Sagada: A mountain hamlet

Remember those days in the 90s when RPG games in Playstation1 or 2 were hip? The protagonist will wake up somewhere in a remote town, either in the mountains, fields, or forest? Somehow this trip reminds me of an adventure taken by those coming-of-age heroes that follow a storyline of exploration, battles and self-realization. (Seriously.... If it's possible to project yourself inside an RPG game, i've done it long before iPod was invented.)

The quaint town of Sagada: View from the Echo Valley Peak  

I have no idea where Sagada is until the time we actually set foot on the place. All I know is that it is located somewhere in the rugged mountains up north, much farther away from Baguio.



Upon arriving the night before, we immediately took our time to have dinner at yogurt house and rest our topload-beaten bodies. I took time to take photos whenever I can amidst the tight itinerary, so most of the photos are taken at different times. 

Most of the structures are probably tourist accommodations. One thing I'm concerned about is the eclectic and kitsch style of houses being built every now and then, considering the fact that you can't own a property here if you aren't of local genealogy. Nevertheless, the town still possess that rustic charm just like the smell of good Sagada coffeebeans.

Narrow road to the caves





I "still" can't sense outright commercialization in this place, and that's a good thing, given that the prices of commodities are competitive and a bit "tourist-y". On a side note, if you feel like going to the attractions, SAGGAS, one of the group of locals with the qualified skills and knowledge of their town, provides tour packages at a reasonable price, and it is recommended that you take tours with them especially in the caves.  For more information; you can find their website here: [SAGGAS]

Due to some unexpected circumstances, this trip was cut into just two days, leaving me no choice but to savor and take in all the frustration of a fucked-up itinerary by eating. Most of my expenses went to food, by the way. Hahaha.. haha.. ha. :(

At George Guest House, our accommodation


The locals are generally friendly and approachable, in contrast to the faces captured by my camera.  Don't get me wrong! The owner of our accommodation even gave us a free ride from the main building to their annex ( parang hotel transfer lang, haha!). I don't know if it's part of our payment, them, being nice... But oh well...

An interesting fact that I learned while having a walk in the towncenter is that the established church in Sagada is protestantism. Making it the only Philippine town that is predominantly Protestant with almost 95% baptized into the Episcopal Church. Pretty neat, huh?

But still, their pagan traditions are alive as my companions witnessed it, in their Begnas Festival. 

The Protestant Church
Taking time to take photos...



 I pretty messed up this shot hence the double/triple exposure.
And lastly, the cemetery, strategically located in the sloping terrain overlooking the town... My greatest frustration during the trip came from the incapability to witness the Panag-Apoy festival which happened a day after we left (October 31). With that being said, it gave me more reasons to come back and visit this place again.

Coming up! Cave connection, Kiltepan peak, Echo Valley, and the Foodtrip:
For comprehensive information about our trip, here are the links:

http://www.ivanlakwatsero.com/search/label/Sagada
http://www.balintataw.org/search/label/sagada

18 comments:

  1. Natamaan naman ako dun sa 'fucked-up itinerary'. Hahaha. I know I should've considered na long weekend and holiday ang time na yun and switched around some of the sites. Thinking about it now, I shouldn't have insisted on what was on the IT and made a better judgment kung ano uunahin.

    But oh well, tapos na.

    Sagada will always have a special place in my heart. And I do hope it stays as it is now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wahaha, robbie, hindi yun yung ibig kong sabihin :)))) I forgot to stress yung uncontrolled circumstances ang cause. But I'm all good. That short duration of time with you guys made it extra special. Naaaaaaaaaaksssssssss~! Hahaha

    ReplyDelete
  3. bakit ganun lahat ng posts ng sagada people ang ganda haha, i bet nag enjoy talaga tayo...again saludo ako sa photos...oi oi oi ayus ng kinalabasan nung photo na kinuha ko gamit ang camera mo...hmmm yung decor sa may binatana haha

    now i know pwede ako mag film...#proudsasarili2011

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can't believe you wrote the F word! Hahaha! You rock Byron! Haha!

    Ganda ng photos. Yung second photo naalala ko yung famous sight ng slums sa Brazil then yung photo ng kid using chopsticks parang from a rural town in China. At talagang hindi pwedeng mamiss-out si Ivan sa photo dahil sa kanyang unique na headwear hehe!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sayang naman yung festival! Yan yung gusto ko-i-endeavour sa travels, so far Panagbenga pa lang nadayo ko!

    Bakit na-cut trip niyo?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Enjoy naman talaga eh! And yes, ayos nga yung kuha mo pati nung ginamit ko yung wide anglelens mo sakin eh! Bili na ng analog, jerome!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Walang feelings yung f-word na yun, drew, for the sake na masabi lang. lol yabang ko hahaha! Hindi talaga pwedeng hindi makikita ang signature sombrero ni ivanlakwatsero!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sabi pa nga nila rare yung festival na na-miss namin, kasi wala syang specific date. T_T Though nakamove-on na ako hahaha.

    Na-cut siya kasi Nov.1, walang trip from sagada to baguio, eh kung Nov.2 pa kami uuwi, di na abot para makapasok kami sa work. Kaya Oct. 31 na lang kami umalis.

    ReplyDelete
  9. wow eto na ang Sagad posts nyo. ayoko na sana basahin kase mainggit lang ako. lol. love the window photo at yung bata sa Georgehouse at xempre ang hat ni Ivan na buhay pa din hanggang ngayon. lol

    ReplyDelete
  10. wow naiinggit na ako ng bongga!! andami kong napadpadan na site na puro sagada!! hindi pa kasi ako nakakapunta dyan kaya todo inggit much!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks gael! Sobrang nalungkot siya nung hindi niya yan nadala sa cave connection. Hahaha

    ReplyDelete
  12. masarap talaga experience sa sagada especially yung cave connection :D punta ka!

    ReplyDelete
  13. woot. nice photos byron. haha.. kahit yung mga double/triple exposure.. maganda pa rin yung dating. salamat sa link nyahaha.

    sayang tlga hindi kayo nakasama sa mga sumunod na trip.. mas masaya sana kung kumpleto tayo til the end. hohoho.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Astig ng mga photos! Kakamiss ang Sagada :-|

    ReplyDelete
  15. parang ghost photo lang yung last pic ah. galing!

    ReplyDelete
  16. oo nga eh parang ang dami kong na-miss!

    ReplyDelete
  17. ayos talaga pag film, doi :) unexpected yung results :D

    ReplyDelete

It would be nice to get a feedback from you :)