Why walk more if there is a restaurant and cafe down stairs?
Sagada Guesthouse have their own 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.
Food Review: Very kind service and they serve plain rice unlike the other restaurants which mix red (malagkit) rice. Also the cheapest restaurant.
Len had fried bangus, with side dish and plain rice, she had the plate down! LOL! A satisfied customer. While Violet had pancakes, yes it is for dinner. She asked for an extra butter, it was given free of charge. Nothing spectacular about the 2 big pancakes.
Rainy afternoon cancelled our pottery and weaving making, sunset in Lake Danum and Echo Valley with hanging coffins visit. A lame second day afternoon in Sagada.
Cancelled tour because of a rainy afternoon. The weather is unpredictable. It was a sunny morning yet on the afternoon, it ain’t no more. Instead of laying on bed at the guesthouse, Len and Violet still went out and look for souvenirs and pasalubong. And a chance to try-out Yoghurt House.
Menu and the Yoghurt:
Review: Chocolate chips were a balance to the sour taste thick yoghurt. It was a nice taste but it was not a perfect timing. It was raining outside and Violet was bored, she rather have chips (which she has in the bag and ate it). LOL! Len had hot chocolate for 90 pesos, in a big mug, she loved it. She described it as like-a-dark-chocolate drink which I bet is a tablea. They need to improve their customer relations, they seem to be starstruck with most of their guest (we are not even stars. LOL!). They had receipt written in a piece of paper (tore in a notebook) and they had charged an excessive 60 pesos. It was corrected and Len paid for 190 pesos (her treat)! 🙂
After trekking back and forth the terraces and witnessing the enchanting Bomod-ok falls, we definitely can eat a horse! Horses, it’s not a Sagada dish, a must-try here is the famous Pinikpikan.
Location: Down the slope almost near lemon house pie
The Pinikpikan Haus has its own touch of originality. It feels like dining at home and there are some good folks who had shown our group mushroom of different kind just like the one wild mushroom that can be determined by a pig (great animal) and they said that’s it’s an expensive mushroom.
Food and Menu:
Waiting time is about 20 minutes. The Pinikpikan is an original chicken dish of Cordillera. This version taste-like nilaga, with some veggies and topped with cured-and-salted pork. The food was okay (not much of a nilaga fan), the pork tasted very unique and delightful in the mouth, totally happier for there are other parts of chicken (breast part) and the coca cola definitely made it a great meal. Too hungry and with the fellow trek mates silently eating theirs, pinikpikan was a sure hit to these hungry fellow adventurers.
Woke up in a lovely cold Sagada morning (6 AM), craving for something hot to eat, Len and Violet decided to get out and have a breakfast downhill but not a single store and restaurant is open. Sagada loves waking up late. Where will you find porridge/lugaw in a cold place like this?
Taddah! An answer is here!
Location: At GL Bus Terminal, St. Mary the Virgin Church and the hospital
Food & Prices:
Arroz Caldo with egg and chicken for 45 pesos
Arroz caldo wtih egg for 25 pesos
coffee for 10 pesos
suman for 5 pesos each
Review: Porridge taste good. Good breakfast for the cold weather in Sagada and opens very early, serving breakfast for hungry visitors (most of restau and eatery opens 7 or 8 in the morning). Very affordable and sales ladies were very kind to answer every inquiry. Coffee is not so good according to Len.
After the breakfast, time for some sight-seeing. Visit St. Mary the Virgin church and echo valley. Try this!
Just follow the path walk that leads to the cemetery, you’ll need to pass by it, and continue to walk for 5 minutes and try to shout. If it echoes, you’re on the right place. 🙂
After the amazing yet tiring cave connection, a quick shower and a good dinner is badly needed by the team (Len, Jun, Kim and Violet).
It’s almost 8:30 and Sagada curfew is at 9 PM. Goodness… Homestay’s diner is still open!
Food: Chicken BBQ
Review: The place is all wooden and it feels staying in a log cabin. The food was not so good, the chicken is originally fried (cooked earlier) and BBQ is just spread into it to give it a taste. The pack is hungry so who cares? Good thing is that the male host is very kind, entertaining and accommodating plus the fact that Milo (hot choco) is only 20 pesos with unlimited creamer is really great. 🙂
Outside the diner is also awesome, they had bonfire area.
Sweet Love for Pies. A delightful craving and addiction.
A heartbreak caused that it’s too far (from home) to grab anytime.
After the lunch out in Salt & Pepper, Violet insisted to look for the Lemon House Pie, well, Len agreed. It’s a long walk to find it but the agony of walking is bearable, once savor the heavenly taste of the pies. Oh droooling here! Teleportation please! Huhuhu! Missing it too much already. I love you, egg pie! 😥
Review: Awesome interiors. Love the low-rise table and even the dining area inside. The pies are great (Violet can eat the whole thing all day and wishing to be eating one at this very moment)!
One should look up for a sign.
If you reject the food, ignore the custom, fear religion and avoid religion, you might better stay at home. ~ James Michener
Arriving in Sagada by noontime is perfect to roam around, find something interesting and look for a good place to eat. Going down the slope, one should look up for the sign of Salt & Pepper. It was a fortunate event that while walking and taking pictures, Violet looked up and found in black-and-white the name of this restaurant, and its catchy tagline.
History: Salt and Pepper are the original seasoning of all the foods in Sagada.
The nearby houses with chimneys, the slope (up and down), the blooming flowers at the veranda, and the locals of Sagada on a Monday (lunchtime) – a simple life.
On the Menu: Honey Lemon Inutom and Mushroom Inutom. “Inutom” means chicken.
Reminder: Waiting Time takes about 30 minutes or more.
Review: It’s a self-service restaurant. Get the condiments and water at the center shelf (they have plenty of drinking cups).The food was great. It taste special and original. The honey lemon is a delight (though no other part aside from thigh-leg). The veranda is awesome, even the interiors and the rice grains over the counter is very unique.
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.
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)
Photographed by: Len Flores and Renailyn. Credits: Len Flores
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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?
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.
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