In October 2012, I had my first experience as a solo traveler within my country. I’ve dreamed of seeing the UNESCO World Heritage Batad Rice Terraces in Batad, Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines. I invited friends to backpack with me to this off-beaten path. All were interested but eventually, none could spare the time at this particular month and year. I thought of it several times then decided it wouldn’t be a problem. I would just force my courage and determination to accompany me.
Aside from witnessing the craftsmanship of the Ifugaos in building the amphitheater-like rice terraces, one is also afforded the rugged beauty of the Tappiya Falls above. Reaching the waterfall entailed an hour-plus of trekking along the terraces and up and down mountains that were visible right across the window of my rented Ifugao hut (see picture below). These two pictures depicted a beginning of one adventurous day in Batad, from the moment I woke up to the chirping birds and misty mountains outside my window to building up my excitement of splashing in the cold waters of Tappiya.
But as a whole, this solo trip marked a beginning of believing. I came to believe the possibility of going to places I’ve dreamed about by acting on this dream, not just daydreaming in the corner.