Some Cold Summer Nights

With the extreme heat we’ve been experiencing lately, I believe it’s not just me who’s wishing, hoping & thinking of a cooler place to stay.  Just to escape the sticky feeling and for once feel fresh the whole day.

I’ve been wanting a cold summer night, and all I can think of?  Sagada .

A municipality in Mountain Province  that is a popular Philippine tourist destination especially those aiming to spend time with nature, to eat meals with fresh vegetables, and of course their cold weather.

Getting There

Sagada is really distant from Manila.  You have to take a bus to get you to Baguio City first and that may take approximately 5 hours.  At Dangwa Terminal in Baguio City another 5-6 hours of bus ride before finally reaching Sagada.

 

Where to Stay

Sagada as a popular tourist destination definitely holds large number of guesthouses to choose from.  But seriously all these guesthouses can be fully booked during peak season, so reminder: book early!

We stayed at Sagada Guesthouse and Resto. The location is just a few minutes walk from the bus terminal, about 5 minutes to the Tourist Information center, about 10-15 minutes from the hanging coffins and echo valley. 

Our room can accommodate 5-6 persons, with 3 single beds and 1 double, it has a toilet with the very important water heater, a verada, and a kitchen with a mountain view.  Overall it was cozy and very good in location.


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What To Do

It was in February when we visited Sagada.  A long weekend, an escape from the busy streets of Manila.  Aside from Nature tripping and Spelunking, our purpose was more of the cold weather in this time of the year.  And yes, it didn’t fail us. An escape from the oily and dusty face!  Why not?

Eat

After 12 hours of zig zagging, we have finally arrived. After checking in, it’s time we get ourselves a good meal.  Feeling tired and dizzy but with fresh veggies and a cup of coffee in front of me, nothing can really go wrong. And also, how come it feels good to eat and eat on a cold weather?

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There are really famous places to eat in Sagada.  It may be the Yoghurt House, or Sagada Lemon Pie House, really a lot to choose from.

Unfortunately, during our stay “meal hours” queue were really long.  With a waiting time of more than an hour, or establishments were closed really early especially the popular ones, poor forecasting method used I guess since most of the food were sold out as early as 7:30 pm. Really? So we were not very picky in choosing where to eat, as long as they have food to serve and less crowded we were okay.

We tried Pikpikan Haus for Mountain Province’s famous dish, Pinikpikan.  A chicken stew as they call it, I could describe it as a salty Tinola. Not really the kind that my taste buds can appreciate, I’d rather go for the sour-ish Sinigang.

But to share this, Sagada Lemon Pie House, from the name itself is popular for its Lemon Pie.  Those not really into some sweet, sourish-tasting pastry may not enjoy this but for me I did love it.  I even ordered a box that I brought back to Manila.  The pie may be sweet but it will be perfect match with coffee or tea.

Tip:  The Lemon Pie sells like pancakes, if you are planning on buying a box to bring back home make sure to order in advance.  Pre-order is required especially during peak season.

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Another recommended cafe that we tried for like 3 times but only had our chance to eat there was on our last day in Sagada is the Strawberry Cafe.  My friend even during the planning was very much into their Strawberry Yoghurt, his all time favorite in Sagada. They didn’t have specific meals for breakfast though, you can order anything from the menu anytime of the day.  I ordered their Fried Boneless Bangus (milkfish) served with red rice, it was really delicious.  And because I’m into red rice, the more I loved Mountain Province.


Explore

On our way to Echo valley we passed by and enjoyed the Saturday Market.  From fresh vegetables and fruits to school supplies, to kitchen utensils and the clothes or Ukay-Ukay.  I got myself a cute pajama.

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 The Echo Valley, if I’m not mistaken this may have been really brought to too much popularity from the movie, That Thing Called Tadhana.  It may be one of the places to visit as part of the Sagada itinerary but just too commercialized by the movie.

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The Hanging Coffins, this I must say, one of the places I wanted to see.  At first, not really considering the tradition and meaning of this, I found the Hanging Coffins really intriguing and very cultural.  During the cave connection activity, our guide explained about this tradition which was to bring their loved ones closer to heaven. We wondered also why those coffins really look small, you might even think that mostly children were inside those coffins,  but it was because the dead were in a “fetal position” a belief by the locals that people should exit the world in the same position as how they entered it. Learning about this tradition made the Hanging Coffins more fascinating for me.

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But what kills an excitement?  A crowded destination.  But not really blaming anyone, I was one of those who wanted to experience the February cold weather of Mountain Province, so yes, I must be patient about this.

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The Bomod-ok Falls.  How can I describe my experience, my walking experience just to reach the falls?  Felt like thousands of stairs that you need to go down to and go up to. Well how about I describe it like: Moments like this perfectly defines the extreme gratefulness I feel, that I am finally a non-smoker.

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The trek may be tiring but in all fairness, you wouldn’t really look wasted, thanks to the cold weather.  But honestly, I admire those youngsters who took the plunge and braved the freezing water of the falls.  I couldn’t.  It was drizzling on our way their making it colder really and when I touched the water from the falls, the chills up my spine feeling was there.  So yes, that was a sign “Not to”.

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It was my first time to walk at the rice terraces, and I did love the view.  I finally became more nature lover person.  Often times when asked, I would always choose a beach destination, but from then on I’d definitely alternate my decision to choose a greener destination as well. 

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The  Cave Connection, Spelunking.  This experience may not be my calling but I can always give it a try though.  I will be posting this experience soon.

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Top Load!!  A very common Sagada adventure and I enjoyed it.  The cold wind really made the pores out!

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Don’t forget to say thank you for all the blessings here at Saint Mary the Virgin Church, and for first timers make a wish!

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There’s definitely more to Sagada than what we actually did on our short stay there.  I wanted so much to experience the extreme cold weather of Northern area that’s why I came here. I am okay with 6 to 8 hours of bus travel but exceeding 10 hours may not be my type of travel.  But with view like this, I can make that consideration

 

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