The Topsy Turvy Path of Mt. Amuyao

It was a fine Friday morning when we arrived in Tam-an, Banaue Ifugao after more than 8 hours of land travel. We had our quick breakfast at Hidden Valley Restaurant. While there, we also divided our pack lunch since our group decided not to avail a porter. For safety reason, we have two tour guides: Kuya Marvin and Kuya Jose. After praying and some photo ops, we began our trek to Batad Saddle. It took us more than an hour to reach Batad Proper where we paid the environment fee. You’ll see here the beautiful amphitheater like rice terraces on which the Batad is known for, having been recognized as one of UNESCO World Heritage site. The view here is really spectacular. 🙂
The “real” adventure commenced upon leaving Batad on our way to Cambulo. The first challenge is that you have to cross the rice fields of Batad. I really had a hard time crossing the rice field because I’m afraid of heights. Some parts of it are cemented but mostly its a pile of rocks. There are some which are unstable that’s why you have to be extra careful otherwise you might fall to more than 6 feet drop and be drenched in mud. Other than that, there’s no steep trails that you’ll encounter. We had our quick lunch here. It took us more than four hours to reach the Cambulo village. There are stores where you can buy something to drink or eat and covered court where you can rest.
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We continued our journey to Pat-yay Village. This is by far my most challenging trail and a proof that its a major climb of 8/9 difficulty. 😀 Literally “Basagan ng Tuhod” This part of the trail has a never ending ascend. 😦 Here I started experiencing muscle cramps that I had to unload my tent and give it to our tour guide because I might not make it if I didn’t. Its also my first time to experience muscle cramps probably because we’re on a full pack. The trek is quite long that its already dark but we’re still not in the place. To get there, we have two options, one is to cross the rice fields while the other is you have to cross the irrigation. Our tour guide decided to take the irrigation route. Its quite challenging because almost all the trails are cliffs. Since my knees are tired and can’t find balance, I decided to soak my feet in the irrigation water because I’m freaking out at the cliffs on my other side. Good thing no one on our group was hurt while on our way. Though most of us have experienced “slide fest” of because of loose soil. Also most of us are tired because its really a long walk. It took us more than 6 hours to reach the Pat-yay Village. Instead of pitching tent, we decided to rent a bunkhouse to save us time. After freshening up a bit we prepared our dinner. Thankfully our pre cooked adobo is still edible. 😀 Like all other foods in the mountain,  its the best adobo ever. 😛 I’m dead tired already that’s why I didn’t do socials and decided to sleep early. 😀

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I woke up the next day by the cry of a rooster. It was a cold Saturday morning. We were greeted by the wide landscape of rice terraces. We prepared some quick breakfast before heading straight to Mt. Amuyao Summit where we’ll stay the night. We also prepared our pack lunch because it will be another long walk up to the summit. Our trail to the summit is a gradual ascent which started on staircases going out to the Pat-yay Village. Inside the mossy forest is quite cold but throughout you its a wide trail. We take our quick lunch at the shed just a few 600MASL before the summit. After that we started trekking all the way up to the summit. The trail is a gradual ascend. Its quite convenient actually because its getting colder as we go up to the summit. The trail is established because the Summit itself housed a communication tower of ABS-CBN. Few meters to the summit you’ll be greeted by vast landscape of Cordillera Mountain range. But you have to be extra careful because the trail is quite narrow and slippery when wet. We reached the summit after more than 8 hours of walking. 😀 The summit itself is semented. And there’s an available bunkhouse for free. But our group decided to pitch our tent outside since there are other hikers who came before us. I joined socials at night and drunk some liquor to ease the coldness. 😀 We were greeted the next day by cool weather. I felt cold and shivery. At 5am I decided to go out of the tent to take a picture. It was really cold literally. The sunrise view as always is spectacular. Its like the prize we received after almost 3 days of walking. 🙂 All our efforts were paid off upon seeing it. 🙂

