Our Sagada Adventure started right after office one Friday of May. I was so excited to embark on a trip with my friends that I was probably counting the minutes as office hours drew to a close.
Our van finally fetched us at 8 PM and not long after, we were making our way through Manila traffic. The best part whenever in a long trip with friends is the teasing and the laughter and of course the exchange of stories. We were practically laughing our way through the traffic until I got so sleepy I had to sleep.
What greeted me early the next morning was something so awesome! We were driving along the ridge of a mountainous terrain and the view of sun breaking out from the horizon was just fantastic. The sky turning from dark blue to pale blue and then finally blending into the golden warmth of the sun’s rays was just unbelievable.
After two additional hours driving through the mountains, we finally made it to Sagada town proper. It’s a small and quiet town – you wouldn’t get lost in it. There’s just one main road which is the National Highway and a few streets leading to the residential villages and other local establishments.
The food is very very fresh. Sagada is situated within the so-called ‘Salad Bowl of the Philippines’ since most vegetables and fruits that grow in temperate climates are able to grow in the cold and crisp mountain air. Pinikpikan, which is a very tasty chicken soup, is definitely something to try and look forward to. Spring rolls also have a unique twist in that their local version has more vegetables to it. I even think I tasted cucumber in it. Biting into their spring roll gives a very cool and fresh feeling in the mouth.
The thrilling adventures to be experienced in Sagada is found nowhere else! My friends and I availed of the cave connection tour accompanied of course by a local tour guide who brought us to the mouth of Lumiang Cave . It was a steep descent carefully walking on rock boulders – and sometimes rappelling down a rock wall. A head lamp is an absolute must! Our guide has been very helpful pointing to us where to position our feet to get the best footing. After more than three fun hours spelunking which occasionally required us to walk through pools of water, we finally exited Sumaguing Cave thus completing the cave connection. I cannot emphasize enough how much fun we had going through Lumiang and Sumaguing caves.
Sagada would not be complete without its people. The locals seem very friendly and helpful. I was actually surprised to find myself engaged in a conversation with a local family who was operating an internet shop. They were telling me the places to see and the best times to visit Sagada. We also went to their traditional burial grounds which is acclaimed for their hanging coffins. Local tradition says that such a burial arrangement allows for the spirit of the deceased to more easily move on to the after life as compared to being buried underground. There were lots of these hanging coffins. You could even see a group of them from the National Highway.
Overall, the trip to Sagada has been such a pleasant one. The sights, the people, the food, and the overall experience are worth going back for.