The uphill climbs, the winding roads, the exhilarating rides and the long hours on the road appeared like clinchers of this out-of-the-blue trip but the sceneries that welcomed us at the top resonated like a new civilization waiting to be embraced by every weary traveler. This is another tale of a travel under a shoestring budget.
|Early morning, we were welcomed by the cold weather of Banaue. The smiles of excitement won't give you a hint that we just completed bundles of reports including students' grades the day before our flight to Manila.|
Arriving from Cebu, we headed to SM Mall of Asia where we were picked up for our departure for Sagada at 10:00 PM. Making a couple of stopovers to stretch and freshen up, we reached Banaue, Ifugao around 8:00 AM which was just perfect time for breakfast at one of the hostels at the foot of Banaue Rice Terraces. Immediately after breakfast, we set our crazy feet to the viewpoint of Banaue Rice Terraces.
|The Banaue Rice Terraces in Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines still leaves your mind in awe imagining how the Ifugao tribe engineered these layers or rice fields thousands of year ago.|
|Tribal Fight. At the view deck of Banaue Rice Terraces, you will see "lolo" who is wearing the traditional Ifugao costume. He's always up for some photo op and he can always act it out.|
|The Bontoc Museum in Bontoc, Mountain Province is a replica of the traditional house of the people in the region.|
|From Bomtoc to Sagada, we passed by this village. I forgot the name of this place so please comment below if you know.|
|The locals give names to various rock formations inside the cave. There is an area inside that they call "PORN" for some reason. The rock formation in this picture is one of those formations located in the area.|
We were suppose to spend our night at Lake Danum for we were hoping to camp and experience the sunset of the place but time did not allow us anymore as it was already dark when we got out from the cave. Instead of camping at Lake Danum, we strolled around the area where our hostel was and we found a cozy place at the Yogurt House. The ambiance of the place fits with the Sagada atmosphere and they serve really great yogurt.
|Camote Fries at Sagada Yogurt House|
Our second day in Sagada was full-packed. We started the day with sunrise viewing at Kiltepan Peak. I wanted to have a remake of the scene by Angelica Panganiban and JM de Guzman in the movie “This Thing Called Tadhana” but all I could manage to do was a selfie and spare me the details of that. J Nevertheless, the view at Kiltepan Peak makes you feel that you are at Cloud 9.
|Sea of Clouds at Kiltepan Peak|
After Kiltepan Peak, we dropped by at Rock Inn and Orange Farm for orange picking. Sagada orange is pretty expensive for me so instead of picking more oranges to bring , I took advantage of the unlimited oranges that you can eat while in the farm which comes with the entrance fee.
|Orange picking at Saga Rock Inn and Orange Farm|
Continuing the series of exciting activities for the day, we headed to our next destination immediately after breakfast. Our service van brought us to the jump off to Bomod-ok Falls. It took us almost two hours or more of trek going to Bomod-ok falls but despite the long hike wasn’t boring at all as you pass by fascinating views and local villages which gives you views of both natural landscapes and local cultures.
After our trek to Bomod-ok Falls, I tried rock climbing at the Echo Valley while my travel companions were still with our guide at the Hanging Coffins. I wasn’t successful at reaching the top though. Since it was November 1, it was a perfect timing to watch the Panag-apoy after at the Anglican Cemetery.
We ended the day with a good rest by strolling at nearby places as we had to leave early the following day for Baguio City where another set of experience awaits.
|Before leaving our hostel in Sagada|
|The Highest Point of the Philippines Highway System. We stopped by the landmark on our way to Baguio City.|