guest post by Lydia Lee of Screw the Cubicle
“You are at once both the quiet and the confusion of my heart.”
Oh Sagada... My Sagada !
Yes, the Philippines has 7,107 islands and we have some of the loveliest beaches in the world! But there is more to the Philippines than idyllic beaches. Don't get me wrong, I love my country's beaches and I have seen many of them! But as an adventure travel advocate, I've always encouraged people to go beyond the touristy destinations and explore more.
It was 15 years ago when I visited Sagada in the Mountain Province. Yes,that was a long time ago!And I feel so old whenever I tell this to people who have recently been there and compare their experience with mine.I was really young,unstoppable and fearless.That was also the time when Sagada didn't have cell sites and wifi yet. There were no travel blogs and very few travellers knew about it. Reading an article about it by a backpacker and a very strong sense of adventure drew me to this Cordillera's best kept secret.
I fell in love with Sagada's charm and realized that I love being in the mountains.I also realized I could actually live in the mountains and I started dreaming of living in Nepal,Tibet and Bhutan.No kidding!
So many things are not what they used to be based on photos of friends and what I see on blogs nowadays.Sagada is no longer a secret but I believe it is still worth visiting. Here are the some of the best things to see and do when you finally decide to take the trek to enchanting Sagada:
Go spelunking in the Sumaging Cave and be amazed by the stalactites and stalagmites. Enjoy the mini-rapelling and take a dip in the pools.
Have dinner at the Log Cabin on your first night. Reservation is a must!
Have your first sunrise In Sagada at the Kiltepan Peak and enjoy the trek going back to your guesthouse. Try looking for wild blueberries,raspberries and pitcher plants.
Enjoy the sunset at Lake Danum and request for a bonfire. Your guides will be happy to oblige.
Visit the Episcopal Church
Check out the burial caves. We were told that a lot of the coffins were already stolen.
Get lost in the rice paddies!
Spend time getting to know your guides and you'll know more about local culture. They are some of the kindest and most generous guides in the country. Our guide even brought Hello chocobars for snacks.
Check out the hanging coffins!Yes you heard it right.We brought our own binoculars to read the inscriptions on them.
Let the Big Falls take your breath away!
And don't forget to talk to the locals especially the kids!
Why don't you also try the following?
- Check out the Saturday market and buy local produce such as oranges,red rice,beans and mountain tea.
- Go stargazing and try to identify as many constellations as you can.We couldn't help but marvel at Sagada's night sky!
- Visit The Yoghurt House for the best yoghurt in Sagada
- Visit the Weaving Center and buy some souvenirs
- Ride on top of the jeepney! It could be really fun!
- Buy the delicious smoked pork at the Coop
- Look for Chef Aklay who bakes good breads and prepares really sumptuous weekend buffets
toploading in Sagada!
How to get there:
There are regular trips from Manila to Baguio with Victory Liner and Genesis(5-6 hours). From Baguio take the Lizardo lines to Sagada (6 hours).
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