Showing posts with label Banaue Rice Terraces. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Banaue Rice Terraces. Show all posts

BANAUE: Ibulao Ibulao Bed and Breakfast at Kiangan, Ifugao: The Best Accommodations near the Banaue Rice Terraces

May 11, 2014

BANAUE: Ibulao Ibulao Bed and Breakfast at Kiangan, Ifugao:
The Best Accommodations near the Banaue Rice Terraces

Why I love Ibulao Ibulao:

1. The beautiful accommodations

We checked in at a VILLA ROOM. The rate is 4500 pesos per room per night for 6 persons. Let the photos speak for themselves. Below are photos of our accommodations:

The villa room

My kids inside the villa room

The entrance of the villa room
Panoramic photo of the villa room
Inside the villa room
This is what you see from the entrance of the villa room

As you can see, towels, linen and blankets are provided.

The view from the loft

The view from the window side

The stairs to the loft

The loft

The separate toilet

The separate shower

2. The reasonable rates
a. The rock room: good for 5-6 persons at 2,800 pesos per room per night 
b. The west and east rooms: good for 2-3 persons at 1,600 pesos per room per night
c. The villa room: good for 6-10 persons at 4,500 pesos per room per night 
All rooms have airconditioning and hot shower. 
Towels and linens are provided. 
Reservation policy and cancellation policy: Please reserve by emailing Doc Toto at Since they don't require a deposit for reservation, please have the courtesy of cancelling your reservation as soon as you know that you're unable to arrive.
The rooms are value for money. With the above rates and the quality of rooms, it  beats the Banaue hotel in terms of room rates and quality of accommodations.

3. The great food
We had gourmet breakfast at 180 pesos per person, inclusive of gourmet coffee.
The dining area

Oops... My son almost finished the food before I was able to take the photo.

The view from the dining area

4. The location
It's a mere 30 minutes away from Banaue town. With the limited and basic accommodations at Banaue town, Ibulao is the best accommodations near the Banaue rice terraces not only because of the beauty and ambience of the place, but also because of its reasonable rates.

5. The great service and warm hospitality

Doc Toto's policy is to have only one group at a time staying at his place. This assures you of privacy and great service. You actually feel like an honoured guest and family friend while staying at his place. He joins you at breakfast, asks what you need and provides you with reliable guides to places you want to explore. It's a home away from home.

More photos of the grounds and other rooms: 

Drs. Toto and Tess Kalugdan's residence beside the villa room

The villa room (at the right) with the Kalugdan residence (on the left)

Bigger dining area for big groups

How to find Ibulao Ibulao:

Check out my post below for directions from Manila to Ibulao Ibulao:

My BANAUE and SAGADA Itinerary with Kids (Day 1: Manila to Kiangan)

Turn left to Kiangan

The entrance to Ibulao Ibulao Bed and Breakfast is the upward sloping road after the Kiangan arch.

This is the upward sloping entrance to Ibulao and Ibulao Bed and Breakfast

How to contact Ibulao Ibulao:

Drs. Toto and Tess Kalugdan welcomed us into their beautiful home.
This photo is taken inside their living room.

Thanks for the warm hospitality!!!
We will be back!

Department of Tourism Accreditation of Ibulao and Ibulao Bed and Breakfast:

BANAUE: My Trek to the Batad Rice Terraces with Kids

April 19, 2014

BANAUE: My Trek to the Batad Rice Terraces with Kids

The UNESCO declared the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras as a World Heritage Site. This site consists of 4 clusters of well preserved rice terraces in the following municipalities in the Ifugao Province: 
  1. In the municipality of BANAUE, the rice terraces in Barangay Batad and Barangay Bangaan 
  2. In the municipality of MAYOYAO: the rice terraces in Barangay Mayoyao Proper.
  3. In the municipality of KIANGAN: the rice terraces  in Barangay Nagacadan.  
  4. In the municipality of HUNGDUAN: the rice terraces in Barangay Hapao.
We chose BATAD RICE TERRACES because a lot of people in blogs and in forums think it's the most magnificent of all because of its amphitheatre style of rice terraces.

My tips:

1. You need to hire a jeep with a driver and a guide to do this trek.
a. Even if you have a sports utility vehicle (SUV) for transportation, I highly recommend you hire a jeep with driver to bring you from Banaue poblacion to the Batad Saddle. The roads are rough and sometimes narrow so you need an experienced driver to navigate it for you. 
b.  For a group of 6 like us, it is safest to have at least two guides. One is in front, leading the group and one is at the back, making sure that the last person walking in the group is not unwittingly left behind. Also, at times, the difficulty of the trail requires the assistance of both guides.
2. You need to be physically fit to do this trek.
The locals say they travel from the Batad saddle to the Batad tourist information center (where all the inns and restaurants are) in 30 minutes. We did it in 1 hour and 15 minutes walking slowly and with a stick. 
Walking on flat terrain for an hour is challenging to some. So just imagine doing it on a hill in rough terrain. Rough means walking along a small trail with the ravine just beside you, or walking on a trail peppered with small and big rocks, or walking and trying to cross a mini landslide with the ravine a step away, or walking up a trail on a 45 degree slope. 
Others manage the trek by staying overnight at the inns near the Batad tourist information center and resting before navigating the trail back to the saddle. So be prepared to have enough energy if you intend to return to the saddle on the same day.
3. If you want to do this trek as a day trip (meaning, going to Batad and returning to your Banaue accommodations on the same day), skip Tappiyah falls.
This tip ensures that you have enough energy to do the trek on the way up the saddle, which is the more difficult one than the trek going down. The trek to Tappiyah falls is challenging and takes a lot of time and energy to finish.
After arriving at the Tourist Information Center, it's possible to do the walk along the rice terraces before lunch and while waiting for lunch to be cooked. 
4. The minimum equipment for this trek are rubber shoes and walking stick.
It's a must that you use good walking shoes to protect your feet from the rough terrain so you can survive the trek.
It is likewise essential for you to rent a walking stick once you reach the saddle (rental is at 10 pesos per stick). At some point it will actually save your life.  It will help you climb the hill and help keep your balance and footing while walking along the trail.
5. It's best to travel light so you will not tire easily during the trek.
Our backpack packing list are as follows:
My backpack contains the ff: camera, videocam, my water bottle, extra shirt, handkerchief or small hand towel, poncho, sunblock, first aid kit, tissue, hand santizer, chocolate bars (for the trek going up), money, cellphone. 
The kids' backpack contains the ff: extra shirt, water bottle, poncho, handkerchief or small hand towel, cellphone.
A lot of tourists encounter accidents while taking photos, either falling into the rice terraces or falling at Tappiyah falls. Some have died because of it.


