Tête-à-tête · The Wander List

Singlescape: Sagada, Mt. Province

Sharing with you our 1.5 day itinerary in Sagada.

We arrived in Sagada around noon having taken the first trip at 5:30am in Baguio via GL bus lines.   
The minute we arrived, we went to the Lemon Pie house right away (see previous blog post)

While waiting for our trip, we decided to walk around and do some nearby sight seeing:

   
The altar is covered in violet cloth because it is officially lenten season. On our way to Lake Danum to see the sunset, our tour guide asked us if we wanted to go see the Sagada Pottery since its on the way.

We figured, sure why not, because we are trying to get as much activities as we can on our first half day. 


We went there and the lady said to get inside for the demo. We were already standing face to face in the area when she said the demo costs 100 pesos/session. The situation was awkward like we were blindly robbed 100 pesos without earlier warning. But what the hell? How many times do we find ourselves  in Sagada anyway.
  
So that’s Lake danum. Im not crazy about it. It looks like a caramel lake. 

But we had fun just hanging out watching the sun set, people watching, and literally chill. Next morning we woke up at 4 to catch the famous sunrise in the sea of clouds in Kiltepan viewpoint.  

Ever since that Angelica Panganiban movie “That thing called tadhana” came out, lots of people came to Sagada to see this. Us included.   

There were lots of people who went top loading. We stayed with our rented van together with a foreigner couple that we shared it with. But the highlight of my trip to Kiltepan is that doggie with brows on fleek. He became the instant tourist attraction right away. 

We went to Sumaging Cave next. I was not physically ready to be all gutsy exploring the cave that’s why I went home with an aching body.

We were already halfway when I almost decided to stop because: a)  I’m getting a little claustrophobic; b)  I get a little anxious and panicky; c) I dont want to step on our tour guide’s shoulder just to get down (might kill him, haha)

I didn’t get to take much photos while inside the cave because, as my friend Aya puts it, we’re busy surviving the cave to even bother taking pictures. Also Im a bit scared because the night before, I read blogs about the cave and 1 tourist died in the cave and the body was never found. They even had to bring in foreign experts to recover the body but never found it. This was also confirmed by our tour guide.

Im glad I was able to survive it. I kept pushing myself to do it eventhough Im scared. I even surprised myself that I can rapell to climb up in less than a minute . Its the adrenaline rush that I had, but I paid for it in full with my upper body aches.

We went straight to Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins after. 

 
 I loathed the hike but I enjoyed the history telling. 

From above photos, top to bottom and left to right: over looking a cave with coffins; public cemetery with one of the SAF44 soldiers buried; the famous hanging coffins- the latest one is back in 2010 (palochina material coffin); and an old coffin with bones hanging out in the cave. 

We learned about the different sizes of the coffin. The small ones with chairs attached to it means the person who died was made to sit in the chair minutes after they lost breath. They were buried (or rather sort of mummified in a fetal position) with the belief that they came and will leave the world in a fetal position.

The regular looking coffins are influences by Christianity. Only Igorots with family (take note- with family means they bore children) are the only ones allowed  to be in a hanging coffin. 

When somebody dies, the whole village gets involved in the burial ceremony. They all line up and lift the body and passed it on until they can put the body in the designated hanging coffin. Sometimes they have scaffoldings to assist in the ceremony.

In recent times now, people gets to choose whether they would opt to be buried in a public cemetery. Speaking of the public cemetery, in lieu of candles, they have these little bonfires that serves as light in memory of their departed loved ones.

Tips:

  • All tours are now required with guides.
  • They have universal price range, no need to haggle.
  • Always register with the tourism office. They can hook up other groups with you so you can all split the rent prices among yourselves.
  • They do not have tricycles. Mode of transportation: walk, rent a van, ride motorcycle/bile.
  • You can not just take photos of the locals. 
  • All shops close at 8pm, the latest is at 9pm.
  • Tourist guides are friendlier than those in retail and food and restaurant service. Im keeping an open mind and not call them borderline rude, rather distinct cultural difference.
  • There are a lot of dogs (sometimes with foreign breed) walk around the streets of Sagada.
  • Only 2 atms in town, all transaction payments are cash basis only.
  • Each tour comes with different prices.
  • Best souvenir (aside from the regular stuff you can see elsewhere and in Baguio) is the woven stuff and the blueberry Jam. 
  • 3G works in Sagada! Whew!
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