BatadWeekendWarrior is a VolunTourism activity organized by Photography with Difference with its advocacy, to revive Ifugao's "Bayanihan Spirit" and Rehabilitate Batad Rice Terraces.
After reading the article "Voluntourist to rebuild the Batad Rice Terraces" sa GMA News website, I searched the official FB page of BWW then shared it right away to my fellow Bundokeros and friends who might be interested to join me. Many acknowledged my invites yet it ended na 8 lang kami ang nakapunta at nagparticipate. Nonetheless, it was an awesome adventure with a cause.
BWW (Batad Weekend Warrior) activity needs at least 20 participants in order to finished a bigger portion of the entire damaged area of the Terraces and also to lessen the contribution specially on shared expenses during the 2-day Adventure.
Batad Weekend Warrior - Batch 2
with Sir Lawrence
As for me, I was part of the BWW - Batch 2 who went up last February 25-26, 2012 then later on became the Team Lead for the batch...... (ayun naman!)
Prior the said activity, we had a meeting with Sir PJ Enriquez (one of the organizers) sa SM North. He gave a short orientation about what to expect when we get there and the things we need to do.
Pinakita nya sa amin ang mga pictures ng group na unang umakyat for the launching of the said activity and also the part ng Terraces na nagkaroon ng landslide dahil sa mga nagdaang bagyo at kung saan ang BWW will rehabilitate it.
We learned a lot from the said meeting and Sir PJ even helped us revised the itinerary. We had high hopes on the said activity kasi this time it will be a meaningful climb.
Monday palang ng week na yun, I received sms na may magbabackout na. Nalalagas na ang mga members yet hindi parin ako sumusuko na maginvite ng maginvite. Until Thursday came, 8 gave their final confirmation.
Since I had 7 people to go with me, tinuloy ko na ang mga nasa checklist ko on what to bring/prepare.
1. My very own Batad Weekend Warrior shirt
- Due to the fact that this is a very special climb for me, nagpagawa ako ng TShirt solely for me. Nagawa ang shirt bago palang ako nagorganize for batch 2. (The shirt was my driving force to make sure na makasama)
2. My regular climb gears
- Hike shoes - Water Bladder
- Trek Pole - Mountaineer Backpack and Dayhike Backpack
3. Tools for Donation
- Aside from being physically present sa activity, BWW need tools for rehabilitation.
- These tools will be used by the locals who will continue to work during weekdays and for volunteers who will work during weekends.
( You may bring one or two from the following)
• Spades • Shovel • Prong Hoe • Pick Matock
• Spading Fork • Wedgepoint • Crowbars • Iron Mallet
• Wheel Borrow • Steel Buckets • Protective Helmet • Rubber Boots
• Leather Gloves
- I searched the Internet for a supplier of such equipments. Luckily may isang supplier/manufacturer na nagbebenta directly sa mga consumers ng mura (compared sa mga nabebenta sa Supermarket or Hardware Stores), MEISONS Equipment.
So I went to their warehouse and bought the following:
[1.] 10 Hard Hats for PhP 62.70 each.
- Durable I say..... cost around 100+ sa hardware.
[2.] 27 pairs of Cotton Gloves with PVC Dots for PhP 19.00 each
- Mga nasa 30+ - 50+ kung sa hardware
[3.] Industrial Boots with steel toe for 395.00
Lastly, Bus Ticket
- Isang Bus lang ang bumabyahe papuntang Banaue, Ohayami Bus line. Ang Florida bus line na dati may byahe paBanaue is currently on hold daw ang route nila.
- I suggest na magpareserve kayo para iwas sa mahabang pila. Unfortunately reservation could only be arranged sa Terminal mismo not thru phone calls.
Friday came, we left Manila ng 10.30 pm. I believe their were 4 or 5 buses convoy going to Banaue at that time at lahat ng mga yun ay puno. Majority ng mga nakasabay namin sa bus were foreigners, yung iba paBatad din while others paSagada, feeling ko nageexcursion kami. :)
Ang drop off point namin was sa Banaue Tourism Office and we arrived their around 7:00am (dahil ang daming hinto ni Manong Driver plus the traffic). Sinalubong kami ni Sir Darwin and Sir Lawrence (both working for BWW), Si Sir Lawrence naman ang Guide namin sa entire 2-day activity.
We had our breakfast sa Half Way Lodge and Restaurant while Sir Lawrence gave us a quick orientation about Banaue using the Banaue Tour Map ng Restourant.
He also gave us some time to roam around the place since it was Market Day sa Banaue. Busy ang area, maraming nagbebenta ng local products like fresh vegetables, fabrics, fruits, etc. meron ding mga nagbebenta ng mga ukay-ukay, mga gamit pambahay at iba pa. Pero doon kami pumunta sa dalawang souvenir store sa looban. I bought some key chains para sa mga friends sa office paguwi.
