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Sagada Trekking: Epitome of Walking On Sunshine

bomod-ok falls

Landscape walking. Walking in the luscious green terrain. Walking the valley to hear the resonating echo. Walking downhill to eat Sagada’s best. Walking on the clouds.

If there’s one thing you need to know about Sagada, it is the epitome of walking on sunshine. Sure does one would have a plenty of walking to do here, all walks will let you melt into a majestic and astonishing view, and it’s gonna be a lovely meltdown.

trekking bomod-ok

What should you bring and prepare in your trekking?

1. Backpack. Keep your hands free. You’ll have your walking sticks with you in Bomod-ok Falls. Place your valuables, food and drinks.

2. Food and Water. Aside from chocolate bars and energy drinks. You should bring a bag of chips with you. Munch! Munch! It will distract you from your tiring trek.That’s the thing Violet failed to do.

3. Footwear. Shoes, slippers and sandals will do. Violet used sandals. It can protect the soles of your feet, can be dipped into the water, it easily dries and comfortable than shoes.

4. Sarong. Can be used as a cover from the sun or a towel to dry off after soaking into the falls.

5. Arm & Leg Cover. Skin cover for protection is useful. If you don’t have these, apply a sunblock.

6. Respect. Respect the trails, the people you’re with and met on it, and all the living that goes with it. Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but pictures.

7. Camera. The landscape in Sagada is amazing. To good to be true indeed. Capture it with your own light and see how it radiates it beauty into your lens.

8. Good Companions. This is one of the best thing you need to find. But some things doesn’t need to be found,some awaits at the place where we need them. So, do not worry to be alone or being in a small group, sure enough you’ll find new friends along the trails. Just like Len and Violet did.

9. Good Conversations. It all starts with a name and the rest is history. Make sure to be polite and kind when conversing with others. Respect differences and just be yourself.

10. Warmed-up Legs. Exercise before the trip, it will do no harm. Violet is a terrible uphill trekker and her knee is stubborn. Walking though is not a problem. So, she advise to flex those lower extremities and work on muscular endurance.

Kiltepan Trekking (possible but too far)

kiltepan sunrise

Photographed by: Len Flores and Renailyn. Credits: Len Flores

You May Also Like:

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 Cave Connection
 Things to Pack for Sagada

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What’s In and Out of Sagada Cave Exploration?

Sagada Adventure. There are several cave tours you can visit while staying in Sagada. You can try the normal caving in Sumaging Cave which can last for 2 hours or cave connection from Lumiang Burial Cave to Sumaging Cave which can last 3-4 hours (while Balangagan Cave and Crystal Cave were closed for quite a time now).

Aside from the protective attire and footwear according to the SAGGAS. What should go in and out of the bag for Sagada Cave Exploration?

Photographed by: T-Rex. Credits: Len Flores

1. Headlamp/ Headlight. Light your own path. Help yourself.

2. Food and Drinks. During rest, it will be great to have something to munch.

3. Drawstring/ Backpack. Don’t let your bag be a setback for you to move better. Put your things on your backpack as well.

4. Camera. Capture fascinating limestone formations and genuine wet-look smiles and faces.

5. Sarong. Wipe some ice-cold water from your face and body.

6. Friendliness. Meeting new people and building bridges can make the cave experience way much better.

7. Sense of Humor. There are plenty of chances for a good laugh inside. Share it with your guides and fellow cave mates. Feel every moment and savor it. Be amused and amazed at the same time.

8. Open-mindedness & Good Attitude. Respect your guides and cave mates. Be open for ideas and what your mates share while inside the cave. There are some jokes from the guides (if you find it funny, laugh); all to make the experience more fun but if you find it irritating, offensive or porn-like, well, just be open-minded.

9. Exercise & Warm-Up. Maybe do it a week-long readiness. hehehe… Flex those sleepy muscles, try climbing 100+ steps stair. That’s a tip! 🙂

10. Plenty of Courage. One slip, it will be goodbye world! Just trust your guts and you guides, and all is gonna be fine.

1. Cellphone. No signal, you’ll not need it.

2. Social Network Updates. Don’t bring your gadgets, it might got wet.

3. Accessories. A watch will be a necessary but all the others are a No! No!

4. Whining. Don’t blame anyone (your guides or your mates) for any mishaps or tiring caving. It was your choice and paid it. Be sure you are willing to do the cave tour.

5. Brat-pack. This is a major No! No! Being a brat, your guide/s might throw you on the deep part of the caves. You wouldn’t want that right? Expect to be dirty, touch the guano (bat shits), slip in the mud and have some body scratches.

And that’s the least Violet can impart as a guide for what’s IN and OUT of Sagada Caves using her own caving experience.

Photo credits: Len Flores. Photographed by: T-Rex.

4

10 Essential Stuff for Sagada Exploration

Since Sagada is all about adventure and exploration, it will help if you’ll think like a backpacker. What does a backpacker pack on a trip?

Backpacking is a form of low-cost, independent international travel. It includes the use of a backpack or other luggage that is easily carried for long distances or long periods of time; the use of public transport; inexpensive lodging such as youth hostels; a longer duration to the trip when compared with conventional vacations; and an interest in meeting the locals as well as seeing the sights. It is typically associated with young adults, who generally have fewer obligations and thus more time to travel. They also have less money to spend on hotels or private vehicles. It may include wilderness adventures or be limited to travel within settled areas”. – en.wikipedia.org

Sagada is a small town with no luxurious hotel, neither do not expect bellboys to gather your luggage or welcome you with red carpet. Expect that you’ll always be out and walking in any type of weather conditions.

