As much as possible I wanted to stay away from touristy places, but I thought there must be a reason why it’s touristy. I didn’t quite understand the difference of Banaue and Batad till I got there.
I’ve often heard that said about Banaue’s famed rice terraces, some have noted that the terraces are deteriorating, that they aren’t as well-maintained as they should be. Increasing numbers of young people are migrating toward urban areas looking to find a different path . With few left to work in the fields and continue the old way of life. Some 25 to 30 percent of the terraces are abandoned and beginning to deteriorate, along with irrigation systems.
Though still a spectacular sight for first-timers, many feel that they aren’t as beautiful as they once were, a shame considering these magnificent rice terraces have been around for over two thousand years. Carved out of the mountain by hand, it’s absolutely mind-startling to think how the Ifugao created these using only the most basic of tools.
Though some feel that Banaue’s rice terraces are past their prime, the same can’t be said about Batad — arguably the best of five clusters of Ifugao rice terraces collectively inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A tiny, remote village within Banaue that’s accessible only by foot, Batad is home to some of the most pristine rice terraces in the region.
After an hour drive and an hour hike i reached the small village of Batad.