To go to Sagada, I took the Baguio victory liner bus, friday 12 midnight for around 440Php. Then arrived in Baguio at 6am, had a quick meal then afterwards I rode the 7am Lizardo bus bound for Sagada at the Dangwa bus terminal for 220php.
The View from the bus is exhilarating.
As pretty as it was to look at i needed to un-bore myself somehow.
It was a reaally long ride. Haha.
My arrival time at Sagada was at 1 in the afternoon, got a quick sammich. Sat beside Erica, an American yoga instructor, who recommended me to spend the night at a Homestay up a hill but since they were full I opted to go to Greenhouse Inn. They had no heaters in the two communal restrooms but it was tolerable because I like frigid showers anyway, and since I was the only guest the proprietor gave me a discount so the rate was only 150Php a night.
I went out for a walk, Then I saw the Sagada Genuine Guides post, I read their blog offering tours and such so I went in, my top priority was to go cave spelunking but it was a tad bit expensive to go alone since the rate was at 400 per person but with a minimum of two participants so if I were to go alone I gotta pay 800, but I met two nice Jewish chaps and we decided to all go together saving me dinner money. :D
So we hiked down to Lumiang cave for about 40 minutes. But it was okay as the path was downhill.
Lumiang Cave is your entry Point.
A lil peek about the ideologies and customs of the Sagada people: One of the burial caves there is special because only the mothers who died giving birth are designated there, they are segregated because it is believed that those of that lineage are cursed, and they like Geckoes, it’s a symbol of faithfulness to them, so it is often engraved on top of their tomb stones. As you can notice the tombs are small because the bodies are placed in a fetal position.
On to the hike. Your point of entry is Lumiang cave and you will exit to the Sumaguing cave, the entire duration takes about five hours, where you’ll twist, bend and crawl like a pro. We were crawling down and there was a bat they said it went ten inches behind me and why didn’t I notice it, I had to tell them, “well I was too busy trying not to kill myself!” And the reply I got was, “oh good keep on doing that”. There’s a lot of natural attractions like the porn cave and king’s curtain, various stalagmites/stalactites and lime stones which are very pretty but really slippery. some parts was amazingly glittery. I didn’t take much photos because it was an old point and shoot cam and the guide was carrying it for me.
Peace from Jerusalem. Lil known fact is that most middle eastern youth [the Israelites at least] love outdoor activities. They went hiking on Mt. Pulag and backpacked all the way to Sagada, they were soldiers before going to college. This guy has half a pinky missing on his left hand.
The capable guides use gas lamps because it offers a 360degree view as opposed to flash lights which only lights the direction you point it to. Stay close to the guide as it’s very dark.
This is our very friendly very reliable guide Sir Benjamin.
Hiking back to the Sagada Town Proper took an hour. Then we all had dinner at Bana’s. They asked me about Nazareth and I said “Oh Christ lived there” and they said it’s a place for them to have lunch and that it looked like a city that a kid built with Lego. Haha. I learned a lot from them which goes to show that Backpacking is not for Loners. After we ate they said it hurts them cause the food was so good they had to tip, but they were really broke cause there’s no ATMs in Sagada [there’s actually one but you rarely see it online and it’s a coop atm] In the end we tipped and had a good feel to it, afterwards I went back to Green House Inn and they went to the Residential Inn.
I had Adobo in Sagada three times because well, why not. Meal prices there are kinda steep but it’s so worth it. One dinner I went bonkers trying to find a place serving brown rice, most of them only serve white rice and well that’s okay. Meals are about 120-170, 140 for Adobo haha there’s seafood there too, maybe they get it from the lake?
My 2nd day there was spent having breakfast at Bana’s then had strawberry yoghurt at the Yoghurt house. Spent a good part of the day wandering about. Then I went hiking to Bok-kong falls. If you don’t get lost like what happened to me it’s only about 30 mins from the town proper. On the way back I got some cinnamon bread and long johns from the best bakery in sagada. The portions are massive and the cinnamon plate bread is only 17 pesos and a snack at cafe St. Joe’s which is also an Inn, rate is about 500Php per cabin. then went back to Green House Inn and changed for dinner.
Bana’s for Breakfast at 140 a Pop and well worth it.
Dessert Options? Enjoy a cup of Strawberry Yoghurt for only 70pesos
Then get ready for a nice Trek going down to Bok-kong Falls where you’ll undoubtedly have a nice relaxing stroll unless you’re anything like me wih the knack for getting helplessly lost. Then in which case you’re going to be a bit tired :)
I bought a map for 20pesos with some dotted lines which i considered semi-reliable. I just had a knack for getting lost. A jeep drove by and i flagged it asking for a ride downhill. With a photo taken too :D
Stopping to view the terraces is a nice excuse for resting a bit.
This is your Path. Easy enuf to navigate alone :D
The jeepney blends seamlessly with the flowers. But that’s one Hard-Core jeep that’s able to maneuver the zigzag path to Sagada.
Sagada Weaving, You’ll pass this when descending down to Bokkong, Come inside to see the traditional way of making those popular souvenirs. I didn’t want to take a pic of the nice ladies at work since they were you know, working. I had the feeling it would be impolite.
This is cafe St. Joe and if you’re adamant about staying somewhere with a crisp white bed this is the place to go. Although when I travel I prefer roughing it out since it’s not the room you’re there for. Its what’s outside.
And this is a cute kid at St. Joe’s, Plastic bag contains magical long johns and cinnamon bread.
And this is the dun.dun.dun Bakery :D Smells awesome. I don’t eat Cinnamon although i did buy a couple, and a lot of long johns. Delish! :D
This is Sagada’s hospital, i went in and it was empty, normal looking. a bit eerie.
On my 3rd day I woke up early to go to Echo Valley and Calvary, yes I got lost again but I found the Calvary by following the stones. Echo Valley is behind a cell site so I hurried back. Globe cell site is a favorite of the NPA to bomb. But it was nice, a beautiful view and it was only around 6am when I was there, so it was cold and picturesque, then iIwent down and had breakfast at Haddeku. yes. they have brown rice! :) went sightseeing for pasalubong after. You should go to Lemon Pie House, sold at 150 per pan. More than just good pie you can also spend some QT with the lovely owner.
These stone markers helped a lot since I had no idea where I was going and as I was asking for directions to a nice fella, he told me the way using the word “Delta” :D wow. Now I know its meaning.
This is the Calvary, If you zoom in on the pic a lot you’ll see the mafia-don style silhouette on the bid tomb at the center. Kewl.
The Calvary Cross is the last station of the Novena every Holy Week, a common sentiment I hear from Sagada folk is that tourists shouldn’t go if possible during the Holy Week as it interrupts with some of their traditions. They are conservative and rowdy tourists during a Holy time can really piss off some elders. The infamous Globe cell site looms behind :D
The 6am view of Sagada from Echo Valley
Echo Valley :D
LPH, It was being renovated when i went there. It’s a very lovely place indeed. More than just dang good pies :)
A quaint but a bit hard to find cafe. Very charming indeed.
The owner cooked the meal himself. I found it charming that there’s cool vintage magazines that i can read while waiting. It was good, hence it was half eaten when i took the pic. :D
I’ll surely visit Sagada again :D
With cool pics and fond experiences I then took the 11 am jeep to Bontoc, fare is at 50Php I think. I rode on the roof for the full effect.
It was fun, a bit scary and really cold.
From hot stuffy Bontoc, I took the 6 hour bus to bound for Baguio. Costing around 220Php.
After three pitstops and 1 squat toilet. I arrived in Baguio at 6pm.