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Sagada Mountain Province

Sagada Mountain Province

Is there a place that you’d really want to visit and still weren’t able to up until now? Well, I do. One of those places I’d like to visit is Sagada. Not because I am in love with the place nor it’s my dream destination. But, I am so curious about the place. I know a lot of people wanted to visit Sagada. But, I just don’t get what’s in here to be interested about. The hype became stronger when Sagada became one of the places where a movie shot some of its beautiful scenes. So, the curiosity went on and I’ve been longing to visit the place to experience it myself. Finally, I had the chance to have my friends go to Sagada Mountain Province for a 3-days-2-nights tour.

Sagada Mountain Province

Sagada is famous for a number of nature explorations like caves, waterfalls, mountains, and historical sites. Which is why people are attracted to this place because of the adventures that await. Going here will be a long drive of about 13 – 14 hours. So, make yourself prepared because the road is mountainous and filled with curves. You’ll go left and right until you become dizzy and nauseous. Also, the temperature in this place can go down as low as 7 degrees celsius, so, if a single layer of a jacket cannot help you, make it 3 layers! πŸ™‚

Lastly, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me so, I’d make sure to bring a camera and take a bunch of pictures as I enjoy everything to the fullest!

So, in this post, I’ll be sharing my experiences about the beautiful places. I won’t be sharing stuff like where to eat as this place really has a lot of places to eat but very pricey. We only had a very simple breakfast, lunch and dinner to keep us alive during the adventure. So, please do not expect some food stuff here. πŸ™‚

First Stop

I am a type of person who loves looking through the car window to see places along the way. Why not? It’s not like I always pass by the area to ignore some sceneries, right? While it’s still hours before we arrive at the Sagada town proper, we dropped off to Banaue Rice Terraces. An iconic view that is mostly seen in postcardsΒ when I was a kid in school. Referred to as the eighth wonder of the world, it is believed that these terraces were built mostly of hands and with minimal equipment.

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sagada
sagada
sagada
sagada

Where To Stay

To start off, there’s really a lot of places to check in. Best is to choose a place that’s affordable but won’t compromise comfort and accessibility. Honestly, for me, a rough journey needs a comfortable bed and a heater for a refreshing shower. These are my non-negotiable stuff and I am willing to pay an extra if being comfortable has an extra cost. So, we chose Bilza Lodge.

TIP: Click here for Bilza Lodge’s discounted rates and earn rebates you can use in any of your next booking. πŸ™‚
sagada
sagada

The Bilza Lodge is strategically located near Sumaguing Cave which is our first destination in Sagada. It’s just a 5-minute walk. So, before we proceed, we had a free time to rest, eat and prepare ourselves for caving. While the others are having a quick nap, we stayed outside and had some little fun. πŸ™‚

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sagada
sagada
sagada

Sumaguing Cave

Okay, this is going to be our first highlight. Honestly, I’ve been nervous going here since the day we planned for a visit. I am not that afraid of the dark or bats. But, the stories I’ve heard that it’s difficult inside because it’s slippery and the water is very cold. I’m afraid that my camera will fall off so I didn’t bring mine and resorted to my friends who are braver than me. So, I am sorry if the quality of photos isn’t that great at all because the cave is really dark.

And by the way, it is required to have a tour guide going here for safety purposes. You won’t be allowed to go inside if you don’t have a tour guide from the tourism office of the town.

Things to remember:

– Bring Headlamp or flashlight
– Bring dry bag
– Wear Dri-fit shirt

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sagada

The entrance to Sumaguing Cave. From here going down, you can already see the darkness that lies beyond. LOL πŸ™‚

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sagada
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sagada

 

 

 

 

 

The cave boasts stunning rock formations. As we went inside, the cave feels large and broad. You can clearly hear the bats’ noise. Undeniably, one of the best attractions I’ve been so far, minus the number of people inside.

