My Sagada Adventure

Travel Blog by Yves
May 23, 2011

Sagada is a quaint and charming little town nestled in Cordillera mountain ranges in Northern Luzon. A haven lush with pine and mossy forests, cultivated in terraces of rice and vegetables. It is famous for its cool weather, beautiful scenery, hospitable people and local indigenous culture preserved and practised through the centuries. I don’t know when exactly I became fascinated with this small highland town up in the Mt Province but my dream of stepping into this majestic place never left me since then. So when I finally had the means and time to getaway from the hullabaloos of city life, I embarked on a solo trip (joined a group of people who are total strangers) to this mountain paradise.

It was a 6-hour drive from Manila to Baguio and another 6 hours at the minimum drive to Mt Province with their endless cliffs, mountains and valleys full of vegetable farms. We arrived at the town proper at 6 in the morning and as soon as we reached our Inn, we hurriedly ate our breakfast and prepared for the first day adventure.

First stop:

Sagada Weaving Center

On our way to Echo Valley we passed by:

St. Mary's Church
Sagada Bell

Wheel of Faith

The Cemetery

We walked for about an hour. Echo Valley is the home of the Hanging Coffins. The name Echo Valley literally meant the "bouncing of sounds unto the walls of the Limestone Valley" where you can actually hear your name being called back by the mountains three times.  According to our guide, the Igorots placed their coffins up high because it is near the sky (heaven).

Hanging Coffins

After the Echo Valley trek, we had our early lunch at Yoghurt House. As expected, the food was a bit pricey, because of the fact that all supplies to this place had to be carried in through the one hour trek.

The Yoghurt House

The last agenda for the day was a 7-hour, adventure packed, no turning back cave connection spelunking! Spelunking Sumaguing Cave will take you 3 hours while Lumiang Cave
was more adventurous than Sumaguing that will take you almost 4 hours to get out of the cave. Many would have settled for Sumaguing alone, but because I wanted extreme challenges for extreme fulfilment, I embarked on both Lumiang and Sumaguing!

After hours of trekking, rappelling, squeezing through narrow openings, mixed feelings of fun, adrenalin rush, and amazement on the various rock formations, I was out of the cave alive! Thank you Lord!

Day 2:

After breakfast at Rock Inn Cafe, we started the 2-hr trek down the terraces to Bomod-Ok Falls a.k.a. The Big Falls. The trek began at Banga-an, then passed through the villages of Modongo, and Fidelisan.

The breathtaking view along the trail

And after about an hour and a half of trekking, we finally reached the mighty Big Falls.

True or Falls

Dipped into the swimming area and enjoyed
the refreshing water of Bomod-Ok Falls!

After our freezing swim, we all headed back up to Banga-an. I looked so helpless on the trek back. Expect the trek to be more tiring and strenuous since most of the trails were uphill. This, however, was worth all the effort because the views of the picturesque rice Day 3:

Last day of our Sagada trip required us to wake up at around 4:00 am to witness the sunrise at Kiltepan Viewpoint.

A Walk In the Clouds

Good morning, Haring Araw!

We headed home after two full days in Sagada We left at 730am and made our way to Banaue, but along the way, we also passed by Bontoc. There were rice terraces all across the entire Mountain Province, and Bontoc was no exception. We stopped by for just a few minutes to take a few photos.

It took about an hour and a half after leaving Bontoc before we got to Banaue. Along the way, we passed through several mountain ranges that featured a lot of amazing rice terraces, some of them pretty massive. We finally arrived at the Banaue Rice Terraces and it looked magnificent!

No Pain, No Gain Adventure. Here’s the reward. ---Priceless.

I can't explain how fulfilling and exciting it was to travel alone especially this place was not an easy breezy kind of destination. Actually I never felt alone too because I met a lot of interesting and kind people in this trip. Sagada made me realize that there’s more to this life and how good Mother Earth is. I am extremely grateful to be alive and able to see the wonders of our own native land!



*Photos are the writer's own.