Day 2: No Stress Please!
Me, Jona, and all of the people staying in the Log Inn which are passengers in our van were told beforehand to wait outside the house at 0500H so that we can catch the jeepney ride to Kiltepan Peak so we can see the “Sea of Clouds”. I woke up at 0345H to prepare myself for the next adventures. But when we went outside the house at 0500H, there were no jeepney to be found. Mintes later the sun had already started to rise. One in our group called the driver of our service van, and told us that the jeepney waited outside earlier than the scheduled fetch. Some people in our group went angry because we were not called inside our house, and they went back inside.
But for me, Jona, and our two roommates Celine and Rena chose to walk the road that we thought was going to the town proper. It turned out, it was a beautiful morning to take photos with the surroundings.
After some minutes, our driver called us and asked our whereabouts. It was then that our other colleagues decided to eat breakfast on the parking area near Bomod-ok Falls. Actually it was our next itinerary after our Kiltepan Peak that we haven’t made. After a few minutes our driver came and brought us to the small eatery to have a breakfast.
It was just 0800H but we have decided to trek down the mountains to reach Bomod-ok Falls. It was a long hour walk through stairs, cliffs, rocks, small barangay and rice pantations before reaching this beautiful body of water. We have never seen such a beauty like this.
After staying for about 30 minutes in the falls, our biggest challenge yet is happening. We need to climb back to the peak. Going down the falls is ok but going back is very painful, plus the sun is now scorching hot. Luckily, there is a point where we reached a village, and jeepneys are just waiting to bring us up.
It was already lunch time. We then decided to have our lunch at Sagada Homestay. It is probably the most famous food house in Sagada for it can cater up to 80 people at once, plus they have a variety of foods to choose from.
We originally planned to just have a rest for the whole afternoon because we were so dead tired. When we got back to our house, our driver asked us if we wanted to go to the Echo Valley, Hanging coffins and Lake Danum. At first we were hesitant but eventually persuaded to go around. Com on, we are already here! Haha
Our first stop was the Echo Valley. But before reaching it, you must pass through the town cemetery. Our tour guideshowed us the “modern” method of Sagada’s way of burying dead bodies- which is also the common way we bury dead bodies anywhere else.
Few walks from the cemetery is the Echo Valley. It was so called because if you shout out at the air, your voice will bounce back to the mountains, creating a creepy but clear echo.
From the vantage point of Echo Valley, we walked down the slopes of the mountain to get to theHanging Coffins. This was the place where the locals bury their dead famiily members in the old way- that is to put the bodies in the coffin and instead of burying it below the land or inside a niche, it will be hung at the cliffs.
Our last stop was Lake Danum. The place reminded me of several American movie settings as if you were not in the Philippines. The lake is vast and calm, surrounded by lush trees and gentle breeze blow towards the lake. The lake faces on the west, so this is a perfect view for sunsets. Funny thing was, there are two people selling yoghurts to the tourists; one Filipina and an American. While we were passing by, I heard the American speaking Cebuano. Intrigued, I approached them and started talking to them in Cebuano. To my surprise, they came from my second home city, Oroquieta City!
Before heading out to our dinner, we changed our clothes immediately and walked back to the town to look for place to eat. Unfortunately, the sudden influx of people who went up from Manila was so huge that you can’t barely see a food establishment with a single vacant seat! To add things worst, half of the town experienced blackout. Even the barbecue stalls on the sides of the road are filled with hungry tourists! So while we were walking, we stumbled Sagada Homestay again and found out that they have still vacant table good for six people! So we did not take any more chances, and ate our last dinner at Sagada.
I woke up very early at 0330H to take a bath because we will be picked up by the jeepney for our sunrise and sea of clouds viewing at Kiltepan Peak. And so it was. We rode a jeepney and trekked the rocky roads leading to Kiltepan Peak. Luckily, the people here are still little so we got a chance to find the most beautiful spot to wait- the steep cliff. After an hour of waiting and battling the cold temperature, the view is spectacular, breath taking and super worth-it.
I also got the chance to bump with my friend and fellow planespotter here in Sagada, Dominick. He and his friends are doing drone shots in Banaue, Sagada and Benguet.
After the sun totally broke out, we went back to our house to have our breakfast that was specially prepared by the owner of the house. Immediately we packed up our things and traveled out to Baguio City. From there, Jona and I, and four more will be transferred to another van to travel back to Manila.
Of all people inside the van, I was the one who have to endure the most pain because of small portion of seat. It was a six hour drive from Sagada to Baguio, passing Halsema Highway (dubbed as the most dangerous highway in the Philippines, and 9th in the whole world) and the highest road elevation in the Philippines at Atok, Benguet.
Two hours after leaving Atok, Benguet, we arrived at La Trinidad. We pulled over to a fancy restaurant to have our lunch. Seriously we were so hungry so we were so glad that we stopped over.
Our driver told us that the six of us will be brought first to Baguio so we can transfer to another van. Supposedly we are bound to strawberry farm for fruit picking and to buy pasalubongs, but due to time constraint and heavy traffic, the last two itineraries were cancelled. And so the news was indeed true. The city government of Baguio had to cancel all government offices and classes at schools due to sudden influx of tourists.
After a very exhausting day, our van traveled down from Baguio to Manila via TPLEX, SCTEX and NLEX. Jona went off at Quezon City and bade her goodbye because my home is at Cavite.
It was indeed a very exhausting, tiring but fun and blessed trip. Although there were some unfortunate events that happened even before we started our sojourn to Sagada, it turned out to be good and worth it. Thanks to my lablab, my vacation is now complete.
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