Wednesday, October 04, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 18, 1445 H
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Omani explores the ‘stairway to heaven’ of Batad, Philippines


When Mustafa visited the Philippines, he was not expecting to be impressed by the beauty of a small village called Batad.

Very different from what he was accustomed to in Oman, Batad is located at a very remote place about 16 hours away from Manila, the country’s capital, surrounded by lush forest with the village only accessible by almost an hour of trekking. The village’s population is around 1500.

Here, for centuries, many of the traditional ways of living are still practiced but if there is something the people of Batad are very proud of, it’s their UNESCO World Heritage Site Rice Terraces.

From a small house that served as his home, Mustafa gets to see what the Filipinos would call their ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as the rice paddies were carved out from the mountains and formed stairs that seemingly lead towards the sky.

“I have visited over 35 countries, but I have not seen a village like Batad,” Mustafa said on a video he shared on Youtube in his account Mstafa_om.

Mustafa can be seen running in narrow paddies, interacting with the locals and even exploring one of the village’s prized possession, a 70-meter waterfall called Tapiyya that is one of the main sources of water in the area.

His video showed him interacting with a local farmer, an old woman who tells him that she doesn’t like staying at home because she’d rather work so that she has food to eat.

“What are you working on?” Mustafa asked.

“I’m removing these golden snails because they will destroy the plant,” came the old lady’s response.

In the few days he stayed in Batad, Mustafa visited a school where he taught children a little bit about Oman.

He witnessed the simple life of the people, from the way they prepare their food, to the long walks the children have to take to get to school and back and even joined the villagers swim in the freezing water of the nearby waterfall.

He also entered one of the old traditional houses made of wood and straws, drink from the flowing water of a river and listened to one of the traditional songs of the village.

Based on the 3-minute video, Mustafa had a great time exploring the village. To see his adventure, check out his Youtube account: Mstafa_om.

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