Banaue was where we spent our first week and it´s definitely one of our favourite places in Philippines. We went in November, so it was the rainy season in the northern part. Nonetheless, the rain did not bother us. Rather, we quite enjoyed the chilly temperatures and the lack of tourists.
How to get to Banaue? What we did was take a flight to Manila, and from the airport, we took a taxi to Ohayami Trans bus terminal (slightly less than an hour depending on traffic) and waited for our bus. I'd strongly advise to book your bus tickets in advance, it costs only PHP 1,020 (SGD 28) for a return ticket from Manila and you could choose your seats too. The bus ride takes about 7-8 hours each way, so remember to pack lots of food and bring along a warm blanket.
We stayed with Airbnb at Ian´s place up in the mountains. He came personally to pick us up when we arrived in Banaue and showed us around the local marketplace where we could do our grocery. His place is beautiful decorated and what really wins me over was the fully equipped kitchen. Being a vegetarian, this makes everything so much easier. Eduard and I did our grocery and cooked at home almost everyday. Plus, there´s a huge terrace with amazing 270deg views of rice terraces and the star-gazing experience at night will make you fall in love with this place in no time...
Once in Banaue, there are many things to do and most of them would be done as day trips... You could go for a hot spring in Hungduan, and trek through Hapao rice terraces along the way. Or visit the majestic Batad rice terraces and waterfall. Or explore some caves in Sagada and check out their hanging coffins.