Detours and Connecting Trips

The next day, we woke up early for this.

I felt I was ripped-off, haha! The sun hid like it knows there were lots of people waiting for it to showcase its golden shine. Gumising pa naman kami ng 4am at nag-rent ng jeep, tapos di magpapakita ang araw.

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From Kiltepan, we went back to the inn for breakfast, then packed our stuff and headed to the lowlands at 10am. Karen, Diana, Kuya Rex and I planned to drop by Baguio City before going back to Manila while the rest opted to take the route to Bontoc down to Manila. But all the trips were full until 3pm, and Karen had work at 5am the next day, so we decided to go with the people taking the Bontoc option. At least, na-experience ko na mag-topload from Sagada. Scarybells pero keri. Maalikabot pero ang ganda naman ng view, breakeven. 🙂

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We found out that the only trip to Manila went to get passengers in Sagada and when it arrived in Bontoc, there were only 4 seats left, we’re 7 so we opted to take a trip to Baguio instead where there are more buses going down Manila. Technically, we just had lunch in Bontoc (Stacey’s). Muntik pa kaming maiwan ng bus.

We later discovered na magkasunod lang yung bus naming nila Diana, sa Lizardo sila at Rising Sun naman kami. We’re just a stop-over ahead kasi once na paalis na yung bus namin, nagpapa-park naman yung bus nila.

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Nasa Baguio na rin lang kami, eh di chow na! Marami naman kasing biyahe ang Genesis. Punong-puno ang 50s Diner, daming galing Sagada tulad namin. Yun nga lang, nawalan ng wallet si Shyne na nalaman na lang namin nung paalis na. :/

Otherwise, another bunch experience to keep. Too many fun memories actually. Kaya maganda, choose your company well when travelling, tulad ng mga taong ‘to. No dull moments. Till the next travel. 🙂


Conquering Bomod-ok and Sumaguing

Sunday was spent acquiring muscle and body pains.

Day 2 AM: Trekking

We woke up super early but our efforts was trashed because there was no guide instantly available. We hired a van (P450 back and forth) to take us to the start of the race to Bomod-ok. My friends who’ve been to the Big Falls were right, the hike to the falls is no joke. None of us saw this coming, therefore none of had thought of doing some stretching before the long hike.

Hiritan habang naglalakad pababa:

Boy: Falls ka ba? | Kasi, I’m falling for you.

Girl: Talon ka ba? | Sige nga, tumalon ka sa bangin. :p

After I-don’t know-how-many-hours of trek,  tadan! Napuntahan rin kita sa wakas! Sa ilang beses ko nang akyat ng Sagada, lagi kong binabalak pumunta dito pero di lang natutuloy.

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During the hike, I was all excited to dive into the water but once we’re there, I found the water too cold. Nobody in the group bathe so we just took a bunch of photos before starting the long and more difficult trek back up.

PM: Spelunking

After lunch, we went caving. We were supposed to go for the connecting caves but we find it expensive so we settled for Sumaguing. Like last time, I did not want to go to Sumaguing but I did not want being left alone at the inn either. We chose to walk all the way down to Sumaguing. On the way, there was a foreigner walking infront of us and at one point she stopped and took photos of the rice fields and seemed to be writing something. We thought she must be writing a poem and siyempre di kami nagpatalo, we came up with our own lulz.

The Fields

Some fields are green

Some fields are brown

Some have water

Some have none

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The boys cooked dinner. And to be fair, pwede! And because we couldn’t go out (for drinks) because we have to be up early the next day, we resort to cheap entertainment care of moi and Emman.

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Spotted in Sagada

Finally, we made it to Sagada. The same group that was stranded in Baguio last year due to a typhoon, has decided to conquer the mountain paradise once again, only this time there were additions to the gang. Fortunately, the Gods were with them this time, blessing them with a fair weather, enough for a whole weekend of muscle-stretching and gastronomic-satisfying activities.

