June is considered a rainy season in the Philippines. But luckily there’s no rain in sight when we had our trip to Sagada.
The Travel Factor group met at Florida bus station in Espana, Manila, right in front of my alma mater, UST. We will be travelling at night straight to Banaue, Mt. Province so I know it’s gonna be a long journey for about 8-hour drive. Me and Flok we’re seated together and both of us are first-timers to Sagada, excited much! She slept during the journey and I did not. Well I just had about 1-hour nap and I know it’s not enough because when we reach Sagada, our first activity is spelunking! Say what?! I’ll do spelunking without getting any decent sleep! arghh!
At around 630am, we arrived Mt. Province. What a fresh of breath air! We headed straight to Banaue rice terraces to took some souvenir shots. The place is amazing, it’s like a field of dreams and I never imagined that these terraces are carved by the Ifugaos ages ago and I wouldn’t mind going back to this place again.
After clicks and pose, it’s time for breakfast. We ate at Hidden Valley Restaurant and they only served 2 types of meal, longsilog or pancake. I opted the former. After breakfast, it’s top load time, yipee!!! ! It will take around 3-4 hours to drive before we reach Sagada. We will be riding a jeepney and we had a chance to seat on top of the jeep. And since we are 12, it’s impossible for all of us to be seated on top at the same time so we decided to do it into 2 batch. I belong to the second batch. We drive around the zigzag road and experience a close encounter of the rice terraces without zooming in the camera. Everything in sight are all greens…rolling hills everywhere…the beauty is overwhelming! Take turns and it’s time for us to be on top of the jeep. It’s a different feeling when you’re seated on top because every time we swerve either to the left or to the right, it’s like we’re dropping off on the edge of the cliff. We kept on shouting as if we will fell off. I think the driver is doing that intentionally so it will be more fun and exciting! Robert is brave enough to took a video while we’re on top. He’s not holding on to the rails and wouldn’t mind if his iPhone would fell off. He needs to take a video of us on top of the jeep and he made it, good job Roberta! hahahaha! 🙂
We arrived at Alibama Inn at 11am. This will be our home for 3 nights. Actually the house has 5 rooms and we occupied the 4 rooms. I am sharing room with Flok. Unfortunately there’s no heater on the shower. Well what do we expect, this is a backpacking tour so everything we had are the basics. After we freshen up and had a quick lunch, it spelunking time!
Let’s hit if off to Sumaguing and Lumiang Cave. Only the brave can go inside the cave and I think I am one of them. Since I am claustrophobic, Jess asked me first if I can make it and I said yes but on the back of my mind I have apprehension of doing it, me inside the cave for 5-6 hrs?, it’s cold, it’s dark!!! will I survive?!?! But contrary to what I expect, it’s not that scary as I expect it to be. As we go along the way, the surface become slippery, the rocks are getting steeper to climb and the bad thing is I felt so sleepy already not to mention tired and hungry as well. I guess the rest of us are! But nevertheless, we conquer our first day,,, the Cave Connection Adventure! whew!
Day 2, another task is waiting for us. But before we face our adventure for the day, we first went to Kiltepan Tower for sunrise viewing. Some of the group wake up early while the rest still hiding behind their sheets. You can’t blame them, the coldness in Sagada is different that you may want to stay in bed all day long. Naturally I won’t let it pass not seeing the sunrise in Sagada. When we arrive at Kiltepan, there were already tourist on site. Wow, the panoramic view is beyond amazing! If I have a chance to stay there all day, I would. Just sitting around on top of the mountain, seeing clouds covering the mountains, contemplating about LIFE! God is so powerful he created such scenery no one could ever do so!
Back to Alibaba, had our breakfast and it’s time to trek this time to Bomod-ok Falls. Everyone is ready, camera in tow, food to supply our trek and of course our walking stick! We needed that especially if walking uphill the terrain. All we’re lined up while walking, taking shots here and there. We’re like inside the Farmville, seeing the farmers doing their harvest. After 2 hours walking under the heat of the sun with sweat all over, we finally reached the falls. There are already group of tourist there when we arrived so we look for a spot where we can leave our things just in case some decided to dip into the running water. I did not go into the water but insteas decided to sit atop of a big rock so I have a good view to took a shot of the falls. Locals were offering a free massage, I grab the opportunity. Just gave the boys some chocolates and 20 pesos as a token. After an hour of bonding time at the falls, it’s time to hit the fields and do the walking again for another 2 hours, whew! This time with the scorching heat of the sun and it already reached it’s peak since it is already 2pm. The nice thing is there are locals along the way who sell Gatorade. Can you believe they are selling Gatorade in the middle of the fields? The locals already anticipate that tourist would be needing that because trekking to reach the falls is no joke. It’s a bit expensive but who cares, if you’re thirsty and feels like being dehydrated already, you can’t really think of how much would it be. At 4pm we’re done and finally conquer our second adventure…. Trek to Bomod-ok Falls!! whew!!!
Back to homebase at Alibaba, we’re supposed to have sunset viewing at Lake Danum but due to thick fog, we just decided to have an early dinner at Yoghurt House and then happy hour at Salt and Pepper Bar.
This is our last day in Sagada. Up and early again for our last tour, this time we will be vising St. Mary’s Episcopal church, Calvary Hills, Echo Valley, Hanging Coffins. After our morning tour, it’s all by ourselves. Some went back to Alibaba to pack their things, other went to public market to do some last minute shopping. Me, Flok, Jess, Becx and Grace decided to drop by at Lemon Pie house. A tour to Sagada is not complete without tasting the best lemon pie in the North.
So all our bags are packed and ready to go home. Back to reality,,, back again to being a corporate slave!!! Till my next journey… ~~~07.10-12.11 / Sagada, Mountain Province