1. Backpack. Carry a backpack which is not too small and not to big. Just enough to carry all your stuffs which is essential for your trips. Travel light. 

2. Footwear. Adventures in Sagada involves walking, trekking and caving. You can bring your rubber or hiking shoes, sandals or slippers  and even aqua socks. But you wouldn’t dare to bring it all right? To save a lot of space in the bag, to keep your feet safe and which will allow you to do all these exploration, it’s best advise to use your trekking sandals. Why?

In spelunking or caving (cave connection), you’ll walk first in a cemented trail going to Lumiang Cave; then upon entering the cave, you’ll walk in the soil/mud and rest of the path involves walking into sharp, rough and slippery rocks. You’ll even need to swim inside the cave, thus you need protect the sole of your feet. Once in the Sumaging cave, they will tell you to remove your shoes, slippers or sandals.

For trekking Bomod-ok falls, there are some parts which are steep and some are wet, too. The spike in the sandals will contribute to the friction, lesser chance of slipping or falling into the rice fields. Then, upon arriving in the falls if you want to get near it, you’ll have to cross those large boulders.

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Note: You have to protect your feet. That’s all that really matters because Sagada is all about walking. Yet Violet do not recommend shoes for caving and trekking to the falls, it will get wet and it could be to difficult to dry. Slippers can snap easily. Violet used her sandugo sandal for trekking (doesn’t need to be removing even while dipping into the waters) and for caving. She also brought her slippers, for early morning walks, dinner walks, walking in the guesthouse and when her feet needs little comforting.

3. Clothes. Do not bring your entire closet! Just bring light clothes, walking short, leg and arm covers, jogging/ trekking pants, tees and undergarments.

4. Jacket and night socks. People in Sagada even in the mid noon do still wear jacket. It can be cold the entire day and at night especially when you leave your windows open.

5. Drawstring bag/ knapsack. A small bag is an essential to keep your valuables, food and drinks and essential stuffs.

Violet used drawstring bag. To avoid water in entering inside the bag and to keep the bag in her back. Inside her bag:

Speluking: card wallet, cellphone, camera, sarong, bottled water.

Trekking: Shades, cellphone, card wallet, camera, sarong, bottled water and food.

Tip: it is also good to use backpack/ waterproof bags rather than shoulder or sling bags. 

 6. Toiletries. Soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, shampoo and conditioner, alcohol, mosquito repellant lotion and sunblock.

Tip: Violet uses a clear zip-locked bag (a t-shirt container from bench) with a snaplink on it, so it can be hang anywhere. A goggle (she often forget to bring so she also) placed in it the toiletry bag.

7. Sarongs. These materials are very efficient, it can serve as a blanket, head and body cover, accessory, beach towel and bath towel. It dries faster, too.

8. Cellphone. Smart and Globe is really working in this place. There’s even wifi in every guesthouse and restaurants. 3G is really workingin the town but not as good when in Kiltepan peak. It can serve as a camera, too.

Photographed by: Greg. Credits: Len Flores

9. Money. Do not forget this. Well, you can sleep in the streets of Sagada (and suffer hypothermia), eat nothing and walk until your legs get numb. You wouldn’t want that.

10. Camera. This is something you should never ever forget. Capture every moment and record everything with your own light.

Violet at the Echo Valley

Photographed by: Len Flores

13

Traveling up! Let’s go Sagada!

Photo Album: SAGADA 2013
Facebook Page: Violetxplorer

Bomod-ok Falls

Bomod-ok Falls. Photographed by: Len Flores

Entako’et id Sagada! This is not your ordinary sight-seeing trip. It was a test of courage, stamina, mind work, wit and charm for two girls who embarked into the fortress of the Cordillera. From eight possible travelers down to two, what lies ahead for these two backpacking girls traveling North for the very first time?

Organizing the trip was not easy. Violet had read more than 30 blogs to consolidate details for the up coming trip. A month preparation it is! From the main attractions, mode of transportation, rates and prices, fixing schedules, people that could possibly help in making the trip smoothly sailing and to a point of what to bring and what to expect in Sagada is noted. Here is a SAMPLE ITINERARY created before going to Sagada.

Getting There

Manila to Banaue: Take Ohayami bus located at Cor. J. Fajardo St., Lacson Ave. Fare: 450 pesos and leaves at 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM daily (reserve if possible).

Don’t miss the chance to explore Banaue. Violet really wanted to see Banaue with her own light. Here’s to DREAMING OF A DREAM

Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue is such an enchanting place. It will definitely take your breath a way or make a heart beating fast. Its people are amazing and it was overwhelming for a first timer. What exactly do two girls do in Banaue? Here’s to a QUICKIE BANAUE.

Banaue to Sagada: Arriving in Banaue, expect to be welcomed by people working in the transportation. They will offer you ways to get to Sagada via van (300 pesos) or via jeepneys going to Bontoc or straight to Sagada (try the topload). Do not forget to take a view from Banaue Viewpoint and if you like museum, you better see Bontoc Museum in Bontoc (1-2 hours away from Banaue).

