Friday, May 17, 2013

Lakbay Norte: Sagada, Mountain Province (Day 7 - 8)

Day 7 - March 20 - 21, 2012
Time flies so fast when you're having fun. 
Mountain Province was our second to the last stop for our 10 day Northern Luzon expedition and it was one of the trips that I was really looking forward to.
What better way to travel towards Sagada than to experience toploading.on a jeepney. 
Excuse my funny face in the photo. Hee. 
The sun was really radiant that day however the cool breeze, the scenic mountain views, lush greens,  soothing waterfalls and some impeccable rice terraces seem to add comfort during the risky ride.
Risky I say because we were just like a few meters away from the cliff side of the road. Anything could happen that time you know. God forbid. Good thing was the roads were cemented. However there were blind curves, there were no uneven paths or the like. 
Moving on, we were totally enjoying the scenic ride to Sagada. It took two hours and I tried my best not to fall asleep. I could be narcoleptic sometimes you know. Haha. I could just sleep in any position I'm on. To avoid from being drowsy, we kept ourselves busy taking videos and joking about anything under the sun. 
Finally, after a couple of hours we arrived in the sleepy town of Sagada. :)
I love the placid, strange, unfamiliar and rustic feel of the place. 
If there's one thing that me and my friends are really good at is being spontaneous. 
As usual, we did not have definite plans so we just go with the flow. 
We wandered around the town and went to the cemetery, hanging coffins, Sagada Weaving House, souvenir shops, photos, etc. ... .
Sagada is famous for its hanging coffins. This is the traditional way of burying people. Not every one though is capable to be buried this way. As one of the locals said, someone has to be a pure blooded Igorot who had been married and had offsprings. 
Some of the coffins appeared to be relatively small and we wondered how a person could fit in such a small funerary box. 
We were then told that there was a certain burying process. 
When the person dies, he/she was usually assumed in a fetal position. The locals believed that when a person dies, he/she should look like the first time he came into this world. 
After which the remains would be placed inside their homes so people who knew the departed could come see him for the last time.
To prevent the dead body from emitting an unpleasant odor, the family burns certain leaves and let the smoke surround and consume the bad odor of the corpse. 
After a few days, the dead body was then placed in the wooden coffins and hanged on the foot of the mountains or hills in Sagada. 
Day one was almost over and we spent the rest of the time just strolling around the cold and quiet town. Not to mention, Sagada had great eats! Every restaurant we went to had surprisingly delicious food with really big servings in such reasonable costs. 
We were like indulging in a food feast. Everything was so delicious whether it be a Filipino or American inspired dishes. 
I apologize for not having to post some photos of the food we had eaten. 
We just forgot about the cameras at those craving times. Hee.
Day two commenced with an early morning trip to Kiltepan Peak to witness Mr. Sun rising up from the fog covered mountains.
Our crowd grew as we tagged along our friend Primoz, from Slovenia.  
He was traveling alone so he did not mind some crazy company. Haha.
I really thought we were over the body challenging physical activities but just not yet. 
 We carried on and went spelunking in the cave connection in Sumaguing Cave.
Surprisingly, we met Riko, the bubbly Japanese lady along the streets in Sagada so we invited her over to be with us during the cave connection.

 The cave connection experience was not just about the adventure but it was educational as well. Stalactites, stalagmites, columns, drapery, etc. are just about few words that I added in my vocabulary.
After a long day, we gathered around in our favorite restaurant The Lemon Pie House for our supper as it was our last night in Sagada.
Our friend, Primoz from Slovenia tagged along as we exchanged interesting stories and travel experiences and indulged on some tasty lemon pies and hot lemon tea. :)
So it was time to bid farewell to this beautiful and tranquil town. We bought a few souvenirs. I remember purchasing organic orange marmalade and blueberry jam because it was soooo good. :) I got me some sweet smelling coffee beans as well as my mother is fond of drinking coffee. 
Our next and final stop would be in Clark as it was our jump off point back to our home town, Cebu.
We finally left Sagada with mild sore bodies from spelunking, full stomachs from all the gastronomical delights, updated knowledge about some basic facts about the town and about life in general and a heavy heart full of happiness and laughter. :)

Canaway Lodge P250/night (2 nights) = P500                                                                                                  Breakfast at Las Vegas lodge: P60 :water P25 = p85                                                                                             Banaue to Bontoc jeepney fare = P150                                                                                                                Bontoc to Sagada = P45 
Lunch at the Yoghurt House P40 mango juice + P90 chicken = p130                                                                    (Guide) Hanging Coffins = P100/5 = P25 each                                                                                                        Dinner at Lemon Pie House; P100 dinner, P25 - lemon pie, P20 lemon team = p 145
 Bana's Cafe for breakfast = P120                                                                                                                        Coffee beans (pasalubong) = p120                                                                                                                          Cave Connection (Sumaguing cave, Coffins, etc) P570 (transpo + guide)

Siesta time at Haddeku

sandwiches : P75/2

Dinner at Lemon Pie House; estimated = p 120
Day 9 Sagada to Clark

Breakfast @ Haddeku; p 75

 6-hour Bus Ride from Sagada to Baguio fare: P220

Baguio to Clark bus fare: P306

Total Estimated Investment = p2,173.50

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