 

 

sagada

They say that the cave is mysteriously fascinating and dangerous at the same time. But, it was indeed a wonderful experience. While I was inside, I am frowning because I didn’t bring my camera to try out its low-light capabilities. I lost the chance to take better shots because of my fear. Well, better safe than sorry. πŸ™‚

Sunrise At Kiltepan Viewpoint

4 am the next day is our call time to witness a breath-taking sunrise at one of the highest peaks – Kiltepan Viewpoint. Riding a jeepney for about 20 minutes, you’ll arrive at the chilly atmosphere of Kiltepan viewpoint. Surprisingly, a lot of people are already here getting ready for the sunrise and reserved some great spots for the photo shoot.

There are also locals selling light breakfast and coffee to warm you up while waiting for the highlight.

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sagada
sagada

After waiting for almost 2 hours. We didn’t see a beautiful sunrise. Instead, we just enjoyed the sea of clouds. πŸ™‚

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sagada

Going back to the lodge for breakfast, my friends enjoyed toploading the jeep. I didn’t join them because I am afraid to fall. And all of them are there already. There are not enough passengers inside.

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Bomod-ok Falls

After breakfast, we headed to our next destination. We’ll do some trekking along the rice terraces of Sagada to pass by a small village before we reach the Bomod-ok Falls. If you think this is easy, for me it’s not. It is a 2-hour trek that is very tiring and will test your patience and endurance. Try your best to enjoy the scenery and ignore the hardship. πŸ™‚

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sagada
sagada
sagada
sagada

After hours of tiring trek, you’ll arrive at your destination. You’ll see a banana cue vendor that is strategically situated there because he knows that people will get hungry and want something for a quick break. So, stop by and have some break.

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From here won’t be a satisfying experience. I personally do not want crowded places unless it is supposed to be a place for the crowds like concerts and events. This is a problem when a place is getting more popular. And you can’t ignore the advantages and disadvantages of tourism in most hidden places. But yeah, I guess, you know what I mean.

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Echo Valley

On to our next destination, the Echo Valley. They say that it is named Echo Valley because there’s really an echo in almost everywhere you shout and voice out your feelings. But, this place is sacred for the locals because this is where the bodies of their brethren lie.

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The Hanging Coffins

They are a famous tourist spot here in Echo Valley. It is a culture where they hang the coffins of their brethren instead of burying them underground. But, did you know there are qualifications for this? You must be pure-blood Igorot, no criminal records, and must have grandchildren. If you are wondering why there are few of them, that’s because this is the most accessible spot for tourists. But, there’s a lot of hanging coffins around the valley.

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sagada

Going Back Home

On our 3rd day as we go back home. We passed by the Highest Point Philippines Highway System in Benguet going to La Trinidad. As usual, the curvy path made us all nauseous. The place is a good spot for some photoshoot and buying very affordable vegetables. You can also take a break with a steamed corn.

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sagada

Continuing the vegetable shopping in La Trinidad, I found myself looking at the strawberry farm that has no strawberries on it. Sad because they are not in full bloom. Instead, we ate some strawberry ice cream while waiting for others to finish shopping.

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Final Words

All I can say is that it was a great experience. I have learned a lot of things about their culture. If I had a chance, I am certainly going back here to explore the other places that were not covered by the tour package. I also want to experience all of the popular food stops situated in the province and make a review on each of them, hopefully. This is definitely a must-try adventure to all of you out there. We got our tour package from Travel Now Asia Tours. You can go ahead and check their page for more information about the package and other deals.

About The Author

Andi

Why wizardandi? Because wizard + andi = wizardandi. Since childhood, I always wanted to become a wizard because I love magic. It is fascinating and awesome. I also like eating, gaming, watching anime, gadgets, and going out with my good friends.

41 Comments

  1. Muriel

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

    Reply
  2. Lois

    I savor, lead to I discovered exactly what I was having a look for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

    Reply
  3. JoaNNA

    Can’t believe n ganyan n kacrowded yung Bumod-ok Falls. Last Feb 28 2016 anjan kami and ang dami mo n pwedeng gawin halos kmi lng nagswiswimming kahit super lamig.

    Reply
    • Andi

      Unfortunately, crowded na sya. Probably on a weekday baka konti tao. But I still I am not sure, huhu di ko naenjoy sa falls. πŸ™

  4. MICHAEL SORIANO

    I want to go back now to Sagada! πŸ™‚ This post reminds me a lot of things about the place. By the way, have you been to lake danum? Marlboro country? and Blue Soil? πŸ™‚ You might want to check this place in Sagada. I haven’t been there tho, I really want to go back and visit these places.

