Sagada Adventures: Day 1

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“I asked myself what I’ve been doing here?” insert song. “Here” by Alessia Cara.

It’s been three months since I went home, but I haven’t done any major travels or vacation. My past days were filled with trainings, activities in my church, or just in my house and attending some errands. To add with this, I have to be very frugal with my budget because I got only a small amount in my leave pay, and there are lots of priorities. Don’t get me wrong, but I had been a bad spender these past month. Hihihi!

On the last week of October, my girlfriend asked me if we can travel to Sagada, Mountain Province. Immediately I said yes because first, I wanted to travel and relax for a bit, and secondly, it’s my first time to travel up north. Also, it is very different for me because I travel to the places where beaches are the top destination, or urban travels. She took a travel agency to book for Sagada tour on November 11-13 2017.

Days before our travels, a typhoon struck the southern and northern parts of the Philippines. I quickly asked her if we can cancel our trip because my travel buddies are saying to me that it can be dangerous to go up north due to slippery and muddy roads as well as mountains. Nevertheless, after some thinking, we countinued our plan. But little we know that our Sagada adventure will be a crazy but fun ride.

Day One: From Manila to Sagada

My girlfriend, Jona and I met at the pick-up point of the van at Caltex station in Trinoma, Quezon City at 10 2230H November because it was the scheduled time of pickup. But minutes had already gone and the van was nowhere to be found. Finally it arrived 40 minutes after the scheduled time, but the van was already full because it picked up fellow travelers in MOA. The van was supposed to full up 13 people, including me and Jona, but there were two travelers who paid in full, so we were technically “offloaded”. We contacted the organizer to fix the problem but they can’t give us concrete plans.

At 2340H, I told my girlfriend that we’ll give them ultimatum of 10 minutes or else we will back out. Literally, our stress level rose to the skies. But a minute before our ultimatum expires, the organizer told us to jampack for a while in the van until we reach the stopover at SCTEX  (technically it was TPLEX), then we will be transferred to another van for travelers of 2D1N until we reach Sagada. After a minute of deliberation, we then finally agreed.

We left the Caltex at exactly midnight, and it was so very painful to sit because we were like sardines inside the van. Luckily the van traveled for just one and a half hour. We arrived at Petron Km 135 gas station at 0130H for a stopover, and we were then transferred to another van where the people inside are not full.

We continued our journey at 0200H to Sagada via Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya and Ifugao. Upon reaching the welcome ark of Banawe, we made a quick stop to take some photos.

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Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.
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Just entered Lagawe, Ifugao.
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One of the best things Mother Nature can offer. Rocks overhanging on the road.
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Arrived at Banawe. Not Quezon City, but Ifugao province.
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Enter a caption.
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Sorry I’m not fond of smiling. Haha
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Pabebe wave!
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Welcome to Banaue!

Our journey the continued until we reached the vantage point of the Rice Terraces of the Philippines. It is also known as the “eighth wonder of the world”.

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Banaue Rice Terraces. One epic man made wonder. Our ancestors were badass! Proud Filipino!
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With the doggos.
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No words.
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Jona is just slaying it.

 

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“Kyah kyah pembarya”.
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I’m still bum puzzled why do they have to carve it in this shape? Oh my dirty minds. Ashtray slash sex toy. Nyahaha

We stopped over at the Banaue Rice Terraces View Point for two hours because there were some problems with the restaurant that the others took their breakfast with, and the drivers had a brief rest. Nevertheless, we traveled back again to Sagada for two more hours.

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The other van we’re following had a minor problem so we stopped just kilometers away from Bontoc.

At 1300H we arrived at the town proper of Sagada, Mountain Province. As a beach type of person, I am so amazed with the view the place offered. Lush greens, cold weather and quiet environment, there is no doubt why Sagada is the place for people who wants to mend their broken hearts.

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I just put a spell on her. 

Our van took us directly to Sumaguing Cave. This is an underground cave with a river below. The trek here from the starting point is very easy at first, but it gets rough, slippery and tough at the end. But before you enter the cave, you must have a guide with you or your group to assist you.

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The forest outside Sumaguing Cave is just breathtaking.
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The image was shot not sideways, but downwards.
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#TeamLablab before going down.
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Flood of people trekking down the cave.
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Met new friends along the way.
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Jona climbing up to go back to the exit point.
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A quick selfie outside the Sumaguing Cave.

After two hours inside the cave, we went to the Sagada Pottery. This is the place where the finest claypots of Sagada are made. It is owned by an American (?) woman and the potters are locals, who painstakingly create their crafts in front of the people. At P100.00, you can learn how to make claypots, hands on. And it’s awesome because the potters are so fluent in English that you too, can’t stop conversating them in English!

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How to make a claypot seems easy, but it’s hard!

We came back to our lodging house, exhausted and tired but the feelings are happy.

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Our lodging house, Log Inn, has a big fireplace. Something to warm up since the nights here is so cold.

Coming Up: Day 2 and 3 of Sagada Adventures!

 

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