Arriving on a Monday, lesser adventurer arriving, left Violet and Len to take the van. It took them to the Banaue Viewpoint (which is delightful) but didn’t let them to take a sneak peek on the Bontoc Museum which is really get into Violet’s nerves (she’s really hoping to see it). After 3 hours of traveling and witnessing the beautiful terrain of Banaue and Mountain Province, it’s showtime!

Where to Stay in Sagada

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Violet and Len stayed in Sagada Guesthouse for two nights. There are plenty of rooms but be sure to reserve before coming here (especially if arriving on weekends), well it’s Monday for them, so it wasn’t a hassle to arrive with no reservations and all rooms are almost available. The RATES are reasonable and negotiable. The guesthouse is located near the main road making it a good place to stay at and accessible to the information center, transport terminal and restaurants. Here is the review for SAGADA GUESTHOUSE and some interesting facts about it.

Tourist Attractions

There are plenty of attractions in Sagada. Its either you’ll walk or rent a vehicle. Here is the map from Sagada Guesthouse:

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Note: The man and the chairs are not part of the attractions. LOL! 😀

  • Cave Tours: Sumaging Cave, Lumiang Cave, Balangagan Cave and Crystal cave
  • Mountain Tours: Marlboro Ountain, Mount Ampacao, Mount Sisipitan and Mount Polis
  • Falls Tour: Bomod-ok Falls, Bokong Falls and Pongas Falls
  • Sunrise: Kiltepan Peak
  • Sunset: Lake Danum
  • Easy Tour: Echo Valley, Hanging Coffins, St. Mary the Virgin, Underground river
  • other attractions: Pottery and Weaving, and Rock Inn/Orange Farming

Tip: You need to gather all your strength if you want to walk it all (but you need a guide) and if you don’t want to walk, you’ll need to stretch your wallet.

Do you really need a guide? Do you really need to rent a vehicle?

Yes and No.

Why? Here is an honest answer and an essential read.

Note: There are two group of guides in Sagada: Sagada Genuine Guides Association (SAGGAS) and Sagada Environmental Guides Association (SEGA). We choose the later since they’re stationed in the information center while the other is a bit farther (and SAGGAS Guide didn’t replied about inquiries).

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Things To Bring“All my bags are packed and I’m ready to go.”

This excerpt from the lyrics Leaving on a Jet plane do make sense for a traveler. Since Sagada is a place for adventures – exploring from above and below the ground, means you need to know the essentials stuff to bring.

Food Trip:

Try the different taste of Sagada and find the pleasure of its uniqueness. Here are some of the food places and it’s review.

3D/2N Entako’ed id Sagada Adventure!


 (May 20, 2013)

11:44 AM: Arrived in SAGADA; Stayed in Sagada Guesthouse

Check-in and a little rest. It’s already lunch time, we got of the guesthouse and look for good food. After 2-3 minutes of walking. We arrived in Salt & Pepper and took our order.

1:00 PM: Lunch at Pepper and Salt and Lemon House Pie

Starving…Patience is a must. Took 20-30 minutes to wait for the food and we finish it in less than 10 minutes. Thank God, the food taste good! 🙂

Then, searched for the famous lemon pie house and bought 2 slices of pie (egg and lemon) for 60 pesos. Delightful Sagada Food!

2:00 PM-3:00 PM: rest at the guesthouse

3:00 PM: Cave connection with Violet, Len, Jun and Kim and Hanging coffins view deck

 Behind the Cave Connection: It was a great idea to try cave connections instead of normal caving. So many stories to tell.

7:30 PM: End of caving/spelunking

After the fun yet super tiring activity, we had so many stories to share and to recall inside the van. Thank God we hired that van cause I know I couln’t walk anymore. hehehe,,, I just want to eat and get some sleep.

7:30-8:00: Quick Shower
8:15 PM: Dinner at Sagada Homestay Diner

Shhhh… No one’s talking. Hungry (Galit-galit muna)…

9:00 PM: curfew

9:30 PM: walked back home dead tired and sleepy

(May 21, 2013)

6:00 AM: Walk looking for breakfast. Sagada is still asleep.
7:00 AM-7:30 AM: Porridge/ Lugaw Breakfast near GL Bus Terminal
7:30 AM: Visit St. Mary’s Church and walk some more
7:40 AM: Went back to Sagada Guesthouse
8:00 AM: Ganduyan Museum
8:30 AM: Went to info center and met Sir Lary, Sir Richard and Sir Joey for Bomod-ok falls and trekking
11:30 AM: Lunch at Pinikpikan House
1:00 PM: Deliver Sir Lary, Sir Richard and Sir Joey at Lumiang Cave
1:15: Rest and Sleep at Sagada Guesthouse
3:30 PM: Seeing hanging coffins, weaving and pottery making, lake danum sunset but it rained (cancelled) instead buy pasalubong.
Avoid Ganduyan Shop (very unfriendly), look for Seven J’s handicrafts & souvenirs in front of Masferre
5:30 PM: Snack at Yoghurt House
6:30: head back to guesthouse
8:00 PM: Dinner at Sagada’s Guesthouse Restau Pancake
8:30 PM: Bathing

(May 22, 2013)

4:30 AM: Kiltepan Sunrise
6:00 AM: Rock Inn/Farming
6:30 AM: Echo Valley and Sagada Cemetery
7:00 AM: Lugaw Breakfast
7:30 AM: Wash-up and check-out
8:00 AM: Departure to Baguio

For More Details on the itinerary & Expenses (Click Here)

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4

SAGADA GUESTHOUSE is a good choice!