    Reply
    • Andi

      We didn’t have the time to go to those places because it suddenly rained. But I hope I can go back and visit lake danum and the others. πŸ™‚

  5. Reshma Narasing

    Your post just made me nostalgic about my trip to the Philippines last year. I have been to all of these places except waking up to watch the sunrise (I’m so not a morning person!) I loved of all of these, in fact, I fell in love with the Philippines. It’s so beautiful. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Andi

      That’s great! It’s never too late to revisit this place and wake up early for a great sunrise and sea of clouds! Thanks for appreciating the lands of the Philippines. πŸ™‚

  6. Indrani

    Looks like a place with wonderful mix of mystery and adventure.
    The hanging coffins is so strange to me. Very well photographed place.

    Reply
    • Andi

      Thanks Indrani. πŸ™‚

  7. heide

    This looks great, Andi. Saw that you mentioned you guys drove a car going there. I was wondering if it’ll be better to commute than to drive. I’ve always thought Sagada is a place for backpackers and parking lots may be hard to find when sightseeing.

    Reply
    • Andi

      I think it is recommended to have a car. I didn’t notice any easy ways to commute within the province. You might get a hard time looking for a public vehicle.

    • Jayvee Esteban

      Hi Heide, Andi availed the package by Travel Now Asia tours, We assist tourist by providing a all-in package, for more details visit http://www.facebook.com/travelnowasia

  8. Airish Abella

    Wow, Sagada! I’ve seen this in photos and sa TV lang! But, sana mapuntahan ko din πŸ™‚ Love your photos!! Thanks for sharing this. Btw, if you know someone looking for dresses, please share this link: https://goo.gl/glwHDg Hope to hear from you soon! x

    Love, Airish
    Gorgeous Glance
    http://www.airishabella.blogspot.com

    Reply
  9. Da Dominguez

    My friends and I have been planning to visit Sagada for a long time now, and this guide looks really helpful. Thanks, Andi!

    Reply
    • Andi

      Since it has been a long time planning, why don’t you guys make it happen now? LOL, sometimes, long planning results to nothing which I am afraid of. I want you to experience Sagada’s awesomeness πŸ™‚

    • Jay of travel now asia

      Thanks Andi for sharing your wonderful experience with Travel Now Asia Tours Package Sagada.

  10. Christina

    Sagada is on my long list of bucket list places in the Philippines. I hope visitors are being responsible so that it can be maintained for future generations. I didn’t realize it had become so popular already! Were you close to the village that performs the traditional tattoos?

    Reply
    • Andi

      Yeah, it really has become so popular and a lot of tourists are everywhere so being responsible is really important to preserve its beauty for future generation. The legendary Apo Whang-Od is far from the place that I visited. But it is from the same region, probably 3 – 4 hours of travel.

  11. Alyssa Molina

    What a wonderful adventure you must’ve had, Andi! Sagada will definitely be on my list of places to visit thanks to you! I have a question though, I noticed that most of you are wearing scarves… is it really that cold even at this time of the year where it’s almost summer? HUHU.

    Wonderful and very detailed post! πŸ™‚ You really know how to catch a reader’s attention, Andi. You should consider writing for a travel magazine or something. You’d definitely suit it! πŸ˜€

    Reply
    • Andi

      LOL Alyssa, I am flattered! I think I am not yet ready or suited for a travel magazine. I am still a beginner and not really confident about my writing skills. But I am truly thankful for appreciating it. πŸ™‚

      By the way, January to February can be the coldest months and can go down below 5 degrees so most people wear scarves and triple layer jackets/sweaters. We went trekking the rice terraces at around 12nn and it is still cold. So, it really depends on your tolerance but better be prepared with layers of clothes if ever. Go to Sagada and have your write up. I will read it for sure. πŸ™‚

  12. neha

    What a wonderful trip. Sagada mountains seem so adventurous. Particularly the journey inside the cave. Apart from that, the whole region is so green, It is a feast to the eyes. I will definitely visit here one day

