Be a Batad Weekend Warrior
Help the Ifugaos restore the Batad Rice Terraces by becoming a Batad Weekend Warrior starting Feb 3, 2012.
Bachang (‘vfa-dchang) or Baddang means “Bayanihan” in Ifugao dialect. Traditionally, the Ifugao’s held the Bachang to assist a farmer in performing farm chores or house repairs. Bachang will be a work-in progress activity in Batad Village. On top of the usual tour packages and itinerary in Banaue, the community of Batad is opening their doors to all VolunTOURISTS to a unique participatory activity of “stonewalling” in order to restore and rehabilitate the damaged portions of the rice terraces during the past typhoons.
The group build requires at least twenty (20) volunTourists and the activity will take about four (4) hours minimum under the guidance of local master builder and a locale team comprised of farmers. This will be held every weekend starting Feb 3, 2012 until December 2012. There are no specific technical know-hows required except that a participants willingness to do a 1 hour and half-trek to reach Batad.
Participatory fees* to be paid will be in forms of in-kind (barter) like farming tools (shovel, spades, prong hoe, boots, protective helmet and gloves). This will be given as donation to the Batad Community Work Shop available to tourist and farmers. * – Participatory fees are in-kind donations (see specified list of materials) and does not include travel, accommodation, guide and PhP20.00 pesos registration fee for visiting Banaue, Ifugao.
Special arrangement for group build can be arranged with the Batad Community through the Barangay Council in Batad Village and or the Banaue Tourism Information Center (074 386 4010/ 09294692138 Jane Mateo) at Banaue town proper.
Batad Rice Terraces is one of the five (5) rice terraces enshrined by UNESCO as World Heritage Site in 1995. Due to climate change and natural calamities, the rice terraces is at the risk of deterioration caused by soil erosion.
Batad Weekend Warrior is just one of the collective efforts from both government and private sectors. Cultivated through a sustainable VolunTOURISM program, the advocacy to revive the Ifugao’s “bayanihan spirit” aims nonetheless but to rehabilitate the rice terraces as a true living natural museum and world heritage site; conducive for learning and experience though mutual cooperation and sweat equity.
Bachang is a volunTOURISM initiative of John Chua’s Photography With A Difference (PWD) and the people of Ifugao.
TOOLS & EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Prong Hoe
• Pick Matock
• Spading Fork
• Iron Mallet
• Wheel Borrow
• Steel Buckets
• Protective Helmet
• Rubber Boots
• Leather Gloves
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING
Trekking to Batad requires some trekking so make sure you travel light.
• Backpack with lumbar support
• Sets of clothes good for 2-3 days
• Toiletries and medicines
• Hydration system or water bottle
• Hat or cap
• Rain gear
• Fleece jacket
• Trekking pole
Volunteering to Bachang will entail working on the rice terraces so its is advisable to bring protective gears in case you don’t want to borrow from the community work shop.
• Protective Helmet
• Rubber Boots
• Leather Gloves
HOW TO GET TO BANAUE
From Manila, take NLEX / SCTEX and exit to San Jose City, Nueva Ecija, and drive all the way to Nueva Viscaya via Dalton Pass. Turn left once at Bagabag, Nueva Viscaca junction leading you all the way up to Banaue town.
Daily trips are available for Manila – Banaue via Ohayami Bus in Fajardo St. corner A.H. Lacson Avenue, Sampaloc Manila. Bus trips are during the evenings between 9PM-10PM only.
ONCE AT BANAUE
Register at Banaue Tourism and Information Center, they will help you arrange you IT and tour packages for Batad. Make sure you inform the tourism officer that you will be volunteering to the Bachang in Batad. You need to get a accredited guide who will bring you to Batad and will serve as your go-to person while you’re on tour. You also need to get a chartered jeepney to bring you to Batad Saddle and fetch you upon your return. Porter services are available at the Saddle. Standard fees and fare rates are available at the Banaue Tourism and Information Center, so make sure you check with the office first.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN BATAD
Batad Proper is accessible via foot trail from Batad Saddle. It has several hostels, inns and home stays for travelers at the View Point. You can pre-arrange this prior to your trip or while at Banaue. Rates start at PhP 150 overnight. Meals are also available on the hostel. There is electricity in Batad but it has no cellular services so it is advisable to make all necessary calls right before the Batad Saddle. There’s also a Liquor ban in Batad and most stores closes pass 7pm.
WHAT TO SEE IN BATAD
Trekking is required to explore and appreciate Batad and immediate surroundings.
• Amphitheater Rice Terraces
• Tappiyah Falls
• Bachang (Stonewalling Activity)
• Gateway to Cambulo, Patyay and Bangaan Villages.
For more information about Bachang and Batad, please email [email protected]
(All photos and text from the BatadWeekendWarrior facebook page (no longer exists) .)