10:00 AM - 11:00 AM:

Travel from the poblacion of Banaue to Batad Saddle.

This is where we met our guide and rode the jeep we hired to bring us to Batad saddle.
This is located after the "Welcome to Banaue" arch and before the Banaue hotel entrance.
You can make a toilet stop here.

The jeep we hired

The maximum capacity of the hired jeep is 10 people at a fixed rate of 2800 pesos.

The road from Banaue poblacion to Batad saddle is partially paved.

Part of the road is rough and unpaved.

The single lane road to Batad saddle.
When you hire a jeep with a driver, they would know how to handle this situation.

Construction along the road leading to Batad saddle.

The winding road to Batad saddle

At the entrance of Batad saddle

The Batad saddle

Stores at the Batad saddle

Walking sticks for rent at 10 pesos.
There's a restroom at Batad saddle.

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM:

Travel from the Batad Saddle to Batad Rice Terraces.

Ready to start the trek to Batad Rice Terraces.

You have a choice of whether to take the SHORTCUT: the stairs with 415 steps, or the LONG CUT: the downward sloping road.

We took the LONG CUT because it's kinder to the knees.

You can see from the distance at the center of the photo the people walking down the stairs.

See the people going down and using the stairs.

At the left of the photo is the path we used.
The stairs is the path the other travellers used


This is where the paths of those who take the long cut and those who take the short cut merge. 
From this point, you have a common path.

A portion where landslide took place

One wrong step and you slide down a ravine.

The Batad saddle

Halfway through the trek, we see where we came from, 
which is the Batad saddle at the UPPER RIGHT portion of the photo.


When you start seeing the advertisements of the inns, it means you are near your destination.

Starting from this portion, it gets more difficult because the slope is steeper.

When you see this sign, your destination is just a few steps away.

12:15 PM:

Arrival at Batad Tourist Information Center.

Batad Tourist Information Center
We excitedly take our first photos of the Batad Rice Terraces.


Batad Village at the foot of the rice terraces


You need to register your name and the names of all your companions.
You also need to pay 50 pesos per person tourist fee.

The new rule as of February 2014

12:15 PM - 12:40:

Rested and ordered food at Rita's Mountview Inn and Restaurant

Walking towards Rita's Mountview Inn and Restaurant

We ordered food before trekking to the middle of Batad Rice Terraces
because food at the restaurants take an hour to cook.

The view of Batad Rice Terraces from Rita's Inn.

No cellphone signal

12:40 PM - 2:15 PM:

Walk along the rice terraces.

Starting the trek to the middle of Batad Rice terraces

Walking along the paddies

This is how wide the path is.
If you compare the paddies to your left and right, you can see how deep the paddy to your right is.

My tip: If you lose your balance, fall to your left instead of your right. 
You can break your neck if you fall to your right.
The terraces look like stairs from afar but in reality the height of the "steps" are more than 6 feet.

You can see the height and depth of the terraces.

The stone riprap is not cemented together.

The height of the riprap (what looks like stair steps from afar)

 is more than 6 feet.

We reach the middle of the rice terraces.
This is the view from the middle of the rice terraces.

The left side...

... the middle...

... the right side of the Batad Rice Terraces.

Souvenir shop at the middle of the Batad Rice Terraces

Our guides, Ogie and Daniel

2:15 PM -3:30 PM:

Lunch and rest at Rita's Inn.

We return to Rita's Inn for lunch.
This is the view you have when you dine at Rita's Inn.

Vegetable pizza at 180 pesos

Corned beef pizza at 150 pesos

Chicken Adobo at 170 pesos

Vegetable soup at 70 pesos



This is how they store their rice: in palay bundles and still in their stalks.

3:30 PM - 4:45 PM:

Travel from Batad to Batad Saddle


5:00 PM - 6:00 PM:

Travel from Batad Saddle to Banaue poblacion


Jeep with driver: 2800 pesos

2 guides: 2400 pesos, or 1200 pesos each

Banaue tourist information fee: 300 pesos for 6 person or 50 pesos per person

Lunch at Rita's homestay inn: 1360 pesos for 6 persons or 226 per person

Walking stick rental: 60 pesos, or 10 pesos per walking stick
Pay toilet: 5-10 pesos per use