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SAGADA GUESTHOUSE

Why choose this guesthouse?

1. Rates are affordable and negotiable.

There are plenty of ordinary rooms for 1-6 pax with various rates from 200-1,875 pesos. There are no electric fans in each room, you’ll never need it anyway.

The two girls’ room was E-2 for 900 per night with 1 twin bed, 1 single bed and private hot & cold bathroom. With haggling, got the room for 700/night.

Note:  Arriving on a Monday w/o reservations is no hassle,the guesthouse is quite empty. Most guest arrive during weekend. So, if planning to arrive on weekends, please call for reservations in these numbers:

Lodge: +63.921.9694053
Restaurant: +63.918.9418792

2. Good Location

Located on the main road and in the heart of Sagada, Mountain Province. Situated right next to the new municipal hall in Poblacion. It’s very near the Ganduyan museum and information center, too. The restaurants is a walk-downhill along the information center while the chruch, hospital, hanging coffins and echo valley is just straight ahead. sagada guesthouse

3. Morning View is Amazing!

Violet and Len stayed at E-2 (Extension-2). The guesthouse has a main lodging and an extension house. Here is a view of sunrise kissing the face of the mountains.

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4. The Cloud kissing the Ground View

Aside from the sunrise, it was also a great view to see the clouds touching the ground. Fascinating!

5. Historical Pioneer

Sagada Guesthouse were the first homestay and one of the first lodges to accept guests in Sagada. Europeans were their first guests for only 2.50 pesos during the 50’s! Whoa! And the ownerof the guesthouse, Mrs. Veronica and Ignacio Daoas, they were both public officials in Sagada. From 1988-1992 Ignacio Daoas is a local chief executive of Sagada.

6. Amenities

– The Hot and Cold Shower is great especially during night bath and shower. –  There are Cable TVs (some rooms and common area) / Free Wi-Fi on the main lodging house (no access in the extension house).

– They have Restaurant / Cafe with a a huge map of Sagada on its wall to assist their guests, it also serves as a conference room (with whiteboard), they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and all their cafe crew are men.

ALL MEN CREW? It’s quite intriguing… According to Randall, a crew and relative of the owner, “we do not have discrimination with women, it’s just that most of the girls in our family is not in-line with hotel management and services, unlike us (men crew) who took culinary and hotel management. Though we had 2 girls in the house, one in the lobby information and one dishwasher (often comes). Furthermore, efficiently men can handle almost all the tasks like cooking, cleaning, carrying luggage, etc. By the way, some crew are not our relatives, the owner is very kind to all. When one needs job, he offers a job here or in the farm.”

MENU. Plenty of variety to choose from, quite reasonable prices and the cheapest compared to other restaurants and cafes in the town.

– The Common Area which is the lobby has a book shelf with various books (they even got hunger games. Nice!), they have a couch set, a TV set, bulletin board, PC and the place is equipped with WiFi. With wooden interiors giving it a homey and cozy effect.

The information desk and the common area

Bookshelf and bulletin board containing all important Sagada infos

Review: It was a good 3D/2N stay in Sagada Guesthouse. The crew are very accommodating, even showed how to get the hot and cold shower running when Violet though it was broken (stupid! LOL!). They have plenty of materials posted on their bulletin which is quite helpful to their visitors and they also called out our guide (who turned out to be a human-elevator). And aside from that, the stairs is a short flight (with aching calves and muscles it’s important to consider this) and the lobby is a direct entrance (no stairs. yes!). Then, Randall is quite a gentleman and attended to every needs of Len and Violet (giving more butter for her pancakes) during one dinner. He also told mostly all the interesting facts about the guesthouse. Good and friendly service! Upon checking out, they (some crew on duty) even thanked and bid us goodbyes. Good days in Sagada thanks to the people and their guesthouse. Iyaman!

You can check on their website at http://sagadaguesthouse.blogspot.com

Feel free to ask questions and leave comments about Violet’s stay in Sagada Guesthouse.

ADD-ONS:

– They also have water refilling station. 🙂

– During one rainy afternoon, they lend their umbrella (really thankful for it!). When Violet returned it, she had a glimpse of the kitchen and saw all the men crew. That’s the time she’s itching to ask about ‘why all men crew‘…

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Do You Really Need A Guide And To Rent A Vehicle?

There are plenty of attractions in Sagada. Its either you’ll walk or rent a vehicle.

Tip: You need to gather all your strength if you want to walk it all and if you don’t want to walk, you’ll need stretch your wallet.

Do you really need a guide? Yes.

Do you really need to rent a vehicle? Yes and No. 

