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Monday, August 13, 2012

Sagada – Banaue Adventure part I

Our group’s original plan of going to Bohol last year was cancelled due to unexpected opportunity of working abroad in months. Since we want to have a worthy bonding before flying to Malaysia, we altered the destination forthwith and opted for Sagada as an alternative trip. With the date of our trip coming closely, everyone got excited and already packed their things. All is set except for the weather. Typhoon “Mina” was traversing North Luzon where Sagada is located and we are closely monitoring the weather situation from time to time. In the height of the storm, Friday night of August 26 2011 when we decided to still pursue our trip and bad weather won’t hinder us from discovering the beauty of Sagada.

The night trip schedule of Cable Tours bus in E. Rodriguez was 8:30 and we got stuck in traffic arriving 30 minutes late before departure. Thank God the bus driver and conductor understood our situation and waited for us despite the left & right complaint of other passengers (Sobrang paimportante kami ng gabing iyon, hehehe). Travel to Sagada will consume you 12 butt-aching hours from Manila. There are 3 options getting there:

First – Manila-Baguio-Sagada via Victory Liner to Baguio and Lizardo bus from Baguio market to Sagada.
Second – Manila-Banaue-Bontoc-Sagada via Florida bus to Banaue, 2.5 hours jeepney ride from Banaue to Bontoc and 45 minutes jeepney ride from Bontoc to Sagada town proper.
Third – Direct route from Manila to Bontoc via Cable tours bus and 45 minutes jeepney ride from Bontoc to Sagada town proper. (650php bus fare)

Bus details:
Victory Liner Cubao – +632 727-4688; +632 727-4534
Victory Liner Pasay – +632 833-4403; +632 5019
FloridaBus Sampaloc – +632 855-1030
Cable tours bus Manila – +63929-8194688 (beside Trinity University of Asia)
Cable tours bus Bontoc – +639185215790

Sagada town
It was really a brave gesture when we pursued our travel amidst of bad weather. Our 12 hours land travel went smooth though it drizzles at times particularly upon entering Mountain Province which was signal number 2 then. After few hours of battling with slippery steep road, we safely arrived at the town of Bontoc and rode a jeepney heading Sagada town proper. It was a 45 minutes breathtaking road trip because of mostly winding and steep roads. We even safely passed by a few small landslides; thank you God for Your guidance throughout our trip. It started to rain hard and very cold climate greeted us when we arrived at Sagada town proper. 

Central town of Sagada

We immediately checked-in at George’s Guest House to drop off our stuffs and ease ourselves from a long trip. GGH has two buildings, one is walking distance from the central town and the other one is the George Guest House extension located 250 meters away from the main building and walking distance from Sumaguing cave. We chose GGH for our preferred inn for its good review and recommendation from Sagada Genuine Guide Association (SAGGAS) where i got my SAGADA reference to make this trip possible. Our home for 3 nights is a 2-storey house with complete facilities for big groups that costs 250 php per head per night. It has 3 bedrooms that can fit 10-12 pax, 3 bathrooms, living room with fireplace, and kitchen where you can cook your own food. Staying at GGH is like staying at your own home because everything you need is there.

George's Guest House Extension 

George's Guest House Extension

Other accommodations that you may want to check out are as follows:

George Guest House                -           +639185480406; +639206070994

Traveler’s Inn                          -           +639207992960;  +639195171833

Canaway Inn                           -           +639182915063

Sagada Kanip-aw                    -           +639282847507; +639298162233     

Yabami Bed and Breakfast       -           +639497472245         

Yellow House Inn                    -           +639092549783; +639478351985

Sagada Guest House               -           +639189385601; +639193002763
(with kitchen)

Masferre Country Inn              -           +639183416164

Ganduyan Inn                         -           +639212738097

Wondering what are the places of interest in Sagada? Here are some of them:

* Sumaguing and Lumiang Caves

* Bomod-ok and Bokong Falls

* Aguid Rice terraces
* Echo Valley
* Kiltepan Peak
* Underground River
* Lake Danum
* Hanging Coffins

* Pongas falls
* Orange Picking
* Yoghurt House
* Lemon Pie House

After resting a few minutes, wee took our lunch at Cusina Igorota at the central town even if the power supply was cut due to typhoon “Mina.” We really savor the good food at CI especially the tenderness and freshness of the vegetables; undoubtedly that we’re in the home of fresh vegetables. 

Cusina Igorota Sagada

While we’re walking back to our hotel, the rain began pouring hard and the wind started blowing vigorously. Bad weather pre-empted us from touring the town and there’s nothing we can do but stay on our hotel. Before dusk, the power was cut and our light that night was just some improvised lighting made with cooking oil. All of us decided to sleep together in just one room upstairs since there is a typhoon, we want to be alert and look after each other because we know that we will be having an unusual night: a sleepless typhoon night.

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