So if you’ve never been to Sagada unless you’ve been to Sumaguing Cave, then I can’t tell you where I was the past few days. I can tell you though, that I was definitely not in Sagada. Because I didn’t go to Sumaguing Cave. My friends went, but I didn’t. And I’m still bitter about it so I won’t post their pictures in the cave, even if they used my waterproof camera. Though I can’t really blame anyone. I got sick on the day we were supposed to go! And so that ends my Sagada story. End of entry.
What do you think? There’s nothing else to do in Sagada? Of course not! There’s lots of stuff to do! Like, eat, appreciate the view of the rice terraces, drink rosetta wine, and eat some more!
Now, what will follow is an account of my Baguio/Sagada trip with my friends which happened last February 24-27. But before I tell you what happened, let me warn you first that if you’re planning on going there, you should definitely not follow our itinerary. Because we just went where life took us and I am in no way endorsing our inefficiency. That said, I’m not saying there’s no merit to spontaneity and you know, you’ll enjoy whatever happens when you’re with people you like anyway so plan or no plan, I still had lots of fun on this trip.
We took the 7:30am bus to Baguio because one disadvantage of being on the night shift at work is that you’re still at work when everyone else is taking the midnight bus. So when we got to Baguio, it was already 3pm and there wasn’t much time to do anything except to buy a few souvenirs from Good Shepherd, Mines View Park, drink strawberry taho (trip highlight!) and of course, eat at Session Road.
We first went to O-Mai Khan for a very late lunch, and it was delicious, but a tad expensive. I think it’s because their specialty is the Mongolian barbecue, which although we had just come from a 7-hour bus ride, we did not have the appetite (nor the budget) for. And because I wasn’t in the mood yet, I didn’t take any pictures while we were there. Sorry na! Ako nang Miss Cranky Pants after long bus rides.
Pero may na-discover ako: What’s the best way to cheer someone up when you’re in Baguio? Strawberry taho! LYK SRSLY. It saved the day!
So there, after the strawberry taho, we bought some souvenirs and went to Session Road for dinner. We saw the restaurant Solibao and were attracted by their bright lights. Attention to restaurant owners: bright lights! They’re effective!
And low prices, too! We ordered the inihaw platter and it cost the four of us only about P130 each and it was delicious and we got full from it and we were so happy.
But we were even happier when afterwards, we found strawberry shortcake! At a place called Vizco’s Restaurant. One slice is worth P80, but I think it’s worth it, considering it’s cheaper than the cakes in Starbucks, and it’s waaay masarap!
And we ate it with some kiwi fruit given by our friend C (It’s a guilt gift, on account of she was supposed to go with us, but didn’t). Anyway, it made the cake more yummy and I think I might actually go to Baguio again just to eat more of this cake. Yay! Another road trip! Hahaha!
The next day, we woke up early-ish to catch the morning bus to Sagada. We ended up taking the 9AM bus, which was… fine. Because I like my sleep. But it did get us to Sagada at late afternoon so that’s another half-day gone just because of the bus trip, so yeah, don’t follow our itinerary. But at least we weren’t too tired or cranky from not having enough sleep ‘eh? Or at least, I wasn’t. My two other friends M and G actually did wake up really early so they could go to the market and buy vegetables.
Moving on, when we got to Sagada, we were greeted by Tita Ligaya*, who would be our hostess for the next 2 days. She “picked us up” from the bus stop, and “picked us up” is in quotation marks because she was there by her lonesome and we had to walk about a kilometer or so to get to her house because their vehicle was broken, which is fine with me, I don’t mind walking, but I know some people do, so…
But her house was so quaint and peaceful, being away from the town and all, that it’s really not that bad that you have to walk a distance to get to it.
And Tita Ligaya is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Really, it felt like we were visiting an old friend, even if it was the first time we met her. She went with us to the town so we wouldn’t get lost and we found the Yoghurt House easily.
(L-R) Chicken Curry for M, Steak and Potatoes for me, Barbecue Chicken for G and E (not in picture on account of he went to the market to buy our breakfast for the next day)
The yoghurt was delicious, though I have to admit that I had to add brown sugar because I have a sweet tooth. And the food was delicious, too, albeit pricey. But no matter, we were really hungry and we had a nice dinner.
Later that night, back at the cottage, Tita Ligaya started the fire in the fireplace and we roasted marshmallows and hotdogs (that E also bought from the market) while drinking rosetta wine from Gabay (that we passed by on the way back) and eating strawberries (that we bought from the market in Baguio).
And that was our first night in Sagada.
The next day was the day
we went spelunking my friends left me to go spelunking. And because I’m bitter about it, that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Monday morning! I was feeling better thanks to the paracetamols from Nurse G (It’s good to travel with a nurse!) so we woke up early and hiked to Kiltepan, which is where you can view the rice terraces. So we were expecting a view like this:
(though technically this photo was taken when m and g were on their way to the caves)
Except it was foggy and we didn’t see anything at all. But, the hike was so much fun, that the trip was worth it anyway. The weather was cool and the scenery was great and the air was fresh, which is always a plus (we live in polluted Manila, you know?).
M and G taking photos on the hillside because the surroundings are just so preetttyyyyy...
After “cooking” our own lunch, and by “cooking” I mean heating leftovers from last night’s order of sinigang at the Salt&Pepper Restaurant and frying eggs, we left Tita Ligaya’s house and walked to the town. We said goodbye to some friends that we met, and special thanks to Ate J who was kind enough to give us black rice and blueberry jam (for free!!! she’s so nice! ) and took the 1pm jeepney to Bontoc where we would take the bus to Manila.
We got to Bontoc around 1:45pm and almost had to endure a 12-hour bus ride on the center seats (which are kiddie seats that you place on the aisle of a bus) because we didn’t have reservations for proper tickets to Cable Tours’ 3pm bus to Manila. But because we were extremely lucky, a group cancelled their reservations, and we were told at 2:55pm that we that the four of us could have proper seats! Never underestimate the power of being wait-listed.
Now, the clock on the bus was late so I’m not really sure what time we left Bontoc and what time each stopover was. I know there were 3 of them, and the last one was in the early morning of February 28 in Bulacan. And I remember that we arrived at Cubao at around 3am. And I got home at 6am. But that’s only because it’s a way from Cubao to the south of Manila where I live, and I ate some CB6 at Chic-Boy along the way .
Nevertheless, I got to the office for my shift on Tuesday night and now have lots of happy memories to share. Despite not actually having gone to Sagada. Of course, this only means one thing: Kailangan bumalik! Or in my case, pumunta for the first time kasi hindi pa nga ako nakakapunta ‘dun! Yes?
Lastly, a photo of the puppy at Ligaya’s House & Cottages. Because I like cute puppies.
* Ligaya’s House & Cottages
Kapinitan, Sagada, Mountain Province
0918-343-8415 / 0920-784-9633