Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Where to have Adventure: Sagada

Where: Sagada, Mountain Province
What: All I can say is, FINALLY <3
This trip is one that I've been looking forward to since who knows when. I had always been intrigued by this far away enchanted land high above the mountains, hanging coffins and all. So, when I learned that we'll be having a field trip here---OH GOD THIS IS IT! I started researching about Sagada in various blogs months prior because I was so excited yet at the same time anxious because I want to be prepared and pack the right things and clothes since I learned that in this place, it's really about ADVENTURE. However, I did not have the freedom of creating my itinerary since the travel agency (SOLOMON TRAVEL & TOURS) in charge of our field trip took care of that. Oh well, at least things will already be arranged.

Note that I cannot give a definite budget guide since it's a field trip (PHP 6600 inclusive of, well, everything and I mean everything---except pasalubong of course). I was just surprised that it was this expensive since I got info online that Sagada can be a cheap travel getaway. Probably since we rented our own bus en route to Banaue and back and our all meals were fixed. Oh well, at least we're comfortable.

Thanks for the help of Solomon Travel & Tours and SAGGAS on this trip!

With HUM 170 class (not complete in this pic), our professors, our tour guides--
Kuya Gareth and Kuya Manuel.
 Here's a summary of our 3days-3nights tour:

Banaue Rice Terraces
 DAY 1 - Friday/Saturday
10:45PM - departure from UPLB, Laguna (bus)
6AM - stopover at Nueva Vizcaya for a coffee break
10AM - arrival at Bontoc, transfer to jeep
10:30AM - arrival at Banaue Heritage Cafe, breakfast and sightseeing of Banaue Rice Terraces
12NN - departure to Sagada (jeep---TOPLOAD!)
1PM - stopover at the District Highway Boundary of Ifugao and Mt. Province, no more toploading
2PM - finally arrived at Sagada (with many stopovers along the way for sightseeing)
         - check-in at Shamrock Tavern
         - late lunch, shower (hehe, super late for one)
3:30PM - start of tour
             - St. Mary's Church and cemetery
4PM - hiking to Echo Valley, hanging coffins, and Underground River
6PM - trekking to Bokong Falls
6:30PM - visit to Ganduyan Musuem
7PM - dinner at Shamrock
10PM - lights out

Sumaguing Cave aka Porn Cave's Princess
DAY 2 - Sunday
6:30AM - wake up call, breakfast
8:20AM - walking tour (viewing of Dokiw Hanging Coffins)
               - trekking to Lumiang Burial Cave (entrance only)
9:30AM - walking tour to Sumaguing Cave (viewing of Kapay-aw Rice Terraces)
10:00AM - spelunking at Sumaguing Cave
2PM - finished spelunking, lunch at Shamrock Restaurant/souvenir shop
3PM - back to hotel (free time)
4PM - walking tour towards town proper, souvenir hunting
5PM - merienda at Lemon Pie House
7PM - back to hotel, dinner
8PM - bonfire
11PM - back to hotel, lights out

Amidst the clouds in Kiltepan Peak
DAY 3 - Monday
4:30AM - wake up call
5:00AM - sunrise & rice terraces viewing at Kiltepan Peak
7AM - back to hotel, breakfast, pack up
8:30AM -  check out
8:45AM - visit to Sagada Weaving Museum
9:30AM - departure from Sagada
10AM - stopover at the boundary again, snacks and pasalubong shopping
10:45AM - jeep toploading to Banaue
11:40AM - arrival at Banaue Heritage Cafe, lunch
1:30PM - arrival at Bontoc, transfer from jeep to bus
2PM - departure
7PM - stopover at Nueva Vizcaya, dinner
3AM - arrival at UPLB, Laguna

I felt that I have found another home away from home (considering that I have many homes---Manila, Los Banos, Batangas). If this weren't so far away I would go here every week if I can. Oh. How I miss this place already. It's so serene here yet the place offers so many activities for your adrenaline to really rush and your body to really work out. This place really made me fell in love with nature. I SWEAR I will go back here and take on the challenge of the CAVE CONNECTION (the 4-6 hours spelunking from Lumiang to Sumaguing Cave) and visit more and more and eat more here in Sagada. I shall return!

P.S. I'll be posting soon the individual posts about the different locations we  went to in Sagada.

TIME OF MY LIFE. <3 <3 <3

Location: Sagada, Philippines


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