Monday, May 26, 2014

Hike to Barangay BATBATO and a glimpse of DADDAAY Rice Terraces

"Hiked all the way up"

Alilem is one of the southernmost town of Ilocos Sur and it is near the boundary of Benguet. It can be reached primarily through the towns of Suyo (Ilocos Sur) and Sudipen (La Union).
Batbato and Daddaay are two of the mountain Barangays of the town of Alilem that are located at the Northeastern side of the town proper.
My main purpose with this hike is to see the Daddaay Rice Terraces
My hike to barangay Batbato revealed that those people i happened to meet along the way were one of the friendliest.

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-my pagnapagna-

From the town of Sudipen, La Union, i rode a passenger motorbike (7:35 am) and arrived at downtown Alilem at 8 o'clock in the morning. A total of 25 minutes ride going east.
At Alilem town proper, I went to the police station just to let them know that i was going to hike my way to barangay Daddaay but they where having their Monday flag raising ceremony and they also had a little sort of a program afterwards. I decided to just proceed with my hike.
From the town proper, i walked along a road going east again (the one going to Baey Anito Falls). There i met an old woman and asked directions particularly the road leading to barangay Daddaay. She told me that i should just take the road that was just recently concreted going to barangay Batbato instead.
I took the old woman's advice and went on my way. I reached a waiting shed (8:26 am) where a concreted road going north branches from the main road. I walked on that road going up. It was all uphill - ascending walk. From time to time few motorbikes passed by.

The waiting shed by the roadside at an intersection. The one going up to the left is the road to barangay Batbato.
A view from the road. Alilem town proper can be seen at the center of this photograph

At around 10 o'clock in the morning, along the way as i was going up, i met "Roman". I smiled and said "Good morning manong, adayu pay ba dyay Batbato?" (Good morning sir, is it still far to Batbato?). He replied "Ay, adayu pay mut bassit. papanan yu aya kadi ediay?" (Oh, it is still far away, where are you going there?). I told him that i was just going to see and take some photographs of the Daddaay rice terraces. We had some conversation, thanked him and i continued walking again as he went to go see if there were ripe bananas somewhere down the forest.

Mang "Roman" i met along the road

I finally reached a residential area at 10:50 am. At a local store, there i went to have a snack. I bought a biscuit and a 1-liter of a bottled soft drink as they don't have the smaller ones. I just asked a favor to re-refrigerate the half-empty soft drink as i will be drinking it later when i return from my hike. I had some conversation with the friendly store owner and he told me that there is a waterfall along the road. I left the store and went to see the waterfalls.
The very short trail going down to the waterfalls was very steep. Well, it looked very steep for a visitor like me. At the waterfalls, there where some young people swimming at its natural pool. Lingered there for a while, took some photographs and left at 11:45 am. 

The Batbato falls area. Almost dry, only few waters flow down during these hot summer months.

Walked further along the road and passed by the Batbato Elementary School. Along the way, i stopped and took a rest under the shade of a tree (12:20 pm) where i drunk some water and ate some bread that i got and prepared at home earlier.
I finally arrived at Sitio Marmarsang still of barangay Batbato and went to another sari-sari store to quench my thirst (12:49 pm). There i met Andres LaƱo, the store owner who also accompanied me to the back of their Chapel area to view the Daddaay Rice Terraces.

"Andres" infront of his Sari-sari store

We went walking through the Sitio passing some houses and into a mountainside overlooking the Barangay Daddaay.
I was wowed (i literally said WOW!) by the view that greeted me as he explained the areas we were looking at. There was the road snaking through the terraces, the chapel above and the distant waterfalls (barely can be seen from the photographs) further back from the terraces into the higher mountainside. He told me that at one time, some foreigners ventured to the waterfalls and swam at its pool basin. He added further that those waterfalls at some point in time where studied to supply the hydro power plant.

the Northern side cluster of rice terraces
as seen from the trail at the mountainside of Sitio Marmarsang of Barangay Batbato

From where we stood at that time, judging from the distance, i cannot make it back to downtown Alilem the same day if i were going to hike further to barangay Daddaay. I just settled to look at it from there and perhaps visit the area at another day. I thanked him and went back on my way (1:21 pm).
Hiking back along the road, i went to the sari-sari store to drink the half empty 1 liter bottle of softdrink i let them re-refrigerate earlier on my hike. Well, it was a small world, the sari-sari store owner was "Noel Ngeta-a" who happened to be from Besao, Mountain Province who was also a neighbor of my companion when i visited Besao. They personally knew each other as they grew up at the same town. Now, "Noel" is married with two children at barangay Batbato. He let me in at their house and insisted that i eat. After i ate, they let me have some water for my hike going down the road. 

ate a tender pork (native pig) at "Noel's" house.

Together with "Noel", his wife and two children 
(the other young girl is a neighbor)

I thanked them and continued my walk (2:19 pm) on the road going downhill
Although it was easier now going down the road, it was still tiring.
I finally arrived at the waiting shed by the roadside at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Tired and really sweating a lot, i rested there for a while. 

At the waiting shed after coming from Barangay Batbato

After some few minutes, i continued walking along the main road (3:10 pm) and halfway to Alilem town proper i saw some parked passenger motorbikes. I rode on one of them, passed by the Alilem town proper until i reached the National Highway at Sudipen, La Union where i eventually got a bus going back to home sweet home.

-end of pagnapagna-

For Blog post on my travel to DADDAAY CLICK HERE

Subject  : Barangay Batbato
Location : Barangay of Batbato
                Municipality of Alilem
                Province of Ilocos Sur

How to get there:
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