Year-end Solo Escapade: Baguio-Banaue-Bontoc-Baguio and The Sagada Bonfire Fest 2014 - Wandering Pinoy

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year-end Solo Escapade: Baguio-Banaue-Bontoc-Baguio and The Sagada Bonfire Fest 2014

My initial plan two days ago was to visit Sagada because of the Bonfire Fest 2014 but when I arrived at the bus terminal behind the Baguio Center Mall, buses were fully booked and there's no more trip to Sagada. I looked for a Bontoc trip but to no avail. Frustrated and thinking that I won't make it to Sagada, I left the bus station and I went to KMS Bus Terminal station near Burnham Park, hoping that I might get a ride going to Banaue. I almost  panicked when I learned that the next trip going to Banaue is at 9:30 pm. Because everything has been planned, I got no choice but to take the 9:30 pm trip to Banaue. I waited four hours at the bus station.

Trip to Sagada: fully booked. 
Trip to Bontoc: fully booked.
The bus left Baguio City around 10:00 pm and we arrived in Banaue around six in the morning. It was pretty cold and a lot of tourists and travelers are warming up at the Municipal Tourism Center. I was alone so I was pretty glad when I met Ivan and Susan. The two planned to go to Bontoc but when they learned that I'm going to Sagada, they decided to join me. We took a van going to Bontoc and from Bontoc, we rode a jeepney going to Sagada. Fare from Banaue to Bontoc via van, as of this writing, is Php150.00 while the jeepney fare from Bontoc to Sagada is Php45.00. Travel time from Banaue to Bontoc is approximately three hours, including a 30-minute stop over at the District Highway Boundary in Aguinaldo, Ifugao. It took us an hour and 30 minutes to reach Sagada from Bontoc.

I took the 9:30 pm trip to Banaue at KMS Bus Station near Burnham Park. 
Early morning in Banaue. I took the photo from the Municipal Tourism Center where I stayed for a few hours and waited for the sun to rise.
The Banaue Town Hall is only a few minutes walk from the Municipal Tourism Center. 
I was surprised that there are tricycles in Banaue. We don't have like this in Baguio. 
A Batad-bound jeepney. This one looks great in yellow. 
We're supposed to ride here but the jeepney driver cancelled the trip for apparently no reason so we took the van instead. It would have been more exciting if we rode a jeepney going to Bontoc. 
Van stop-over at the District Highway Boundary in Aguinaldo, Ifugao. It was foggy and cold when we reached the Nueva Vizcaya-Mountain Province boundary. 
A Mother Mary statue in Aguinaldo, Ifugao, Mountain Province.
The jeepney that will take us to Sagada. Photo taken at the Bontoc Jeepney Station. 
In this photo: Yours Truly, Ivan and Susan. Our 2.5 hours van ride from Banaue to Bontoc was boring so we thought of "toploading" a jeepney from Bontoc to Sagada! That was more than an hour of adrenaline rush, and laughter! Lol!
Sleepless. After long hours of travel from Baguio to Banaue to Bontoc, I've finally reached Sagada. This is my second time to visit Sagada. The first one was way back 2012. 
Photo taken near the Bonfire Fest area.
Cecile and I before the Bonfire and the cultural presentations organized by Saggas, Sagada's guides organization. 
At the bonfire and cultural night presentation. I had a chance to dance with the locals. 
Good morning Sagada! Photo taken on our way back to Baguio. 
My recent solo escapade route is unexpected.
The Sagada Bonfire Fest is a yearly celebration of unique Igorot traditions and Cordillera culture. Set in beautiful and verdant Sagada in the heart of Mountain Province, the festival beckons to tourists and travelers to experience a fun, adventure-filled and meaningful weekend in the highlands. The Sagada Bonfire Fest is presented by the Sagada Genuine Guides Association (SAGGAS), Ganduyan Bucks and the Local Government Unit of Sagada.

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Tomorrow is a brand new year. My target is to visit 26 provinces in the Philippines (from A-Z). Happy New Year to all Wandering Pinoy fans and readers!

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