After breakfast and some photo op we prepared ourselves to descend going to the town of Barlig. The trail on the way down is established as well. With piles of logs lined up as stairs. It will surely test test your knees endurance. There’s some part wherein you have to go down on a ladder like logs. Once you came across that path most of the trail are gradual descend with some parts where you can run. Its similar to the trail of Tarak Ridge. We also encounter some rice terraces again but this time its cemented so no issues with that. 😀 At the end of the trail was a backyard. I almost freak out again because I thought we’re lost. I’m so frustrated because I don’t have any more water. entered the Barangay and tried to find someone who could point us where the highway is. Luckily there are stores nearby. We had our quick re-hydrate. Just as you thought that all is well, there’s a final assault that you need to overcome. Its the staircase going to the highway. Its really tiring. 😥 But we continued until we finally reached the highway and regroup with my friends. There’s no available souvenirs in the area but there are food stalls where you can buy food and also offers free use of shower and toilet.
Overall, it was a feat that I am really proud of. I was able to overcome my weakness. Though I still relied on our tour guide to bring my other stuff, I believe with some training I can be strong too. 🙂 Most of all, I’m so thankful to the group that I am with. There are no dull moments. Throughout the trail we’re laughing because of the silliness of some. It really helps a lot to lighten the mood. Specially on the point where I almost give up and regret why I joined in the first place. 😀 But yeah we pull it off. So if you’re planning to do the same, all I can say is:
Have fun though your body is aching. 
Remember once started, there’s no turning back. You have no choice but to keep moving forward.

Special shout out to the wonderful group the #TeamBaldado ang mga #HindiUmayawSaAmuyao‬ 

Lory, EJ, Robin, Rowey, Camae, Kenneth, Mimi, Joem, Arnel, William

Also to our van driver Kuya Tristan. Thank you for your smooth driving and for keeping us safe throughout our trip. ^_^

You can reach him thru this number: Tristan Santos (0917-578-3875)

 Till our next climb.. ^_^

You may refer below for the details regarding our itinerary and breakdown of expenses. Enjoy! 😀

Itinerary:

Day 0 -April 21
8pm MEETUP
9pm ETD to Banaue

Day 1 – April 22
0700 ETA Banaue/ Breakfast and prepare packed lunch sa karinderya
0800 Take rented Jeep to ‘Saddle’
1000 ETA ‘Saddle’ Jump off; Start Trek to Batad
1200 ETA Batad; Lunch. Register
1300 ETD to Cambulo Village
1600 ETA Cambulo Village, Proceed ascend to Pat-yay village
1700 ETA Mossy Forest
2000 ETA Pat-yay – Dinner Set Camp/Bivouac or Home stay
2200 Lights out

*** TAKE NOTE MERON TAYO NIGHT TREK SA DAY-1
kahit anung mangyare kelangan natin magpush sa pat-yay village kundi pat-tay kang bata ka! Hahaha

Day 2 – April 23
0500 Wake-up Call / Breakfast / break camp / prepare packed lunch
0700 Start Ascend to Mt Amuyao Summit
1100 ETA Mossy forest – lunch
1230 ETD to Summit
1500 ETA Summit.
1900 Dinner / SOCIALS

Day 3 – April 24
0500 Wake-up Call / Breakfast
0700 Break Camp
0800 Start Descend
0830 ETA Barlig Viewpoint (~2400 MASL)
0930 Proceed with the trek
1200 ETA Macalama, Barlig, take Lunch/wash up
1300 ETD for Banaue
1700 Stop over at Banaue rice terraces (If time permitted)
1730 ETA Banaue (Dinner)
1900 ETD for Manila

Breakdown of Expenses:

Tour guide 9000
Bunk house 1650
Environmental fee 550
Butane 210
Food 1353
Butane 210
Van 18000

Mountain Stats:

Entry Point: Batad, Banaue Ifugao

Exit Point: Barlig, Mt. Province

LLA: 17.0123N, 121.1297E, 2702 MASL

Major climb

Difficulty 8/9

Trail class 1-3

Reference:

Please also visit Camae’s version of our journey to Mt. Amuyao here.

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