Right at the heart of Mountain Province, Sagada is becoming a well known tourist destination for Filipino and Foreign travelers. Why? Because it doesn’t just offer a cold sleepy and laid back town but it also promises adventure and unique feeling of the community, tribes and century old stories of the ancestors living in these mountains.
Since I was young, I have promised to visit the lovely terraces and no one could ever stopped me from doing this. True enough, I have traveled to Sagada all the way from Iligan City with multiple stops in between and road trips in northern Luzon. I have tagged this little trip as my make or break adventure.
So I packed my bag and hail on a tricycle from Boni to EDSA at 10 PM on a Maundy Thursday. Upon reaching the EDSA, I was like.. What the F!!! It is holiday and the Metro seems like a deserted place. It was my first time to be in the middle of EDSA without TRAFFIC on a holy week. NOOB! and when I started to climb the stairs for MRT. OMG! No train. My wild imagination started to work – thinking of the holdups, stalkers, snatchers and all ers. But I couldn’t backed out, not ever! And I couldn’t call my friends to send me to the meeting point. It was definitely at the other side of the Metro. We are living in Mandaluyong and the meeting point was on Quezon City and my friends are on a holiday too. So I hail on a bus, on a much more Ugod Ugod than the Rural Non Air serving Iligan and Cagayan de Oro with all senses activated and neck like giraffe and night-vision-eyes in case I missed the place. I sat on an empty seat, away from other passengers and each time a new passenger comes in, I play dont-sit-here-with-matching-glare stare. It was really effective. And each time the Conductor passes, I always say “Mama, sa SM Megamall po” like more than 5 times. I don’t know if he got annoyed coz on the nth+1 times he finally said, oo ate sa Megamall ka dba… and I sighed (in both relief & agony). Upon stepping down the bus, I was like, this is not the Megamall while following other passengers out in the open. And after walking like a robot for 5 minutes, I can finally acknowledge the area. Staring through the people walking the streets which I don’t have idea where they are going, I have decided to follow them like a zombie in warm bodies. The meeting point is at McDonalds but looking through this oddly familiar streets with no lights, no jeepneys no tricycle, I started to wonder, Is there any McDonalds in this area?. But instead, I followed the people going right than asking those Barkers who looks like hoodlum to me. After 15 minutes, I swear I felt like I’m one of the 3 Kings upon seeing the star and McDonalds was the Bethlehem. My intuition never failed me. But wait! The journey has just started.
I entered the Bethlehem like McDonalds with all girls and boys on their backpack. Anong meron? So All them are joining the trip and there is like 3 tour operators in this McDonalds. Sure this is Bethlehem but with burgers and chicken and them as sheep. Lol. I waited for few minutes since I got there minutes earlier and made friends with a cute family having chicken meal for dinner.
This is GAFA TOURS! So that is my queue and I was finally relieved.
I got to sit next to young couple whom are so sweet. I was amazed coz they are not pregnant nor had a kid because, seriously, back in Iligan, when you get married at a young age it is definitely because the girl got knocked up. When I heard the engine on, I finally dozed off. After a couple of hours, I was awaken by this walkie talkie which I found out that the 3 drivers on convoy which are in the same travel tour have this synchronization. At a sharp curve, the first driver would say, “Ok this is the sharp curve, Dahan Dahan“ and the last one would sometime say, “Pare, may magoovertake, paunahin muna natin”. And when one van that would be left few meters behind, the others would definitely wait to have him on the line. Amazing! But this one convo I couldn’t forget. “Pare, sa itaas na parking lot, okay ba jan?” the other said: “Pare, hindi pwede. Dalaga. Dalaga.” “Ha? Anong dalaga?” “Masikip masikip” I was like… wow! haha And the rest started laughing. Thanks GAFA for orderly and safe trip. This little practice is really useful when driving the roads like Banaue and Sagada.
Upon jumping out of the van, the misty Banaue mist kisses my cheeks. WOW! The Sagada trip had a sidetrip to Banaue for breakfast. Having a super looong breakfast in Banaue isn’t enough. I will definitely come back for Banaue, I noted.
After breakfast, we left for another 2 to 3 hrs. ride to SAGADA. I wouldn’t mind if I got to see these beauties. Following are the landscapes on the road.
Our itinerary was jam packed with top sights to see in Sagada. From spelunking, trakking, visiting falls and Museum.
The trip wouldn’t be much of fun without these two ladies and these couple.
The rest was like a blur and these faces had made the trip fun and exciting. Cheers to solo travel.