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  • Cave Tours: Sumaging Cave, Lumiang Cave, Balangagan Cave and Crystal cave
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Photographed by: T-Rex. Credits: Len Flores

Tip: We had only gone to Lumiang and Sumaging for Cave connection. Honestly speaking, you don’t want to go inside a cave on your own. It’s a tricky place, it’s either you get out alive or you’ll be next to be placed in the Lumiang Burial Cave or maybe next to the hanging coffins. Aaww! And about the vehicle service, Lumiang and Sumaging caves are about 30 minutes walk from the information center. If you’re just trying the normal caving, walking isn’t so bad but if you’re doing the cave connections, whoa! Vehicle service is a must! At 500 pesos (1-10 pax) and will deliver you back-and-forth is not so bad.

  • Mountain Tours: Marlboro Ountain, Mount Ampacao, Mount Sisipitan and Mount Polis

Note: Had not yet gone to any mountains due to muscles were already to tired and as well as limited stay in Sagada.

  • Falls Tour: Bomod-ok Falls, Bokong Falls and Pongas Falls
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Photographed by: Renailyn. Credits: Len Flores

Tip: Bomod-ok is far and a vehicle rent is a must, but if you insist in walking, it’s maybe a 45 minutes to an hour walk. Also, they do not allow people to go to the falls without a guide. So, it is a YES for tour guides! And please also consider this, people around the place depend on tourism for their daily income, tour guiding really helps in putting food in their tables.

  • Sunrise: Kiltepan Peak962363_10152460467032925_1600383338_o

Tip: Vehicle and tour guide is a Yes! It’s a bit far and I bet some muscles are in pain alredy after trying cave connections or falls trekking. Like us! Ouch! 

  • Sunset: Lake Danum

Note: Due to rain, trip was cancelled

  • Easy Tour: Echo Valley, Hanging Coffins, St. Mary the Virgin, Underground river942614_10152463641527925_1684753817_n

Tip: Hanging coffins, Echo Valley and St. Mary the Virgin is an easy walk. If you knew the place, you can go without a guide. No need to rent for a vehicle.

  • other attractions: Ganduyan Museum, Pottery and Weaving, and Rock Inn/Orange Farming

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Tip: Kiltepan peak is near the Rock Inn. Ask you vehicle driver if he can take you there for a sneaky peeky.  Our Pottery and weaving visit was cancelled due to the rain. Ganduyan Museum is very near Sagada Guesthouse, easy access.

Here is the exact attractions visited by Violet: 

Day 1: Hanging coffins and Cave Connection (afternoon)

Day 2:St. Mary the Virgin Church, Ganduyan Museum, Bomod-ok Falls (morning) and cancelled the afternoon trip due to rain: pottery, weaving, sunst at lake danum and visit to the echo valley and hanging coffins.

Day 3: Kiltepan Peak, Rock Inn, echo valley and cemetery.

Having the same tour guide from day 1 has given us the confidence that he’ll make our Sagada visit worth it. Indeed, he was the most helpful and easy to be with. He was very kind and  assisted us in every possible way. It was also a good feeling that at least we met and get to know better a local from Sagada. And most of our stunning photos were captured by out tour guides, they are Sagada’s experts.

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Kuya Greg. Our Guide from Day 1 to 3. Photographed by: Len Flores

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ACTUAL BANAUE-SAGADA ITINERARY AND EXPENSES (two backpackers)

Credits: Len Flores

Kiltepan Sunrise. Credits: Len Flores

Explore Banaue, Sagada and side-trip Baguio 2013 (May 20-22)

Sagada Tour 

  • Tour at Kiltepan, Echo Valley, St Mary’s Church, Big Falls (BOMOD-OK Falls), Sumaguing Cave, Lumiang Cave, Hanging Coffins, Ganduyan Museum and Rock inn/Orange Farm
Ohayami bus. Manila to Banaue Route.

Ohayami bus. Manila to Banaue Route.

TRANSPORTATION = 1,440 each

A. Manila-Sagada
– Manila to Banawe: Php 450
– Banawe to Sagada: Php 300

B. Sagada- Manila
– Sagada- Baguio Fare: Php 220
– Baguio Taxi to terminal: Php 25 (actual 50 pesos)
– Victory Liner Baguio to Manila: 445

Itinerary

DAY 00 (May 19, 2013)

9:00 PM: Departure (450)
11:00 PM: Stopover Bulacan

Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces

Day 01 (May 20, 2013) 

3:00 AM: Stopover Aritao Nueva Vizcaya
6:00 AM: Arrival – BANAUE (A quickie tour in Banaue… click here)
7:00 AM: Breakfast at People’s Restaurant (90 pesos)
8:00 AM: Roaming around
8:30 AM: Leave Banaue via van (300)
8:40 AM: Banaue View Point
Optional/ Incidental: buy souvenirs: bag *(130), magnets *(150), keychains *(100), read more about bargaining and tip for Igorot elders *(50)

9:00 AM: Travel to Sagada
10:16 AM: Passed by Bontoc
11:44 AM: Arrived in SAGADA; Stayed in Sagada Guesthouse (700)
Room rates: 900 pesos/night (for 1 double bed, 1 single bed, private bathroom). But with haggling, got it for 700 pesos/night. Paid 1400 for 2 nights. 700 pesos each person. there are economy room for 200/night.

1:00 PM: Lunch at Pepper and Salt (160) and Lemon House Pie (60)
2:00 PM-3:00 PM: rest at the guesthouse
3:00 PM: Cave connection with Violet, Len, Jun and Kim and Hanging coffins view deck (500/each)
Cave connection for 400 pesos each while normal caving 200 pesos

Service ride back-and-forth: 500 pesos (highly recommended, activity is too tiring; if you like walking it would take 40 mins away from the information center).

