Sagada - A Treasure in the Mountain

by - 5:59 AM

Have you ever had those days where you're just sick of everything and everyone around you? It's like the same routine day in day out and it gets so old? Or you just wanna get away from everything for a while and have some time for yourself? That's what happened to me a month ago, all the projects and exams at school plus the pressure at work I knew I needed a time off.

Now I’m a mountain kind of guy. The beach is gorgeous and relaxing, but the mountains are more beautiful in my opinion. They're more complex. Every dip and peak, every plant, the rock placement, the way the setting sun looks over the mountain line. it's incredible, that's why I chose to breakaway in this small town somewhere in the Mountain Province.

Sagada swept me off my feet. The people, the food, the weather, everything about it. I've been there several times already but I still can't get enough of it.

 The church of St. Mary the Virgin

How to get there

You can only get there by land, travel time is around 12 hours. There are two options on how to get there.

1st Route (Manila-Baguio-Sagada)

-Take a bus to Baguio City, preferably at 10pm
-Go to Dangwa Terminal
-Ride a Lizardo or GL Transit Bus to Sagada, first trip is at 5am

2nd Route (Manila-Bontoc-Sagada)

-Take a bus going to Bontoc, Check GV Florida Transport for schedules and rates
-Ride a jeep going to Sagada, 45 pesos

Where to Stay
There are a lot of cheap accommodations in Sagada. I stayed in Residential Lodge for only 250php a night. Tita Mary the owner of the lodge and her family is very accommodating, they even offer a free unlimited brewed coffee and tea. With all of the activities in Sagada I swear you will be needing a  lot of caffeine in your body.

Where to Eat 

The food in Sagada may be a bit pricey, ranging from 110 to 250 pesos per plate. There are heaps of restaurants worth the try. My personal favorites are:

1. The Lemon Pie House - You must not leave Sagada without trying their Lemon and Egg Pies! I love their Red Spicy Chicken and Chicken Curry too. sobrang worth it.

2. Sagada Brew - Their Beef Caldreta is a must try. They offer bottomless Infused-lemon water. 

3. The Yoghurt House -  One of the best yoghurts I have ever tasted, you may mix in some granola, brown sugar and any fruits in season. The place is really cozy.

Tip: Most lodges in Sagada allow their guests to cook and use their utensils so if you want to save money you can prepare your own meal instead. There is a small market in the town where you can buy almost everything you need.

The Yoghurt House's Banana and Granola Yogurt yum!

What to Do

1. Hiking -  Test your endurance and hike to Marlboro Mt and Pongas Falls.

2. Sight Seeing Tours - Visit Sagada's top tourists spots like Dokiw/Sugong Coffins, Echo Valley, Lumiang Burial Cave, Pottery, Bokong Falls and many more.

3. Trekking - Trek your way to some of the amazingly beautiful spots like Lake Danum and Mt. Ampacao.

4. Spelunking - Challenge yourself, go caving! There are three choices for spelunking: Crystal Cave (extreme), Sumaging Cave (easy) and Cave Connection (so-so).

I took the challenge and tried spelunking for the very first time during my first visit in Sagada, thinking how bad ass I am I opted for the long cave connection. The cave connection takes around 3-4 hours to complete. Pasok sa butas, akyat doon, oh how my body hurts after doing it but it was a very fun and challenging experience.

Is this considered an extreme sport? I mean I thought I was gonna die inside the caves, lol.

As soon as your out of the caves here is the scenery that will welcome you...

4. You may also try camping in Mt. Kiltepan, the best place to witness the sunrise at it's glory.

 Ann D' Explorer with Mt. Kiltepan's sea of clouds in the background.

Sagada is a picture perfect town, make sure you bring your camera and take as many pictures as you can.

Tips and Suggestions

-As soon as you arrived in Sagada, go directly to the Tourist Center and register, advised them that you are interested to go on tour and that you are willing to share it with a group for you to save money. It's a fun experience and you'll get to meet new people from diff. parts of the world.

-Make sure your back in your hotel at 9pm, most of the hotels and establishments are already close during this hour. If you're gonne be late make sure to inform your hotel's front desk as you don't wanna be left outside the cold dark road (like what almost happened to me)

-Everything you need to know about Sadaga can be found here: This site has a chat room where you can throw all your inquiries or questions. I also got the chance to meet new friends on this site. 

Have you ever felt so immersed in the beauty of nature that it takes you to a dreamy sort of state? On my vacation I almost felt like I could inhale the mountains with the breeze. Sagada has become one of my favourite hiding place, away from the stress and negativity of a city life. There is something about this town that gives me revitalization and energy I needed. If only Sagada is easily accessible from Manila I would definitely consider living there.

You can check out more pictures of my Sagada Trip here: Sagada, Mt. Province or watch out for my upcoming posts. 

Breakaway! :)

Jan Ashlee

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