Conquering and Surviving Sagada: A Trip Worth Blogging For

Although my stay in Sagada, Mountain Province was cut short because I need to go back to Baguio to join the PhilHealth-DOH Nationwide Run, still, I enjoyed a lot. My former team mates and I have been planning to visit Sagada but it was only this month that we finally "finalized" the trip. Special shout-out goes to Cecile and Jo for coordinating the event!

Day 1: We left Baguio City via GL Trans past eleven in the morning and we arrived in Sagada town proper before six in the afternoon. The bus was jam-packed with both local and foreign travelers. If I'm not mistaken, those foreigners who took our seats are Germans. They hardly speak English but they were friendly and nice, and I was thankful enough because they still understand me when I told them "Excuse me sir. We reserved these seats for us. You may stay at the vacant seats at the back." And they did!

Sagada town proper is a bit similar to Baguio's public market but they have fewer "tiangges" and business establishments. What is very noticeable, however, at the Poblacion is the presence of several foreign tourists.  Fact is, it's my first time to see Americans, Italians, Germans, Canadians, Japanese, etc. all in one place. Anyway, the Baguio-bound bus is also at the ton proper. Jeepneys going to Bontoc is also right in front of the "bus station". I learned from Cecile that it's only an hour ride from Sagada so if I was not scheduled to join the PhilHealth run, "I would have been there."

Because Coach Joanne and Kuya Ed was late because they took the 1:30 bus going to Sagada we had to fetch them in Poblacion which, I think, is a blessing in disguise. If we all arrived in Sagada all at the same time, then, we wouldn't have the chance to visit Yoghurt House. I don't have enough literary power right now to describe how's the place and their freshly served Yogurt but I strongly suggest that you check the place if you're going to visit Sagada.

We stayed in Cecile's place which, if my calculation is correct, is only a 20- minute walk to Sagada town proper. It's a three-storey house and we stayed at the third floor which is fully furnished. The house is under construction but it's nice. Fact is, we all enjoyed our stay.

We had Lumpiang Puso ng Saging (given the fact that I don't eat pork and they had to take this into consideration which I'm very thankful of) and daing na Bangus for dinner courtesy of Coach Joanne. Right after dinner, we decided to drink at the bonfire courtesy of Cecile's dad. Because I don't drink "often", I got myself drunk and thank God I was still managed to take a bath going to sleep!

Day 2: We woke up past six in the morning and the first thing that I heard before I get up from my bed is "their head is aching." When they asked me "how are you?" I candidly told them that my head is also aching. They all laughed hysterically which is a very good day to start our day. For breakfast, we have coffee, bread,  hotdog, rice, egg and macaroni soup courtesy again of Coach Joanne. During breakfast, Mel told us that we should all be set by eight o'clock.

8:00 am. We're all set for the trek. From Cecile's place we trekked down to Sumaguing Cave exit which probably took us at least an hour because we had to slow down for the photo-shoot. Then, from Sumaguing Cave, we walked back to town again and there we met some other travelers/tourists busy taking photos of the unique rock formation near the road. After the walk, we climbed again going to Saint Mary's Episcopal Church which, according to Mel, was bombed during the WWII. Across the church are the Centennial Wheels which were used to transport logs back the old American times. After some photo-shoots, we passed by the Veterans Cemetery. Then, from there we climbed down for at least fifteen minutes going to Echo Valley where me met some friendly travelers. Mel asked us if we want rock climbing but we told him that we didn't have much time so we went right away to the famous hanging coffins.

From Echo Valley, we hiked again for at least an hour going to the underground river. We passed by the Sagada coffee plantation and we reached the underground river before eleven. Then, from the underground river we climbed again fom another fifteen minutes before we reached the road. Because we're tired and thirsty, we dropped by Rock Valley Inn and Cafe. We stayed at the cafe for almost twenty minutes and after chatting with each other, the time has come for me to say "goodbye." I felt sad as I watch them walked away going to Bumok-od falls.

After buying the stuffs that I need plus the "pasalubong" for the QA Team, I hurried myself inside JLB Trans. The "last trip" from Sagada to Baguio (vice versa) at 1:30 PM. At exactly 1:45 PM, we left Sagada, and as I watch the scenic road view going down, I told myself "I'll see you again beautiful Sagada!"

I arrived in Baguio past seven in the evening. Because I don't have time to cook and I'm tired, I took out pinakbet and chickn adobo from a "turu-turo" and went home right away. I slept past eight in the evening with a smile on my face and I told myself "We did it! We finally conquered and survived Sagada!"

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