    Reply
    • Andi

      That’s true! I hope that the greenery will be preserved for future centuries! πŸ™‚

  13. Ashwini KA

    Whoa! Those clouds just convinced me to visit the Sagada Province. The clouds, the cave, the rice terrace – everything was intimidating enough for me to put this province in my Bucket list! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Andi

      Everything is worth putting to your bucket list. Visit someday and you’ll enjoy the rest of the experience. πŸ™‚

  14. MICHAEL SORIANO

    When I get back in this place I will definitely go to the caves! πŸ™‚ namiss ko to nung huling punta ko.. nabitin sa oras! πŸ™‚ nice blog btw! πŸ˜€

    Reply
    • Andi

      I suggest a weekday trip para konti lang tao sa cave. But it’s okay, you can see lots of light from the torch hahah. Dalaw ka ulit πŸ™‚

  15. the travel ninjas

    Sagada is so fascinating. The landscapes are gorgeous and the culture is kinda mysterious with the hanging coffins. Thanks for sharing this cool journey.

    Reply
    • Andi

      The culture and the hanging coffins are really part of their fascinating culture. You are most welcome πŸ™‚

  16. `Aldrick Agpaoa

    Idol! I’ve been to Sagada twice! Pero ngayon ko lang nakita ‘yang “I love Sagada” na letterings! Sa’n ‘yun banda idol? OMG! Gusto ko tuloy bumalik! Tsaka mas maganda sea of clouds mo ha, in fairness!

    Reply
    • Andi

      Hahaha wala nga lang sunrise na kasama ang sea of clouds ko, sayang. Anyway the lettering is from the Bilza Lodge. πŸ™‚

  17. cathy

    Sagada is indeed a memorable place for me. Even before the movie of Angelica and her Jm went to Sagada because she was broken hearted, I already knew this place has something to offer for most broken hearted people. haha. As they say, where do broken hearts go? Mountains right? Your post reminds me of this comforting place, even though some of them I didn’t get to see like the Sumaguing cave. Ah, lucky you! And I envy you for experiencing and witnessing the sea of clouds. Didn’t also get the chance to see that! haha I guess it’s a good reason to go back again! Cheers for more fun travels in the PH! xxxxx

    Reply
    • Andi

      Now you have the reason to go back. Get in touch with the see of clouds and visit the awesome cave! That movie really made this place crowded and popular.

  18. woody world packer

    Amazing article! very detailed and we loved the pictures! Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Andi

      Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

  19. Sandy N Vyjay

    The sight is pure delight and there is a magical aura to it. Who wouldn’t want to look at this beauty with their own eyes? I would definitely plan this trip now because you got me curious, hope to get to the Philippines some day. The country never ceases to amaze with its treasures.

    Reply
    • Andi

      I am sure you’ll get to see a lot of wonderful places in the Philippines! You are most welcome πŸ™‚

  20. Marge

    I also like sitting by the window, not just to see the sceneries but because I get carsick lol. Anyway, I went to Sagada when it was not that famous yet. That movie really did it in. It’s quite memorable for me because after trekking Batad, we went spelunking in Sagada. Naghahanap lang talaga ng sakit ng katawan hahaha… What I didn’t experience though is to see the sea of clouds at Mt. Kitelpan. For that view I’d love to go back! Wow there are so many people at Bomok-Od, grabe naman! Parang di ko na gugustuhing puntahan yang part na yan.

    Reply
    • Andi

      LOL I have car sickness too!!!Batad and its falls is just the best for me so far. Sobrang crowded na sa Bomod-ok, not really enticing to see. Not enjoyable huhu.

  21. hANNAH

    I’m so enchanted by the beauty of your pictures and how gorgeous the place itself is!
    Especially the cavewalk looks like something I can do!

    Reply
    • Andi

      The cave is fascinating and a must-try for you πŸ™‚

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wizardandi

Why wizardandi? Because wizard + andiΒ = wizardandi. Since childhood, I always wanted to become a wizard because I love magic. It is fascinating and awesome. I also like eating, gaming, watching anime, gadgets, and going out with my good friends. Click here to know more about me.

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