Our group left for Sagada Friday night via Cable Tours bus. Initially, the plan was to get a trip to Bontoc and then get a ride from there to Sagada but the bus offered a deal to take its passengers directly to Sagada with an additional payment of course. The fare was P750, to Sagada via Ifugao. We left Quezon City at around 10pm for a 12-hour ride (supposedly 8pm but the bus waited for something).

Day 1

It was my first time to go to Sagada via this route and I was more than excited to see the Garden/Rice Terraces of Ifugao. I know the good ones were located in the inner parts of the province, but still, I hoped for a good view as I’ve never been to Ifugao before.

We arrived at Bontoc at around 10am and we had to transfer to another bus that will take us to Sagada. I tried to take a nap but the ride was too bumpy. Once in Sagada, we immediately looked for a place to stay. I wanted to take them to Olahbinan where Karen and I stayed last time but their P250/peson rooms were all full and we find the other rooms expensive so we opted for the homestay-type of inn. And I’m so glad we did because there are more perks of staying at Chad’s Cabin for P250 per person per night. We didn’t reserve in advance because I was so confident we’d have a place to stay no matter what. It was my first time to encounter that many tourists in Sagada. The streets and restaurants were all crowded.

Once settled, we went to get lunch at Salt & Pepper Diner. There are lots of new restaurants in town to accommodate the growing number of tourists that are coming in. I was just here a couple of years back and there are many new stuff in town.

After lunch, we couldn’t start with any activity yet because some of us had to take a rest, but the others (including me) chose to roam around Poblacion. A little later, some kids approached us and asked if we want to go to Echo Valley for P50 each, that is P50 for each of them kids and there’s three of them. My companions find it cheap so we went for it. It’s not child labor! Haha! The kids were persistent! :p

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One of the reasons why I go to Sagada is the food tripping that comes with the travelling. Why, it’s so good to eat in the highlands. Fresh air and good food. And streetfood ang isa sa mga paborito kong kainin pag nasa Sagada, malinis ang hangin so malayong mas malinis kesa sa streetfood sa Manila, hehe. At dito lang ulit ako nakakain ng binatog, one of my favorite foods. Nung una kami lang ni Karen ang kumakain pero nainggit din ang mga kasama namin at eventually nagsibilihan.

After the street snack, we went to Ganduyan Museum, just across the Municipal Hall. I’ve been to Sagada several times but I’ve never been to this place. The museum is maintained by Ms. Christina Aben who owns a vast collection of Cordillera artifacts that are displayed. We went around while she explained about the things in the museum. Fascinating indeed. Lalo lang akong bumilib sa kultura ng Cordillera. Too bad taking photos isn’t allowed. There’s no entrance fee to the museum but they accept donations from visitors for the maintenance of the collections.

Dinner at Yogurt House. We had to wait for at least 30 minutes for a vacant table for all 10 of us. Yogurt House never gets old. Lots of people outside, waiting for their turn to grab a spoonful of the restaurant’s specialty. Personally, it’s one of my favorite places to dine in, too. Since I began living a pseudo-healthy life, all I wanted for a snack is yogurt or fruits, and Sagada is the only place where I get to eat real yogurt.

We didn’t have any more activities that night as the Korean tourists staying at Chad’s Cabin are having a party outside and we just slept off our envy, hehe. Gladly we did because we needed energy for the next day’s activities.

Photo Challenge 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wonder

Rice Terraces of Sagada
Hanging Coffins of Sagada

I will always be amazed by how the Cordillerans created rice fields out of the mountains and how they buried their ancestors by hanging coffins up in the mountains.

I’ve included the Sagada Rice Terraces because I haven’t been to Ifugao yet, where the Banaue Rice Terraces are, which is one of the 7 Wonders of the World (Middle Ages). (I really am in love with the Cordilleran culture!)

Just yesterday, November 11, 2011, Palawan Undergound River has been included in the Provisional New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Palawan Underground River