SAGADA – “A STUNNING SUNRISE”
January 1, 1970
If you also wonder about how the creations in the world just give you peace, calmness and stillness but still couldn’t find the right answers, then just stop.. you don’t need to. Just feel it, experience it and absorb the moment like there is no second time. I live in this kind of aphorism, to just feel the moment and do whatever it is that makes you happy.
While it is true that you don’t need to travel far to experience nature at its best, it is also just a way for me to escape from city stress and just get lost for a little while. Traveling is an inexpensive leisure, you just need to know where and how to get into a new destination reasonably. Sagada is one of the few tourist spots that’s really easy to go and by far one of the best. I have already considered it as one of my “happy places”.
Sagada is located in the Mountain Province of Luzon in the Philippines. To get there coming from Manila, you just have to take a bus ride that will take 9-12 hours. I suggest you do a night trip so you can just sleep during the travel. If you aren’t used to long-hour bus rides, it is better that you do a stop-over in Baguio. Maybe do some tours first, do strawberry picking and enjoy the view. There are also a lot of beautiful places to visit in Baguio but we will talk about that in my upcoming blogs. You can always ask around in the Bus stop for departure times going to Sagada since the schedules change from time to time.
The Famous Klitepan Sunrise
You probably have heard of it, but I can tell you, it is a must see. What you see in the photographs is much better in real life. Klitepan is an area in Sagada where you can wait and watch the sun rise. You have to wake up early at around 4:30 am, hike towards this hill and just wait for the sun to rise. I can tell you, it is worth the wait. I can’t explain how beautiful it is and how happy it makes you feel to just look at the beauty that nature has shared to us, it’s really hard to put it in words. This is not an exaggeration, maybe partly, but still you have to experience it to judge it for yourself.
Sagada has also become an asylum for those with broken hearts. Yeah, it is funny but maybe it is really therapeutic. It is famous now because of a local movie that features this province and excited a lot of people to visit the place. “Where do broken hearts go?” they sing, and the answer is Sagada.
A Peculiar Culture
Sagada isn’t just known for its stunning sunrise. The infamous beliefs and culture of the people residing in this province has invited tourists all over the world to see and explore it themselves. I am talking about the Hanging Coffins at the entrances of caves. Yes, that is right. It is in their belief, (according to the tour guide that I talked to) that the coffins are hung at the faces of the caves or cliffs so that the soul of the dead is blessed eternally as well as to prevent the body from taken away by the beasts. He also added that once fluid of the body drops underneath and you caught it anywhere in your body, it will give you good luck. It sounded very odd, but every place has its own culture and that, I respect.
Sagada offers various types of excursion to show people around. A lot of the caves can be entered and some even have rivers inside. I made sure I could also experience the adventure trails inside the caves. It was fun; just make sure you are ready to get wet. I went in to maybe 3-4 caves, some are very wide and big and some you have to slump to get in. There are tour packages that you can choose depending on how much time you have and which places you want to go to. What is good about their rates is that they made sure it was standard for all. Everyone has to pay the same rate for a tour guide, which for me is better. If you wish to tip the guide for an excellent tour he did, then that’s up to you.
I stayed in Sagada for 3 days and 2 nights, and that didn’t even seem enough for me. Our accommodation didn’t have AC, but it was absolutely unnecessary. At night, it is really cold and you would even wish to get a heater. We paid for our stay for as low as 250php per person per night. There are a lot of lodging inns around, and people are very helpful to show you which ones can fit in your budget. Food is also amazing, just walk around and you can find small restaurants that can provide you lavish meals.
On our third day and the last, we went to the highest waterfalls they have. They call it the “Bomok-od Falls”. You have to walk for an hour and hike down the mountain to reach the falls. The walk won’t seem to bother you because you will be passing by farm terraces. It is literally everywhere.
It is very common in the art of farming in the Mountain Province to use farm terraces. These are proven to be a good use and method for water distribution. It is very impressive to me because it is a kind of technology that doesn’t even use any mechanism. Make sure you stop by and take a picture of the beautiful scenery like I did. ?
When we reached to the waterfall, gosh, I am lost of words. Also, I was freezing because the water was so cold, you can freeze a soda drink in it. I can’t possibly get in the water but some people did swim. Still, it was worth it. I couldn’t possibly enjoy my trip without some good friends around, good friends who take very good pictures. Now, that’s awesome. ?
I hope I had entertained you in this writing, and if you reached this last part of the blog, thank you! I hope to write some more, the sooner the better. If you have any comments or suggestions, please hit up the comment box below, I would surely appreciate any inputs.