Survived Sagada :P

Photo by Mel Elgincolin

Brgy Aguod, Sagada

I am not the adventurous type..comparing myself to my more audacious friends. But, I have always wanted to go to Sagada which is known for more daring activities like trekking, hiking, and spelunking. Knowing that my parents already went there and my dad just loved the experience, I was all the more curious of what is behind that 'long drive form Manila' and the place behind the mountains and valleys.

We kicked off summer 2012 with the planned trip to Mountain Province. Armed with reminders such as Sagadanians are conservative and weather is cold but Mr. Sun is always present., we packed our bags together with our a bit of conventional but comfy clothes, sunblock, trekking footwear etc. 

We took the Omahayami bus to Banawe which is full of foreigners - Koreans, Americans, Europeans. It took us 9 hours to get to the Rice Terraces town of Ifugao. It was my first time. The group had breakfast at Las Vegas Restaurant, which I think is popular hearing it from the foreign guests. We got introduced to our guide slash driver who will accompany us to our 3 hour drive to Sagada.
The Banawe Rice Terraces (Batad)

Along the way, we were able to pass by the famous Banawe Rice Terraces. I was just amazed seeing it upclose.The people of Ifugao are very friendly which is very evident among the elders who welcomed us in the Terraces viewpoint, who also cheerfully posed with us for a photo op.

Upon, reaching Mt. Province, there are more rice terraces shown to us who are also lovely. One is the Bay-ay Rice Terraces.

Bay-ay Rice Terraces, Mt. Province

After the three hour zigzag and thrilling ride (due to narrow roads), we finally reached the town of Sagada. We checked in at George Guest House and registered first at the municipal hall. We decided to proceed with the activity of the day : trek to Bomod-ok falls. 

The trek was a challenge for a sleepless person like me during that time. But I can say, it is one fulfilling experience even if it is something that I do not usually do. Getting to know the way of life of the people in Brgy. Banga-an, where the trek route is, is just worth it. The breathtaking view of mountains and fields also became my source of energy to finish a total of 3 hours of trekking route (going to and from the falls). Thanks to our guide Ate Gloria (fondly called as Ate GMA haha), a membet of NORSIGA,  for being patient in guiding us and in explaining their culture for us to appreciate.

The following day was spent on going to Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins. 

My friends also enjoyed their spelunking activity, which I did not join :P But was able to capture some of their  moments in the cave.
Cave Connection - M. Solas cam :) 

How can I forget the food trip? 
Living may be simple in Sagada, but one will not forget the abundance of food. :) I loved our break fast at Salt and Pepper and my fresh yogurt at Yoghurt House.

Travel Thoughts:

- Ohayami Bus fare 450 php (one way) 

- From Sagada, we took the Sagada-Baguio-Manila route. Be prepared of the 6 hour Sagada-Baguio route as it is about the countless zigzag roads and a 'fresh air' bus. But, the view and the experience are the things that will make it memorable. I am sure the foreign tourists would agree too :) 

- Orange is a famous product of Sagada: most pastries for pasalubong have its orange flave.

- George guest house is already one of the most modern and cozy place to stay in Sagada. Note that unlike Banawem most accommodations are in forms of guest houses or inns only. George Guest House has that colorful exterior and interior designs which has wi-fi as additional service.
We paid roughly 1k per room a night.

George Guest House Sala (3rd F) 



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