Tips to avoid getting offloaded by Philippine immigration
Having a weak Philippine passport shouldn't stop us legit travelers from exploring the world. I got questioned by Philippine immigration for traveling solo and I passed their checks. Here are some tips to avoid getting offloaded in Philippine immigration.
Apo Whang-Od is one of the Philippines' national treasures. Her skills and talent made Buscalan famous for the Kalinga tattoo. I was starstruck to see a living legend, however, disappointed by what tourism has done to an icon.
While in Batad, I stayed in a solo room at Batad View Inn & Restaurant as this was my most practical option. This lodging is under the same management as Mang Ramon’s Homestay who owns traditional nipa huts. It got me curious so I decided to upgrade for one night and sleep like a native Ifugao inside a nipa hut.
I stayed in Batad for almost a week and got the opportunity to meet Mang Ramon Binalit. When he learned that I was a writer, albeit amateur, he generously shared a lot of information about their ethnic Ifugao culture. Luckily, he was scheduled to make rice wine for an upcoming ritual so I got the chance to see the process.
MOMA 101: Learning About “NgaNga” (Betel Nut) from a Young Ifugao
If you have been to Ifugao or other places in the Cordilleras, you may have seen signs that say “No Spitting of Moma”. You might wonder what these bloody red spit are around the canals of Banaue. While in Batad, I got a chance to interview a young Ifugao while on her nganga session.
Batad Rice Terraces: Why you should pay for a Local Guide
Tourism is Batad's major source of income. However, a lot of foreign tourists try to get in for free. I used to be a fan of those vlogs that teach how to go around Batad Rice Terraces for free but I now see how these influencers have not really helped the locals. These vloggers did promote Batad, for free and without giving back to locals.
Awa View Deck is the highest point in Batad where you get to see an ampitheater view of the Batad Rice Terraces. The trail was difficult, slippery and steep but a beginner hiker like me was able to reach this place with the help of my local guide
If you're staying at Ramon's Homestay in Batad, you'd get a chance to meet Rambo and the other tour guide dogs. You might even get lucky if the dogs decide to join (lead) your tour around the rice terraces.