Proper Attire: http://www.saggas.org/2009/09/spelunking-attire.html

7:30 PM: End of caving/spelunking
7:30-8:00: quick shower
8:150 PM: Dinner at Sagada Homestay Diner (too hungry, too tired forgotten the price list and menu; approx 170) I paid for 155. (155)
chicken bbq with rice (150), hot chocolate/milo (20) and water (45)
Bill is 805. Sir june paid for 500 and ate Len and Violet split the 305.
9:00 PM: curfew
9:30 PM: walked home dead tired and sleepy

EXPENSES (for Day 00 to Day 1) =  2,415 pesos & Incidental: 470 pesos

Spelunking

Spelunking. Cave Connection. Credits: Len Flores

Day 02 (May 21, 2013)

6:00 AM: Walk looking for breakfast. Sagada is still asleep.
7:00 AM-7:30 AM: Porridge/ Lugaw Breakfast near GL us terminal (35)
Arroz caldo (with eggand chicken) for 45
Arroz caldo (with egg only) for 35

7:30 AM: Visit St. Mary’s Church and walk some more
7:40 AM: Went back to Sagada Guesthouse (change clothes)
8:00 AM: Ganduyan Museum (25) + donation *(25)
8:30 AM: Went to info center and met (Sir Lary, Sir Richard and Sir Joey) Bomod-ok falls and trekking (230)
Guide tours: 500 pesos (good for 1-10 people) Guide: Rainalyn
Service ride: 600 pesos (good for 1-10 people)
Baranggay fee: 10 pesos/ each

11:30 AM: Lunch at Pinikpikan House meal for 1,288 for 7 people  (184/each)
1:00 PM: Deliver Sir Lary, Sir Richard and Sir Joey at Lumiang Cave
Incidentals: Tip for Rainalyn:* (100)
1 box of egg pie *(200) with 8 slices
1:15: Rest and Sleep at Sagada Guesthouse

3:30 PM: Seeing hanging coffins, weaving and pottery making, lake danum sunset for 400 pesos but it rained (cancelled) instead we buy pasalubong
Avoid Ganduyan Shop (very unfriendly), look for Seven J’s handicrafts & souvenirs in front of Masferre (opens at 7:30 AM)
bag: *(150) instead of 180
keychains:  3 pcs for *(100) pesos
t-shirts for (160) pesos instead of 170, *(320)

5:30 PM: Snack at Yoghurt House
Ate len’s treat: Chocolate chip yoghurt *(100) and hot choco big mug (90)
6:30: head back to guesthouse
8:00 PM: Dinner at Sagada’s Guesthouse Restau Pancake (90)
8:30 PM: Bathing

EXPENSES (Day 02) = 564 pesos & Incidentals: 895 pesos

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Day 03 (May 22, 22013)

4:30 AM: Kiltepan Sunrise (500 service and guide) (250) + tip *(50)
6:00 AM: Rock Inn/Farming
6:30 AM: Echo Valley and Sagada Cemetery
7:00 AM: Lugaw Breakfast (35)+ *(45)
7:30 AM: Wash-up and check-out
8:00 AM: Departure to Baguio (220)

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12:00PM: Benguet Stop-over (85) expensive tilapia and rice!
2:30 PM: Arrival in Baguio
3:00 PM: Arrival in Victory Liner (445) and Pasalubong
peanut brittle and chocoflakes *(100/3 containers) and jam *(200)
5:00PM: Pangasinan stopover
hotdog *(35) and donut *(12)
7:00PM: stopover in Tarlac
10:00 PM: Arrival in SM (fx 45)
11:19: Home-sweet-home

EXPENSES (Day 03)= 1080 pesos & Incidentals: 442 pesos

– – –

TOTAL EXPENSES (Day 00-03) = 4059

Incidentals = 1807

Grand total = 5866 pesos

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PLANNED BANAUE-SAGADA ITINERARY (for four)

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NOTE: This itinerary is not the actual expenses of the Banaue-Sagada Adventure. This is a sample itinerary, it was a guide to Violet and her 3 other companions. To see the actual Banaue-Sagada (Click Here)

Explore Banaue, Sagada and side-trip Baguio 2013 (May 20-22)

Sagada Tour 

  • 2 Days Tour at Kiltepan, Echo Valley, St Mary’s Church, Big Falls (BOMOD-OK Falls), Pottery House, Sagada Weaving, –Sumaguing Cave and Rock inn/Orange Farm

TRANSPORTATION = approx 1,315 

A. Manila-Sagada
– Manila to Banawe: 450
– Banawe to Sagada: 200

B. Sagada- Manila
– Sagada- Baguio Fare: Php220
– Victory Liner Baguio to Manila: 445

Room/house (400/2 nights)
 Canaway Rest House, 0920-7592039 / 0910-7092631

Foodies: Breakfast: egg, bread, rice, tuyo, canned goods, noodles (house) or dine outside

Lunch and Dinner
1. Lemon Pie: This food establishment is popular for, you guess it, lemon pies. They also serve other desserts like blueberry pies and egg pies. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner meals as well. Free wi-fi with a minimum order of Php200. 25/pie

