Monday, December 26, 2011

The Early Morning Chat: The Enchanting Sagada

The Early Morning Chat: The Enchanting Sagada

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The Enchanting Sagada

by: Charlton Kis-ing

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia

Few years ago, I am tutoring Korean Students at Baguio City. It was such a wonderful experience. I was a stay in teacher back then. I am astonished with my students’ story. It was fun learning their culture. Knowing their culture would make you understand them. This experience made me think of ways as a teacher for them to expand their understanding of me as well as my country and my culture, the good side of my country and the good tourist destination are just some of the experiences they got from me.

One day when we had such a long vacation my student asked me to suggest and then later asked me to be their tour guide. I agreed and tour them on the most luxurious and extravagant tourist destination of the north! I will let them see and explore the beauty of the Northern Paradise of the Philippines.

Since we are already in Baguio City, I told them to visit Sagada. It is where half of my kin are located. I will describe at as the gate of the Garden of Eden! If you are already in Baguio City, take GL Lizardo Bus which leaves Baguio City at around 6:00 AM as their earliest trip, you’ll reach Sagada by around 11:30 AM that’s approximately around 5 hours bus ride.

First timer or frequent visitors would definitely love going back. Along the way you will pass by mountain ridges feeling the ambiance and the cold winds. Aside from being entertained with the pine forest scenery and vegetable gardens you would definitely have a breath of fresh air.

Once in Sagada, there would be a lot of lodge, rest house and inns located in the town proper. My students and I stayed at Saint Joseph Hotel. After we freshen up we started to register at the Municipal Hall where a very friendly tourist guide accommodates you and provide you with a tour guide.

We first visited the Enchanting Sumaging Cave. The most visited cave in Sagada. The cave provides you with total entertainment. We were fascinated with the beauty of nature. You will be at awe with the images sculpted by running water. We crawled and swim and climb! It was a total nerve rocking but the scenery would definitely make you want to keep going back. The water washes away the stress and worries. Our tired body was energized and relaxed. It’s as if I was massaged for a day! If you visit this place I would suggest you bring with you a water proof camera.

Next stop is the Lumiang Cave. We just stop by the entrance of the cave. Accordingly, people who are into more extreme and wants more adrenalin, I would definitely suggest you try this. In the entrance you would see the old coffins used to bury the dead of this town long time ago.

Another place to visit is the Hanging Coffins. It is a burial site long time ago. I am not sure if some are still putting their dead these days in that place. This was called a Hanging coffin because the coffins were placed on the side of the steep mountain ridges. Coffins are inserted in between those boulders.

After that, we walk back to the town proper. Souvenir shops are located everywhere. You can buy anything in the town proper mostly wood carved images and printed shirts. I would suggest you should buy the famous Sagada Weaving bags. Variety of bags could be sold there from back pack to travelling bags and of course coin purse. Ask the locals to show you where the Sagada Weaving located so you could get the best quality.

After a long day, we decided to go back to our INN at St Joseph Resthouse. I asked the restaurant manager of St Joseph Resthouse to prepare us the traditional Pinikpikan with Etag accompanied by Tapuey for my students to have a feel of the traditional food of the Igorots.

The next morning we rode a jeep going to Fedilisan to visit the famous Bomud-ok “Big” Falls! Going to the said waterfalls, you will pass by small rice terraces. Everyone enjoys the cold water while swimming. This would consume at least a day.

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