My Adventure in Sagada, Philippines
March 22, 2019
by Christine May Go
Last Christmas, I went on a tour with friends in Sagada. Sagada is a paradise of lush mountains and green sceneries located in the Philippines. If you are a nature lover, then this is the place that you are looking for. Sagada was featured in Filipino movies named “That Thing Called Tadhana and Don’t Give Up on Us”. Take a break and breathe fresh air from Pine trees. It took 9 hours of travel time from Metro Manila to Sagada. The zigzag road might get you dizzy so it is best to bring extra plastic bags. We had a shortstop at Tuwali Restaurant and Souvenir Shop for eat. The menu is a bit pricey but it was worth it. We also had a chance to see the Banaue Rice Terraces. You will be amazed how Ifugao or the people of Banaue carved this enchanting scenery using bare hands.
How to get to Sagada?
Take the Ohayami bus in the corner of Fajardo Street and Lacson Avenue in Sampaloc Manila. The contact details for reservation is 09276493055 or visit their website www.ohayamitrans.com. You can also go to Dangwa Transit Terminal located in Florida Cubao Terminal near Kamias. From Banaue terminal, ride a tricycle going to Banaue Town Proper. Then catch a bus or jeepney going to Bontoc. From Bontoc Municipal Hall, ride a jeepney to Sagada.
Victory Liner bus leaves the terminal (Manila, Pasay, Cubao, Caloocan) every hour for P445. From Baguio Terminal, go to GL Liner Terminal located in Baguio Dangwa Terminal or in Lizardo Transit Terminal located in Barangay Sto. Niño to catch a bus to Sagada. When we arrived in Sagada town proper, the cold weather made us shiver. The tour guide registered us at the Tourist Information Centre. You can also find an ATM machine there. Try conversing with the Igorots or the native people of Sagada. They can speak well in English. Observe the care-free children playing basketball. This is new to me because the children in our town used to play mobile and computer games more than physical games.
Attractions in Sagada
St. Mary the Virgin Church
This church was built by the American Missionaries in the 1900s. The simplicity of its structure is pure beauty. The exterior appearance seems historical. This is only a few blocks from Echo Valley trail. We spent a little time inside to pray for our safe journey.
You have to cross the cemetery before you get to Echo Valley. It is called Echo Valley because loud sounds produce echo around the place. Wear rubber shoes or not slippery slippers because the trail is quite tricky and mossy. There is a P 10 environmental fee. Be prepared for long trekking and hiking. Make sure you bring your water tumbler with you. Echo valley tour will take up to 1 hour of a long trek.
The Hanging Coffin
This is the main attraction of Sagada. The Igorots has a peculiar way of burying their dead. They lay them fetal positioned in coffins piled up to the entrance of caves and huge rock formations. Coffins are colorfully painted. Their favorite things are also attached in their coffins. Only Igorots with a clean death can be buried this way. This means that the cause of death is old age and they should have grandchildren.
Master the art of weaving with the pioneer in the industry since the year 1968. They are known for woven products like wallets, slippers, bags, scarfs and many more. They have a workshop where Igorots are busy weaving. Picture taking is prohibited in this area. You will learn the traditional weaving process using wooden tools and machines. You will feel proud of how Filipinos can make quality handicraft.
This is where pots are made out of quality mud. They have a small workshop on how to make pottery artisans. One of the staff will demonstrate pot making. And you have the chance to create your own pot for P100. They have a gallery with various sizes and shapes of pots that you can purchase for a minimum of P200.
Danum is a Kankanaey or Ilocano word which means “water”. It is a beautiful lake in an open field surrounded by Pine trees. This place is perfect for a picnic and camping with family or friends. Try their booth for delicious Yoghurt and Champorado.
Spelunking in Lumiang- Sumaguing Cave
I did not try this because it is not recommended for people who are afraid of heights like me. You will need to hire a tour guide to ensure your safety for P500 (minimum of 4 pax). The cave system is only for travelers who are into adrenaline rush challenges. Demanding challenges like rappelling up and down using a rope. This will test your flexibility and endurance. The caving experience will take up to 5 hours.
Watch the Sea of Clouds
We were planning to see the sunrise. Unfortunately, the rainy weather did not permit us. Yet we are very lucky and enchanted to witness the stunning view of the Sea of Clouds. This happened at 4 am. The view is like heaven in your eyes. Forget your troubles by just looking at the clouds surrounding the mountains. I will never forget how beautiful Sagada is.
Tips for Travelers
Carry a water tumbler. Plastic water bottles are prohibited in Sagada. Don’t forget to take with you your flashlight so that you can stroll all night to see the busy night market. There are seldom light posts in the area. Bring your Power bank. Travel time is too long. You will have to recharge your phone batteries. Also, don’t forget to get Insect repellant spray or lotion. Prevention is better than cure. Bring lots of coins. Public comfort rooms have a P10 fee. Take note that every attraction needs a tour guide. Expect to spend around P300 every meal because supplies in Sagada are limited. And there are no fast food chain restaurants. The government of Sagada is very patriotic to their simple way of living. It is best to pack up sandwiches, 3 in 1 coffee and cup noodles in order to save money for breakfast.no littering. And please pay respect to the Igorot culture and traditions, these are preserved by their elders.