Sunday, January 18, 2015

Falls | The Cold Tappia (Tappiya) Falls of Batad

FALLS | The Cold Tappia (Tappiya) Falls of Batad
Batad Rice Terraces, Batad, Banaue, Ifugao

“Waterfalls are exciting because they have power, they have rainbows, they have songs, and they have boldness and craziness!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

To trek down to Tappia Falls is to carefully walk along the paddies of the stone Rice Terraces.

It is known that in most provinces of the Cordilleraa, they practice to burying departed love one's in their backyard. Markers like this didn't surprise me at all, I can only presume that someone was buried here.

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Batad Rice Terraces is a marvel of ingenuity by Banaue's ancestors the Ifugao's, but since rice crop planting is only done once a year this limits the best time to view the terraces filled with teaming green rice grasses saturated by the sun. For the most part, the preparation and the after harvest time, the place is left to elements in its grey and muddy banks. Makes us wonder what can be done here for a traveler who can't be tied up and wait when the place is a saturated green? Thankfully, Tappia (Tappiyah) Falls is just around the corner for visitors to take a dip when coffee and ogling at the Rice Terraces becomes too much.

The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordillera's were inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995. The Batad Rice Terraces is one of those 5 sites inscribed in the list and is under the Municipal Jurisdiction of Banaue. Not to be confused by the Banaue Rice Terraces this can be viewed from Banaue’s Poblacion along the number of View Points. Batad Rice Terraces is perhaps the most popular due to the Amphitheater Terraces, its close proximity to Banaue and the Tappiyah Falls itself. To reach the falls is to trek down a long stairs down the side of the mountain following the Tappia River upstream reaching the gale end of high rock wall.

Things To Consider
  • Trek down and up the Batad Rice Terraces and the long stairway after is an arduous task.
  • The water is ice cold, but a regular sunny day, swim gear is not needed. 
  • The trek back up will dry out your clothes. 
  • Tappia (Tappiya) Falls is a Grand Water Fall with 70 meter drop.
  • Tappia and Tappiya are widely used spelling to name the falls.
  • Guides are not required to the falls as long as you are billeted to any of the inns and lodges in Batad.
  • It would take 45 minutes to an hour trekking from Batad Saddle point to Hillside Inn.
  • From Hillside Inn, another 45 minutes to an hour to Tappia Falls.
  • From a viewpoint, the Rice Terraces look like Staircases, but each step is actually about 8-10 ft tall.

Trekking The Terraces To Tappia Falls

I consider myself a seasoned mountaineer, at least for the Philippine Mountains, but I would rather scale steep slopes where I can pace myself than the calculated steps in the many flight of stairs. Going up and down long staircase is physically demanding especially in the leg muscles, it is of no wonder that outdoors men are strongly opposed to mountains with road or steps to its summit, only someone who knows nothing about trekking would come up with such an atrocious idea, that aside, the long stairs to Tappia Falls may have been made for its visitors but it also benefit's the locals. As it is, the way can be slippery and knowing that this is the highlands, rain here can be very daunting.

So just a word of caution for visitors who are not very religious with squatting exercises or running in steep terrains, the trek will certainly hurt. This will be felt afterwards, on the way back to the Terraces as there is no other way but up.

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Francis Balgos is a Call Center Agent, Weekend Travel Warrior, Amateur Spelunker, Sometime Surfer, Newbie Mountain Climber, Photography Enthusiast, Certified Beach Bum, A first born son, Faithful lover, True Explorer...

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  1. There are lots of breathtaking waterfalls in the Philippines and all of them has their own uniqueness and beauty. thus, when it comes to seeing the best of the best falls, Philippines is the place to be.

  2. We would love to go here next time fam,

  3. "The trek back up will dry out your clothes... and will try your back, your patience and your wits as well... :)

    Even so, Tappiya was still one of the highlights of our Batad trip a few years ago.

    Although I've visited your site a few times already, I think this will be my first time to comment here. Keep on!

    1. Thank you Brennan! I dont have much time to blog much, let alone proof read my blog post.. So I pinch myself everytime I read my own grammatical errors and typos.
      Still, I have people who reads my site :)

  4. Thank you francis balgos for the info


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