My Trips to Sagada
The other day, I was enjoying the company (chatting via WhatsApp) of my cute British friend/buddy Mikey, when he mentioned something about planning a trip to Asia, visit Japan and a lot of nearby countries as well (Ding!). Naturally, never wanting to miss out on promoting our country's tourism thingy (Yay!), I said "Like Manila!” He mentioned Palawan (impressive huh). Now, being 1/4 Ilocana that I am, it wouldn't hurt to promote the already famous Pagudpud. And to further lure British boy into landing here first (instead of Japan), I told him about my place of escape up North, Sagada. The moment I said it, I was suddenly compelled by my longing to once again commune with nature. Feel the cold, mist heavy air touch my face. Trudge for miles and miles inhaling the beauty of this paradise.
For years, Sagada has been my refuge, whether hoping to heal a badly broken heart or soul search, this place has never failed me. There is something about it that makes my body tingle with anticipation yet calms every fibre of my being. Now, you may wonder if there's something magical about this place, or are there hidden springs somewhere that can heal you miraculously. Nope, it's nothing like Julie Andrew's musical, the hills are not alive with the sound of music. The hills are alive with the silence of your thoughts.
Sagada, or “My Up, North and Personal Haven” as I usually call it, is a municipality in the Mountain Province, Philippines, located 275 kilometres (171 mi) north of 140 kilometres (87 mi) from Baguio, and it is adjacent to Bontoc, the provincial capital.
Sagada is famous for many interesting things including keeping/practicing its traditions, the hanging coffins, rice terraces, among others. The “Hanging Coffins” is a traditional way of burying the dead. From afar, the coffins seem to be suspended on the cliffside, particularly if you are in Echo Valley.
I had an astonishing (if tiring) time visiting Lumiang and Sumaguing caves, which by the way, would require you to hire an experienced guide as the trek down the caves are not exactly that easy (quite dangerous). I had my trek shoes on, a backpack full of water, moist towelettes and chips. If you’re thinking of bringing your car, think again, you’ll miss a lot of awesome and amazing things along the way.
Like, one time I was there, I geared up at 5 in the morning and started my daily walk. I never noticed it before, but that particular morning, as I looked closer, there was this small cave beside a small house and inside the cave just a few feet from its mouth was a solitary coffin hanging on its wall, I was like wow, had I been in a car, I would have missed it.
Next blog's preview: The western style antique house that serves superb Spaghetti with meatballs. The yoghurt house I never fail to visit. The church where I met a handsome British guy, who, after a couple of months later, I discovered was actually a commercial model for a famous brand of men's knickers, oooh.