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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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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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