Surviving Sagada!

Summer -- the warmest of the four temperate seasons, between spring and autumn. At the summer solstice, the days are longest and the nights are shortest, with day length decereasing as the season progresses after the solstice. (wikipedia)

It was a very Cold wednesday morning... we decided to temporarily look for a place to rest for few hours since the bus that we need to take is still at 6 am for Sagada, Mt. Province..We lodged for 3 hours in 456 hotel for Php 450.00. We took a bath. Leonel and I decided to go out at 3am to eat and ended in Volante- the prominent Local Baguio City Pizza House.

We were all ready at Dangwa Bus Terminal (contact no. 074-410-1991) at 6am . We excitedly climbed up to the non-aircon bus bound for Sagada. I was quite disappointed because I am not comfortable if it's not an air conditioned bus, but I have no choice. There is no other bus for Sagada. I chose the seat on the window side. While on the trip, I found myself closing the windows as my fingers are freezing  as we keep on going up to the mountains.I looked around and surprisingly find myself staring to a lot of foreigners. I assumed Sagada would be a worth it all trip. Six hours had passed and the bus stopped.

At the Dangwa Bus Terminal (Baguio City)

It was just so great that we have a friend living in Sagada. He is a policemen in the Sagada Communtiy and he offered his house for us to stay for a night. We were just so lucky we had our accommodation free. But here are some contact numbers for you to check for an overnight rates.

Bagalima Riverside Inn                   #0947-704-6613
Travelers Inn                                 #0920-799-2960
Sagada Kanipaw View Lodge          #0928-284-7507
Rock Inn                                       #0918-559-5934

We arrived in Sagada at 1 in the afternoon. We decided to make the most of our time. We went to their tourist desk and we inquired about their cave tours..We paid Php500.00 for a whole afternoon caving including the Sumaging cave tour where we will be able to see the hanging coffins.


now entering the cave

gliding is safer then walking on the slimy rocks inside the cave
we have to remove our slippers as we entered the cave
clear waters inside the cave

so cold and i am freezing

turtle like

as our tour guide said, if Bohol has their "chocolate hills", Sagada also has their own version

I so love chocolate cake
we are so delighted of the natural forms of these stalagmites and stalactites

Right there and then, I've learned the need of rapel and just glide on the slimy rocks. I've seen different kinds of stalagmites and stalactites. Black crystal clear waters and beautiful natural rock formations.

this was the most dangerous side of the cave where i cannot see what i am about to step on.. i can only hear the sound of the flashing waters underneath

crocodile like

The Sumaging cave tour lasted for 2 hours and next destination is the Lumiang burial cave.. here , we see small coffins made of pine trees. Wondering why these coffins are small? Because this is a traditional way of burying their loved ones. As what our tour guide said, their ancestors were animistic, and that their dead bodies before they are put inside the wooden coffin is to be forced to be in a seating position , as what they called fetal position . They believed that we came out from the womb of our mothers in a fetal position therefore, we should die and leave the world in the same position. Then they would be hang in the caves. The locals of Sagada also believed that it would be easy for their dead loved ones to visit them at home if they are just hang in the cave rather then buried six feet under the ground.
The coffins made of pine trees

The hanging coffins

 smearing blood on the rocks due to no embalming
hanging coffins come with a death chair since after the person died, they have to let them sit on the  chair so it would be easier for them to be in a fetal position.

We headed to our friend's house. It was six in the evening. it's a very quite cold night.. I can vividly hear the sounds of the crickets.. this is it! A chilling, relax time I was looking for a very very long time.. and I have found peace in Sagada. We went out for dinner to taste their Ilokano delicacy---'Pinikpikan' it's like tinolang manok in Cebuano but the chicken is like double dead before they cook it...a hot 'Pinikpikan' soup is soothing to our throat.., instead of a cold soda, since it was a very cold evening, we instead ordered a cup of coffee for dinner.

Early the next morning, we woke up early to go to “Echo Valley” and the 5 hour trek to the small waterfalls called BOKONG. We passed through the rice fields barefooted and there I conquered my fear of heights as I jumped on a cliff of 12 feet high into the waters.

passing through the rice fields on our way to Bokong falls

Bokong Falls

We hurriedly went home to pack and change since we need to catch the next trip to Bontoc, Mt. Province and embark to our next journey..the Pride of the Filipinos – part of the '7 wonders of the world' – Banaue Rice Terraces.