Note: If you read the account slowly and imaginatively, you will hear a soft voice telling you to share this to your friends.
Enjoy masticating my Sagada travelogue! =)
Romancing Sagada. Bow.
GL Bus via Baguio. I was either half-awake or sleeping during the 6-hour bus ride from Baguio. I arrived early afternoon in one of the most touristic destination up North.
Accommodation. Looking for a place to stay is not that hard, walk-in visitors like me could easily locate a cheap inn. For Php250 a night, it was a steal, plus their air-conditioning is natural, wifi-ready lobby and free over-flowing Sagada coffee, distinct because of its strong earthy aroma, drinking it was like tasting the highlands.
Sunrise at Kiltepan. I wonder why people go here and witness the sunrise from Kiltepan? Don’t they like sunrises in Manila or in their hometowns? Will I be correct if I would say that ‘common things when experienced in a different (exotic) place can be magical‘? Not only a handful of tourist congregated on the edge of the mountain to wait for the breaking of the dawn, we were more than 100. Almost everyone anxious to take a snapshot back home to post on their Facebook timelines.
Igorots. Can I talk about the Igorots? Yes, the locals here are one of the warmest in the country. Manongs and manangs are always smiling, offering me either a cup of hot coffee or a shot of gin. Helpful and welcoming of strangers, I felt that they were trying to incorporate me to their community. They treat me not as a visitor but as a friend or an ‘ading‘ (young one). I felt safe in town.
Sense of Place. The smell of the cold air was a fusion of pine and lemon, I walked pass small cafés and I would not miss the invigorating scent of the arabica coffee brewing. It was a feast to my olfactory nerves. Then a gush of wind blow my neatly-trimmed hair; I looked for a hand to hold on, and poof, there was! Sagada was a place that tickled every part of my body and I enjoyed it. I also revisited their cemetery. I don’t know why but I really fancy visiting niches and reflecting on how fleeting our life is.
Unexpected Adventure. I guess you really have to be ‘out there’ to experience something cool, right? So there I was trekking towards the Echo Valley when I saw some SAGGAS playing with ropes and scarabs. I checked them out and started taking photos until someone told me that I can try it. Thanks to my belayer and to Sir John who assisted me as I navigated the 40ft deeep limestone karst. Talk about adrenaline rush! I really love this experience as I’m always on the lookout for things that not all tourists can do.
Sagada Weaving. How I was treated by Manong Ezra while I was checking their crafts was heart-warming. I just love it when strangers like him share to me stories as if we were close. He toured me inside the workplace where the weavers intricately create one of Sagada’s icon: weaving.
Running in Sagada. I checked out the hanging coffins, the Lumiang Burial cave and ran until I reached the entranced of Sumaguing Cave. It was short but it was a ‘rave run.’
Cafés and Shops. The familiar shops were still there- Yogurt House, Lemon Pie House, Salt & Pepper, Masferre’s, Bana’s Café, Starwberry Café, Pinikpikan House, etc. There were new additions being built- stores, guesthouses, souvenir shops and cafes.
For the first time I checked out Gaia Café & Crafts*. I have mistaken this vegetarian cliffhanger café to be expensive because of its location. But I was wrong, its one of the cheapest you can find in town. The view of the Kapay-aw rice terraces was breath-taking. For a moment, I was silent, I was trying to focus on the music that the air makes coupled with the majestic mountains on the west slowly covering the sun as it sets. It was also nice to meet the owner Gawani whose vision and manifesto in building this shop I fully support. Plus, they have a library inside where guests can read as much as they want.
*Gaia Café & Crafts serves organic and vegetarian dishes. They minimize their carbon imprint by not using straws and not allowing take-outs except if the guest brought a reusable plastic pack. Their rice is unpolished giving the diner all the nutrients available in every chew. This café should be on everyone’s list when visiting Sagada. The vibe is ♥.
Chill. On my last night, I was actually looking for some Cannabis to puff before I go to sleep, but I was afraid to ask around. I guess the blueberry wine I bought would suffice and give me a relaxing sleep for tomorrow’s trip back home.
Sagada is ♥. Oh Sagada, you will always be close to my heart. I haven’t explored everything you have to offer but do I need to if I plan of visiting you again and again? Ohhhh Sagada, you are sweeter the second time around. JourneyingJames loves you. Till we meet again!
How about you? Have you been to Sagada? Care to share your unforgettable experience? What’s your fave?