Topload... Ride for your life
Sabi nila hindi magiging masaya ang trip to Batad kung hindi mo matry ang "Topload" Ride. So ayun, the 8 of us did tried it. Kakatakot kasi kitang kita mo yung buong lugar at mga bangin all the way up. May kunting mishap na ngyari, nastuck yung jeep namin sa putik pero hindi naman nagtagal at naayos din.
It was about an hour when we reached Batad Saddle, hanggang dun lang ang jeep then we need to hike pababa sa Batad Viewpoint. About an hour ang hike and may 2 route pababa sa trail from the Saddle....using stairs (415 steps) or the long cut.
We chose the "long cut" papunta then stairs pagbalik. The trail was quite easy, parang a walk in the park lang, ang catch nga lang is mahabang lakaran, pero mawawala pagod mo dahil sa mga tanawin, mga terraces na makikita mo baba. such picturesque.
We arrived sa Batad Viewpoint around 9.30am. Register muna then Photo Ops background ang Batad Rice Terraces then diretso sa Hillside Inn kung saan we will stay for the night. We met Brgy. Captain Romeo, and handed our donations. We settled our things and took our lunch then went to the Bgry. Office for formal turnover ng mga gamit.
A 20-30 mins walk from Viewpoint to the Damaged portion where Stonewalling took place. We were assited by 2 locals during the entire 3 hours of stonewalling.
Nakakamangha ang paggawa ng walls kasi kailangan mas mataas pa to sa isang tao plus walang cement na gagamitin. Ang kailangan lang ay Putik (Mud) to fill the gaps sa mga pagitan ng mga bato at eto na din ang parang cement. Imaginin mo, ang Batad Rice Terraces was built B.C. pa at kung hindi lang nagkaroon ng landslide hindi eto masisira. Amazing? See it to believe! Galing ng mga ninuno natin. Awesome!
BWW - Batch 2 in action
The entire activity was fun at kakapagod. Kakapagod kasi tirik ang araw habang nagbubungkal, nagbubuhat ng mga bato. Buti nalang may shovel, gloves at iba pang equipment na medyo nagpapagaan sa pagstostonewalling, Gaano kahirap kung wala ang mga eto noong kapanahonan nila?
Noong malapit na kami matapos, umalis muna ako sa group at umikot ikot sa upper portion ng "Amphitheater" at nagexplore. Malakas ang agos ng mga streams mula sa tuktok ng bundok which serves as the water source ng buong Terraces hangang pababa. I had the chance to visit the top most portion ng naLandslide na area and saw kung gaano kalaki ang nadamage.
Although BWW is a year-long activity yet it will take years bago maayos ang lahat. It's a sad reality na ang mga kabataan ng Batad ay hindi na masyadong tumutulong sa pagaayos neto dahil majority ay lumuluwas na ng Maynila o nagiibang bansa for greener pasture kaya napagiiwanan na ang lugar. Batad Rice Terraces was declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. We need to preserve its beauty para sa mga susunod na generations.
Batad Weekend Warriors - Batch 2 in Action
We need your Help
Thanks to University of the East - Caloocan B.S. Tourism students dahil they allowed us, together with the foreigners, na makjoin sa kanila to watch the Local performing traditional dances. I had so much fun watching them... LIVE!
I used to appreciate this beauty sa mga libro o postcards noon at hindi ko inakala na one day mapuntahan ko to at higit sa lahat naging parte ako sa pagaayos neto. ....... naging parte na din ako sa History ng Batad.....
I wish I could stay longer and continue the stonewalling the next day
and the succeeding days, pero may mga naiiwan sa Maynila na kailangan maasekaso.
Day 2 came....then kailangan ng umuwi......
Paused for a while, watched the entire place,
and promised to my myself....
Babalik ako and will volunteer again.....
A memorable and meaningful experience worth keeping..........
Batad needs our help. Join and be a Batad Weekend Warrior now!
Para sa Inyong Kaalaman
1. Bus going to Banaue : OHAYAMI TRANS
- Address: Corner J.Fajardo, A.H. Lacson, Sampaloc Manila
- You may visit their Facebook page for trip schedule -> OHAYAMI TRANS
2. Guide and Hired Jeep
- c/o Sir Lawrence (contact BWW for his contact number)
3. Hillside Inn
- Cell Numbers: 09063325969 / 09193799599
4. Hidden Valley Lodge and Restaurant
- Dito kami nagdinner and washed up bago umuwi
- Note: They only accept group accommodation
- Place is clean, specially the Restrooms and the food were great
Contact person: Alicia Benito
Cell Nos: 09174047813 / 09193231206
5. Meisons Equipment
- Address: #6 General Tinio St. Laloma Quezon City
- Contact Nos: 711-7726, 749-3860, 711-3326, 711-7952, 731-7823 look for Ms. Jona
Day 2 - Tapiyyah Falls (coming soon.....)
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