2. Salt n PepperOwned by the charming couple Safe and Andrew Pekas, this restaurant is one of the few establishments that open early to serve food to hungry tourists. Free wifi. 100+ up to 200+/meal

3. Yoghurt House: If you are in search for a healthy fix, head out to Yoghurt house where they serve salads, pasta and of course yoghurt with fruits in season. 50/yoghurthttp://www.traveling-up.com/food-trip-sagada/#more-3662

Sagada Tour Proposed Itinerary:
 
Day 00 (May 19)
8pm Call-time
9:00-10:00 Departure

Day 01 (may 20)
 
7:007:30am Estimate time of arrival at Banaue (450pesos)
9:30: Banawe- Bontoc TOPLOAD (150)
10:00: Bontoc Museum (60)
and Walter Rice Meal: Red Rice, Fried Egg, Fried Chicken, 2 Slices of Porkchop and Vegetables (90)
11:00-12:00: Bontoc – Sagada TOPLoaD (45)
1:00 – 3:00 House Haunting (400/night) and Lunch at Salt & Pepper or Yoghurt House (150) and plenty of rest
0300pm Proceed to Lumiang Cave and Sumaguing Cave for normal caving (125/pax)

Kindly check for theproper attire: http://www.saggas.org/2009/09/spelunking-attire.html

0500pm Estimated time of return from the cave
0530pm Back to Lodging (Wash up) and rest
0700pm Dinner (on own pax account) (150pesos)
(pain-reliever is advisable at all cost)

Day 1 expenses: 1620 pesos

Day 02 (May21)
0500am Wake-up call. Breakfast (own account) (150)
0600am Proceed to Kiltepan for Sunrise Viewing (Optional)
0700am Start of Bomod-Ok Falls Trek
1100am Lunch at Rock Inn Farm (On pax own account) (200)
1200pm Visit the Orange Orchard at Rock-Inn Farm (50)
01:30pm Visit Sagada weaving and Pottery
02:00pm St. Mary’s Church, Bokong (Small) Falls, Underground River, lake danum  and Echo Valley, Ganduyan Museum (where the hanging coffins are located)
04:00pm Rice planting activities (request it from the tour guide)
0700pm Dinner and Rest (On pax own account) (150)
(pain reliever is advise)
Environmental Fee – 35/pax

choose your tour guide: http://www.saggas.org/2009/08/saggas-members.html
optional but highy reccomended: Vehicle 1800 + 1200 tour guide (750/each)

Day 2 expenses: 1335
 
 
Day 03 (May22)
 
0600am Proceed to Kiltepan for Sunrise Viewing (Optional) 
7:00: breakfast (150)
8:00am Pasalubong hunt (300)
9:00am check out travel to baguio (220)
1100am Lunch  ans sight-seeing Baguio Ben cab museum or la trinidad strawberries (150)
1:20pm Baguio -Manila (445)
7:20 Arrival

Day 3 expenses = 1265 pesos

 

Summary= 1620 pesos + 1335 pesos + 1265 pesos = 4220 pesos

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Banaue, Ifugao: Dreaming of a Dream

Traveling Luzon was not on the top-list of Violet. Why? Long hours of traveling on the road is not her thing, she is hyper and restless, and boredom often occurs to her in waiting too long. The farthest she had been was in Baguio and 6-hrs of sitting in a bus is really a pain in her ass. She’s anyway living in Luzon, that’s why she prefer Visayas or Mindanao, which can be reached by traveling in an airplane which is faster. Now, she is going North with her friend – Len. Learn what made her travel up and what adventure unfolds as they travel from Manila to Sagada.

Hagdan-handang Palayan ng Banaue or also known as the Banaue Rice Terraces is Violet’s childhood dream. She dream of becoming a Chemistry mobile teacher in Banaue, then maybe marry an Igorot and live a simple life with the view of the rice terrace. Probably she will never get that dream but at least she had seen the place and breathing in the what is left of that dream. This tour is part of Banaue-Sagada Adventure.

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Being young, Violet was rebellious. She wanted freedom and she wanted to get that freedom by going to a far place. But life was unpredictable, some freedom are not exactly same with running away. Life could be difficult (for someone who is not rich) and deciding being a mobile teacher means lesser income as well. Reality strikes! That childhood dream had to be shoved into the box and find a job in the Metro.

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

~Excerpt from I dreamed a dream; Les Miserables

But some dreams are too strong, even if you ignore it for quite a long time, it will always finds it way to resurface.Through friends and people who (like Violet) has the passion to seek adventure and to travel, they had planned to visit Sagada. Finally, a way to pass by Banaue.???????????????????????????????

A month of preparation was done. Reading travel blogs and researching about the modes of transportation, transpo, food, hostel and attraction costs, when to visit (fixing everyone’s schedules), where to visit and to stay and all of the essential things to bring… Yes! It was decided to visit Sagada on May 20-22. After contemplating for about a month, an itinerary for four persons was made.

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From 8 prospects of adventure mates, it was trimmed into 4 (a week before the trip) and a slash of 1 mate due to emergencies (2 days before the trip ) and ate Fe backed out (due to her migraine) on the night of the trip, and that’s it – Len and Violet are the last two standing. By hooked and by crooked, the adventure for 2 begun on the night of May 19, 9:00 PM and arriving in Banaue, 6 in the morning. Here is the itinerary  for Banaue-Sagada Adventure.

Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces

Len & Violet at Banaue View Point

Len & Violet at Banaue View Point. Photo courtesy of Len Flores

Violet had made her dreams come true. She had seen the place she had been dreaming for so long now. Thanks to her travel buddy – Len for coming this long way. Adventures are worth sharing and if it wasn’t for Len, the trip will definitely had gone back to the box of shattered dreams. Thank God for friends. 🙂

See: A Quick Tour at Banaue Ifugao. Getting there, must see, the people and the experience. 

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Quickie Banaue

Hagdan-handang Palayan ng Banaue or also known as the Banaue Rice Terraces is Violet’s childhood dream. She dream of becoming a Chemistry mobile teacher in Banaue, then maybe marry an Igorot and live a simple life with the view of the rice terrace. Probably she will never get that dream but at least she had seen the place and breathing in the what is left of that dream. This tour is part of Banaue-Sagada Adventure.

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Banaue: As Our Eighth Wonder of the World.

Ohayami bus. Manila to Banaue Route.

Ohayami bus. Manila to Banaue Route.

Getting There: 

Take Ohayami bus located at Cor. J. Fajardo St., Lacson AveFare: 450 pesos and leaves at 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM daily (reserve if possible).

Stop-overs: Bulacan and Nueva Vizcaya.

Driver and ticket conductor is very friendly and helpful. They let us took the 9:00 PM bus even if our tickets is for 10:00 PM. The bus is not spacious but we’re seated well, it’s just that we cannot sleep at night especially in a bus ride.

Must See/Saw:

  • Batad Rice Terraces and Bangaan Rice Terraces declared as World Heritage Sites.
  • Banaue View Point: Take snapshots of the famous Banaue rice terraces. Find elderly Igorots and take photos of them. Buy souvenirs and try Igorot wooden bikes. 
  • Museum of Banaue View Inn: Founded by American anthropologist Dr. Otley Beyer, the first to study the Ifugao culture. Open by request.
  • Museum of Cordillera Sculpture: This museum by collections runs exclusively on the generosity of the Schenk and Ida family, donations and the 100 pesos admission fee. Located next to Spring Village Inn and is open from 8 am to 5 pm.
  • Tappiyah Falls: A 45 minutes to and hour walk from Batad Village..
  • Chapah Waterfalls: Located in Bocos Village.

Ifugao elders

 Violet and Len (her travel buddy) arrived 6AM in Banaue, one-hour ahead of schedule. The town is still sleeping and the only thing left to do is to roam around and find a place to eat breakfast.

People’s Restaurant

The staff are very accommodating and will certainly entertain every request if possible. Just like if you need the map of Banaue for 25 pesos (Violet collects maps of the places she visits), if you need your cellphones to be recharge and if you want to roam around, you can leave your bags with them, as well. They are also very fluent in english which is quite admiring, too. Anyways, this is our Dansilog breakfast for 90 pesos and the menu/price list.

Dansilog of people's  restaurant in Banaueprice list of menu of people's restaurant

Since the van were still waiting for other passengers, Violet and Len took their time to enjoy the veranda view showcasing the town of Banaue and its landscape, and later went for a walk to a bridge near the place (seen in the picture).

Banaue Rice Terraces view from the veranda

View of BanaueBanaue Town Proper

Playing at the Bridge

The bridge is mainly used to connet and access the other side of the town proper. Once the town wake up, there are lots of things you can see specially in the market place.

Photo courtesy by Len Flores

Violet at the Bridge Len at the Bridge

Here are some of Violet’s shots at the bridge:

Banaue bridgeFish pond near the bridgeBanaue bridge crossingCrossing Banaue bridge
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Banaue View Point

By 8:30AM, the van is ready to go. For about 10 minutes we arrived at the view point. Here you’ll find a better panoramic view of vast terrain land of Banaue. Find elderly Igorots and take photos of them/with them, try out the peace sign which is cute in the picture below (with donations). Buy souvenirs and try Igorot wooden bikes. DSLR Photos courtesy from Len Flores, captured by Violet.

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Meet Pascal, a French backpacking world traveler. He’s staying in the Philippines for 21 days and his first PH journey is in Banaue-Sagada.

While here are some of the souvenirs found in the area (Violet’s photos):

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Haggling Tip: Bargain to save money, this is an essential skill needed in traveling in the Philippines.

  • The round woven bag cost 150, with haggling, get it for 130. In Sagada, it cost 180. The bigger bags are cheaper in Sagada (see Sagada Adventure). 
  • The key chains 3 pieces for 100 pesos, with haggling, 4pcs/ 100 pesos.
  • Ref Magnets cost 120 pesos, get it for 100. Smaller ones for 80 and get it for 50.

Violet and Len didn’t got their chance on seeing the 2 museums, even the Bontoc museum which 2-3 hrs travel away from Banaue. In order to enjoy more of Banaue and see the famous Batad, at least stay about a day or two which definitely on Violet’s travelogue list now.

Next destination is Sagada, Mountain Province. The van from Banaue cost 300 pesos which include the stopover at the Banaue View Point which passed b Bontoc and headed to Sagada.