A Travel Guide to Anawangin Cove and Capones Island, Zambales
April 8, 2014
Ka Bino Guerrero: History on Foot
April 25, 2014
Show all

Photo Essay | Missing Batad Rice Terraces and Some Notes on Love

Batad Rice Terraces

In Batad, the village shaman can predict the couple’s future using a chicken liver. He can read the liver’s veins and interpret them.

Yes, the couple’s love and future are at the mercy of the liver.  I met a couple then—an environmentalist Filipina and an Italian cook—who suggested they would try it. 

I respect traditions. But I wonder if love can be restrained with such village tradition. Love itself has its own traditions that it keeps on breaking, reaffirming, modifying. Love itself changes, withers, buds anew, dies, resurrects, metamorphoses.

I believe love is hard work. I believe love is magical. I believe love lives in a cycle of death and rebirth.  I believe in love. 




Batad Rice Terraces











DSC_0055 DSC_0160


  “Ako nalang ang magdala ng bag mo,” said Darwin, a local and a guide whom I chanced upon at the saddle. But I declined. It was my own load. I had to bear it. Darwin has a pair of one of the most beautiful brown eyes I’ve ever seen. He was with Wendy, another guide who I saw a day after staggering in front of his hut while holding dos por dos in one hand and a stone in the other, threatening someone with it.

Who does not love the rusticness and remoteness of Batad? That feeling of waking up with a view of the rice terraces built by bare hands sprawling below with clouds’ shadows romancing its greeness. It was nothing short of magical, really. I was filled with gratitude looking at this magnificence I  studied in my elementary years. Farmers are gods in this part of the country.

I would love to visit this place again for a longer stay. Perhaps a week. Or a month. And hopefully, not as a solo wanderer but with someone who would be silly enough to go to the village shaman and have our love predicted but would dismiss the prediction anyway.

Hoping to come back, Jona


Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

More Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *