Take the North Luzon EXpressway (NLEX), and exit at Apalit/San Simon, Pampanga, which is about 26 km from Balintawak. Head for Gapan, Nueva Ecija, passing through Sta. Ana and Arayat, Pampanga, and Cabiao and San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. Turn left at Gapan, and head for Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, passing through Cabanatuan, Science City of Munoz, and San Jose, Nueva Ecija, and Sta. Fe and Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. Between San Jose and Sta. Fe, you will pass through some foothills (Dalton Pass) of the Sierra Madre mountains; this is not yet the Cordillera mountains. Turn left at Bagabag, and head for Banawe, Ifugao, passing through Lagawe, Ifugao. Leaving Manila on a January Thursday in 2007, driving conditions were very good at 10:30PM, allowing us to reach Banawe by 5:30AM the next morning.
You can also exit at Sta. Rita/Baliuag from the NLEX, and head straight through Gapan, passing through Plaridel, Baliuag, San Ildefonso, and San Miguel, Bulacan, but when we took this route going back to Manila the following Sunday, driving conditions were very poor even at around 1AM.
These directions will be self-evident in a good map.
Around Banaue proper, you could ride on the numerous tricycle's, but once you go out of town like to Batad, its advisable to rent a jeep especially if you are a group.
The jeep there got wheels like 4x4, as the roads are really unforgiving.. All jeeps could be rented for a day, to Batad whole day its 800-1000, depending on your bargaining skills.
For people that would like to have an adventure, its best to sit on the top load, (roof of the jeep), just hold tight for a bumpy ride..
There are lots of exploring to do while in Banawe, so if you have a good running car, it is a good idea to drive it instead of taking the public transportation.