backpack Photography

Batad - Amphitheater Undulating Greens
Batad Amphitheater Undulating Greens
The last time we were in Batad, the terraces wore a mirror-like appearance, the water reflecting the sky.  This time around, the fields wore varying shades of green.  Oh, it's nowhere as cold as before but I'll gladly trade the chill for the lush view that greeted us as we emerged from the forest to the rise overlooking the amphitheater.  For a moment, the breathtaking scenery was like a salve that soothed all the aches and pains incurred during the hike.

Batad - Edwin and Anna on the Trail to the Falls
Can you spot Edwin and Anna on the high trail to the falls?
One of the great pleasures of holding our regular photography trips and workshops is meeting new people who share our love for taking pictures and going on off-the-beaten path adventures.  Another is the privilege of opening them up to new possibilities.  Two of our participants, Divi and Peachy, joined me to topload (ride on top of the jeepney) halfway to the Saddle of Batad.  Butt-numbing?  Yes, but the girls looked like they had a blast taking in all the scenery from a rooftop perspective. Next, the hike from the Saddle to Hillside Inn where we will be staying overnight took us almost two hours, walking on undulating terrain.  I think all our participants, Anna, Divi, Edwin and Peachy, deserve a pat on the back for taking everything, literally, in stride.
Batad - Tappia Falls II
Hike over an hour over the terraces to see beautiful Tappia Falls
The trek to Tappia Falls was an option which all of our participants took, I must say, with admirable derring-do.  It's another hour-and-a-half-long hike, this time through the terraces of the Batad amphitheater -- certainly not for the faint-of-heart or weak-of-knees.  But I think the idea of walking through these millennia-old terraces and seeing the falls make one forget, if momentarily, the arduous process.  That and probably earning the license to wear an "I survive Batad" shirt with pained conviction. But more than that, the trek is an eye-opener of sorts that evoke new-found admiration for what the farmers here have to do to bring rice to our tables.
Batad - Group Hug at Tappia Falls
Lagalog, Ironwulf, Anna, Peachy, Divi and Edwin at Tappia Falls
Thank God the rains poured halfway through our return hike.  We came back to a Hillside Inn darkened by a power cut that lasted all night.  Famished and fatigued, we were nevertheless buoyed by all that we experienced on our first day, nevermind the need for a massage, a dose of Alaxan, a generous application of Bengay and a full-night's sleep.  The muscle soreness will eventually fade away but the memories of that first day?  I may be second-guessing but ah, those memories will most likely last a lifetime.

Next in Lagal[og]: Day Two: From Batad to Bangaan

Watch out for the next edition of Backpack Photography Photo Tours and Workshops.  For details, log on to www.backpackphotography.net

8 comments:

Divi Malolos said...

You took the words out of my mouth. It was really an adventure worth my every ounce of strength, ache, and conviction. Best of all, you made us seem like superheroes! ...I'll take that anytime. As I have previously said, the "getting there" was as much the highlight as the "being there".

Filip Demuinck said...

Nice, are these rice fields?

Jocas A. See said...

"earning the license to wear an "I survive Batad" shirt with pained conviction." - Hahaha! True. Glad that I have my license this year.

lagalog said...

Hi Divi, you said it right -- the process of getting there is also interesting. Glad you liked the piece.

Filip, these are the rice fields of the Philippine highlands located up north.

Jocas, I was telling our participants nga, I really have no idea why I repeated it again hahaha but it was hard yet enjoyable the second time around. Sayang nga, wala kaming makitang shirt na "I survived Tappia Falls" LOL

Photo Cache said...

masarap mag join sa ganito, educational na may adventure pa.

Harry Hilders said...

Beautiful shots. Love the `Batad Amphitheater Undulating Greens` photos.

lagalog said...

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment Harry :D

lagalog said...

Photo Cache, that's true :D it's hard not to learn something new, especially about the local culture and one walks away the richer for the experience

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